Psalm 81:3
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
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(3) Trumpet.—Heb., shôphar. (See Exodus 19:16; Psalm 47:5.) In connection with this festival psalm the mention of the shôphar is especially interesting as being the only ancient Hebrew instrument of which the use is still on solemn occasions retained. (See Bible Educator, Vol. ii. 242.)

In the new moon.—Standing by itself this might mean the beginning of every month (comp. Num. x 10), and so many scholars are inclined to take it here. Others render “in this month.” But see next Note.

In the time appointed.—This is the rendering given of the Hebrew kēseh by a long array of authorities. But in Proverbs 7:20, the only other place where the word is found, the Vulg. gives “after many days;” and while the English margin has “new moon” Aquila and Jerome give “full moon.” This latter meaning is supported by the fact that the Syrian version gives keso for the 15th day of the month (1Kings 12:32). But in 2Chronicles 7:10 the same word is used for the 23rd day; hence, it is supposed to denote the whole time of the moon’s waning from the full. It seems, therefore, hardly possible that keseh as well as chadesh can mean new moon here as some think, though it is strange to find both the new and the full moon mentioned together. Some remove the difficulty by reading with the Syriac, Chaldee, and several MSS. feast-days in the plural, but the authority of the LXX. is against this reading. But apparently the festival in question was the Feast of Tabernacles. The word chag here used is said by Gesenius to be in the Talmud used pre-eminently of this feast, as it is in 2Chronicles 5:3; 1Kings 8:2 (comp. Psalm 42:4), and the Jews, always tenacious of ancient tradition, regularly use this psalm for the office of the 1st day of Tisri. Thus the new moon is that of the seventh month, which in Numbers 29:1 is called especially “a day of trumpet blowing” (sec Note Psalm 81:1), and the full moon denotes this feast, (See Numbers 29:12; Leviticus 23:24.)

81:1-7 All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.Blow up the trumpet - The word rendered blow means to make a clangor or noise as on a trumpet. The trumpet was, like the timbrel, the harp, and the psaltery, a common instrument of music, and was employed on all their festive occasions. It was at first made of horn, and then was made similar in shape to a horn. Compare Joshua 6:5; Leviticus 25:9; Job 39:25.

In the new moon - On the festival held at the time of the new moon. There was a high festival on the appearance of the new moon in the month of Tisri, or October, which was the beginning of their civil year, and it is not improbable that the return of each new moon was celebrated with special services. See the notes at Isaiah 1:13; compare 2 Kings 4:23; Amos 8:5; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4. It is not certain, however, that the word used here means new moon. Prof. Alexander renders it in the month; that is, in the month, by way of eminence, in which the passover was celebrated. The word used - חדשׁ chôdesh - means, indeed, commonly the new moon; the day of the new moon; the first day of the lunar month Numbers 29:6; 1 Samuel 20:5, 1 Samuel 20:18, 1 Samuel 20:24; but it also means a month; that is, a lunar month, beginning at the new moon, Genesis 8:5; Exodus 13:4; et al. The corresponding or parallel word, as we shall see, which is rendered in our version, in the time appointed, means full moon; and the probability is, as Professor Alexander suggests, that in the beginning of the verse the month is mentioned in general, and the particular time of the month - the full moon - in the other part of the verse. Thus the language is applicable to the passover. On the other supposition - the supposition that the new moon and the full moon are both mentioned - there would be manifest confusion as to the time.

In the time appointed - The word used here - כסה keseh - means properly the full moon; the time of the full moon. In Syriac the word means either "the first day of the full moon," or "the whole time of the full moon." (Isa Bar Ali, as quoted by Gesenius, Lexicon) Thus, the word means, not as in our translation, in the time appointed, but at the full moon, and would refer to the time of the Passover, which was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the lunar month; that is, when the moon was at the full. Exodus 12:6.

On our solemn feast day - Hebrew, In the day of our feast. The word solemn is not necessarily in the original, though the day was one of great solemnity. The Passover is doubtless referred to.

3. the new moon—or the month.

the time appointed—(Compare Pr 7:20).

