The Bible

 

Psalms 5

American Standard Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 For the Chief Musician; with the Nehiloth. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O Jehovah, Consider my meditation.

2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God; For unto thee do I pray.

3 O Jehovah, in the morning shalt thou hear my voice; In the morning will I order [my prayer] unto thee, and will keep watch.

4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: Evil shall not sojourn with thee.

5 The arrogant shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

6 Thou wilt destroy them that speak lies: Jehovah abhorreth the blood-thirsty and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, in the abundance of thy lovingkindness will I come into thy house: In thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

8 Lead me, O Jehovah, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; Make thy way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is very wickedness; Their throat is an open sepulchre; They flatter with their tongue.

10 Hold them guilty, O God; Let them fall by their own counsels; Thrust them out in the multitude of their transgressions; For they have rebelled against thee.

11 But let all those that take refuge in thee rejoice, Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12 For thou wilt bless the righteous; O Jehovah, thou wilt compass him with favor as with a shield.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Psalms 5      

Psalm 5: A prayer for guidance

The message of this psalm is encapsulated in verse 8: “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.” When we follow the Lord’s guidance, we can develop a clearer understanding of those things that come from the Lord, and those things that are in opposition to His design. The important thing for us is to discern the nature of what comes into our hearts and minds.

In the first verse, we hear the words: “consider my meditation.” Meditation in a biblical sense has a different meaning from the way it is understood today. Rather than the modern idea of simple awareness, this kind of meditation is more a reflection and exploration in the mind. This whole psalm is like such a meditation. We, too, must make use of this practice in our spiritual lives; this kind of mental examination helps us understand which deeper desires our thoughts stem from (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 61).

The speaker says in verse 3 that he will pray to the Lord in the morning. The morning is significant because it is a time of awakening. It represents a new spiritual state of personal renewal, based on the Lord, His love, His truth, and His presence with us.

Verses 4 through 6 list many things that are not acceptable to the Lord: wickedness, evil, boastful arrogance, iniquity, falsity and deceit. Many of these attributes feed our inclinations toward self-righteousness; these influences are at play whenever we try to convince others (and ourselves) that we always know what is right, and that we are superior to others. They are the ingredients of a hellish life.

A list such as this one helps us to recognize what is contrary to the Lord’s life in us, so that we may be genuine followers of the Lord and the Word. This process involves a great deal of self-examination, and indeed, meditation of our own thoughts and spiritual states.

Verse 7 follows with a promise to come and worship in the house of the Lord, and verse 8 is a prayer to be led by the Lord in His righteousness “because of my enemies.” These enemies are really our internal battles; “a man’s foes are those of his own household” (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8282 ).

Verses 9 and 10 move on to recognize the self-destructive path of those caught up in evil. While all of us have our hereditary evils and a lower nature before regeneration, it is intentional evil, as the psalm declares, that can lead us in the direction of hell (see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 532[3]).

The psalm comes to an end with an affirmation: let all those who trust in the Lord rejoice! For He blesses us when we live in righteousness, and protects us as with a shield. This simply reminds us to have confidence in our commitment to the Lord, and to trust that He works for our eternal life more than we will ever know (Divine Providence 46).

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 255


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 3527, 9013, 9156

Apocalypse Revealed 44, 208, 379, 436, 586, 624

True Christian Religion 322


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 179, 237, 295, 313, 329, 622, 659, ...

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

1 Kings 8:28

Ezra 21

Job 34:28

Psalms 11:5, 27:11, 32:7, 34:17, 44:5, 63:2, 68:4, 69:19, 74:12, 84:4, 88:14, 101:7, 118:15, 119:132, 130:2, 138:2, 145:1

Proverbs 6:16, 17, 15:9

Isaiah 26:7

Lamentations 3:56

Jonah 2:5

Romans 3:13

Bible Word Meanings

musician
'The sound of musical instruments' corresponds to affections of spiritual and celestial love.

psalm
'The sound of musical instruments' corresponds to affections of spiritual and celestial love.

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

wickedness
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

lies
When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...

blood
The internal meaning of “blood” is a little tricky, because Swedenborg gives two meanings that seem quite different. In most cases, Swedenborg links blood with...

deceitful
The spiritual meaning of being deceitful is pretty close to the literal meaning: According to the Writings it means using false thinking and logic to...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

worship
To adore, in the Word, signifies to acknowledge and believe.

holy
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

temple
'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

lead
The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

righteousness
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

throat
In Psalms 5:9, 'the throat an open sepulcher,' relates to evil, 'the tongue speaking smooth things,' to falsity.

open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

tongue
'The tongue,' as an organ, signifies doctrine, but as speech, or language, it signifies religion. 'Tongue' signifies perception of truth with respect to speech, and...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

Transgressions
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

rebelled
'Rebel,' as in Genesis 14:4, relates to evils pertaining to a person, or to evil spirits, when they begin to arise and infest, after they...

rejoice
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

ever
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

joy
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

love
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

bless
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

righteous
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Memory Verse: The Lord Protects Us
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord Protects Us
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Symbols of the Lord's Protection
Teaching Support | Ages over 12

Commentary

 

Exploring the Meaning of Psalms 5      

Psalm 5: A prayer for guidance

The message of this psalm is encapsulated in verse 8: “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.” When we follow the Lord’s guidance, we can develop a clearer understanding of those things that come from the Lord, and those things that are in opposition to His design. The important thing for us is to discern the nature of what comes into our hearts and minds.

In the first verse, we hear the words: “consider my meditation.” Meditation in a biblical sense has a different meaning from the way it is understood today. Rather than the modern idea of simple awareness, this kind of meditation is more a reflection and exploration in the mind. This whole psalm is like such a meditation. We, too, must make use of this practice in our spiritual lives; this kind of mental examination helps us understand which deeper desires our thoughts stem from (see Swedenborg’s work, Divine Providence 61).

The speaker says in verse 3 that he will pray to the Lord in the morning. The morning is significant because it is a time of awakening. It represents a new spiritual state of personal renewal, based on the Lord, His love, His truth, and His presence with us.

Verses 4 through 6 list many things that are not acceptable to the Lord: wickedness, evil, boastful arrogance, iniquity, falsity and deceit. Many of these attributes feed our inclinations toward self-righteousness; these influences are at play whenever we try to convince others (and ourselves) that we always know what is right, and that we are superior to others. They are the ingredients of a hellish life.

A list such as this one helps us to recognize what is contrary to the Lord’s life in us, so that we may be genuine followers of the Lord and the Word. This process involves a great deal of self-examination, and indeed, meditation of our own thoughts and spiritual states.

Verse 7 follows with a promise to come and worship in the house of the Lord, and verse 8 is a prayer to be led by the Lord in His righteousness “because of my enemies.” These enemies are really our internal battles; “a man’s foes are those of his own household” (see Swedenborg’s work, Arcana Caelestia 8282 ).

Verses 9 and 10 move on to recognize the self-destructive path of those caught up in evil. While all of us have our hereditary evils and a lower nature before regeneration, it is intentional evil, as the psalm declares, that can lead us in the direction of hell (see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell 532[3]).

The psalm comes to an end with an affirmation: let all those who trust in the Lord rejoice! For He blesses us when we live in righteousness, and protects us as with a shield. This simply reminds us to have confidence in our commitment to the Lord, and to trust that He works for our eternal life more than we will ever know (Divine Providence 46).


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