Psalm 71 – SING & LEARN (continues Psalm 70)

I think this is the most classic performance of what we sang:
and this one is the best… 🙂
Song 71 acts as the completion of Song 70; thus, the two songs themselves pair. Rather than the introductory verse customary in most of the songs, the first verse of Song 71 resounds the prevalent note of Song 70 of rescue, and its jarring discord, disgrace. This theme — of God’s rescue of the singer from the disgrace his foes would inflict on him–  flows throughout Song 71; righteousness, deliverance, refuge act as notes voicing the melody of Song 70 repeatedly in 71. Its verses continue the doublings. Thus:
              — verse 2: “save me and rescue me”
              — verse 3: “my rock and my fortress”
              — verse 4: “the hand of the wicked” and “the grip of the unjust and the violent [a pairing within a pairing]”
               — verse 5: “my hope” and “my reliance”
               — verse 6: “in utero” and “womb”
               — verse 7: “exemplar” and “refuge”
               — verse 8: “praise” and “glorification”
               — verse 9: “old age” and “strength ends”
               — verse 10: “speak” and “take counsel”
               — verse 11: “pursue and catch”
               — verse 12: “do not be far” and “hasten”
               — verse 13: “reproach and shame”
Verses 1 to 13, the verses of supplication, complete the first section of the song. Their partner and contrast are verses 14 to 24, the verses of praise. “Righteousness”, sounded first in verse 2, is voiced four times (verses 13, 16, 19, 24), acting as a repeated chord.
               Two striking themes recur: in the first section of the song, in verse 9, the singer pleads with God not to cast him off in his old age; a plea re-iterated in verse 18, where the singer’s “hoary old age” is contrasted by God’s “strength” and his mortality by the presence of God in the lives of future generations. Thus the singer’s mortality is transcended by his very praises of God, for these praises will achieve immortality. (Interestingly, this transcendence occurs in verse 18, the word for the number 18 also being the Hebrew word for “life”.)
              The jarring phrase in verse 20, “[God] having shown me much harm and trouble” — and here the doubling adds to the jarring effect– is mitigated by the fact that, as Rabbi Maccabi pointed out in Sunday’s discussion, the verb used is “to show” and not “to cause”: that is, God did not inflict harm and trouble upon the singer, but, rather, used his distress to bring him closer to God.
             The second compelling theme in Song 71 is its word-sounded melody:
          — verse 6: “I sing your praises”
          — verse 8: “Let my mouth be full” ( echoed in verse 15)
          — verse 22 to 24: these verses not only sing God’s praises but declare the singer’s purpose, the inspiration that composes his songs —
             22: “Then I will acclaim You … with the lyre… I will sing a hymn to You with a harp”
             23: “My lips shall be jubilant, as I sing hymns to You”
             24: “My tongue as well shall recite Your righteousness”
With song, word, harp and lyre, the composer of the Praisesongs will affirm God’s righteousness and faithfulness;his melodies of praise will deflect disgrace and harm and his songs will reach “all who are to come”.