Psalm 44

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Psalm 44 is the 44th psalm from the Book of Psalms, composed by sons of Korah.

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Literary Form[edit]

Psalm 44 is a Psalm of communal lament, indicating that the suffering, in this case from being defeated by enemies, is communal.[4]

This Psalm reflects each of five key elements of a lament, or complaint, Psalm:

  • Address: Verse 1

"We have heard with our ears, O God, our ancestors have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old" (44:1) In this case, the Psalmist is speaking directly to God.

  • Complaint: Verses 9-16, 17-19

In these verses, the Psalmist laments that God has been slow to act and has a responsibility to save these people from their enemies.

  • Statement of trust in the reliability of God as known by the Psalmist or community: Verse 4-8

The Psalmist recites a history of God's saving acts, which includes reference to God commanding victories for Jacob.

  • Petition for God's active intervention: Verses 23-26

These petitions can be quite specific. In verse 26, the Psalmist gives a direct command to God to "Rise up, come to our help."

  • Vow of Thanksgiving: Verse 8

This particular Psalm includes a brief vow of thanksgiving in verse 8, when the Psalmist writes "In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever" (44:8)

A Note about Superscripts[edit]

Its superscript reads "To the Leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil". It is addressed to the leader of the Korahites, who were likely a group of people who played a role in the music or worship of the temple.[5] The term "Maskil" means "artistic song" and its inclusion in the superscript of this Psalm indicates that it was originally written with artistic skill.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 351
  2. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 133
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 64
  4. ^ Michael D. Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Oxford, 2009), 370
  5. ^ Miller, P.D., Harper Collins Study Bible, 2006, 734-735
  6. ^ Miller, 758