For the music director; a psalm of David.
41:1 How blessed 2 is the one who treats the poor properly! 3
When trouble comes, 4 the Lord delivers him. 5
112:9 He generously gives 6 to the needy;
his integrity endures. 7
He will be vindicated and honored. 8
1 sn Psalm 41. The psalmist is confident (vv. 11-12) that the Lord has heard his request to be healed (vv. 4-10), and he anticipates the joy he will experience when the Lord intervenes (vv. 1-3). One must assume that the psalmist is responding to a divine oracle of assurance (see P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 319-20). The final verse is a fitting conclusion to this psalm, but it is also serves as a fitting conclusion to the first “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the second, third, and fourth “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 72:19, 89:52, and 106:48 respectively).
2 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
3 sn One who treats the poor properly. The psalmist is characterizing himself as such an individual and supplying a reason why God has responded favorably to his prayer. The Lord’s attitude toward the merciful mirrors their treatment of the poor.
4 tn Heb “in the day of trouble” (see Ps 27:5).
5 tn That is, the one who has been kind to the poor. The prefixed verbal form could be taken as jussive of prayer (“may the
6 tn Heb “he scatters, he gives.”
7 tn Heb “stands forever.”
8 tn Heb “his horn will be lifted up in honor.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17).