Development of Modern English Bible versions
Despite widespread criticism, the popularity of The Living Bible, itself a paraphrase rather than a tran... Read more
Development of Modern English Bible versions
Despite widespread criticism, the popularity of The Living Bible, itself a paraphrase rather than a translation, created a demand for a new approach to translating the Bible into contemporary English called dynamic equivalence, which attempts to preserve the meaning of the original text in a readable way. Realizing the immense benefits of a Bible that was more easily accessible to the average reader, and responding to the criticisms of the Living Bible, the American Bible Society completed the Good News Bible (1976) with the Old Testament, a new English Bible translation in this more readable style. This translation has gone on to become one of the best selling in history. In 1996, a new revision of Taylor's Living Bible was published. This New Living Translation is a full translation from the original languages rather than a paraphrase of the Bible. Read less
We have seen that these two psalms are probably about a hostage. Maybe one of the kings that we have already talked about took him hostage. Maybe it w... Read more
We have seen that these two psalms are probably about a hostage. Maybe one of the kings that we have already talked about took him hostage. Maybe it was someone else. He probably went through a desert where he saw a *hart. The *hart was *thirsty. It made the *psalmist think that he was *thirsty for God. This was because he could not go to the *temple in Jerusalem. He was sad because he thought that God was still in Jerusalem. (Psalm 42:1-5)
Then he found that God was still with him when he reached the Hermons. All the things round him ... the *waterfalls and the *waves on the water ... were things of God. That meant that God was still with him. This made the *psalmist happier. (Happier means "more happy".) He began to think that his *prayer would get an answer. This is the *prayer in Psalm 42:5 and 11.
We do not know where the hostage went now. It may be Israel, it may be Assyria or it may be Babylon. It may be somewhere else. We do not know if he went home to Jerusalem or if he died a hostage. What we do know is that in Psalm 43 the *psalmist decided that it did not matter. God was with him everywhere that he went! He still thought that God was *unkind to him (the Hebrew word means that God had a very bad smell!) But he believed that God would answer his *prayer. Even if he was a hostage, God would do wonderful things for him.
Verse 1: The *psalmist is asking God to be his *judge. A judge is someone that decides who is right and who is wrong. The *psalmist believes that he is right and he asks God to tell everyone. God will do this by making him free so that he is not a hostage any more. "The people that do not love me" are his enemies, maybe from Israel, Assyria, Babylon or somewhere else. "The man that tells *lies and does bad things" is one of the *psalmist’s enemies. Maybe he was their leader.
Verse 2: But things are still bad for the *psalmist. He believes that God is his *refuge, but God is not doing anything. The *psalmist is still a hostage!
Verse 3: He prays for God to send light and *truth. He believes that they will take him back to Jerusalem. That is where the *holy mountain and the house of God are. The *holy mountain is Mount Zion where the *temple was. It was *holy because the Jews believed that God lived there. Solomon built the *temple about 950 *BC. The King of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) destroyed it in 587 *BC. There were other *temples, but we believe that the *psalmist meant this one in Jerusalem. God’s light and *truth would make people see (light) that the *psalmist was right (*truth). He should not be a hostage.
Verse 4: A *harp is something you make music with. We call it a *musical instrument. Psalm 150 tells us about other *musical instruments that the Jews played.
Verse 5: This verse comes three times in the psalm (Psalm 42:5 and 11; and here.) Each time we think that the *psalmist became more certain that God would answer him. We do not know if God did answer in the way the *psalmist wanted. Maybe he did go back to Jerusalem. Maybe he learned that God was with him where he was hostage. This was all that mattered!
The *Sons Of Korah
Several psalms in Book 2 of the Psalms have "the sons of Korah" at the top. Book 2 of the Psalms goes from Psalm 42 to Psalm 72. Some of these psalms probably come from a book that the sons of Korah used.
