The Bible

 

Psalms 9

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 For the Chief Musician; set to Muthlabben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works.

2 I will be glad and exult in thee; I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.

3 When mine enemies turn back, They stumble and perish at thy presence.

4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; Thou sittest in the throne judging righteously.

5 Thou hast rebuked the nations, thou hast destroyed the wicked; Thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.

6 The enemy are come to an end, they are desolate for ever; And the cities which thou hast overthrown, The very remembrance of them is perished.

7 But Jehovah sitteth [as king] for ever: He hath prepared his throne for judgment;

8 And he will judge the world in righteousness, He will minister judgment to the peoples in uprightness.

9 Jehovah also will be a high tower for the oppressed, A high tower in times of trouble;

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee; For thou, Jehovah, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

11 Sing praises to Jehovah, who dwelleth in Zion: Declare among the people his doings.

12 For he that maketh inquisition for blood remembereth them; He forgetteth not the cry of the poor.

13 Have mercy upon me, O Jehovah; Behold my affliction [which I suffer] of them that hate me, Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;

14 That I may show forth all thy praise. In the gates of the daughter of Zion I will rejoice in thy salvation.

15 The nations are sunk down in the pit that they made: In the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

16 Jehovah hath made himself known, he hath executed judgment: The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, Even all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten, Nor the expectation of the poor perish for ever.

19 Arise, O Jehovah; let not man prevail: Let the nations be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Jehovah: Let the nations know themselves to be but men. Selah

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Psalms 9      

By Rev. Julian Duckworth

Psalm 9. Prayer and thanksgiving for the Lord’s righteous judgments.

This is a psalm which is full of the Lord’s great activities on behalf of the speaker, and, as a result of these, the certainty of the downfall of what is evil. One verse (6) gives an example of the kind of language running through the psalm, “O enemy, destructions are finished for ever!

It is important, as with each and all of the psalms, not to see all of this destruction of evil in terms of human affairs and what other people deserve. Psalms are spiritual, not political or even moralistic. While evil of any kind should be brought to an end, the greatest spiritual evils are those we find taking place within ourselves in our heart and our intentions, in our mind and its judgments and views of people and the world we live in.

The other meaning of all psalms is that they give expression to what was in the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus Christ during his life in the world, during his temptations and in both his humanity and his sense of his divinity. Psalm 9 can be seen to be full of these inner states, feelings and resolves of Jesus.

The psalm begins with an outpouring of personal praise of the Lord. No reason for this is given as yet, just adoration. The next few verses then turn to the Lord’s activity, his presence, his maintenance, his justice, rebuke and destruction of the wicked. (Arcana Caelestia 8227)

Verses 6-8 bring out the apparent power of what is evil. This is described as the destruction of cities and even of the memory that they once existed. This has an interesting spiritual meaning, because ‘cities’ represent what we have come to believe and to build up as our truth, like a ‘city’. When evil takes hold of a human mind, it brings darkness, confusion and violence to the extent that clear thinking and discernment comes to an end. (Heaven and Hell 505)

The psalm then moves into statements of the Lord being a refuge in times of trouble, as one who never forsakes one who seeks, and who does not forget the cry of the humble. This brings on renewed praise in the psalm. The spiritual idea here is that when we think about the Lord, who He is, what He does, how good He is, we begin to become aware of it all and affected by the Lord’s work on us and on everything. It evokes praise and thanksgiving. (Arcana Caelestia 456)

The last part of the psalm, from verse 13 becomes personal, beginning with a plea for mercy and for having been lifted up from death. This is followed by a realisation of how evil brings about its own downfall. Wickedness will be turned into hell and the poor and needy will not be forgotten. May all people come to know that they are but men, and that the Lord is over all.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 259


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 2362, 5313, 6119, 8153, 9857

Apocalypse Revealed 209, 229, 551, 612, 899


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 186, 208, 238, 253, 687, 741, 850

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 78

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 4:9, 10

Exodus 3:7, 9, 15:18

1 Samuel 25:39

2 Samuel 22:3

1 Kings 8:45, 21:19

2 Kings 9:26

1 Chronicles 16:33

2 Chronicles 14:10, 24:22

Job 5:13, 18:9, 17

Psalms 3:8, 6:3, 7:9, 12, 16, 10:12, 16, 12:6, 13:6, 20:6, 26:7, 29:10, 34:17, 35:9, 37:39, 50:22, 67:5, 68:17, 74:2, 76:3, 86:12, 91:9, 14, 92:2, 96:3, 10, 98:9, 107:22, 132:13, 138:1, 139:19

