An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalms 42 to 72
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
Words marked with a *star are described in the word list at the end.
The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.
Here are some of the things that you should know as you read the psalms in this book.
1. At the top of each psalm (say it "sarm") is a title in Dark Letters. This title is not in the Hebrew psalm. It is not part of the Bible. It is there to give us help in remembering the psalm and what it is about.
2. Under the title are some words either that Jesus said, or that somebody said about him. These words are from the Gospels. They are part of the Bible.
3. The psalm itself is in a box. Everything that is in the box is part of the psalm. This includes the words at the top that tell us who wrote the psalm and why. In this book we believe that these words are true and that they give us some help in understanding the psalm. Other parts from the Bible are also in boxes, except the verses under the titles.
4. Words in brackets like this: ( ) are not in the Hebrew Bible. They give us help in understanding what the psalm means.
5. The Hebrew writers of the psalms used some words that we cannot translate into Easy English words. These are in a word list at the end. Some words are very important, like LORD and righteous. You will more about these words after some of the psalms in Psalms 1-41. Righteous is after Psalm 5, and the names of God (LORD, Lord and God) are after Psalm 25.
6. After each psalm is the story of the psalm. Some of the psalms we know a lot about. Others we do not know anything about. When that happens, we say "perhaps" or "probably".
7. After the stories comes "what the psalm means". The word "verse" means the number before each part of the psalm, as well as the part itself. So, Psalm 43 has 5 verses. Sometimes we are not sure what the writer meant. When that happens, the notes tell you.
8. At the end of each psalm, there is "something to do". This will give you help in learning more about the psalm.
Jesus said, "My *soul is so sad that I am nearly dying", (Mark 14:34) and "My *soul is in trouble". (John 12:27)
(This is) for the music leader.
(It is) a *maskil for the *sons of Korah.
v1 My *soul cries out for you, (my) God,
*like a *hart crying out for streams of water.
v2 My *soul is *thirsty for God, the God that is alive.
When can I come and see the face of God?
v3 (All) day and (all) night I cry and do not eat.
All day (my enemies) say to me, "Where is your God?"
v4 My *soul cries inside me when I remember that:
· I went with a crowd (to *worship you)
· I went to the house of God
· there was the sound of singing
· there was a loud noise of people thanking (you) and dancing.
v5 My *soul, why are you so sad?
Why are you so *restless inside me?
Hope in God because I will *praise him again!
When God is with me, he will do great things (for me).
The Story of Psalms 42 and 43
We think that these two psalms started as one psalm. The Jews made them into two psalms about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth. They did this when they translated their Bible from Hebrew into Greek. See below for more about this.
We do not know who wrote the psalm. What we do know about him is that:
· in the past he went to the house of God in Jerusalem (verse 4)
· he can not go there now (verse 2)
· he hoped that one day he would go back to it (verse 5)
· he was now 200 kilometres north of Jerusalem (verse 6)
· his enemy had taken him away from his home (Psalm 43:1).
This probably happened to many people in the Old Testament of the Bible. Maybe it was someone that King Jehoash of Israel took as a hostage. He took hostages from Jerusalem in Judah to the mountains of Hermon in Israel. The story is in 2 Kings 14:14.
A hostage is someone that is not free. His enemy catches him. He puts him in a place *like a prison. The enemy lets the hostage out only when the enemy gets what he wants. Maybe the hostage in the psalm was a Levite from the house of God. We call this house a *temple. Levites were God’s servants in the *temple. He may have been one of the "*sons of Korah". Look after Psalm 43 where it tells you who they were. Sometimes hostages never return home. They die in prison, or in the country where their enemies take them. If the enemy was not Jehoash in 800 *BC then maybe it was:
· the King of Assyria in 700 *BC; or
· the King of Babylon in 600 *BC.
BC means "years Before Jesus Christ came to the earth". Many of the hostages in Assyria or Babylon never went home.
Whatever story is true, the hostage went through two places before the end of his journey. One was a desert place, where there was not much water but a lot of sand. The other was a group of mountains called the Hermons. Iraq is now where Assyria and Babylon were.
What Psalm 42:1-5 means
Verses 1 – 2: The *hart, or male deer, is *thirsty. It is in a desert place where there is no water. It cries while it looks for water. The *psalmist says that he is *like the *hart. The *psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm. His enemy has taken him through a desert where he saw the *thirsty animal. The *psalmist is *thirsty too. But he is not *thirsty for water, but for God. His body is not *thirsty, but his *soul inside him is *thirsty. He is a hostage so that he cannot go to the *temple and see God. In the psalm, "not seeing God" means "not *worshipping God". He did not really see God, he only saw the place where he believed that God lived.
Verses 3 – 4: His enemies laugh at him and ask, "Where is your God?" They are saying, "God is not with you now". The *psalmist remembers how he *worshipped God in the *temple. There were crowds of people there. They all *worshipped God with singing and dancing. It was *like a great party or festival. But now he thought that his enemies were right: he had left God in Jerusalem.
Verse 5: The *psalmist tells his *soul that although he is sad and *restless he will still hope in God. Our *soul is that part of us that makes us feel happy or sad. It will still live when our bodies die. Jesus repeated some of these words the week before he died. They are at the top of the psalm. They are not quite the same because Jesus repeated words from the Greek Old Testament, not the Hebrew Old Testament. People made this about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth. Many Jews lived in Egypt where they spoke Greek, not Hebrew. So they translated their Bible (our Old Testament) into Greek. This is the Bible that most of the New Testament quotations are in. A quotation is when someone repeats words from another book. The words are not always the same in the Greek and Hebrew Bibles. Both sets of words are true!