Psalm 151a is unlike any other psalm, because it is openly and clearly a description of David’s own life. He describes his childhood as the youngest of the family, and his anointing. It may have not been included as part of the Masoretic canon because this dissimilarity leads to just a whiff of pseudepigraphical overcompensation. [The psalm is designated Psalms 151a to destinguish it from the text of Psalms 151 found in the Septuagint. –ANV]
|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֨הּ ׀
קָטֹ֣ן הָ֭יִיתִי מֵאֶחַ֑י
וְ֝צָעִ֗יר מִבְּנֵ֣י אִמִּֽי׃
וַֽיְשִׂימֵ֣נִי ר֭וֹעֶה לְצֹאנֹ֑ו
Of David, son of Jesse.
Smallest of my brothers was I;
youngest of my mother’s sons.
And I was placed to shepherd his flock;
a leader for his young goats.
יָדַ֤י עָשׂ֨וּ ׀ עוּגָ֗ב
וְ֝אָשִׂ֗ימָה לַיְהֹוָ֣ה כָּבֽוֹד׃
אָמַ֘רְתִּי֘ אֲנִ֢י בְּ֫נַפְשִׁ֥י
וְ֝הַגְּבָע֗וֹת לֹא־יַגִּ֣דוּ עָלָֽיו׃
כִּ֤י ׀ מִ֬י יַגִּ֗יד וּמִ֣י יְדַבֵּ֑ר
וּמִ֣י יְ֝סַפֵּ֗ר אֶת־מַעֲשָֽׂיו׃
My hands worked the pipe,
my fingers the lute;
so I could place honor for YHWH.
I said to myself:
“The mountains cannot testify of Him,
nor can the hills tell of Him,
nor the trees His way,
nor the flock His acts.
For who could tell, and who could say,
and who could recount His acts?”
אֲד֘וֹן הַכְֹּ֢ל רָ֫אָ֥ה
אֱלֹ֣הַ הַ֭כֹּל ה֣וּא שָׁמַ֑ע וְה֖וּא הֶאֱזִֽין׃
שָׁלַ֣ח נְ֭בִיאוֹ לְמׇשְׁחֵ֑נִי
יָצְא֣וּ אֶחַ֣י לִקְרָאת֑וֹ
יְפֵי־הַ֝תּ֗וֹר וִיפֵ֣י הַמַּרְאֶֽה׃
הַ֘גְּבֹהִ֤ים ׀ בְּקוֹמָתָ֗ם הַיָּפִ֣ים בִּשְׂעָרָ֑ם
לֹא־בָּחַ֤ר ׀ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים בָּֽם׃
The Master of All saw;
the Sole-God of All heard and listened.
He sent His prophet to anoint me;
Samuel to magnify me.
My brothers went out to greet him;
handsome and beautiful to look at.
Tallest arose, handsomest in their gates —
the God YHWH did not choose them.
And they sent for and brought me
from following the sheep,
and he anointed me
with holy oil.
And he placed me
as a prince of His people,
and a leader
for the children of His covenant.
Psalms 151(a) — distinguishing it from Psalms 151(b) as found in the Septuagint.
Plate 974, B-285206 Taken March 1961
PAM Number: M43.792
Photographer: Najib Anton Albina
Image Type: Scanned Infrared Negative
manuscripts in this image: 11Q5 – 11Q Psa
“תהלים קנ״א | Psalms 151a, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
תהלים קנ״ד | Psalms 154, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer
תהלים קנ״ה | Psalms 155, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer
A Hebrew Reconstruction of Psalms 152 and 153, edited, vocalized, cantillated, and translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer