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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 54

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-7

Psalms 54:0

Psalms 54:1 (To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?) Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

Psalms 54:1 Word Study on “Maschil” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “Maschil” ( מַשְׂכִּיל ) (H4905) is a participle meaning, “a didactic poem.” Strong it means, “instructive,” thus “a didactic poem,” being derived from ( שָׂכַל ) (H7919), which literally means, “to be circumspect, and hence intelligent.” The Enhanced Strong says it is found 13 times in the Old Testament being translated in the KJV all 13 times as “Maschil.” It is used as a title for thirteen of the 150 psalms (Psalms 32:0; Psalms 42, 44, 45, 52 through 55; 74; 78; 88; 89; 142).

Most modern translations do as the KJV and transliterate this Hebrew word as “maschil,” thus avoiding the possibility of a mistranslation. The LXX reads “for instruction.” YLT reads “An Instruction.” Although some of these psalms are didactic in nature, scholars do not feel that all fit this category. The ISBE says, “Briggs suggests ‘a meditation,’ Thirtle and others ‘a psalm of instruction,’ Kirkpatrick ‘a cunning psalm.’” [74]

[74] John Richard Sampey, “Psalms,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 54". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/psalms-54.html. 2013.
 
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