49:4 I will learn a song that imparts wisdom;
I will then sing my insightful song to the accompaniment of a harp. 1
77:6 I said, “During the night I will remember the song I once sang;
I will think very carefully.”
I tried to make sense of what was happening. 2
I will rejoice in the Lord.
19:14 May my words and my thoughts
be acceptable in your sight, 4
1 tn Heb “I will turn my ear to a wise saying, I will open [i.e., “reveal; explain”] my insightful saying with a harp.” In the first line the psalmist speaks as a pupil who learns a song of wisdom from a sage. This suggests that the resulting insightful song derives from another source, perhaps God himself. Elsewhere the Hebrew word pair חִידָה/מָשָׁל (mashal/khidah) refers to a taunt song (Hab 2:6), a parable (Ezek 17:2), lessons from history (Ps 78:2), and proverbial sayings (Prov 1:6). Here it appears to refer to the insightful song that follows, which reflects on the mortality of humankind and the ultimate inability of riches to prevent the inevitable – death. Another option is that the word pair refers more specifically to the closely related proverbial sayings of vv. 12, 20 (note the use of the verb מָשָׁל, mashal, “to be like” in both verses). In this case the psalmist first hears the sayings and then explains (Heb “opens”) their significance (see vv. 5-11, 13-19).
2 tn Heb “I will remember my song in the night, with my heart I will reflect. And my spirit searched.” As in v. 4, the words of v. 6a are understood as what the psalmist said earlier. Consequently the words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification (see v. 10). The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive at the beginning of the final line is taken as sequential to the perfect “I thought” in v. 6.
3 tn That is, the psalmist’s thoughts as expressed in his songs of praise.
4 tn Heb “may the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart be acceptable before you.” The prefixed verbal form at the beginning of the verse is understood as a jussive of prayer. Another option is to translate the form as an imperfect continuing the thought of v. 14b: “[Then] the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart will be acceptable before you.”
5 tn Heb “my rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor for protection; thus the translation “sheltering rock.”
6 tn Heb “and the one who redeems me.” The metaphor casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis.