274 – Psalm 8 – Excellent Name
Let’s consider what would be verses one and two of Psalm eight in the Hebrew Bible. Of course, in the English Bible, it’s the Psalm’s title and verse one.
Psalm 8:title – 1 (NKJV)
To the Chief Musician. On the Instrument of Gath. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
The title informs us David wrote the Psalm and sent it to the chief musician. But what is, “on the instrument of Gath”? The Leham English Bible admits the meaning of the Hebrew word Gath (or Gittith) is uncertain. Consider what Easton’s Bible Dictionary has to say.
Gittith—a stringed instrument of music. This word is found in the titles of Ps. 8, 81, 84. In these places the LXX. render the word by “on the wine-fats.” The Targum explains by “on the harp which David brought from Gath.” It is the only stringed instrument named in the titles of the Psalms.
Easton, M. G. Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature 1893: 291. Print.
The first four words in verse one are fascinating. The English reader easily overlooks their significance. The first LORD in verse one isn’t actually lord, but rather the Hebrew word transliterated Yahweh (YHWH). Yahweh is God’s actual personal name. The second word translated Lord is the Hebrew word Adonai which means “lord” or “master”. Here’s the verse again making those adjustments.
1 O [Yahweh], our Master, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Armed with the meaning of the two different words rendered “Lord” causes the verse to come alive with meaning! Notice the very next phrase. “How excellent is Your name in all the earth.” Which name? Certainly not lord – His personal name Yahweh!
Where many people are and have been referred to as “lord”. Yahweh is the only one on the planet with that name. It’s an excellent name because it declares that He is “I am that I am”, meaning He just exists, and He does so by His own power. He truly is the self-existent one and there is none like Him!
Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Who is Who? No one has the power to set Yahweh’s glory anywhere. He alone can do anything at all with His glory. If it is set above the heavens then it most certainly was done by His name and His name alone.
Compare Psalm 113:4 (NKJV)
4 The [Yahweh] is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens.
Is verse two hard to understand?
Psalm 8:2 (NKJV)
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Unless I am mistaken it seems pretty clear the reference to babes and nursing infants speaks of Yahweh’s planning and His ability to raise up a people to execute His will. We’ve seen evidence of this concept time and time again through the pages of the Holy Bible. Remember Moses? A baby who was supposed to be destroyed Yahweh ordained to deliver His people from the taskmasters in Egypt.
How about Joseph? Sold into slavery by His brothers, but raised up by Yahweh to deliver not only his people but all of Egypt from famine in the land. Given these simple examples is it a stretch to believe Yahweh is able to raise up a people who will silence the “enemy and the avenger”?
We aren’t very far into the Psalm and we have uncovered some wonderful truths provided by Yahweh through His servant David.
What do you think? Is Yahweh’s name excellent?