- Note to music leader: A psalm of Korah’s family.1
- 1 LORD, you’ll2 bless our homeland again.
You’ll give Jacob’s descendants back what we lost.
- 2 You’ll forgive your people for what they did.
In your eyes, their guilt will be gone.
Don’t stay mad forever
- 3 Your fiery anger will burn out.
You won’t be angry anymore.
- 4 God, you’ve saved us before. Save us again.
Give us back our nation.
Don’t be angry anymore.
- 5 Are you going to stay mad forever?
Will you be mad at our grandkids, too?
- 6 Won’t you rebuild our nation
So your people can celebrate what you’ve done?
- 7 Show us that you love us.
God takes a road trip
- 8 The LORD is going to speak,
And I am going to listen.
He’s going to promise a good life
For those devoted to him.
They messed up bigtime once.
I hope they don’t do it again.
- 9 For those who respect him,
Rescue is almost here.
Our nation is getting its honor back.
- 10 Loving kindness and truth will shake hands.
Goodness and peace will politely kiss.
- 11 Truth will sprout up from the ground,
While goodness watches it from heaven.
- 12 The LORD will shower us with blessings.
And our land will swell
With flocks and herds
And bumper crops.
- 13 Goodness will blaze a trail before him.
Then his road trip will begin.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And Korah was a musical family in the tribe of Levi, one of the 12 tribes that made up the original nation of Israel. Levite families worked as priests and worship leaders and assistants for the Jewish nation.
It’s unclear if the writer was talking in future tense or past tense. The psalm could be a prayer written from exile or after returning back to Israel from exile. Babylonian invaders from what is now Iraq overran the last remaining Jewish nation, Judah, in 586 BC. They exiled many survivors to Iraq. About 50 years later, in about 537 BC, Persians from what is now Iran crushed the Babylonians and freed the Jews and other political prisoners to go back to their homeland.
The word in the original language of Hebrew is selah. Bible scholars haven’t figured out what it means yet, so all we can do is guess. It could mean “pause for effect,” “instrumental interlude,” or “choir singing ‘Amen.’” We’re offering a guess instead of selah. Though selah might be the better way to go because it’s always correct, it’s also always incomprehensible. “Instruments” has a good chance of being wrong, but at least we convey the idea that the Hebrew word behind it probably has something to do with enhancing the song.