Korah was the grandson of Kohath. Kohath was the son of Levi. Levi was one of the sons of Jacob. All the Jews that were God’s servants in the *temple came from the family of Levi. They were all Levites.
Korah himself died because he did not obey God. The story is in a book of the Bible called Numbers (Numbers 16:1-35). Some of his family did not die. Moses gave them special jobs to do. At first, this was before Solomon built the *temple, but they also did these jobs after Solomon built the *temple. One of their jobs was to make music in the *temple. The best singers and players on *musical instruments did this. The Jews called them "the sons of Korah". They used the psalms that David wrote and they used others as well. We do not know if they wrote them or if they got them from other people.
Psalm 42 has "the sons of Korah" at the top. Psalm 43 does not have anything at the top. We think that they are really one psalm. We think that a hostage wrote it. He may have been a Levite, maybe a "son of Korah". If he was not, he gave the psalm to someone who put it into the book of ‘the sons of Korah’.
So, "sons of Korah" is probably the name of a music group. They made music in the *temple at Jerusalem until Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews to Babylon. He destroyed the *temple at the same time. When the Jews came back from Babylon 70 years later, they built the *temple again. But now the ‘sons of Korah’ did not make music in the *temple. We do not know why! Read less
Verses 1 – 2: The *hart, or male deer, is *thirsty. It is in a desert place where there is no water. It cries while it looks for water. The *psalmist ... Read more
Verses 1 – 2: The *hart, or male deer, is *thirsty. It is in a desert place where there is no water. It cries while it looks for water. The *psalmist says that he is *like the *hart. His enemy has taken him through a desert where he saw the *thirsty animal. The *psalmist is *thirsty too. But he is not *thirsty for water, but for God. His body is not *thirsty, but his *soul inside him is *thirsty. He is a hostage so that he cannot go to the *temple and see God. In the psalm, "not seeing God" means "not *worshipping God". He did not really see God, he only saw the place where he believed that God lived.
Verses 3 – 4: His enemies laugh at him and ask, "Where is your God?" They are saying, "God is not with you now". The *psalmist remembers how he *worshipped God in the *temple. There were crowds of people there. They all *worshipped God with singing and dancing. It was *like a great party or festival. But now he thought that his enemies were right: he had left God in Jerusalem.
Verse 5: The *psalmist tells his *soul that although he is sad and *restless he will still hope in God. Our *soul is that part of us that makes us feel happy or sad. It will still live when our bodies die. Jesus repeated some of these words the week before he died.
Jesus said, "My *soul is so sad that I am nearly dying", (Mark 14:34) and "My *soul is in trouble". (John 12:27)
They are not quite the same because Jesus repeated words from the Greek Old Testament, not the Hebrew Old Testament. People made this about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth. Many Jews lived in Egypt where they spoke Greek, not Hebrew. So they translated their Bible (our Old Testament) into Greek. This is the Bible that most of the New Testament quotations are in. The words are not always the same in the Greek and Hebrew Bibles. Both sets of words are true!
Verses 6 – 7: In verses 1 - 5 the *psalmist was in dry country, what we call a desert. Now, in verses 6-11, we are in a different country. There is a river and mountains. Where are we? 200 kilometres north of Jerusalem is a group of mountains called the Hermons. Maybe they called one of the hills Mizar, we are not sure. But we do know that the River Jordan started in the Hermons. When it rained a lot the river ran over the rocks and made *waterfalls. In places, it was very deep. When he saw the deep water, it made the *psalmist think of his life. He felt that his enemy was pushing him along *like the water would push him if he fell in! The Hermons were in Israel, where Jehoash was king. Jehoash may have taken the *psalmist hostage in Jerusalem. Then he took him through the deserts of Judah to the hills of Israel.
If this is true, an interesting thing may have happened. In the chapter of Kings that tells us the story of Jehoash (2 Kings 14) we read about a man called Jonah. Maybe Jonah knew Psalm 42. He repeated a bit of verse 7 when the fish swallowed him. You will find it in the book of Jonah, chapter 2. Did Jonah learn the psalm from the hostage? Jonah did live in Israel!
