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Author Topic: Psalm 5  (Read 2876 times) Average Rating: 0
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quietmorning
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« on: February 17, 2012, 01:19:17 AM »

In my Orthodox Study Bible the premise to Psalm 5 is: 
Quote
For the End; concerning the inheritance; a Psalm of David.

In my Christian Orthodox Prayer Book (Prayers of the 1st Hour) the premise to Psalm 5 is: 
Quote
For the End:  A Psalm of David for Her that Obtained the Inheritance.
  (Various authors, no publisher listed within the frame of the book)

I see these premises through out the Psalms and have never seen them in my pre-conversion bibles, so I would like to know what these premises are, exactly. . .and for Psalm 5 - is the first or second the more accurate interpretation?  If the second is. . .is "Her" the Holy Theotokos?  The Church?  How is this interpretation perceived in the Church? 

Thanks!


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quietmorning
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 09:30:13 AM »

The Christian Orthodox Prayer book was compiled by Alex Ryan - sorry that I couldn't get this in sooner.   Embarrassed
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witega
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 11:50:54 AM »

Psalms and have never seen them in my pre-conversion bibles,

Perhaps you were not just paying as close attention? If you'll head over to www.biblegateway.com and start going through the English translations, you'll find the superscriptions on most of them.

Hopefully, someone will correct if I'm wrong, but I believe the superscriptions show up in most original manuscripts. For the most part they are descriptions of the Psalms' liturgical use ('for the End'--i.e., of a service), or a brief commentary on author (psalm of David) or circumstances of authorship. I can't recall ever seeing them used as anything but to contextualize the Psalm in its original (Jewish) usage.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 02:44:45 PM »

Psalms and have never seen them in my pre-conversion bibles,

Perhaps you were not just paying as close attention? If you'll head over to www.biblegateway.com and start going through the English translations, you'll find the superscriptions on most of them.

Hopefully, someone will correct if I'm wrong, but I believe the superscriptions show up in most original manuscripts. For the most part they are descriptions of the Psalms' liturgical use ('for the End'--i.e., of a service), or a brief commentary on author (psalm of David) or circumstances of authorship. I can't recall ever seeing them used as anything but to contextualize the Psalm in its original (Jewish) usage.

Ok, I just collected all of my pre-conversion Bibles - looking up Psalm 5:

New American Bible - Catholic Bible Press: "For the Leader: with wind instruments.  A Psalm of David.
New Revised Standard Version - Harper Catholic Bibles:  "To the leader for the flutes.  A Psalm of David.
King James Version - Thomas Nelson Publishers:  "To the chief Musician upon Ne-hil'-oth, A Psalm of David.
New International Version - by Biblica:  "For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David."

- These are the Bibles I used (much less so of the King James, as this was actually my grandmother's Bible.)  and all of them, while they have a superscription, it is more toward the musical director, not for the purpose of the song.  They are very very different.

I've never seen superscription like these - and am assuming and believing they are more correct or more complete than what I read previously - that's not an issue at all.  But when I compare the Prayer book (which uses the Psalter according to the Seventy) to the Psalm in my Orthodox Study Bible, they are different, and was wondering which is correct. . .and if the Psalter of the Seventy is correct - who is the "Her" that is referred to. 

I am trying to keep from falling into error. 
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quietmorning
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 03:14:23 PM »


Hopefully, someone will correct if I'm wrong, but I believe the superscriptions show up in most original manuscripts. For the most part they are descriptions of the Psalms' liturgical use ('for the End'--i.e., of a service), or a brief commentary on author (psalm of David) or circumstances of authorship. I can't recall ever seeing them used as anything but to contextualize the Psalm in its original (Jewish) usage.

The statement "For the End" makes a lot of sense as far as being used at the end of the service. . .I've read other commentary (can't for the life of me remember where, now. . .but I'll see if I can find it)  that it is for the 'end time' meaning the time Christ Jesus actually walked the earth.  Ah, the commentary on Psalm 9 vs 1 in the Orthodox Study Bible discusses this.

I know that many of the Psalms are prophetic. . .so I suppose that is what I was wondering about this specific superscript. . . is this a prophetic utterance on behalf of the Theotokos?  Or the Church?  Is there anything written in the Holy Fathers that makes any statement concerning this?  There is not commentary in my bible concerning it.
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jamesdm49
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 04:38:40 PM »


Hopefully, someone will correct if I'm wrong, but I believe the superscriptions show up in most original manuscripts. For the most part they are descriptions of the Psalms' liturgical use ('for the End'--i.e., of a service), or a brief commentary on author (psalm of David) or circumstances of authorship. I can't recall ever seeing them used as anything but to contextualize the Psalm in its original (Jewish) usage.

The statement "For the End" makes a lot of sense as far as being used at the end of the service. . .I've read other commentary (can't for the life of me remember where, now. . .but I'll see if I can find it)  that it is for the 'end time' meaning the time Christ Jesus actually walked the earth.  Ah, the commentary on Psalm 9 vs 1 in the Orthodox Study Bible discusses this.

