Tag Archives: psalm 113

a pause, a prayer, a punctuation

22 Jul

my reflection on Psalm 113 today.

punctuation, a praise prayer in Psalm 113 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

1 Praise ye Jah! Praise, ye servants of Jehovah. Praise the name of Jehovah.

2 The name of Jehovah is blessed, From henceforth, and unto the age.

3 From the rising of the sun unto its going in, Praised [is] the name of Jehovah.

4 High above all nations [is] Jehovah, Above the heavens [is] his honour.

5 Who [is] as Jehovah our God, He is exalting [Himself] to sit? 6 He is humbling [Himself] to look On the heavens and on the earth.

7 He is raising up from the dust the poor, From a dunghill He exalteth the needy.

8 To cause to sit with princes, With the princes of His people.

9 Causing the barren one of the house to sit, A joyful mother of sons; praise ye Jah!

So, into punctuation: verses 5 & 6 in both the NIV and KJV switch the question mark from verse 5 and place it at the end of verse 6… as here in the NIV,

5 Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,

6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Why the switch? Is this choice a minor one, not changing meaning?

The implication I see in both the NIV & KJV translation choice is to emphasise a God who sits and stoops to look. He is a God we look to, look up to Him to sing and praise; to worship and ask a rhetorical question that needs no question mark. It answers itself. It ‘sits.’ God sits.

Yet he does more than sit. He moves.

Young’s Literal Translation, though, has an active, moving Lord who exalts himself as he stoops, humbles, comes to us to sit. Paradoxically, His movements both humble and exalt His being, His character.

He is with the poor, the needy, and princes with the full and the barren. He moves toward us and sits with us. His movement to touch us both exalts and humbles.

Jesus is a picture of this movement. He came from heaven to earth, to sit, look, sleep and eat and pray with us. To show us His way of humility and leadership.

Humble, yet exalted; enthroned in heaven, yet seated by me. He is Lord of all, and among all.

Yes, this punctuation choice matters. It is in YLT 5 Who [is] as Jehovah our God, He is exalting [Himself] to sit?

It is question of awe that is factual by what follows: our God is exalted as he moves to humbly to sit with me.

Jesus exalted; seated at table with me.