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Psalms 81:5

    Psalms 81:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, When he went out over the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language that I knew not.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He gave it to Joseph as a witness, when he went out over the land of Egypt; then the words of a strange tongue were sounding in my ears.

    Webster's Revision

    He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, When he went out over the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language that I knew not.

    World English Bible

    He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, I heard a language that I didn't know.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He appointed it in Joseph for testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I knew not.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 81:5

    I heard a language I understood not - This passage is difficult. Who heard? And what was heard? All the Versions, except the Chaldee, read the pronoun in the third person, instead of the first. "He heard a language that he understood not." And to the Versions Kennicott reforms the text, שפת לא ידעה ישמע sephath lo yadah yisma; "a language which he did not understand he heard." But what was that language? Some say the Egyptian; others, who take Joseph to signify the children of Israel in general, say it was the declaration of God by Moses, that Jehovah was the true God, that he would deliver their shoulder from their burdens, and their hands from the pots - the moulds and furnaces in which they formed and baked their brick.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 81:5

    This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony - literally, he placed this; that is, he appointed it. The word Joseph here stands for the whole Hebrew people, as in Psalm 80:1. See the notes at that verse. The meaning is, that the ordinance for observing this festival - the Passover - was to be traced back to the time when they were in Egypt. The obligation to observe it was thus enhanced by the very antiquity of the observance, and by the fact that it was one of the direct appointments of God in that strange and foreign land.

    When he went out through the land of Egypt - Margin, against. Or rather, In his going out of the land of Egypt. Literally, In going upon the land of Egypt. The allusion is, undoubtedly, to the time when the Hebrews went out of the land of Egypt - to the Exodus; and the exact idea is, that, in doing this, they passed over a considerable portion of the land of Egypt; or, that they passed over the land. The idea in the margin, of its being against the land of Egypt, is not necessarily in the original.

    Where I heard a language that I understood not - literally, "The lip, that is, the language, of one that I did not know, I heard." This refers, undoubtedly, not to God, but to the people. The author of this psalm identifies himself here with the people - the whole nation - and speaks as if he were one of them, and as if he now recollected the circumstances at the time - the strange language - the foreign customs - the oppressions and burdens borne by the people. Throwing himself back, as it were, to that time (compare the notes at 1 Thessalonians 4:17) - he seems to himself to be in the midst of a people speaking a strange tongue - a language unintelligible to him - the language of a foreign nation. The Jews, in all their long captivity in Egypt - a period of four hundred years (see the notes at Acts 7:6) - preserved their own language apparently incorrupt. So far as appears, they spoke the same language, without change, when they came out of Egypt, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had used. The Egyptian was entirely a foreign language to them, and had no affinity with the Hebrew.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 81:5

    81:5 Joseph - Among the people of Israel. Testimony - For a witness of that glorious deliverance. He - God. Went - As a captain at the head of his people. Egypt - To execute his judgments upon that land. I - My progenitors, for all the successive generations of Israel make one body, and are sometimes spoken of as one person. A language - The Egyptian language, which at first was unknown to the Israelites, Gen 42:13, and probably continued so for some considerable time, because they were much separated both in place and conversation from the Egyptians.