The new moon; which was a sacred and festival time, as appears from Numbers 10:10 28:11,14 2 Kings 4:23 Isaiah 66:23. But this may be understood either,

1. Generally of every new moon. Or rather,

2. Specially of that new moon, as the word may be rendered, which begun the seventh month; as may be gathered both from the following words, and by comparing this place with Leviticus 23:24 Numbers 29:1, where this very day is called a day of blowing of trumpets. In the time appointed, on our solemn feast day; or, for the day or time of our solemn festivity; whereby may be understood either,

1. The day of the new moon, on which the trumpets were blown for the celebration of that solemn time. Or,

2. The seventh month, which that new moon did introduce or begin, and in which, besides other solemnities, they kept the feast of tabernacles, which the Hebrew doctors call the feast by way of eminency, and Josephus affirms to have been the most sacred and the chief of all the Jewish feasts. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon,.... Either in every new moon, or first day of the month, which was religiously observed by the Jews, 2 Kings 4:23 or rather the new moon, or first day of the seventh month, the month Tisri, which day was a memorial of blowing of trumpets, Leviticus 23:34, and so the Targum,

"blow the trumpet in the month of Tisri,''

when their new year began, and was typical of the year of the redeemed of the Lord, of the acceptable year of our God, of the famous new year, the Gospel dispensation, when old things passed away, and all things became new. The Jews say this blowing of trumpets was in commemoration of Isaac's deliverance, a ram being sacrificed for him, and therefore they sounded with trumpets made of rams' horns; or in remembrance of the trumpet blown at the giving of the law; though it rather was an emblem of the Gospel, and the ministry of it, by which sinners are aroused, awakened and quickened, and souls are charmed and allured, and filled with spiritual joy and gladness:

in the time appointed; so Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret the word of a set fixed time; see Proverbs 7:20, the word (a) used has the signification of covering; and the former of these understand it of the time just before the change of the moon, when it is covered, which falls in with the former phrase; and so the Targum,

"in the moon that is covered;''

though the Latin interpreter renders it,

"in the month which is covered with the days of our solemnities,''

there being many festivals in the month of Tisri; the blowing of trumpets on the first day of it, the atonement on the tenth, and the feast of tabernacles on the fifteenth. But De Dieu has made it appear, from the use of the word in the Syriac language, that it should be rendered "in the full moon", and so directs to the right understanding of the feast next mentioned;

on our solemn feast day, which must design a feast which was at the full of the moon; and so must be either the feast of the passover, which was on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, and was a type of Christ our Passover, sacrificed for us, on which account we should keep the feast, Exodus 12:6, or else the feast of tabernacles, which was on the fifteenth of the month Tisri, kept in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in booths, Leviticus 23:34 and which is called the feast, and the solemn feast, emphatically; see 1 Kings 8:2, and was typical of the state of God's people in this world, who dwell in the earthly houses of their tabernacles, and have no continuing city; and of the churches of Christ, which are the tabernacles in which God and his people dwell, and will abide in this form but for a time, and are moveable; and also of Christ's tabernacling in human nature, John 1:14.

(a) "quum tegitur luna", Piscator; "ad verbum in obtectione", i. e. "eum obtegatur luna a sole", Amama.

Blow up the trumpet in the {c} new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

(c) Under this feast he comprehends all other solemn days.

3. the trumpet] Heb. shôphâr, the horn, as distinguished from the metal trumpet. In the Pentateuch the use of the shôphâr is only prescribed in connexion with the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:9), but according to practice it was used for the New Year as well.

in the new moon] The Targum expressly states that the new moon of Tisri is meant here, and there is no sufficient reason for setting aside this ancient Jewish tradition and supposing that the new moon of Nisan, the first month of the ecclesiastical year, is meant, on the ground that the contents of the Psalm shew that the festival at the full moon referred to in the next line must be the Passover.

in the time appointed &c.] Better, at the full moon, for the day of our feast. If the month referred to is Tisri, our feast must be the Feast of Tabernacles, which began at the full moon on the 15th of that month. It was often called simply “the feast” (1 Kings 8:2, &c.), and was regarded as the most joyous of all the feasts. The trumpet blowing at the beginning of the month is regarded as pointing forward to it, and it was repeated on the day itself, in accordance with the law of Numbers 10:10.Verse 3. - Blow up the trumpet in the new moon. There was a Mowing of trumpets at the beginning of every month (Numbers 10:10), in connection with the appointed sacrifices (Leviticus 28:11-15); so that the month intended cannot, so far, i.e. fixed. As, however, the chief blowing of trumpets was on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:24), most commentators regard the psalm as composed for this occasion. There are some, however, as Hengstenberg, Professor Cheyne, and Professor Alexander, who consider it to be a Passover psalm. In the time appointed; rather, at the full moon; i.e. on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when the Feast of Tabernacles was opened (see Numbers 29:12). Trumpets were probably blown then also. On our solemn feast day. The Feast of Tabernacles is called κατ ἐξοχὴν, "the feast," in many passages of the Old Testament (see Professor Cheyne's comment on this psalm, 'Book of Psalms,' p. 228). The complaint now assumes a detailing character in this strophe, inasmuch as it contrasts the former days with the present; and the ever more and more importunate prayer moulds itself in accordance therewith. The retrospective description begins, as is rarely the case, with the second modus, inasmuch as "the speaker thinks more of the bare nature of the act than of the time" (Ew. 136, b). As in the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:22) Joseph is compared to the layer (בּן) of a fruitful growth (פּרת), whose shoots (בּנות) climb over the wall: so here Israel is compared to a vine (Genesis 49:22; גּפן פּריּח, Psalm 128:3), which has become great in Egypt and been transplanted thence into the Land of Promise. הסּיע, lxx μεταίρειν, as in Job 19:10, perhaps with an allusion to the מסעים of the people journeying to Canaan (Psalm 78:52).

