My Bible says 'to the tune of' "The Death of the Son." Is there a literal song "The Death of the Son"?

  • Where does it say this?
    – user34445
    Feb 23, 2017 at 16:32
  • @user34445. It says this in the superscription in the Hebrew Bible: לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַלְמוּת לַבֵּן
    – fdb
    Feb 23, 2017 at 17:02
  • Is it within the text of the bible itself (the canonical text) or extraneous? Are you able to cite a quote?
    – user34445
    Feb 23, 2017 at 17:08
  • @user34445. I cited the exact wording.
    – fdb
    Feb 23, 2017 at 17:15
  • Thanks. I'm not asking about the wording. Unless you can provide book/chapter/verse citation it can only be assumed that is an editorial comment or textual addition by the publisher and not part of the canonical text.
    – user34445
    Feb 23, 2017 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


Several Psalms have these "titles" in the original, that helps us to know the author, for instance, among several other things.

However, unfortunately, the songs and rhythms are unknown, since their poetry and songs were very different to what we have today (they usually didn't use rimes, but often used acrostics and parallelisms), and we (today's humans) still didn't find any record on how it was. This specific song probably was well known in the community, but we have (at least that I know) no records about it.

I recommend these useful sources, that might help you go deeper in your study:



I hope I could help you...


The Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts (DSS):

These sources omit everything up to "[Let me be glad and rejoice in you; let me sing praise to your name'], O Mo[st High]" (Psa 9:2). Its also fragmented.

(Source: 11QPs-d: 9:3-6 [MT 9:4-7]; 11QPs-c: 9:3-7 [MT 9:4-8]; 5/6H.evPs: 9:12-21 [MT 9:13-22])

The Greek Septuagint (LXX) has:

εἰς τὸ τέλος ὑπὲρ τῶν κρυφίων τοῦ υἱοῦ ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ
For the Chief Musician. Set to “The Death of the Son.” A Psalm by David.

The Masoretic text (𝕸) has:

לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַלְמוּת לַבֵּן מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד אוֹדֶה יְהוָה בְּכָל־לִבִּי אֲסַפְּרָה כָּל־נִפְלְאוֹתֶי
*(To the chief Musician Mûth-Labbën ( מוּת־לַבֵּן ), A Psalm of David. I will praise [thee], O YHWH (יָהוֶה) with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.

So to answer you:

ANSWER: It appears so.

There is some controversy about the meaning of מוּת־לַבֵּן however.

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