I know that many of the Psalms are prophetic. . .so I suppose that is what I was wondering about this specific superscript. . . is this a prophetic utterance on behalf of the Theotokos?  Or the Church?  Is there anything written in the Holy Fathers that makes any statement concerning this?  There is not commentary in my bible concerning it.

Fr. Patrick Reardon has written a little article on the subject of the psalm inscriptions. You can read it here:

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/view/reardon-psalm-inscriptions

St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a commentary, called On the Inscriptions of the Psalms, which is specifically about these 'header' verses. It is available on Amazon.com and elsewhere, and well worth the price, if you are interested in this subject. Incidentally, while every psalm in the Greek Septuagint has a heading, that was not the case in the original Hebrew, which is why, in Orthodox Psalters, which are based on the Greek text, the header for Psalm I reads, "A Psalm of David. Without superscription in the Hebrew." Interestingly, this difference is taken into account in the verse numbering in most Orthodox Psalters. If the superscription exists in the Hebrew, then that verse is counted as Verse I (Verses 1 and 2, in the case of Psalm 59). Oddly enough, Holy Transfiguration's Psalter According to the Seventy does not follow the traditional versification of the Greek, Latin and Church Slavonic translations of the Septuagint.

As for your specific questions:

"Unto the end" or "For the end": St. Gregory writes (p. 102), "Therefore, the next psalm [Ps. 4] has the inscription "for the end". The end of all struggles is victory as we have said above. Once we get a taste of victory, others against our enemies follow suit. In the first victory, where pleasures viciously contend against our life for the good of our souls, our inclination to the deceptions of the material realm has prevailed in favor of the good. Persons who pursue vanity and love what is false are condemned, but you have transformed your desires from visible reality to what is unseen."

On p. 72, St. Gregory writes: "The reason for the inscription, "For her who inherits" [Ps. 5] is clear. The soul has fallen from its own inheritance when the sun has set due to transgression of God's commandment. The prophet petitions God that the early morning might appear once darkness has past, and that we might be worthy of that sweet voice saying to those worthy of it, "Come, chosen of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" [Matthew 25:34].





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quietmorning
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 05:12:33 PM »


Hopefully, someone will correct if I'm wrong, but I believe the superscriptions show up in most original manuscripts. For the most part they are descriptions of the Psalms' liturgical use ('for the End'--i.e., of a service), or a brief commentary on author (psalm of David) or circumstances of authorship. I can't recall ever seeing them used as anything but to contextualize the Psalm in its original (Jewish) usage.

The statement "For the End" makes a lot of sense as far as being used at the end of the service. . .I've read other commentary (can't for the life of me remember where, now. . .but I'll see if I can find it)  that it is for the 'end time' meaning the time Christ Jesus actually walked the earth.  Ah, the commentary on Psalm 9 vs 1 in the Orthodox Study Bible discusses this.

I know that many of the Psalms are prophetic. . .so I suppose that is what I was wondering about this specific superscript. . . is this a prophetic utterance on behalf of the Theotokos?  Or the Church?  Is there anything written in the Holy Fathers that makes any statement concerning this?  There is not commentary in my bible concerning it.

Fr. Patrick Reardon has written a little article on the subject of the psalm inscriptions. You can read it here:

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/view/reardon-psalm-inscriptions

St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a commentary, called On the Inscriptions of the Psalms, which is specifically about these 'header' verses. It is available on Amazon.com and elsewhere, and well worth the price, if you are interested in this subject. Incidentally, while every psalm in the Greek Septuagint has a heading, that was not the case in the original Hebrew, which is why, in Orthodox Psalters, which are based on the Greek text, the header for Psalm I reads, "A Psalm of David. Without superscription in the Hebrew." Interestingly, this difference is taken into account in the verse numbering in most Orthodox Psalters. If the superscription exists in the Hebrew, then that verse is counted as Verse I (Verses 1 and 2, in the case of Psalm 59). Oddly enough, Holy Transfiguration's Psalter According to the Seventy does not follow the traditional versification of the Greek, Latin and Church Slavonic translations of the Septuagint.

As for your specific questions:

"Unto the end" or "For the end": St. Gregory writes (p. 102), "Therefore, the next psalm [Ps. 4] has the inscription "for the end". The end of all struggles is victory as we have said above. Once we get a taste of victory, others against our enemies follow suit. In the first victory, where pleasures viciously contend against our life for the good of our souls, our inclination to the deceptions of the material realm has prevailed in favor of the good. Persons who pursue vanity and love what is false are condemned, but you have transformed your desires from visible reality to what is unseen."

On p. 72, St. Gregory writes: "The reason for the inscription, "For her who inherits" [Ps. 5] is clear. The soul has fallen from its own inheritance when the sun has set due to transgression of God's commandment. The prophet petitions God that the early morning might appear once darkness has past, and that we might be worthy of that sweet voice saying to those worthy of it, "Come, chosen of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" [Matthew 25:34].


Awesome!!! Thank you, jamesdm49!! This is exactly what I was looking for!! Smiley
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