Verse 8: This is the turning-point of the psalm. A turning-point is when something changes. You will see two important changes in this verse. First, he calls God by the name *LORD. Only God’s friends did this in the Old Testament. What happened to make him do this? Everywhere else he used the name God. We believe that what happened was this. He found God was with him in the Hermons. God did not only live in Jerusalem. God was everywhere!
Verses 9 – 10: But there were still questions. (A question is something that you ask.) He asked why God had forgotten him and why he was so sad. He asked why God let his enemies hurt him. And the enemies asked the same question as in verse 3, ‘Where is your God?’ But things are different now. The *psalmist is sure that God is with him and he hopes that things will get better.
Verse 11: So he repeats verse 5. But this time we think that he said it with more belief that it was true. Another way to say this is that he was more sure of it.
Verses 5 and 11 and verse 5 of Psalm 43 are all exactly the same. We think that this is a good reason for thinking that they are really two parts of one psalm.
There are other reasons:
· Psalm 43 does not say at the top who wrote it.
· Some old Bibles print them as one psalm. Read less
Psalms 42 and 43
We think that these two psalms started as one psalm. The Jews made them into two psalms about 200 years before Jesus came to the ea... Read more
Psalms 42 and 43
We think that these two psalms started as one psalm. The Jews made them into two psalms about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth. They did this when they translated their Bible from Hebrew into Greek. See below for more about this.
We do not know who wrote the psalm. What we do know about him is that:
· in the past he went to the house of God in Jerusalem (verse 4)
· he can not go there now (verse 2)
· he hoped that one day he would go back to it (verse 5)
· he was now 200 kilometres north of Jerusalem (verse 6)
· his enemy had taken him away from his home (Psalm 43:1).
This probably happened to many people in the Old Testament of the Bible. Maybe it was someone that King Jehoash of Israel took as a hostage. He took hostages from Jerusalem in Judah to the mountains of Hermon in Israel. The story is in 2 Kings 14:14.
The enemy lets the hostage out only when the enemy gets what he wants. Maybe the hostage in the psalm was a Levite from the house of God. We call this house a *temple. Levites were God’s servants in the *temple. He may have been one of the "*sons of Korah". Sometimes hostages never return home. They die in prison, or in the country where their enemies take them. If the enemy was not Jehoash in 800 *BC then maybe it was:
· the King of Assyria in 700 *BC; or
· the King of Babylon in 600 *BC.
BC means "years Before Jesus Christ came to the earth". Many of the hostages in Assyria or Babylon never went home.
Whatever story is true, the hostage went through two places before the end of his journey. One was a desert place, where there was not much water but a lot of sand. The other was a group of mountains called the Hermons. Iraq is now where Assyria and Babylon were. Read less
David was ill. He tells us this in verse 4. He says it is because he had broken God’s rules. We think that this was when he sent Uriah to die, so tha... Read more
David was ill. He tells us this in verse 4. He says it is because he had broken God’s rules. We think that this was when he sent Uriah to die, so that he might marry Uriah’s wife. The story is in 2 Samuel 11:6-17.
When David was ill, many people came to visit him. David thought that they were his friends. They were not. They were looking for bad things to say about David. They wanted him to die so that there would be a new king. The new king would be Absalom, one of David’s sons. You will find the story in 2 Samuel 15-18.
One of David’s visitors was his best friend. This is in verse 9. We do not know who the "best friend" was, but we do know that he was an unkind friend. Like the other visitors, he only came to find bad things to say about David.
Jesus repeated verse 9 just before he died. Our translation is from the Hebrew Bible, which the Jews still use. But 200 years before Jesus came to the earth they made another translation. It was in Greek. This was the Bible Jesus used in John 13:18. That is why the words are not the same. The unkind friend that Jesus had was Judas.
