Psalm 44

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Psalm 44 is the 44th psalm from the Book of Psalms,[1][2][3][4][5] composed by sons of Korah and is classified in the series of lamentations of the people.


Psalms scroll.

Usually, the Psalm is organized as follows:[6][7][8]

  1. V. 2-9: Healing Historical Review.
  2. from 10-23: describing the current disaster.
  3. V. 24-27: Final request for termination of the disaster through the intervention of God.

As a central message of the psalm Hermann Gunkel noted the contrast between past and present events.[9]

In Jewish traditions, its viewed as suffering in the face of the golden past, all the more shows the plight of the current situation.



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.[14]

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: verses 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.[15] The term "Maskil" means "artistic song" and its inclusion in the superscript of this Psalm indicates that it was originally written with artistic skill.[16]


  1. ^ Commentaires sur les psaumes, d’Hilaire de Poitiers, (Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 2008), collection sources chrétiennes n°515,
  2. ^ Commentaires of the Psalmes, by saint Johnn Chrysostome
  3. ^ Discourse of the Psalmes, by Saint Augustin, vol.2,(Sagesses chrétiennes)
  4. ^ Commentairy (jusqu’au psaume 54), by saint Thomas Aquinas, (Éditions du Cerf, 1273)
  5. ^ Jean Calvin, Commentaire des psalmes, 1557
  6. ^ So von Gianfranco Ravasi: Il libro dei Salmi. Bd. I, (Bologna 1981), p. 782.
  7. ^ Erich Zenger: Die Psalmen I. Psalm 1–50 Echter-Verlag, (Würzburg 1993), p271,
  8. ^ Peter Craigie: Psalms 1–50., (Waco 1983), p332.
  9. ^ Hermann Gunkel: Die Psalmen, (61986), S. 186.
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 351
  11. ^ D’après le Complete Artscroll Siddur, compilation des prières juives.
  12. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 133
  13. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 64
  14. ^ Michael D. Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Oxford, 2009), 370
  15. ^ Miller, P.D., Harper Collins Study Bible, 2006, 734-735
  16. ^ Miller, 758