Psalm Thirty: Translation of the Song


1: A song, a song for the dedication of the Temple, by David:


2: I will raise You up, Adonai, for You have drawn me up, and You

have not gladdened my enemies against me.


3: Adonai, my God, I implored You and You healed me.


4: Adonai, You lifted up from Sheol my soul; You sustained my life,

[kept me] from falling down to the Pit.


5: Sing to Adonai, His devout ones, and give thanks in recollection of His holiness.


6: For a moment, in His anger; life, in His will.

In the evening, [one] will sleep, cry[ing]; but in the morning, a happy song.


7: And I said, in my serenity, “Never will I stumble, for all the world’s time”.


8: Adonai, in Your will, made [me] stand with the might of a mountain; [but when]

You hid Your face, my being was utterly terrified.


9: To You, Adonai, I will call out, and to my Master, I appeal.


10: What benefit [is there] in my blood, in my falling down to Sheol?

Can dust give thanks to You, can it narrate Your truth?


11: Hear, Adonai, and favour me. Adonai, become my aid.


12: You transformed my lament into ecstasy for me; You undid my sackcloth,

and girdled me with gladness.


13: In response, [my] glory will sing to You, and will not be silent.

Adonai, my God, for all the world’s time I will give thanks to You.

Notes, Psalm 30

v.1: While the English word “song” is used in our translation for both occurrences, the actual Hebrew employs two different words – the first, מִזְמוֹר ; the second, שִׁיר . Both mean a song, but the first implies one that is of a more sacred nature and, moreover, intended to be sung. Accordingly, the first word for “song” is often translated as “Psalm”, though that, in Hebrew, is actually תְּהִלָּה .


v.1: “Chanukah”. חֲנֻכָּה , is both the word for “dedication” and for the holiday commemorating the Maccabees’ victory and their rededication of the second Temple. Obviously, then, the word cannot, here, refer to the holiday, but to the time of the dedication of the first Temple, to be built by Solomon, not David. “Temple” can also be translated as “House”. However, this translation prefers “Temple”, so that no ambiguity suggests the House of David. It is not David’s kingship that is being celebrated in this Psalm.


v.2: The root of the Hebrew for “to raise up”, אֲרוֹמִמְךָ, is akin to that of “to exalt”. See Commentary, Psalm 30, for an analysis of the juxtaposition of the verbs “raise up” and “drawn up”.


  1. 2: The literal Hebrew is “You have not gladdened my enemies for me”; that is, God has not allowed the singer’s enemies to gloat over his defeat.


v.3: The Hebrew, “alohi”, אֱלֹהָי , my God, is an unusual and very personal way of referring to “Alohim”.


  1. 3: In Hebrew, the word “to” is implied after the verb “implored”, but omitted in the English for grammatical accuracy.



  1. 4: The root of the Hebrew word for “sustain”, חִיִּיתַנִי, is “life”, חַיִּים, whereas in the English, the word “sustain” has the root “to hold up”, which, interesting to the English reader, correlates with the imagery of the singer being raised, drawn up, from the Pit.


  1. 4: The phrase, “from [my] falling down” is ambiguous in the Hebrew. In the spoken Hebrew, were the Psalm being read aloud, the word would be pronounced “miyordee”, מִיָּרְדִי, which translates as above. However, the written Hebrew adds an extra vowel, changing the word to “miyordey”, מִיָּורְדי, translating literally as “those [others] falling down”. Thus the singer can be seen as separating himself from others not so fortunate or worthy. In either reading, the singer makes clear his gratitude for his deliverance.


  1. 5: The root of “todah”, הוֹדוּ, “thank you”, implies, in Hebrew, “to admit”, a sense lost in the English.


v.5: The literal translation is “to the mention of His holiness”.


  1. 6: The Hebrew for God’s anger, בְּאַפּוֹ, used throughout the Psalms, contains within it a metaphor first occurring in Psalm 6 (see Notes, Psalm 6, v. 20), that of a nose, snorting. The Hebrew for “moment”, רֶגַע, shares a common root with the Hebrew for “peacefulness” or “relaxation”, רֹגַע, thus re-iterating, in the word itself, the assertion that God’s anger is of short duration.


  1. 6; The literal translation of the Hebrew is “will sleep cry”. Our translation adds the brackets to show the words that are omitted but understood.


  1. 6; The Hebrew word here for “happy”, רִנָּה, has the same root as “gossip”, רִנּוּן, an incongruity explained by the fact that gossip is passed on repeatedly. Here the implication is that happiness radiates outwardly and continually.


  1. 6: The Hebrew word here for “song”, רִנּוּן, differs from the two words for “song” in v. 1. It is the same word implied previously for ‘Happy’.


  1. 7: The Hebrew word that negates the words always, turning it into “never”, בַּל אֶמּוֹט לְעוֹלָם, has the root “without’ or “absence”, בְּלִי.


  1. 8: Mightiness can refer, in the Hebrew, to either the characteristic of the mountain, without mention of the singer, or of, as a metaphor, the singer. Hence the use of the brackets.


  1. 9: The first mention of “Adonai” in the verse names the quality of God’s that is mercy; the second mention is, in the Hebrew, spelt slightly differently — [אֲדֹנָי] – and implies both the name “master” and the personal possessive pronoun. (For the same usage, see Psalm 22, v. 31.)


  1. 9: The Hebrew verb “appeal”, אֶתְחַנָּן, has the same root as “favour”, חן.


Click here to study “Literary analysis of Psalm 30

Sing & Learn: click here to hear a song composed for Psalm 30

King James Psalms 30 Translation:

[1] I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
[2] O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
[3] O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
[4] Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
[5] For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
[6] And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
[7] LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
[8] I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
[9] What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
[10] Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
[11] Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
[12] To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.