But there was also a good visitor. It was the LORD God. The psalm makes him sound like a nurse that made David well again. This was the Jews’ way of saying that God helped David.
Verses 1 - 3a: What the LORD will do for people that are kind to the poor.
Verses 3b – 4: David prays to the LORD. David thinks that God will do these things for him because David is kind to the poor and ill.
Verses 5 – 9: David writes about his unkind friends.
Verses 10 – 12: David finishes his prayer.
Verse 13: Words put in by the people that made the Book of Psalms. The words finish the First Book of Psalms, numbers 1 - 41.
Verse 1: "when life is difficult" is "in the day of trouble" in Hebrew.
Verse 2: "where he lives" is "on the earth" in Hebrew.
Verse 3: This is "you will change all his bed when he is ill" in Hebrew. We have put what we think that it means.
Verse 4: "have mercy" is an English way to say "do not hurt me even though you ought to hurt me".
Verse 5: "people forget his name" probably means "his family all die so that nobody remembers them".
Verse 7: "worse things happen to me" means "that I will not only be ill but die".
Verse 8: "death-wish" in Hebrew is "Belial". This is a name for the Devil, God’s enemy. David knew, as we know, that nobody can put a death-wish on people that obey God.
Verse 9: "lifted up his heel" is how the Jews said "was very unkind to me", or "kicked me".
Verse 10: As David was king it was his job to repay them, or hurt them, because they were bad. Read less
If you read Psalm 40: 13 – 17 you will find that it is like Psalm 70.There are very few differences. Why do these words come twice in our Bibles? If y... Read more
If you read Psalm 40: 13 – 17 you will find that it is like Psalm 70.There are very few differences. Why do these words come twice in our Bibles? If you look at Psalm 35: 4, 21, 26 and 27 you will find that most of Psalm 70 is there also, so it really comes three times! Perhaps the word "remember" at the top gives us help. David thought that it was important to remember the words of Psalm 70, because he was often in danger. Perhaps he used them when he was not thanking God for an answer to his prayer (as in Psalm 40). There are two other examples of psalms coming twice: Psalms 14 and 53; and Psalms 57,60 and 108.
In the New Testament also we find words repeated. Many of the stories of Jesus come more than once. The Feeding of 5 000 People comes 4 times! Saint Paul also said, "To write the same things to you ... is safe". (Philippians 3:1) When things come more than once it means that God wants us to remember them!
1. Read Psalm 40: 13 – 17 and Psalm 70 and find where they are not the same. Do the differences change what it means?
2. Make sure that you build your life on a rock, not on sand. Remember, the Bible tells us that Jesus is a Rock in I Corinthians 10: 4. We build lives on him by obeying his words.
Jesus said, Everyone that listens to me and obeys me is like a man with good ideas. He built his house on a rock. Then the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It did not fall down because he built it on a rock. Everyone that listens to me and does not obey me is like a man with bad ideas. He built his house on the sand. And the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It fell down with a great crash. Read less
Jesus said, Everyone that listens to me and obeys me is like a man with good ideas. He built his house on a rock. Then the rain came with a lot of wat... Read more
Jesus said, Everyone that listens to me and obeys me is like a man with good ideas. He built his house on a rock. Then the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It did not fall down because he built it on a rock. Everyone that listens to me and does not obey me is like a man with bad ideas. He built his house on the sand. And the rain came with a lot of water and the winds blew and there was a storm round that house. It fell down with a great crash. (Matthew 7: 24 – 27);
If you read Psalms 37 – 39 you will find that David has been very sad. Now God has answered all his prayers. Psalm 40 is a song that says, ‘Thank you’ to God. But David still has problems. So the end of the psalm asks for more help. We can use the end of the psalm by itself. We see this in Psalm 70, which is Psalm 40: 13 – 17.
Verse 2: It is not easy to get out of very wet (muddy) ground.
Verse 5: We do not know what God has planned for each of us.
Verse 6: A master would make a hole in his slave’s ear and fasten it to the door, if the slave wanted to stay with his master.
Verse 7: In the New Testament Jesus said that this was about him. This is in Hebrews 10: 7.
Verses 12 – 17: Here the psalm changes. It is not a song of praise and thanks any more. David has more problems, so he asks God for more help. In verse 15 "Aha, aha" is just a noise that is not kind! Read less
In Psalm 38 David was ill. We think that Psalm 39 is about the same time in David’s life. He thought that he would soon die. So he thinks about deat... Read more
In Psalm 38 David was ill. We think that Psalm 39 is about the same time in David’s life. He thought that he would soon die. So he thinks about death in this psalm. He says that life is short. People soon go from the earth. They are like shadows, or the wind. One minute they are there, the next they are gone! So David finishes by with a prayer: let me live a little longer.
Verses 1 – 3: David says that he is not going to say anything. Even though godless people make him want to speak, he will not. But this makes him feel worse. So David decides that he will say something.
Verses 4 – 6: David asks God how long he will stay alive. He says that his life is "as wide as my hand". A hand is not very wide so this means that his life is not very long. Our lives are so short they seem like the wind blowing for a short time, or a shadow that goes when the sun goes down.
Verses 7 – 9: Now David says what he really wants. He wants God to make him safe from the results of the bad things that he did. David thought that one of the results was his illness.
Verses 10 – 13: Here David says that God is hitting him, hurting him and destroying him. He means that God is punishing him for his sin. David believes that God is doing this by making him ill. "fly away like a moth" means that for a while you can see it, then it flies away and you cannot see it. "do not be dumb" means "speak to me". Until God speaks, David will feel that he and God are in different places! "my fathers" means father, grand-father and so on.
The Bible tells us that 3 men helped David to make music. They were Jeduthun, Heman and Asaph. They told the singers what to do. They all wrote psalms, or somebody wrote psalms for them. Heman’s is Psalm 88, Jeduthun’s is 39 and Asaph’s 50 and 73-83. Read less
The man that robbed people said to Jesus, "Jesus, Lord, remember me when they make you king". Jesus said to him, "What I tell you is true. Today you... Read more
The man that robbed people said to Jesus, "Jesus, Lord, remember me when they make you king". Jesus said to him, "What I tell you is true. Today you will be with me in paradise". (Luke 23:42-43)
Many Christians think that this is a psalm that David wrote after the murder of Uriah. Others are Psalms 32, and 51.
The story of the murder of Uriah is in the second Book of Samuel, chapter 11. David saw a woman that he wanted to marry. Her name was Bathsheba. But she had a husband. His name was Uriah. Uriah was a soldier. At that time the army was fighting David’s enemies. So, David sent Uriah to fight where it was dangerous. Soon the enemy killed Uriah and then David married Bathsheba.
God was not pleased with what David did. God sent his servant Nathan to tell David that God was not pleased. God said that David killed Uriah so that he might marry Uriah’s wife. But David was sorry, so God forgave him.
We think that David wrote Psalm 38 while he was waiting for God to forgive him. David was very sad and very ill after Nathan came. David thought that this was because God was punishing him.
Verse 2: David wrote that God was like a soldier shooting arrows at him. The arrows were the bad things that God did to David. They were not real arrows, but they were illnesses.
Verse 3: Here David tells us that his sin made God angry.
Verse 4: David thinks that he is drowning in sin like a man would drown in water. Also he thinks that his sin is like a heavy weight.
Verse 6: David did not even walk properly, he felt that his sin was so heavy that it bent him down.
Verse 7: We do not know what David’s illness was. It was in all parts of his body.
Verse 10: David says that he can feel his heart. It is knocking inside him very fast. The sad heart in verse 8 is really his mind, because the Jews believed that you thought with your heart. Here, though, it really is his heart. "No light in my eyes" is a way of saying that "I am dying".
