Q & A – How Do I Translate Psalms 110?







Could you finish the translation of the 110th Psalm?  You did the first three verses of this 7-verse psalm.  I have taken the psalm and put it to music, which is already done using the  English version from the King James Version of the Bible.  The Hebrew is in Hebrew and I’m just starting with the Hebrew. I currently sing about 10 plus psalms and other books.  If you can help me translate, it would really help. Thanks, and may the Lord bless!



P.S. - You do good work


Craig’s Reply:


Hi Tom,


Thanks for writing your request and the compliment.  Psalms 110:3 was actually an afterthought and I only posted it not to waste the lengthy time I spent translating it.  Often I translate Bible verses and/or passages, but use them exclusively for my own reassurance to insure I did not misrepresent the word of God.  I don’t ordinarily translate scripture upon request because it is extremely time-consuming and laborious. 


It sounds like you are looking for an alternate translation of Psalms 110 to use for composing music.  Being as there are lots of Bible translations out there, perhaps you can give me an idea of what God is speaking to your heart, and let’s see if I can help you out.  My inclination at this point is to render assistance to you as you learn to study Hebrew.  I can help guide you along, and in the long run, this will be of much greater value to you because you will develop the skills.


As far as literal versions of the Hebrew Old Testament, may I suggest if you enjoy my translations, that you look into purchasing Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible?  The reason I suggest this to you is that the author, Joseph Rotherham produced this awesome version in the 1800’s which “emphasizes” the way the words in Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament were actually spoken.  In other words, his translation puts ‘emphasis’ on word using a simple code of ||brackets|| around certain words to indicate voice inflexion, tone, etc.


I have read The Emphasized Bible since the late 1970’s and reading Rotherham's Bible translation is about as close as you can get to literal.  Since you’re just getting started in Hebrew, do you have any study tools, such as Strong’s Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament & New Testament words, Hebrew-to-English Interlinear, & Greek-to-English Interlinear?  Do you know where to begin?  Can I be of assistance in showing you the basics, and thereby equip you?


You see, I believe it is better to teach a believer how to study the scriptures for his or her own benefit because this makes the word of God more personal and opens doors to revelation, and prevents one from deception.  There’s an old saying that goes something like this:


“Give a hungry man a fish, & feed him for the day,


Teach him HOW to fish, & feed him for a lifetime.”


Do you see my point?  For example, here’s how I can be of assistance in teaching you how to do your own study and translation of Psalms 110 (see below).  First, I provide you Psalms 110 from the NASU (New American Standard Updated Bible).  Following this I provide you with the Hebrew-to-English Interlinear, including Strong’s Concordance Reference Numbers.  Following the interlinear, I provide you just a few of the word meaning definitions from Psalms 110:1 to get you started.


Psalms 110 1:1-7


110:1 The LORD Gives Dominion to the King. A Psalm of David.  The LORD says to my Lord: " Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."


110:2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, " Rule in the midst of Your enemies."


110:3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;  In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,  Your youth are to You as the dew.


110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."


110:5 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.


110:6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.


110:7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head.



Psalms 110:1

 of David   A Psalm said  The LORD unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make   thine enemies thy footstool.           

1732          4210    5002  3068     113           3427     3225              5704  7896     341           1916           7272      

Lª-Daawid mizmowr Nª'um Yahweh   la-'Adoniy    Sheeb         liymiyniy         `ad-  'aashiyt 'oyªbeykaa    hªdom          lªragleykaa


Psalms 110:2

the rod of thy strength shall send The LORD out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

4294       5797         7971       3068     6726         7287      7130            341          

MaTeeh-    `uzªkaa      yishlach   Yahweh   mi-Tsiyown   Rªdeeh         bªqereb         'oyªbeykaa   



Psalms 110:3

Thy people shall be willing  in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou  hast the dew of thy youth.

5971       9999     5071     3117          2428       1926     6944     7358             4891         3807 a 9999 2919       3208                

`Amªkaa             nªdaabot bªyowm        cheeylekaa bªhadreey-     qodesh   meerechem        mishchaar    Lªkaa      Tal        yalduteykaa   


Psalms 110:4

hath sworn, The LORD and not will repent, Thou    art  a priest for ever  after the order of Melchizedek.

7650        3068     3808    5162         859     9999 3548     5769           5921  1700         4442        

Nishba`     Yahweh   wªlo'   yinaacheem   'Ataah-      koheen   lª`owlaam al-  dibraatiy    Malkiy-Tsedeq


Psalms 110: 5

The Lord at   thy right hand shall strike through in the day of his wrath. kings 

136      5921 3225           4272                 3117          639             4428    

 'Adonaay `al- yªmiynªkaa     maachats             bªyowm-       'apow           mªlaakiym                                                                                           


Psalms 110: 6

He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over countries. many 

1777           1471               4390           1472              4272           7218      5921 776        7227 

Yaadiyn        bagowyim           maalee'                       gªwiyowt         Maachats       ro'sh     `al- 'erets     rabaah


Psalms 110: 7

of the brook in the way: He shall drink therefore  shall he lift up the head.

5158         1870        8354           5921  3651 7311             7218    

Minachal     baderek     yishteh        `Al- keen  yaariym          ro'sh   


(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)


As you can see Thomas, translating from Hebrew to English is no small task.  If I were to fulfill your request and completely retranslate the entire text of Psalms 110, conservatively it would take me at least 5-10 eight-hour days of study.  So you can see why I don’t do translating upon request, as much as I would LOVE to!  It is the single most difficult aspect of what I do bro.


To get you started, the interlinear is keyed to the KJV, as are most study references.  The numbers correspond to Strong’s numerical codes for the Hebrew Old Testament.  The words found in the third line down correspond to the actual Hebrew; these words have been ‘transliterated’ into English grammatical composition for pronunciation.  In case you’re unaware, Hebrew is written from right to left, not left to right as is English sentence structure.  I took the liberty of reversing the order of the words in Psalms 110:1-7 in the Hebrew.  Now the interlinear below reads left to right, since you’re just a beginner, and it will lessen any confusion.


To start, Psalms 110:1 begins with the words, “of David,” which is Strong’s numerical code #OT: 1732  and the transliterated form of the Hebrew is Lª-Daawid.  Now you must use your Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary to look up the meaning of 1732.  Below is the definition from Strong’s and a few other dictionaries or lexicons:


David = OT: 1732 David (daw-veed'); rarely (fully); Daviyd (daw-veed'); from the same as OT:1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse:(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)


David = OT: 1732; David rarely (fully); Daviyd — David = "beloved";  youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.  (from The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright © 1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research.)


David = OT: 1732; dw]D  d¹wi¼   dyw]D  d¹wiy¼; A proper noun designating David, the greatest and the model king of Israel, reigned 1010 BC - 970 BC He sired Solomon through Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite's wife. His name may mean "beloved," coming from the root d-w-d, "to love."  (From The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament Copyright © 2003 by AMG Publishers. All rights reserved.)


By comparing all three definitions, we can safely translate this word as one of three possible applications:


1.      A psalm of David

2.      A psalm of love, or a psalm of loving.

3.      A psalm of David’s love, or a psalm of loving David.


Then you continue on and use this same procedure, and after you get all of these words defined, do your best to arrange them in a linear, grammatical sentence.  From there, I can help you in the next phase of translation.  As you can see, it is time consuming and involves lots of reading.  It also requires a fairly good understanding of grammar, including the use of prepositions, compound words, word etymology, phrase and sentence and paragraph structure, conjunctions, verbs (in their various tenses), adverbs, nouns, adjectives, etc, etc.  It’s up to the individual how far they want to pursue translating, that’s why I asked you the earlier questions.


Anyhow, gotta run, stay in touch, give it your best shot, and ask me questions if and when you get hung up.  I’ll be glad to guide you.


With love in Jesus always,


Craig Bluemel - The Bible Answer Stand Ministry (www.bibleanswerstand.org)  1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.   






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