2

Psalm 113:2

"Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore". NKJV. My emphasis.

1. What is "blessed"; and what the name that is blessed?

Psalm 113:2 International Standard Version.

"May the name of the Lord be blessed".

2. Is "Blessed be" a statement of fact [e.g. It be a bright day today], or a possibility [e.g. I hope it may be a bright day today], a hope, an encouragement or a command?

3. Who or what does this blessing? In Psalm 113 are servants [v1], nations [v4] and Himself [v6]. Can sources of this blessing be referenced outside the Psalm itself?

4. "The train be/is in the station". Why? Because it arrived last week.

Does "be" tell us that it happened in the past?

3

3 Answers 3

1

While they aren't exact equals, the synonymous poetry lines means "praise the name of the LORD" expresses the same idea as "blessed be the name of the LORD." In other words, praising the name of the LORD blesses the name of the LORD.

  praise the name of the LORD! 
      Blessed be the name of the LORD 
            (Ps 113:1b–2a, ESV)


   הַֽ֝לְלוּ‬ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם יְהוָֽה׃
       יְהִ֤י שֵׁ֣ם יְהוָ֣ה מְבֹרָ֑ךְ
             (Psalm 113:1b–2a, BHS2001)

"Blessed" translates a Pual particle. Note the following quote from HALOT.

pu: impf. יְבֹרַכְ/רָֽךְ; pt. מְבֹרָךְ, מְבֹרֶ֫כֶת, מְבֹרָכָיו (4QpPs 37 מבורכיו) —1. to be blessed Nu 22:6 2S 7:29 Ps 37:22 112:2 128:4 Pr 20:21 22:9 1C 17:27; מְבֹרֶכֶת י׳ blessed by Y. Dt 33:13, תְּבֹרַךְ מִן blessed among (or more than) Ju 5:24; —2. to be praised: God’s name Ps 113:2 Jb 1:21. † -- Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M. E. J., & Stamm, J. J. (1994–2000). In The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 160). E.J. Brill.

They were probably still saying the name YHWH when this was originally sung, which would have the meaning:

 praise the name YHWH
   Blessed be the name YHWH

Note: For the Jew the Name, hShem, is a way of referring to God without saying YHWH.

To praise the LORD is the task of all creation:

  The heavens declare the glory of God, 
  and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 
        2       Day to day pours out speech, 
  and night to night reveals knowledge. 
        3       There is no speech, nor are there words, 
  whose voice is not heard. 
        4       Their voice goes out through all the earth, 
                (Psalm 19:1–4, ESV)



        Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! 
              Praise the LORD! 
                     (Psalm 150:6, ESV)

  Let all that breathes praise the LORD. 
     Hallelujah. 
                     (Psalm 150:6, JPS1985)

     כֹּ֣ל הַ֭נְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּ֥ל יָ֗הּ  ‬הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ      
                      (Psalm 150:6, BHS2003)

"Be" יָ֗הּ is imperfect, which would tend to give it a future sense, except that it is jussive, which makes it like an imperative. Thus, the idea is that it should be continuous and not a single act.

1

There are two parts to this: Benefits (what God does) and Righteousness (who God is); both are cause for "blessing" the name/person of the LORD.

  1. Benefits (What God does)
  • Ps 116:12-14 - How can I repay the LORD for all His goodness to me? I will lift the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people.
  • Neh 8:6 - Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and with their hands uplifted, all the people said, “Amen, Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
  • 2 Chron 20:26 - [After God defeated their enemies] On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah [= "blessing"], where they blessed the LORD. Therefore that place is called the Valley of Beracah to this day.
  • Ps 103:22 - Bless the LORD, all His works in all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
  • Ps 16:7 - I will bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my conscience instructs me.
  1. Righteousness/Greatness (Who God is)
  • Matt 5:14-16 - You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
  • 2 Sam 12:14 - However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
  • Ps 134:1, 2 - Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who serve by night in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands to the sanctuary and bless the LORD!
  • 1 Chron 29:10, 11 - Then David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly and said: “May You be blessed, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in heaven and on earth belongs to You.

Psalm 113:2

In view of the above, we observe that the name of the LORD is being blessed (by the psalmist) for these two reasons in the remainder of Ps 113, viz:

  • V4-6 praise YHWH for His righteousness and greatness/majesty
  • V7-9 praise YHWH for His benefits to the poor, leaders and barren women

Concerning the translation of V2, let me offer a very literal translation:

Be blessed the name of YHWH; hence-forth and forever.

The remainder of the psalm describes why the LORD should be blessed as listed above. The verb used here is בָרַךְ meaning to bless by bending the knee; that is the psalmist is blessing God because of the reasons stated above.

NOTE: The name of the LORD being blessed is not a fact since sinners often curse the name of the LORD. The Psalm makes clear that humans are to bless God for the two reasons above - God's (very many) benefits and God's (exceedingly great) righteousness and majesty.

8
  • 1
    But what exactly does it mean to bless a name rather than the person it represents? Feb 20, 2023 at 22:39
  • @RayButterworth - "bless the name of the LORD" is Hebrew idiom for "bless the LORD" - same thing! "name" is שֵׁם = reputation here as per Gen 12:2, 2 Sam 7:9, Neh 9:10, etc.
    – Dottard
    Feb 20, 2023 at 22:41
  • @Dottard I agree with your "sinners often curse". But Gen 9:26 it is a "fact" that Noah blessed the LORD. By "statement of fact" I meant a true record of what has happened even if that occurrence was limited and local.
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 21, 2023 at 13:37
  • @C.Stroud - obviously many people blessed the LORD including Noah, David and Solomon. That is obviously a fact and uncontroversial. I cannot see the point of that statement.
    – Dottard
    Feb 21, 2023 at 19:07
  • 1
    @Dottard Is "Blessed be.." just a statement of fact i.e. it has and will be blessed, or something else e.g. an earnest expectation or imperative command?
    – C. Stroud
    Feb 21, 2023 at 21:05
0

Psalm 113:1-2 YLT

1 Praise ye Jah! Praise, ye servants of Jehovah. Praise the name of Jehovah. 2 The name of Jehovah is blessed, From henceforth, and unto the age.

It is a command from back then and forevermore, Jehovah’s name shall be exalted all over the world.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.