Psalm 145

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Psalm 145
Psalms scroll.PNG
Scroll of the Psalms
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Psalm 145 is the 145th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever". The Book of Psalms is the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 144 in a slightly different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Exaltabo te Deus meus rex".[1] The psalm is a hymn psalm.

The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant liturgies. It has been set to music often, notably by Antonín Dvořák who set several verses in Czech in his Biblical Songs.

Background and themes[edit]

This is the only chapter of the Book of Psalms that identifies itself as a תְּהִלָה (tehillah) – as a psalm (namely, a hymn of praise). The version in the Dead Sea Scrolls instead describes itself as a "prayer" although it does not contain any request.[2]

Psalm 145 is an alphabetic acrostic, the initial letter of each verse being the Hebrew alphabet in sequence. For this purpose, the usual Hebrew numbering of verse 1, which begins with the title, "A Psalm of David", is ignored in favor of the non-Hebrew numbering which treats verse 1 as beginning ארוממך (Aromimkha, "I will exalt You").

The Dead Sea Scrolls version also ends each verse with the recurring (non-canonical) refrain, "Blessed be YHVH and blessed be His name forever and ever" and adds at the end of the Psalm the tag, "This is for a memorial".[3] The Dead Sea Scrolls version also preserves a line beginning with the letter nun.

Text[edit]

Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 145:[4]

Verse Hebrew
1 תְּהִלָּ֗ה לְדָ֫וִ֥ד
אֲ֖רֽוֹמִמְךָ אֱלוֹהַ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וַֽאֲבָֽ֘רֲכָ֥ה שִׁ֜מְךָ֗ לְע֘וֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד
2 בְּכָל־י֥וֹם אֲבָֽרֲכֶ֑ךָּ וַֽאֲהַ֘לְלָ֥ה שִׁ֜מְךָ֗ לְע֘וֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד
3 גָּ֘ד֥וֹל יְהֹוָ֣ה וּמְהֻלָּ֣ל מְאֹ֑ד וְ֜לִגְדֻלָּת֗וֹ אֵ֣ין חֵֽקֶר
4 דּ֣וֹר לְ֖דוֹר יְשַׁבַּ֣ח מַֽעֲשֶׂ֑יךָ וּגְב֖וּרֹתֶ֣יךָ יַגִּֽידוּ
5 הֲדַר כְּב֣וֹד הוֹדֶ֑ךָ וְדִבְרֵ֖י נִפְלְאֹתֶ֣יךָ אָשִֽׂיחָה
6 וֶֽעֱז֣וּז נֽוֹרְאֹתֶ֣יךָ יֹאמֵ֑רוּ וּגְדוּלָּֽתְךָ֥ (כתיב וּגְדֻלָּֽותְךָ֥) אֲסַפְּרֶֽנָּה
7 זֵ֣כֶר רַב־טֽוּבְךָ֣ יַבִּ֑יעוּ וְצִדְקָֽתְךָ֥ יְרַנֵּֽנוּ
8 חַנּ֣וּן וְרַח֣וּם יְהֹוָ֑ה אֶ֥רֶךְ אַ֜פַּ֗יִם וּגְדָל־חָֽסֶד
9 טֽוֹב־יְהֹוָ֥ה לַכֹּ֑ל וְ֜רַֽחֲמָ֗יו עַל־כָּל־מַֽעֲשָֽׂיו
10 יוֹד֣וּךָ יְ֖הֹוָה כָּל־מַֽעֲשֶׂ֑יךָ וַֽ֜חֲסִידֶ֗יךָ יְבָֽרֲכֽוּכָה
11 כְּב֣וֹד מַלְכֽוּתְךָ֣ יֹאמֵ֑רוּ וּגְבוּרָֽתְךָ֥ יְדַבֵּֽרוּ
12 לְה֘וֹדִ֚יעַ לִבְנֵ֣י הָֽאָדָ֣ם גְּבֽוּרֹתָ֑יו וּ֜כְב֗וֹד הֲדַ֣ר מַלְכוּתֽוֹ
13 מַלְכֽוּתְךָ֗ מַלְכ֥וּת כָּל־עֹֽלָמִ֑ים וּ֜מֶֽמְשַׁלְתְּךָ֗ בְּכָל־דּ֥וֹר וָדֹֽר
14 סוֹמֵ֣ךְ יְ֖הֹוָה לְכָל־הַנֹּֽפְלִ֑ים וְ֜זוֹקֵ֗ף לְכָל־הַכְּפוּפִֽים
15 עֵ֣ינֵי כֹ֖ל אֵלֶ֣יךָ יְשַׂבֵּ֑רוּ וְאַתָּ֚ה נוֹתֵֽן־לָהֶ֖ם אֶת־אָכְלָ֣ם בְּעִתּֽוֹ
16 פּוֹתֵ֥חַ אֶת־יָדֶ֑ךָ וּמַשְׂבִּ֖יעַ לְכָל־חַ֣י רָצֽוֹן
17 צַדִּ֣יק יְ֖הֹוָה בְּכָל־דְּרָכָ֑יו וְ֜חָסִ֗יד בְּכָל־מַֽעֲשָֽׂיו
18 קָר֣וֹב יְ֖הֹוָה לְכָל־קֹֽרְאָ֑יו לְכֹ֚ל אֲשֶׁ֖ר יִקְרָאֻ֣הוּ בֶֽאֱמֶֽת
19 רְצֽוֹן־יְרֵאָ֥יו יַֽעֲשֶׂ֑ה וְאֶת־שַׁוְעָ֘תָ֥ם יִ֜שְׁמַ֗ע וְיֽוֹשִׁיעֵֽם
20 שׁוֹמֵ֣ר יְ֖הֹוָה אֶת־כָּל־אֹֽהֲבָ֑יו וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־הָֽרְשָׁעִ֣ים יַשְׁמִֽיד
21 תְּהִלַּ֥ת יְהֹוָ֗ה יְֽדַבֵּ֫ר פִּ֥י וִיבָרֵ֣ךְ כָּל־בָּ֖שָׂר שֵׁ֥ם קָדְשׁ֗וֹ לְע֘וֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד

King James Version[edit]

(David's Psalm of praise.)
  1. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
  2. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
  3. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
  4. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
  5. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
  6. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.
  7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
  8. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
  9. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
  10. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
  11. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
  12. To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
  13. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
  14. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
  15. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
  16. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
  17. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
  18. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
  19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
  20. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
  21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

The "missing verse"[edit]

Being an alphabetic acrostic psalm,[a] the initial letter of each verse in Psalm 145 should be the Hebrew alphabet in sequence, but in the Masoretic Text there is no verse beginning with the letter nun (נ), which would come between verses 13 and 14. A very common supposition is that there had been such a verse but it was omitted by a copyist's error. If so, that error must have occurred very early. By the 3rd century of the Christian era, Rabbi Johanan Ha-Nappah is quoted in the Talmud (Berakhot 4b) as asking why is there no verse in Psalm 145 beginning with nun, and the explanation is given (presumably by the same Rabbi Johanan) that the word "fallen" (נפלה, nawfla) begins with nun, as in the verse of Amos 5:2 ("Fallen is the Maiden of Israel, she shall arise nevermore"), and thus it is incompatible with the uplifting and universal theme of the Psalm. The explanation may not satisfy modern readers (it did not satisfy Rabbi David Kimhi of the 13th century[6]), but it demonstrates that the absence of a verse beginning with that letter was noticed and was undisputed even in antiquity.

However, the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate (which is largely based on the Septuagint), the Syriac Peshitta, and the Dead Sea Scrolls (11QPs-ɑ;[7] which shows some affinity with the Septuagint, e.g., the inclusion of a 151st Psalm) all provide a verse at this point which commences (in Hebrew) with nun—נֶאֱמָן

"Faithful is God in His sayings, and Honest in all His works"
"נאמן אלוהים בדבריו וחסיד בכל מעשיו".

