What does Psalm 33:2 mean?
ESV: Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
NIV: Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
NASB: Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
CSB: Praise the Lord with the lyre; make music to him with a ten-stringed harp.
NLT: Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
KJV: Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
NKJV: Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Verse Commentary:
Music has always been an integral part of worshipping God. Here, the psalmist, likely David, calls upon musicians to join in the congregation's giving of thanks to the Lord. David had organized the sons of Asaph to offer music in the worship of the Lord in the sanctuary. The music David calls for here is to be melodic. That included the use of instruments. Musical talent is among the God-given gifts which should be dedicated to the Lord.

First Chronicles notes that "David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals" (1 Chronicles 25:1). Cymbals, then as now, were metal disks of assorted sizes usually played by striking pairs against each other.

A lyre's strings were made from animal intestines dried and stretched, then mounted to a U-shaped frame. The strings spanned an open space between the base of the "U" and a cross bar between the arms. Modern persons would probably refer to a biblical lyre as a "small harp;" modern harps are much larger and have a relatively small body. The instrument David mentions here seems to be one of his favorites. David was well-acquainted with this type of lyre. First Samuel 16:23 reports that he played it to restore Saul's troubled spirit.

The biblical "harp" was often referred to as a psaltery. It had more and longer strings than the lyre, was narrower, and did not have the same open space.
Verse Context:
Psalm 33:1–3 calls upon the Lord's righteous people to delight in Him. They should praise God and be thankful to Him. The psalmist calls God's worshippers to use music and singing. Their praise should come so naturally that it is spontaneous.
Chapter Summary:
David summons the worshipers of Israel to be joyful as they praise God. The psalm celebrates God's creative power, sovereignty, and faithfulness. Rather than relying on earthly strength, the Lord's people can trust in His omnipotent power. This results in a collective praise for God and His unfailing love for those who trust and hope in Him.
Chapter Context:
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, attributes this psalm to David. It is a psalm that encourages worshipers to praise the Lord. It may have been written after Israel experienced a victory over an enemy. Because the verbs in this psalm are plural, it features the worship leader's call to worship and the worshipers' response.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 5/20/2024 11:04:55 AM
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