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Psalm 23 begins with the annotation:

מזמור לדוד

While Psalm 24 begins with a similar, but slight different one:

לדוד מזמור

Yet both are marked in the NET (and elsewhere) as "A psalm of David". I don't know Hebrew at all, so I'm wondering - does the word order affect the meaning here at all? Is it reasonable still to conclude that they are both presuming to be written by David?

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Interesting find. See also: Who is “I” in Psalm 4. – Jon Ericson Mar 20 '13 at 22:01
A phrase search reveals that each occurs in numerous chapters, so both are common, and I wouldn't really think anything of it. – Simply a Christian Mar 22 '13 at 8:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

מזמור = "psalm"

לדוד = "of David"

The order doesn't matter. If you wanted to translate the slight difference, you could translate one as "a psalm of David" and the other as "one of David's psalms." For what it's worth, "David" comes first in Psalms 24, 40, 68, 101, 109, 110, 139. The word "psalm" comes first in the other 28 usages. Thus the order found in Psalm 23 is four times more frequent than the reading in Psalm 24, but the word order found in Psalm 24 is hardly abnormal. Remember that Psalms is a book of poetry, and lots of things are done for poetic effect.

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לדוד can mean either "for David," or "David's." Like you, I'd go with the latter. – Simply a Christian Mar 23 '13 at 3:38

I realize this is based on the 'opinion' of the 'Sages' from 'Rashi's commentary, but I found it interesting and thought I would share it with you. More interesting as I was just reading this Q & A, and then 'stumbled' upon the next website as I am researching Psalm 23 for myself.


A song of David: The Rabbis said: Wherever it says: “A song of David,” he would play [his musical instrument] and afterwards the Shechinah would rest on him. It is a song to bring the holy spirit upon David. And, wherever it says: “Of David, a song,” the Shechinah rested on him [first] and then he recited a song.

(If this was out of line for this site, please feel free to flag and remove.)

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