As for the rest of the title, properly rendered “To the chief musician upon Nehiloth,” they are all in basic agreement with some making more pronounced assertions as to what kind of instrument it may have been than others. We will look at what the various men have said concerning this.
¨ Some translate the Hebrew word Nehiloth, heritages, and others, armies… But not approving of the conjectures of many who speak upon these inscriptions of The Psalms as if they were riddles, I adopt the opinion of those who hold that it was either a musical instrument or a tune; but of what particular kind I consider it of little importance to ascertain. JC
¨ [The words used here] always [have a] reference to the music. [If we were to change where Nehiloth] came from… it might according to the biblical use of this verb signify “inheritances”, or according to its use in the Talmud “swarms”, and in fact swarms of bees; and ought to be the beginning of a popular melody to which the Psalm is being adapted. Hai Gaon understands it to denote a melody resembling the hum of bees… Or is… equivalent to… excavatæ and this is a special name for the flutes. The use of the flute in the service of the sanctuary is attested by Isa. 30:29. K&D, Franz Delitzsch
¨ This psalm… is inscribed and sent to him who had the direction and management of the musical instruments used in religious worship in David's time, and afterwards in the temple service, called "nehiloth"; as the preceding Psalm is inscribed to him who presided over those called "neginoth", and as they seem to be such instruments as were played upon with the hand, stringed instruments, so these seem to be wind instruments, such as were blown with the mouth; as the flute… the word being derived from the same root as "chalil", the pipe, is, and signifies hollow, and so designs such hollow instruments as above. JG
¨ The Hebrew word nehiloth is taken from another word, signifying “to perforate,” “to bore through,” whence it comes to mean a pipe or flute; so that this song was probably intended to be sung with and accompaniment of wind instruments… However, it is proper to remark that we are not sure of the interpretation of these ancient titles… The best scholars confess that great darkness hangs over the precise interpretation of the titles; nor is this much to be regretted, for it furnishes an internal evidence of the great antiquity of the Book.
While there is not a great deal of importance to the title in this Psalm, and appears by any measure to be instruction on how the Psalm is to be played, it is at least important that where we see varied translations of the title we are able to know what is right or wrong; especially where it is attempted that the title be used to set the tone for the Psalm. But even then this should only be a problem when using the Septuagint as the modern translations render it “wind-instruments” or “choirmaster over the flutes” or just “flutes.”
¨ David being grievously oppressed by the cruelty of his enemies, and apprehending still more mischief, earnestly beseeches God for help. And the more easily to obtain what he asks, after having, by the earnestness of his prayers, manifested the greatness of his grief, he first brings forward the intolerable malice of his enemies, showing how inconsistent it would be with the character of God, were they to be left unpunished. He next speaks of his own faith and patience, and even comfort; having no doubt whatever of a happy issue. Finally, he concludes, that when he shall be delivered, the benefits resulting from his deliverance would not be limited to himself, but would extend to all the godly. JC
¨ This Psalm is a prayer, a solemn address to God, at a time when the psalmist was brought into distress by the malice of his enemies. Many such times passed over David, nay, there was scarcely a time of his life to which this Psalm may not be accommodated, for in this he was a type of Christ, that he was continually beset with enemies, and his powerful and prevalent appeals to God, when he was so beset, pointed at Christ’s dependence on His Father and triumphs over the powers of darkness in the midst of his sufferings. MH
¨ The evening prayer is now followed by a second morning prayer, which like the former ends with [For you oh Lord]. The situation is different from that in Ps. 3 [also a morning prayer]. In that Psalm David is fleeing, here he is in
¨ The Psalmist is here at his devotions. If David in the first instance of the petitions had an eye to his own personal persecutions, yet, there can be no doubt but that the Holy Spirit designed to instruct the Church, through David, as a type of the Lord Jesus, that what is here said had a more immediate reference to Christ, and God the Father’s gracious attention to him. RH
¨ Throughout the first, second, third, and fourth Psalms, you will have noticed that the subject is a contrast between the position, the character, and the prospects of the righteous and of the wicked. In this Psalm you will note the same. The Psalmist carries out a contrast between himself made righteous by God’s grace, and the wicked who opposed him. To the devout mind there is here presented a precious view of the Lord Jesus, of whom it is said that in the days of his flesh, HHHHe offered up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears.
Normally I don’t have much if anything to say when sharing the notes on the title and introduction. But let it be clear that here we have an example that applies to a current day situation that cannot be ignored.
A heartbreaking evil is taking place right now in
I am sure that Pastor Nadarkhani has, like David, earnestly sought the Lord in prayer. Perhaps the words of Ps. 5:8 – 10 are still on his lips as I write this, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because of mine enemies: make thy way plain before my face. For no constancy is in their mouth: within they are very corruption: their throat is an open sepulcher, and they flatter with their tongue. Destroy them, O God, let them fall from their counsels cast them out for the multitude of their iniquities, because they have rebelled against thee.” If these words cannot be found on his lips then let it be said of his fellow Christians around the world that they will be found on ours!
Please remember my fellow Christians, we have a very good life in