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For Sabbath (Shabat, שַּׁבָּ֜ת) worship in Psalm 92, does "Asor" (עָשׂוֹר) mean a "Tenth" in regards to a Tithe (מַעְשַׂ֤ר) instead of an instrument?

In Biblical Hebrew, "Asor" (עָשׂוֹר) means 10th or "Tenth". The Mosaic law of Tithing to God in Leviticus 27:32 mandates "Asiri" (עֲשִׂירִ֕י) or 1/10 of your wealth specifically related to Cattle/Flocks be given as a Tithe (מַעְשַׂ֤ר) to The Kohenim or Levitic priests to use as temple resources like vellum for scrolls.

During worship preparation for the Sabbath (Shabat, שַּׁבָּ֜ת) day in Psalm 92, King David appears to use a tenth of his talent to offer praise music for temple services as an offering to God.

Does "Asor" (עָשׂוֹר) in Psalm 92:4 [MT] mean a "Tenth" in regards to a "Tithe" (מַעְשַׂ֤ר) instead of ten-strings on an instrument?

שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם

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  • Referencing [pealim.com/dict/3379-asiri/] regarding the Hebrew words : "Asiri" (Tenth, עֲשִׂירִי), "Asor" (Decade, עָשׂוֹר), "Eser" (Ten, עֶשֶׂר), "LeAser" (To-Tithe, לְעַשֵּׂר). Aug 28, 2020 at 15:48
  • 1
    Are you asking us about authorial intent, or about mystical interpretations in the vein of Galatians 4:22-31 ? At any rate, the Greek Septuagint reads ἐν δεκαχόρδῳ ψαλτηρίῳ μετ᾿ ᾠδῆς ἐν κιθάρᾳ, meaning in ten-chord-ed psaltery with odes in guitar.
    – Lucian
    Aug 28, 2020 at 15:50
  • Authorial Intent Aug 28, 2020 at 15:52
  • How would that make any possible sense in context?? Please provide an alternative translation with your proposal.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 30, 2020 at 6:39

1 Answer 1

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In Ps 92:4 (MT) or Ps 92:3 in English Bibles, the reference to עָשׂוֹר (asor) is almost certainly to an instrument rather than tithe for the following reasons:

  • עָשׂוֹר never means one tenth but usually means either 10 days (Gen 24:55) or, the tenth day of the month (Lev 16:29, 23:27, 25:9, Eze 24:1, 40:1, Ex 12:3, etc) or a ten stringed instrument (Ps 33:2, 144:9, 92:4).
  • The word used for "tithe" or tenth part is מַעֲשֵׂר (maaser), eg, Gen 14:20, Lev 27:30, 31, 32, Num 18:24, 26, 28, Deut 12:6, 11, 17, 14:28, 26:12, etc.
  • The context of the verse is offering praise to God for His goodness. This verse in particular is placed in simple parallelism, both discussing the praise on instruments:

with the ten-[strings] on the lute ( נֶבֶל )

and the melody/harmony on the lyre ( כִּנּוֹר ).

Therefore, I cannot discern any direct reference to tithe but perhaps there is a vague allusion via the ten [strings] of the lute, but to me that would be a stretch.

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