(Note: Exod. Rabba, ch. 44, with reference to this passage, says: "When husbandmen seek to improve a vine, what do they do? They root (עוקרין) it out of its place and plant (שׁותלין) it in another." And Levit. Rabba, ch. 36, says: "As one does not plant a vine in a place where there are great, rough stones, but examines the ground and then plants it, so didst Thou drive out peoples and didst plant it," etc.)

Here God made His vine a way and a place (פּנּהּ, to clear, from פּנה, to turn, turn aside, Arabic fanija, to disappear, pass away; root פן, to urge forward), and after He had secured to it a free soil and unchecked possibility of extension, it (the vine) rooted its roots, i.e., struck them ever deeper and wider, and filled the earth round about (cf. the antitype in the final days, Isaiah 27:6). The Israelitish kingdom of God extended itself on every side in accordance with the promise. תּשׁלּח (cf. Ezekiel 17:6, and vegetable שׁלח, a shoot) also has the vine as its subject, like תּשׁרשׁ. Psalm 80:11-12 state this in a continued allegory, by the "mountains" pointing to the southern boundary, by the "cedars" to the northern, by the "sea" to the western, and by the "river" (Euphrates) to the eastern boundary of the country (vid., Deuteronomy 11:24 and other passages). צלּהּ and ענפיה are accusatives of the so-called more remote object (Ges. 143, 1). קציר is a cutting equals a branch; יונקת, a (vegetable) sucker equals a young, tender shoot; ארזי־אל, the cedars of Lebanon as being living monuments of the creative might of God. The allegory exceeds the measure of the reality of nature, inasmuch as this is obliged to be extended according to the reality of that which is typified and historical. But how unlike to the former times is the present! The poet asks "wherefore?" for the present state of things is a riddle to him. The surroundings of the vine are torn down; all who come in contact with it pluck it (ארה, to pick off, pluck off, Talmudic of the gathering of figs); the boar out of the wood (מיער with עין תלויה, Ajin)

(Note: According to Kiddushin, 30a, because this Ajin is the middle letter of the Psalter as the Waw of גחון, Leviticus 11:42, is the middle letter of the Tra. One would hardly like to be at the pains of proving the correctness of this statement; nevertheless in the seventeenth century there lived one Laymarius, a clergyman, who was not afraid of this trouble, and found the calculations of the Masora (e.g., that אדני ה occurs 222 times) in part inaccurate; vid., Monatliche Unterredungen, 1691, S. 467, and besides, Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel, S. 258f.))

cuts it off (כּרסם, formed out of כּסם equals גּזם

(Note: Saadia appropriately renders it Arab. yqrḍhâ, by referring, as does Dunash also, to the Talmudic קרסם, which occurs of ants, like Arab. qrḍ, of rodents. So Peah ii. 7, Menachoth 71b, on which Rashi observes, "the locust (חגב) is accustomed to eat from above, the ant tears off the corn-stalk from below." Elsewhere קירסם denotes the breaking off of dry branches from the tree, as זרד the removal of green branches.))

viz., with its tusks; and that which moves about the fields (vid., concerning זיז, Psalm 50:11), i.e., the untractable, lively wild beast, devours it. Without doubt the poet associates a distinct nation with the wild boar in his mind; for animals are also in other instances the emblems of nations, as e.g., the leviathan, the water-serpent, the behemoth (Isaiah 30:6), and flies (Isaiah 7:18) are emblems of Egypt. The Midrash interprets it of Ser-Edom, and זיז שׂדי, according to Genesis 16:12, of the nomadic Arabs.

In Psalm 80:15 the prayer begins for the third time with threefold urgency, supplicating for the vine renewed divine providence, and a renewal of the care of divine grace. We have divided the verse differently from the accentuation, since שׁוּב־נא הבּט is to be understood according to Ges. 142. The junction by means of ו is at once opposed to the supposition that וכּנּה in Psalm 80:16 signifies a slip or plant, plantam (Targum, Syriac, Aben-Ezra, Kimchi, and others), and that consequently the whole of Psalm 80:16 is governed by וּפקד. Nor can it mean its (the vine's) stand or base, כּן (Bttcher), since one does not plant a "stand." The lxx renders וכנה: καὶ κατάρτισαι, which is imper. aor. 1. med., therefore in the sense of כּוננה.

(Note: Perhaps the Caph majusculum is the result of an erasure that required to be made, vid., Geiger, Urschrift, S. 295. Accordingly the Ajin suspensum might also be the result of a later inserted correction, for there is a Phoenician inscription that has יר (wood, forest); vid., Levy, Phnizisches Wrterbuch, S. 22.)

But the alternation of על (cf. Proverbs 2:11, and Arab. jn ‛lâ, to cover over) with the accusative of the object makes it more natural to derive כנה, not from כּנן equals כּוּן, but from כּנן Arab. kanna equals גּנן, to cover, conceal, protect (whence Arab. kinn, a covering, shelter, hiding-place): and protect him whom...or: protect what Thy right hand has planted. The pointing certainly seems to take כנה as the feminine of כּן (lxx, Daniel 11:7, φυτόν); for an imperat. paragog. Kal of the form כּנּה does not occur elsewhere, although it might have been regarded by the punctuists as possible from the form גּל, volve, Psalm 119:22. If it is regarded as impossible, then one might read כנּה. At any rate the word is imperative, as the following אשׁר, eum quem, also shows, instead of which, if כנה were a substantive, one would expect to find a relative clause without אשׁר, as in Psalm 80:16. Moreover Psalm 80:16 requires this, since פּקד על can only be used of visiting with punishment. And who then would the slip (branch) and the son of man be in distinction from the vine? If we take בנה as imperative, then, as one might expect, the vine and the son of man are both the people of God. The Targum renders Psalm 80:16 thus: "and upon the King Messiah, whom Thou hast established for Thyself," after Psalm 2:1-12 and Daniel 7:13; but, as in the latter passage, it is not the Christ Himself, but the nation out of which He is to proceed, that is meant. אמּץ has the sense of firm appropriation, as in Isaiah 44:14, inasmuch as the notion of making fast passes over into that of laying firm hold of, of seizure. Rosenmller well renders it: quem adoptatum tot nexibus tibi adstrinxisti.

The figure of the vine, which rules all the language here, is also still continued in Psalm 80:17; for the partt. fem. refer to גּפן ot refer, - the verb, however, may take the plural form, because those of Israel are this "vine," which combusta igne, succisa (as in Isaiah 33:12; Aramaic, be cut off, tear off, in Psalm 80:13 the Targum word for ארה; Arabic, ksḥ, to clear away, peel off), is just perishing, or hangs in danger of destruction (יאבדוּ) before the threatening of the wrathful countenance of God. The absence of anything to denote the subject, and the form of expression, which still keeps within the circle of the figure of the vine, forbid us to understand this Psalm 80:17 of the extirpation of the foes. According to the sense תּהי־ידך על

(Note: The תהי has Gaja, like שׂאו־זמרה (Psalm 81:3), בני־נכר (Psalm 144:7), and the like. This Gaja beside the Sheb (instead of beside the following vowel) belongs to the peculiarities of the metrical books, which in general, on account of their more melodious mode of delivery, have many such a Gaja beside Sheb, which does not occur in the prose books. Thus, e.g., יהוה and אלהים always have Gaja beside the Sheb when they have Rebia magnum without a conjunctive, probably because Rebia and Dech had such a fulness of tone that a first stroke fell even upon the Sheb-letters.)

coincides with the supplicatory כנה על. It is Israel that is called בּן in Psalm 80:16, as being the son whom Jahve has called into being in Egypt, and then called out of Egypt to Himself and solemnly declared to be His son on Sinai (Exodus 4:22; Hosea 11:1), and who is now, with a play upon the name of Benjamin in Psalm 80:3 (cf. Psalm 80:16), called אישׁ ימינך, as being the people which Jahve has preferred before others, and has placed at His right hand

(Note: Pinsker punctuates thus: Let Thy hand be upon the man, Thy right hand upon the son of man, whom, etc.; but the impression that ימינך and אמצתה לך coincide is so strong, that no one of the old interpreters (from the lxx and Targum onwards) has been able to free himself from it.)


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