Thots on the Titles of the Psalms
- Psalms 142:1 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:2 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:3 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:4 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:5 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:6 (KJV)
- Psalms 142:7 (KJV)
Let’s think for a moment here about the titles that accompany many of the Psalms.
First, we should keep in mind that these titles were added to the Hebrew’s hymnbook and are not inspired Scripture.
This Psalm’s title says it is a "Maschil of David". No one is certain what the exact meaning of this term is, but 13 of the titles of the Psalms say they are ... Maschils.
The title here also states that it is, “a prayer when he was in the cave.” This reference is also found in the titles of Psalm 57 and 142 as well. It refers to the time when David was forced to flee for his life from King Saul, the first king of Israel. When that occurred, David went out and hid from Saul in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam 22-23), along with 400 men who were loyal to him.
So, when David says here, in verse 4…I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was.. no man..that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.…it leads me to believe that this Psalm’s title is inaccurate and that this Psalm was probably penned on a different occasion because, during the days of David’s camp-out in the cave of Adullam, Jonathan, Saul’s son, was with David all the way … as were 400 other loyal followers..who accompanied David there, including one, Benaiah, who would become David’s chief mighty man. As you have it in 2 Sam 23:20-21,
"Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear."
What a character Benaiah was! Aye? When I was in seminary, my homiletics prof said his favorite sermon to preach was on the part of the verse above that says Benaiah went "down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day". Could you build a sermon on that portion of scripture? :-)
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