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TO THE READER.
In reading the Psalms, as they are found in the PRAYERBOOK VERSION, it is remarkable how many seemingly well-known passages fail to convey to us the real meaning of the Psalmist; and, further, how many instances there are in which either the inadequacy of the translation, or a misapprehension on the part of the translators, places a mistaken construction upon several sentences, phrases, and thoughts; it is the intention, therefore, of these notes in the margin to explain many such “ dark sayings,” and to increase, where they may be read, the general interest of the student.
The present volume, accordingly, deals with notes and suggestions such as are found in the works of Bishop Wordsworth, Perowne, Kay, Bishop Alexander, the Speaker's Bible, Hengstenberg, Benisch, &c., together with the result of a comparison of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin versions. It offers further aid to the reader by (for example) indicating, where it is possible, the circumstances of the composition of each Psalm ;-by printing the word “Lord” in capital letters when it represents the thrice Holy Name JEHOVAH, and in ordinary type when it means simply “Master” or “Sovereign ”l;—by adding the word “ Selab ” where it occurs in the original version (apparently to suggest a pause during which the instruments of music introduced a change in the Psalmist's emotions or theme) ;—and by adducing various notes of scriptural, geographical, etymological, historical, and general interest.
The design of the work has its origin in a course of lectures on the Psalms delivered in this parish, of which the students desired to possess a record in a permanent form. The lecturer was also urged to comply with their desire by the suggestion of his curates, that it would be acceptable to candidates for Holy Orders, as well as to general readers of the Psalms, to possess within a small compass a compendium of important commentaries, which are found in learned and expensive volumes, together with a variety of illustrative notes collected from many sources.
With such aims this little volume ventures to commend itself to the innumerable readers of the Psalms, in the hope that it may succeed at once in interesting the devotional reader, and in stimulating the student to a deeper acquaintance with the Book which, in the history of centuries before and after the Christian era, is the most widely loved of all the Books included in the WORD OF GOD.
SAMUEL L. WARREN.
1 E.g., The LORD [i.e., JEHOVAH] said unto my Lord [i.e., my Sovereign]. -Psalm cx. i.
ESHER, December 1879.