New Revised Standard Version

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.[8]

This verse is now inserted at the end of verse 13 (sometimes numbered "verse 13b") in several Christian versions of the Bible including the New Revised Standard, the New American, the Today's English Version, the Moffat, and others.[b] However, not everyone is convinced that this nun verse is authentic.[9][10] It is, except for the first word, identical to verse 17 (צ) ("Righteous is YHVH in all His ways…"). These ancient versions all have other departures from the traditional Hebrew text which make them imperfect evidence of the original text; for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls version ends every verse in Psalm 145 with "Blessed be YHVH and blessed is His name forever and ever." And no such nun verse is found in other important ancient translations from the Hebrew — the Aramaic Targum, the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion — nor is such a verse quoted anywhere in the Talmud. Additionally, there are other alphabetic acrostics in the Book of Psalms — specifically Psalms 25 and 34 — that also imperfectly follow the alphabet. It is plausible that a nun verse was not part of the original text.[11]

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

  • The majority of the prayer Ashrei that is recited thrice daily is Psalm 145 (see the entry for Ashrei for further details on its use in Jewish liturgy).
  • Verse 13 is found in the repetition to the Amidah on Rosh Hashanah.[12]
  • Verse 14 of this psalm was taken for the Amidah's second blessing.
  • Verse 16 is found in the final paragraph of Birkat Hamazon.[13] It is also recited while donning the tefillin after the head tefillin is securely in place.[14]
  • Verse 21 is recited by some following Psalm 126 (Shir Hama'alot) preceding Birkat Hamazon.[15]

Musical settings[edit]

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák set verses 1-3, 5 and 6 (together with Psalm 144 verse 9) to music in No. 5 of his Biblical Songs (1894). Brian Shamash has recorded one of the most common traditional Jewish melodies for chanting Ashrei.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There are seven psalms written in Hebrew alphabetical order: Psalm 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145.[5]
  2. ^ Some versions place the addition in a footnote, such as NKJV. Quotation: "So with MT, Tg.; DSS, LXX, Syr., Vg. add The Lord is faithful in all His words, And holy in all His works"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 144 (145) Archived 7 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine medievalist.net
  2. ^ Abegg, Martin, et al., The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999, NY, HarperCollins) p. 570; Jacobson, Bernhard S., The Weekday Siddur (2nd Engl. ed., 1978, Tel-Aviv, Sinai) p. 93.
  3. ^ Abegg, Martin, et al., The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999, NY, HarperCollins) pp. 570–72.
  4. ^ "Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 145". Chabad.org. 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  5. ^ "Acrostic Psalms". Biblicalhebrew.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  6. ^ Jacobson, Bernhard S., The Weekday Siddur (2nd Engl. ed., 1978, Tel-Aviv, Sinai) p 94. There was a late medieval bit of pseudepigrapha claiming to be the words of Gad the Seer, of no authority or authenticity, which included a version of this Psalm in which there was a nun verse that read, "נפלו – All Your enemies fell down, O LORD, and all their strength was swallowed up." Kimelman, Reuven, Psalm 145: Theme, Structure, and Impact, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 113, nr. 1 (Spring 1994) p. 50; Lieberman, Abraham A., Again: The Words of Gad the Seer, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol 111, nr. 2 (Summer 1992) pp. 313–14.
  7. ^ VanderKam, James; Flint, Peter (2002). The meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: their significance for understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity. HarperCollins. pp. 123–4. ISBN 0060684658.
  8. ^ Psalm 145:13 NRSV
  9. ^ Cohen, A, The Psalms (1945, London, Soncino Books of the Bible, Soncino Press) page 467; Freedman, David Noel, Psalm 119: The exaltation of the Torah (1999, San Diego, Biblical and Judaic Studies of the Univ. of California-S.D.) pages 20-24; Lindars, Barnabas, The Structure of Psalm CXLV, Vetus Testamentum, vol. 29, nr. 1 (Jan. 1989) page 24; Kimelman, Reuven, Psalm 145: Theme, structure, and impact, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 113, nr. 1 (Spring 1994) pp 50–51.
  10. ^ See, e.g., On the main line, and Brand plucked, and Bible tools.
  11. ^ See, e.g., Benun, Ronald, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, vol. 6, art. 5 "Evil and the Disruption of Order: A Structural Analysis of the Acrostics in the First Book of Psalms" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2011-11-23.; Jacobson, Bernhard S., The Weekday Siddur (2nd Engl. ed., 1978, Tel-Aviv, Sinai) p. 94. The Dead Sea version also contains, in that one verse, a reference to God as Elohim, which is not used anywhere else in Psalm 145. Lieberman, Abraham A., Again: The Words of Gad the Seer, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol 111, nr. 2 (Summer 1992) p. 314.
  12. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 323
  13. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 195
  14. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 8
  15. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 183

External links[edit]