A Psalm of Thanksgiving
The introduction to this psalm in the Artscroll Tanach Series Tehillim/Psalms, gives us interesting history and background information.
“This psalm was sung in the Temple during the service of the Thanksgiving offering, an offering that one would bring in thanksgiving after having survived great danger.”
It is suggested that this particular psalm is a good one to recite daily because; “Not a day of life goes by without danger, although man is usually oblivious of the threatening forces around him. Unknown to man, God protects him from such dangers and preforms countless miracles of salvation.” (Paraphrased by me)
The Psalm opens up telling us that it is a psalm of ‘thanksgiving’, the Hebrew word for ‘thanksgiving’ here is ‘Todah’. The commentary shares insightful information about this word, and how the Jewish Sages understand its use within different situations.
“The word Todah can be translated in three ways,
In the future, Israel will offer thanksgiving to God for all His kindness. In the time of the Third Temple era, the Midrash teaches that there will be no sacrifices except the thanksgiving offering. At that time the nations of the world will give ‘todah’, i.e, they will make an admission of God’s omnipotence. In the future the wicked will make a confession of their sins and God will forgive them.” (Edited and paraphrased by me – the sources for the above are from, Radak, Vayikra Rabbah 9:7 and Midrash Shocher Tov)
One more note before getting into the psalm, I edited out the last part of verse 3 because it is a direct statement for Israel to recite. The first part of the verse we of the nations can recite – “Know that Hashem, He is God, it is He Who made us… See Genesis 1:27 & 9:6.
“A song of thanksgiving. Call out to Hashem, all the earth. Serve Hashem with gladness, come before Him with joyous song. Know that Hashem, He is God, it is He Who made us. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, give thanks to Him, bless His Name. For Hashem is good, His kindness endures forever, and from generation to generation is His faithfulness.”
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash