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Applying this principle to the book of Psalms, we find that Psalm 3: has a
superscription, but that the words of Hab. 3: 19, instead of being used as a subscription
to the Psalm are transferred as a title of Psalm 4: These titles and subtitles are all
restored to their true place in the "Companion Bible", Psalm viii, reading:
A Psalm of David.
The Psalm itself (verses 1-9).
To the Chief Musician upon Muth-labben.
The words Upon Muth-labben being the subscription of
superscription of Psalm 9:
(2) The meaning of the words of the subscription Upon Muth-labben.
The reader may not be conscious as he reads the words "upon Muth-labben" that it is
already assumed without proof that the word "upon" is of necessity a true translation of
the Hebrew word employed. Al standing alone is often translated "upon", but until we
are sure that these two letters do stand alone, we are prejudicing the reader from the start.
It seems that the Septuagint translators knew that AlMuth-labben came at the end of
Psalm 8:, for the word eis to telos "unto the end" are inserted. If the reader consults
Young's "Analytical Concordance", he will find that the words Muth-labben are not
translated "death of the champion" but "death of Ben, or of the Son". Again, if he looks
for the word labben in the Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, he will not find
it, but he will find the term under the heading Ben "Son". We cannot therefore endorse
the statement that there is nothing about a "son" in either Psalm 8: or 9:, for most
readers will know that the word Ben "son" occurs in Psalm 8: Neither is it true that all
are agreed that muth can only mean "death" for the LXX does not so translate the word,
and these translators were nearer to the times of David than we are by over two thousand
years. What the LXX saw in the words AlMuth-labben is made evident by their
rendering huper ton kruphion ton huion "concerning the secrets of the Son". There is
another Psalm where the LXX uses these words huper ton kruphion "concerning the
secrets" and that is at the foot of Psalm 45:, where the A.V. reads "Upon Alamoth". Do
these words strike any chord in the reader's mind? Remembering that originally there
was no division made between words, as now, let us put in English letters, the two
subscriptions to these two Psalms.
The subscription to Psalm 8: reads AlMuth-labben.
The subscription to Psalm 45: reads Alalamoth.
In both the Septuagint sees the word "secret". How is this? Alalamoth is considered
to mean "relating to the maidens", the word almah being the Hebrew for a maiden.
At the close of Psalm 48:, we have the words "unto death" which in the Hebrew
reads Almuth, but which this translation divides into two, al "unto" muth "death". The
LXX however considered it to be one word almuth, eis ton aionas "for ever", or "unto the
ages". The structure of Psalm 48:, (see "Companion Bible") places this passage in
correspondence with verse 8. Here is another instance where the word almuth "secrets"
has been wrongly divided to read al muth, "unto death".