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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 2 For the leader;
"upon the gittith." Of Asaph.
Sing joyfully to God our strength; shout in
triumph to the God of Jacob!
Take up a melody, sound the timbrel, the
sweet-sounding harp and lyre.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full
moon, on our solemn feast.
For this is a law in Israel, an edict of the
God of Jacob,
4 Who made it a decree for Joseph when he came
out of the land of Egypt. II I hear a new oracle:
5 "I relieved their shoulders of the
burden; their hands put down the basket.
6 In distress you called and I rescued you;
unseen, I spoke to you in thunder; At the waters of Meribah I tested you and
'Listen, my people, I give you warning! If only
you will obey me, Israel!
7 There must be no foreign god among you; you
must not worship an alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you up
from the land of Egypt. Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.'
But my people did not listen to my words;
Israel did not obey me.
So I gave them over to hardness of heart; they
followed their own designs.
But even now if my people would listen, if
Israel would walk in my paths,
In a moment I would subdue their foes, against
their enemies unleash my hand.
Those who hate the LORD would tremble, their
doom sealed forever.
But Israel I would feed with the finest wheat,
satisfy them with honey from the rock."
1 [Psalm 81] At a pilgrimage feast,
probably harvest in the fall, the people assemble in the temple in accord with
the Sinai ordinances (⇒ Psalm 81:2-6). They hear a
divine word (mediated by a temple speaker) telling how God rescued them from
slavery in Egypt (⇒ Psalm 81:7-9), gave them the
fundamental commandment of fidelity (⇒ Psalm
81:9-11), which would bring punishment if they refused to obey
(⇒ Psalm 81:12-13). But if Israel repents, God will
be with them once again, bestowing protection and fertility
(⇒ Psalm 81:14-16).
2  Upon the gittith: probably the
title of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung or a musical instrument.
3  New moon . . . full moon: the
pilgrimage feast of harvest began with a great assembly
(⇒ Lev 23:24; ⇒ Numbers
29:1), used the new moon as a sign (⇒ Numbers
29:6), and included trumpets (⇒ Lev
4  I hear a new oracle: literally,
"a tongue I do not know I hear." A temple official speaks the word of
God (⇒ Psalm 81:5b-16), which is authoritative and
unlike merely human words (cf ⇒ Numbers 24:4,
5  I relieved their shoulders of
the burden: literally, "his [Israel's] shoulder," hence the plural
translation. A reference to the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The
basket: for carrying clay to make bricks. Cf ⇒ Exodus 1:14.
6  Meribah: place of rebellion in
the wilderness; cf ⇒ Exodus 17:7;
⇒ Numbers 20:13.
7  There must be no foreign god
among you: as in Psalm 50 and 95, Israel is challenged to obey the first
commandment of fidelity to God after the proclamation of the exodus.
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