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Psalms 81:1-3

Context
Psalm 81 1 

For the music director; according to the gittith style; 2  by Asaph.

81:1 Shout for joy to God, our source of strength!

Shout out to the God of Jacob!

81:2 Sing 3  a song and play the tambourine,

the pleasant sounding harp, and the ten-stringed instrument!

81:3 Sound the ram’s horn on the day of the new moon, 4 

and on the day of the full moon when our festival begins. 5 

1 sn Psalm 81. The psalmist calls God’s people to assemble for a festival and then proclaims God’s message to them. The divine speech (vv. 6-16) recalls how God delivered the people from Egypt, reminds Israel of their rebellious past, expresses God’s desire for his people to obey him, and promises divine protection in exchange for obedience.

2 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term הַגִּתִּית (haggittit) is uncertain; it probably refers to a musical style or instrument. See the superscription to Ps 8.

3 tn Heb “lift up.”

4 tn Heb “at the new moon.”

sn New moon festivals were a monthly ritual in Israel (see R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 469-70). In this context the New Moon festival of the seventh month, when the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated (note the reference to a “festival” in the next line), may be in view.

5 tn Heb “at the full moon on the day of our festival.” The Hebrew word כֶּסֶה (keseh) is an alternate spelling of כֶּסֶא (kese’, “full moon”).

sn The festival in view is probably the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), which began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month when the moon was full. See Lev 23:34; Num 29:12.



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