Psalm 4 is the 4th psalm from the Book of Psalms. Its authorship is traditionally assigned to king David. The psalm's text is a reflection of David speaking to all sinners while addressing himself to Absalom. The message in the psalm is that the victories of sinners are only temporary and meaningless, and that only repentance can bring true happiness. It is a request to God for deliverance from past distresses.
- Verse 5 is part of the prayers of the Bedtime Shema.
- Verse 7 is part of the Prayer for Sustenance recited on High Holidays.
About 530 AD Benedict of Nursia chose this Psalm for the beginning of the office of matins, namely as the first psalm in the Benedictine liturgy (Chapters IX and X). In the monasteries that preserve the Benedictine tradition, it is currently the Psalm used on the first Sunday for office vigiles.
Michel Richard Delalande wrote a great motet for this psalm in 1692 for services celebrated in the royal chapel of Versailles, including Louis XIV. Henry Desmarest, contemporary of Michel Richard Delalande, also wrote a great motet on this Psalm.
- The Artscroll Tehillim page 6
- The Psalms: translated and explained By Joseph Addison Alexander, Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg, page 26
- Commentaires sur les psaumes, d’Hilaire de Poitiers, IVe siècle, Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 2008, collection sources chrétiennes n°515.
- Commentaire sur les psaumes (jusqu’au psaume 54), de saint Thomas d’Aquin, 1273, Éditions du Cerf, 1996.
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 295
- The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 79
- See also Séfer Tehilim, de Rachi, XIe siècle,
- According to the Rule of St. Benedict(530AD), Psalm 1 to Psalm 20 were mainly reserved for premium offices.
- Prosper Guéranger, La règle de Saint Benopit, p.37 & 38
- Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, 1938/2003, p.55.
- Le cycle principal des prières liturgiques se déroule sur quatre semaines.