It is clear that a Person was intended by these various renderings; but they appear to be interpretations rather than translations. Regarded as the former, they may be useful in showing us how the Psalms point to Christ; for He is the end. It is He Who giveth victory; it is He Who is the Coming One : and, while the book is called Sepher Tehillim, the Book of Praises, it is He Who "inhabiteth the praises of Israel" (Ps. 22:3).
All ancient Hebrew manuscripts, with the early and best later printed editions, show no break whatever between the lines of one Psalm and another. The Septuagint translators had been many years in Babylon, and the oldest among them must have been very young when carried away thither. There was none who had full knowledge and experience of the ancient usages of the Temple worship. Consequently, when they came to their task some 197 years after the latest carrying away to Babylon, there was nothing to show them where one Psalm ended and where the next began.
Hence, when they came to the word lamenazzeah, "To the chief Musician", they took it as being the first line of a Psalm, instead of the last line of the preceding Psalm which they had just translated. All subsequent Versions, in all languages, have followed them in this mistake. For mistake it was, as we may see from the only two examples of independent Psalms given us in the Scriptures : viz. Isa. 38:9-20, and Hab. 3. In each of these isolated Psalms we have the true models on which all the other Psalms are based.
In each case we have
In each of these two cases the word lamenazzeah forms the sub-scription, and appears at the end of the Psalm. This is the key thus discovered by Dr. J.W. Thirtle (*1) which had been lost for so many centuries; and The Companion Bible is the first edition of the bible in which the Psalms are thus correctly presented in harmony with the two Psalm-models, Isa. 38:9-20, and Hab. 3. The unspeakable importance of Dr. Thritle's discovery is at once seen. For it shows two things :
This, at one stroke, removes the great difficulty, and solves the heretofore
insoluble problem and impossible task which all Commentators have experienced,
when they struggled in the attempt to find in one Psalm the explanation
of words which belong to another.
Few problems so difficult and baffling have been removed by a solution
so simple and self-explanatory.
This on feature, which by Dr. Thirtle's kind permission, has been taken
over into The Companion Bible, must greatly enhance its value and
usefulness, making it unique among all existing editions of the Bible.
(*1) These facts have been discovered, and admirably set forth by Dr. J.W. Thritle, in his two words on this subject, viz. The Titles of the Psalms : their Nature and Meaning explained (1904), and Old Testament Problems (1907). Both published by Henery Frowde, Oxford Bible Warehouse, London.