Yahweh helped the prisoners (Ps 107:10-107:16)

“Some sat in darkness.

Some sat in gloom.

They were prisoners in misery.

They were prisoners in irons.

They had rebelled against the words of God.

They had spurned the counsel of the Most High.

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor.

They fell down.

There was no one to help them.

Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.

He saved them from their distress.

He brought them out of darkness.

He brought them out of gloom.

He broke their bonds asunder.

Let them thank Yahweh

For his steadfast love!

Let them thank Yahweh

For his wonderful works to humankind!

He shatters the doors of bronze.

He cuts in two the bars of iron.”

Some people were in darkness and gloom. They were prisoners in misery and in actual irons, shackled together, because they had rebelled against God. They had turned away from the counsel of the Most High God. They were in forced labor with no one to help them. These people were not innocent, since they had done or said something against God. However, they cried to Yahweh for help in their distress. Guess what? He saved them from their distress, darkness, and gloom. He tore their chains apart. Now they should give thanks to Yahweh for his steadfast love and wondrous deeds. He shattered the doors of bronze and the iron bars. They were now free people.

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Trust in Yahweh (Ps 40:4-40:5)

“Happy are those

Who make Yahweh their trust!

Happy are those

Who do not turn to the proud!

Happy are those

Who do not go astray after false gods!

Yahweh!

My God,

You have multiplied

Your wondrous deeds.

You have multiplied

Your thoughts toward us.

None can compare with you!

Were I to proclaim,

Were I to tell of them,

They would be more than can be counted.”

The happy or blessed people trust in Yahweh. They are not proud. They do not go after false gods. Yahweh has multiplied them with his wondrous deeds. What he has done cannot be compared to anyone else. It would be impossible to count all of the things that Yahweh has done for his happy and blessed people who have faith in him.

The innocent (Ps 26:6-26:7)

“I wash my hands in innocence.

I go around your altar.

Yahweh!

I sing aloud a song of thanksgiving.

I tell all your wondrous deeds.”

David once again maintained his innocence. He washed his hands in innocence in some sort of liturgical worship action in the Temple. He walked around the altar of Yahweh. Theoretically only a Levite could do this. He sang a song of thanksgiving that told all about the wondrous deeds of Yahweh.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 9:1-9:2)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Muth-labben, a psalm of David.

I will give thanks to Yahweh!

With my whole heart!

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad.

I will exult in you.

I will sing praise to your name.

O Most High!”

There is some confusion here as to whether this is 1 psalm or 2 psalms. Sometimes this is referred to as psalms 9 and 10 or should it be 1 psalm only. The Greek Septuagint had it as only 1 psalm. I will use the Oxford Bible notataion since the Jerusalem Bible puts the numbering in italics. So this is Psalm 9. This is also an acrostic psalm as every 2nd verse starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Thus the content is a little incoherent at times. Nevertheless we do have a longer psalm or psalms compared to the previous short psalms. Once again, there is a remark about the choirmaster leader as a psalm of David, without any particular event. The meaning of Muth-labben is unclear. Literally it might mean upon the death of a fool or upon the death of Labben. However, it might simply mean a harp. This psalm starts out as a thanksgiving to Yahweh. David gave thanks with his whole heart. He wanted to tell everyone about the wondrous deeds of Yahweh. He was glad and exalted in the name of Yahweh, the most high one. This might be some kind of vow of thanksgiving.