Psalm 49:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:

New Living Translation
I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

English Standard Version
I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

New American Standard Bible
I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp.

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I turn my ear to a proverb; I explain my riddle with a lyre.

International Standard Version
I will focus my attention on a proverb; I will use the harp to expound my riddle.

NET Bible
I will learn a song that imparts wisdom; I will then sing my insightful song to the accompaniment of a harp.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I shall turn my ears to parables and I shall speak my riddles with the harp.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I will turn my attention to a proverb. I will explain my riddle with the [music of] a lyre.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I will incline mine ear to a parable; I will declare my enigma upon the harp.

King James 2000 Bible
I will incline my ear to a proverb: I will disclose my riddles upon the harp.

American King James Version
I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying on 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.

Darby Bible Translation
I will incline mine ear to a parable, I will open my riddle upon the harp.

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.

World English Bible
I will incline my ear to a proverb. I will open my riddle on the harp.

Young's Literal Translation
I incline to a simile mine ear, I open with a harp my riddle:
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

49:1-5 We seldom meet with a more solemn introduction: there is no truth of greater importance. Let all hear this with application to ourselves. The poor are in danger from undue desire toward the wealth of the world, as rich people from undue delight in it. The psalmist begins with applying it to himself, and that is the right method in which to treat of Divine things. Before he sets down the folly of carnal security, he lays down, from his own experience, the benefit and comfort of a holy, gracious security, which they enjoy who trust in God, and not in their worldly wealth. In the day of judgment, the iniquity of our heels, or of our steps, our past sins, will compass us. In those days, worldly, wicked people will be afraid; but wherefore should a man fear death who has God with him?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - I will incline mine ear to a parable. The psalmist is "like a minstrel who has to play a piece of music put into his hands. The strain is none of his own devising; and as he proceeds, each note awakes in him a mysterious echo, which he would fain catch and retain in memory" (Kay). A "parable" in the Old Testament means any enigmatical or dark saying, into which much metaphor or imagery is introduced, so that it is only φωνᾶν συνετοῖσι. I will open my dark saying upon the harp; i.e. with a harp accompaniment. Music was a help to inspired persons in the delivery of messages which they were commissioned to deliver (see 1 Samuel 10:5; 2 Kings 3:15).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I will incline mine ear to a parable,.... In which way of speaking the doctrines of the Gospel were delivered out by Christ, Matthew 13:3. Wherefore the prophet, representing his apostles and disciples, signifies that he would listen thereunto, that he might attain to the knowledge thereof, and communicate it to others;

I will open my dark saying upon the harp; the enigmas, riddles, and mysteries of the Gospel, being understood by the ministers of it, are opened and explained in a very pleasant and delightful manner; they are made clear and evident, and are as a lovely song upon a harp; see Ezekiel 33:32.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. incline—to hear attentively (Ps 17:6; 31:2).

parable—In Hebrew and Greek "parable" and "proverb" are translations of the same word. It denotes a comparison, or form of speech, which under one image includes many, and is expressive of a general truth capable of various illustrations. Hence it may be used for the illustration itself. For the former sense, "proverb" (that is, one word for several) is the usual English term, and for the latter, in which comparison is prominent, "parable" (that is, one thing laid by another). The distinction is not always observed, since here, and in Ps 78:2; "proverb" would better express the style of the composition (compare also Pr 26:7, 9; Hab 2:6; Joh 16:25, 29). Such forms of speech are often very figurative and also obscure (compare Mt 13:12-15). Hence the use of the parallel word—

dark saying—or, "riddle" (compare Eze 17:2).

open—is to explain.

upon the harp—the accompaniment for a lyric.

Psalm 49:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
God will Redeem my Life from the Grave
3My mouth will speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart will be understanding. 4I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp. 5Why should I fear in days of adversity, When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,…
Cross References
Numbers 12:8
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

1 Kings 10:1
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.

2 Kings 3:15
But now bring me a harpist." While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came on Elisha

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

Psalm 78:2
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old--

Proverbs 1:6
for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
Treasury of Scripture

I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying on the harp.

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, …

parable

Numbers 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab has …

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 …

dark

Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the …

Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are …

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:

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