Verse 11: In the Hebrew Bible "my family" is "the people that love me". It probably includes family and friends. "Family" is not only your children, but your father, mother, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and so on!
Verse 12: David is not only very ill, but he is depressed. His family and friends stay away from him and other people are trying to kill him. These other people were his enemies. They told lies about David and they made plans to kill him.
Verses 13 and 14: But David did not answer the people that told lies about him. He did not listen to what they said, and he did not argue with them. The Hebrew word that we translated "does not answer" really means "does not argue or correct".
Verse 17: This continues the idea of "my foot slips". Because his foot slips, David will fall. He means that he will make more mistakes "sins" ... not obeying God’s rules. It hurts him as much as his illnesses.
Verse 18: David is not afraid to say that he has sinned.
Verse 20: "Repay evil for good" means "do bad things to me after I do good things to them".
Verses 21 and 22: Again, like verse 15, we find 3 different names for God. Really there are 4 names because Salvation is a name for God. That is why it has a capital S. Read less
Psalm 37: 12 – 20
This part of the psalm is really all about godless people. For Jews, 3 000 years ago, the important word was in verse 18: inherita... Read more
Psalm 37: 12 – 20
This part of the psalm is really all about godless people. For Jews, 3 000 years ago, the important word was in verse 18: inheritance. The Jews might not see godless people destroyed, but their children probably would. Later, the Jews began to believe in a new heaven and a new earth. Christians also believe this. They believe that one day Jesus will come back to the earth. Then there will be a new heaven and a new earth. That is when they will receive their inheritance. Godless people will not receive an inheritance. But there are also promises here for Christians before the new heaven and earth come. Until that day God will give them help. He will keep them safe and give them food. Many Christians know that this is true, even in the worst times. "His day" in verse 13 is the time when God will tell godless people that they have done many wrong things. The "his" means both God and the godless person, man or woman. "The days" in verse 18 means "the life" of the righteous person, man or woman. God knows their days, or how long they will live. In verse 20 the psalmist is probably thinking of a beautiful field. One day the grass will disappear like smoke from a fire. The godless will be like this.
21 – 31
In verse 21 the godless man does not give back what he ought to give back. The righteous man does not ask for it back. In verse 22 the words in brackets ... ( ) ... could be the righteous man or God. We are not sure. There are times when either may be true.
In verses 25, 26 and 28 we find the word "children". In the Hebrew Bible the word is "seed". This is a special Bible word. The context (which means "where we find it") gives us help to understand it. In verses 25 and 26 it means "children", but in verse 28 it may mean "ideas". In the New Testament of the Bible it can mean "Jesus" or "Christians".
The word "saints" in verse 28 is "chesidim" in Hebrew. God’s "chesid" is the kind way that he loves people. People that believe that he loves them and thank him for it are "chesidim". Now we call them "saints" or "Christians". Though David wrote Psalm 37 for Jews, Jesus wrote it again for Christians in "the Sermon on the Mount". This is what Jesus said in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7
32 – 40 means
In verse 33 he, him and his happen 5 times. This is very confusing! It probably means "the LORD will not let the righteous man remain in the hand of the godless man. The LORD will not say that the righteous man is wrong when people are saying that he is wrong".
In verse 34 "stay with the LORD" means "go on believing in the LORD". In the New Testament "the Way" is a name for being a Christian. "Cut off" means the same as in verse 9, that is "destroyed".
In verse 35, some translations say that it is a Bay Tree.
Part 4 of the psalm tells us that God will care for the righteous man (or woman). He will make them safe. In the time of David this meant that God would keep them safe on earth. Now it means more. It means that God will keep them safe when they die. Who is the righteous man or woman? Someone that trusts in God! It is not someone that tries hard to be good. It is someone that believes in God and trusts that God will give to them life that will never have an end. Read less