Proverbs 5:22

Isaiah 8:18, 25:4, 26:14

Jeremiah 10:10, 49:38

Lamentations 3:58

Ezekiel 22:16

Daniel 6:25

Nahum 1:7

Acts of the Apostles 2:11, 17:31

2 Timothy 4:8

Bible Word Meanings

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

To
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

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...

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...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

show
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

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

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...

Most high
'The most high' signifies the inmost.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

stumble
To 'stumble' denotes being scandalized or offended, and falling, as a result, from truths into falsities.

right
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...

throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

judging
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

righteously
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...

nations
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

ever
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

enemy
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

world
The term "world" has both general and more specific meanings in the Bible, including the relatively literal sense of the natural, physical world. In more...

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

times
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

dwelleth
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

declare
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

remembereth
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

forgetteth
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

affliction
Matthew 24:21 mentions an affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be". There, the affliction means the...

hate
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

gates
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

daughter of zion
'Virgin' and 'daughter of Zion' signify the church regarding the affection of good and truth.

salvation
'Salvation, to the Lord our God,' as in Revelation 19:1, signifies an acknowledgment and confession that salvation is from the Lord.

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...

pit
In Job 9:30, 'waters of snow' denotes truths which are or appear genuine. 'Lye' denotes the good which purifies, and 'the ditch' denotes falsity.

net
To cast the net on the right side,' as in John 21:6, signifies teaching the good of life.

foot
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

known
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

selah
'Selah,' as in Genesis 11:12, signifies an aspect of science.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

sheol
'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

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...

needy
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

forgotten
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

poor
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

judged
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

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...

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.


 Blessings: Worship of the Heart
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

Commentary

 

Exploring the Meaning of Psalms 9      

By Rev. Julian Duckworth

Psalm 9. Prayer and thanksgiving for the Lord’s righteous judgments.

This is a psalm which is full of the Lord’s great activities on behalf of the speaker, and, as a result of these, the certainty of the downfall of what is evil. One verse (6) gives an example of the kind of language running through the psalm, “O enemy, destructions are finished for ever!

It is important, as with each and all of the psalms, not to see all of this destruction of evil in terms of human affairs and what other people deserve. Psalms are spiritual, not political or even moralistic. While evil of any kind should be brought to an end, the greatest spiritual evils are those we find taking place within ourselves in our heart and our intentions, in our mind and its judgments and views of people and the world we live in.

The other meaning of all psalms is that they give expression to what was in the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus Christ during his life in the world, during his temptations and in both his humanity and his sense of his divinity. Psalm 9 can be seen to be full of these inner states, feelings and resolves of Jesus.

The psalm begins with an outpouring of personal praise of the Lord. No reason for this is given as yet, just adoration. The next few verses then turn to the Lord’s activity, his presence, his maintenance, his justice, rebuke and destruction of the wicked. (Arcana Caelestia 8227)

Verses 6-8 bring out the apparent power of what is evil. This is described as the destruction of cities and even of the memory that they once existed. This has an interesting spiritual meaning, because ‘cities’ represent what we have come to believe and to build up as our truth, like a ‘city’. When evil takes hold of a human mind, it brings darkness, confusion and violence to the extent that clear thinking and discernment comes to an end. (Heaven and Hell 505)

The psalm then moves into statements of the Lord being a refuge in times of trouble, as one who never forsakes one who seeks, and who does not forget the cry of the humble. This brings on renewed praise in the psalm. The spiritual idea here is that when we think about the Lord, who He is, what He does, how good He is, we begin to become aware of it all and affected by the Lord’s work on us and on everything. It evokes praise and thanksgiving. (Arcana Caelestia 456)

The last part of the psalm, from verse 13 becomes personal, beginning with a plea for mercy and for having been lifted up from death. This is followed by a realisation of how evil brings about its own downfall. Wickedness will be turned into hell and the poor and needy will not be forgotten. May all people come to know that they are but men, and that the Lord is over all.


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