Psalm 49:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

King James Bible
I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

American Standard Version
I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will incline my ear to a parable; I will open my proposition on the psaltery.

English Revised Version
I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Webster's Bible Translation
I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Psalm 49:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

(Heb.: 48:13-15) The call is addressed not to the enemies of Jerusalem - for it would be absurd to invite such to look round about upon Jerusalem with joy and gladness - but to the people of Jerusalem itself. From the time of the going forth of the army to the arrival of the news of victory, they have remained behind the walls of the city in anxious expectation. Now they are to make the circuit of the city (הקּיף, still more definite than סבב, Joshua 6:3) outside the walls, and examine them and see that its towers are all standing, its bulwark is intact, its palaces are resplendent as formerly. לחילה, "upon its bulwark," equals לחילהּ (Zechariah 9:4), with softened suffix as in Isaiah 23:17; Psalm 45:6, and frequently; Ew. 247, d. פּסּג (according to another reading, הפסיג) signifies, in B. Baba kamma 81b, to cut through (a vineyard in a part where there is no way leading through it); the signification "to take to pieces and examine, to contemplate piece by piece," has no support in the usage of the language, and the signification "to extol" (erhhen, Luther following Jewish tradition) rests upon a false deduction from the name פּסגּה. Louis de Dieu correctly renders it: Dividite palatia, h. e. obambulate inter palatia ejus, secando omnes palatiorum vias, quo omnia possitis commode intueri. They are to convince themselves by all possible means of the uninjured state of the Holy City, in order that they may be able to tell to posterity, that זה, such an one, such a marvellous helper as is now manifest to them, is Elohim our God. He will also in the future guide us.... Here the Psalm closes; for, although נהג is wont to be construed with עלּ in the signification ἄγειν ἐπὶ (Psalm 23:2; Isaiah 49:10), still "at death" [lit. dying], i.e., when it comes to dying (Hengstenberg), or "even unto (על as in Psalm 48:11, Psalm 19:7) death" [lit. dying] (Hupfeld), forms no suitable close to this thoroughly national song, having reference to a people of whom the son of Sirach says (Psalm 37:25): ζωὴ ἀνδρὸς ἐν ἀριθμῷ ἡμερῶν καὶ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ἀναρίθμητοι. The rendering of Mendelssohn, Stier, and others, "over death" i.e., beyond death (Syriac), would be better; more accurately: beyond dying equals destruction (Bunsen, Bibelwerk, Th. i. S. clxi.). but the expression does not admit of this extension, and the thought comes upon one unexpectedly and as a surprise in this Psalm belonging to the time before the Exile. The Jerusalem Talmud, Megilla, ch. ii.((fol. 73, col. b, ed. Venet.), present a choice of the following interpretations: (1) עלמוּת equals בּעלימוּת, in youthfulness, adopting which, but somewhat differently applied, the Targum renders, "in the days of youth;" (2) כעילין עלמות, like virgins, with which Luther's rendering coincides: like youth (wie die Jugent); (3) according to the reading עלמות, which the lxx also reproduces: in this and the future world, noting at the same time that Akilas (Aquila) translates the word by ἀθανασία: "in a world where there is no death." But in connection with this last rendering one would rather expect to find אל־מות (Proverbs 12:28) instead of על־מות. עלמות, however, as equivalent to αἰῶνες is Mishnic, not Biblical; and a Hebrew word עלמוּת (עלימוּת) in the sense of the Aramaic עלּימתּ cannot be justified elsewhere. We see from the wavering of the MSS, some of which give על־מוּת, and others עלמוּת, and from the wavering of expositors, what little success is likely to follow any attempt to gain for על־מות, as a substantial part of the Psalm, any sense that is secure and in accordance both with the genius of the language and with the context. Probably it is a marginal note of the melody, an abbreviation for על־מוּת לבּן, Psalm 9:1. And either this note, as in Habakkuk 3:19 למנצּח בּנגינותי, stands in an exceptional manner at the end instead of the beginning (Hitzig, Reggio), or it belongs to the למנצח of the following Psalm, and is to be inserted there (Bttcher, De inferis, 371). If, however, על־מות does not belong to the Psalm itself, then it must be assumed that the proper closing words are lost. The original close was probably more full-toned, and somewhat like Isaiah 33:22.

Psalm 49:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

incline

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables...

parable

Numbers 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come...

Ezekiel 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Does he not speak parables?

Matthew 13:11-15 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given...

dark

Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance...

Luke 12:3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light...

2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

Cross References
Numbers 12:8
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

1 Kings 10:1
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

2 Kings 3:15
But now bring me a musician." And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 78:2
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,

Proverbs 1:6
to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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