1 To the chief Musician [natsach] on Neginoth [nagiynah] upon Sheminith, [shamiyniyth] A Psalm [mizmowr] of David.
O LORD, [Yahovah] rebuke [yakach] me not in thine anger, ['aph] neither chasten [yacar] me in thy hot
displeasure. [chemah] KJV-Interlinear
1 For the
choir director; with stringed instruments, upon an eight-stringed lyre. A Psalm
O Lord, do
not rebuke me in Thine anger, Nor chasten me in Thy wrath. NASB
The word 'Neginoth,' means a stringed instrument. David is giving instructions to play this psalm set to music played by a stringed instrument. Music is typically used to symbolize Gods grace policy.
The word, 'Sheminith,' means eight and refers to an eight stringed instrument. Also, the number eight means one more than seven. Seven being the number of completion or perfection, then the number eight meaning plumpness or the fat of abundance resulting from perfection.
Therefore, these scriptures from God, bring completion into ones life and as a result of that completion , blessings abound, bringing abundance into ones life.
On the one hand, God provides blessing when your life is in conformance with His will, and on the other hand, God can hand out discipline. The former is the more preferable, and the latter is one in which the abundance from God will prevent His discipline, if you fail in your life in sin.
David had found himself in sin and this psalm is an expression of his deep concern that Gods displeasure was about to be unloaded on him.
Therefore David offers a prayer that Gods discipline will not be dealt to him in hot anger, but in the mercy of grace. Where on the one hand, the anger of God conveys unbelievable destruction, as would be applied to unbelievers in their total destruction forever.
The grace of God, on the other hand, conveys a far lesser degree of punishment, where the point is well understood, and the pain is mitigated.
To rebuke is typically one of the use of words, to scold someone. While the use of the word for chasten, is a reference to physical punishment. Both placed together refers to the harsh judgment that can be brought against an offending person.
David is anticipating the worst case scenario of punishment against himself, and begins his prayer, requesting that the punishment will not be so harsh.
Placed in the setting of the eight stringed instrument, this pleading is as that of a child pleading that the belt not be used, but that the parent will revisit the circumstances from the abundance of their wisdom and love, and go lightly in the punishment.
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