Alexander Geddes.

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that the king of glory may come in.
9 ** Who is this king of glory ?"

Jehovah, ftrong and mighty 5

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Jehovah, powerful in battle.

Ye gates ! lift up your heads ; 9

ye lofty doors ! be lifted up :

that the king of glory may come in. . ,

*^ Who is this king of glory V ip

Jehovah, the God of hofts—
He is this king of glory.


Ver. 7. Ye lofty doors. The common verfion is: "ye everlafting
doors," i. e. very antient ; fuch as the gates of Jerufalem are fuppofed
to have been. 1 think the Hebrew word has here another meaning,
and refers either to the loftinefs of the doors, or to their being highly
drawn up. They feem to have been portcullises ; which were raifed
high J not opened wide, to admit thofe who entered.

The title gives this psalm to David : hut I am inclined to think ,,
this is a misnomer 5 and that it was composed hy some minor poet
during the Bahylonish captivity. It is the first of the five psalms
^d//^<^ alphabetic J because the verses are arrqngid according h
the letters of the Hehreiv alphabet, in numher twenty-two :
a species of writing, somevihat similar to our acrostics: hut which,
I am persuaded, was not known in the days of David. Some
errors have crept into the text of most of those alphabetic psalms.
The words have been sometimes ill divided, and mispointed; and
whole members (filj$ senunce been omitted. 1 have endeavoured^
in imitation of Hare, ^Kennicett, and others, to restore the text:
but never fvithout warning the reader of these redorations. It
will be easily perceived, that it is impofsible to exhibit in a ver-
nacular version the alphabetical arrangement of the original. I
have, however, prefixed the forms and names of the Hebrew letters
to ibe sentences to which they belong.



TO thee, Jehovah ! I raife my foul :
my God ! save tby servant tntfting in thee.

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2 In thee I truft ; let me not be confounded ;

let not my foes exult over me.


J Let none be confounded, who look up to thee :

be they confounded, who vainly prevaricate.

*l, OALbTH.

4 Make me know thy ways, Jehovah !
and teach me tofollozu thy paths.

n. HE.

5 Dire6k me to thy truth, and teach mq i
for thou art the God of my falvatioa.—

1. VAU.

6 And to thee I daily look up,

4. becaufe of thy goodnefs, Jehovah ! I


7 Remember, Jehovah ! thy tender mercies,
and thy kindnefles of former days.

n. HETH.

8 The fins and crimes of my youth remember not ;
remember me, according to thine own bounty 1

to, TETH.

9 Bountiful and righteous is Jehovah :
therefore he (howeth finners the right track.

\ JOD.

10 The meek he direAeth to juftice j
to the meek he pointeth out his way.


11 All the paths of Jehovah are mercy and truth,
to thofe who obferve his precepts and tedimonies^


1% For the fake of thine own name, Jehovah !

pardon mine iniquity although great it is.

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Who is the man that revereth Jehovah ? 15

to him he will (how the moft eligible way,

3. NUN.

That man (hall enjoy profperity ; 14

and his feed fhall inherit the land,


The fecret of Je h o v A h is for thofe who revere him } 15
and to them he maketh known his covenant.

i^. AIN.

Mine eyes are ever diredled to Jehovah, 16

becaufe out of the fnare he can draw my feet

&. FHE.

Regard me, and have compaffion on me j 17

for defolate and miferable am I.


The forrows of mine heart are incrcafed : 18

bring me out of my perplexities.

. , p. KOPH.

Meet my affliftions and my fufferings j 19

and pardon all my tranfgreffions. '

1. RESH.

See, how mine enemies multiply: ^®

and hate me with hate outrageous. ,

m> 8H1N.

Preferve my life, and deliver me : Ji i

let me not be confounded, fince in thee I truft.


May integrity and juftice proteA me j 2Z

fince on thee I depend, Jehovah.

O God ! redeem Ifrael . . ^

from all his diftrefles.

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xxr^-^xxru ths book of psalms. 39

Vcr. I, My God, Thefe words, in the prefent Ileb. text have been
disjointed from ver. i . and begin ver. 4. which deftroys the alphabetic
arrangement. This is not all: feveral words have been drc^ after Afy
God: and I can fee nothing fo probable as t\it woMs wHith I have
fapplied in Italic^, from pialm 86. 2, which pfahn refcmbles thii lb
very much, that the one feems to be modelled on the other.— Ver. 6.
Here again, a letter of the firft comma has been dropt; and the whole
fecond comma has been tranfpofed to the end of ver. 7. This 1 have
redored to its proper place, and fupplied the letter wanting, repre-
(ented in my verfion by And» — ^Ver. 19. This vcrfe in the pre&m Heb.
begins not with a kopb^ but with a refi>^ which \t the }etter of the
following verfe. Another word therefore muft be ibught to re£lify the
miftake : and various fubftitutes have been thought of. Sonie think
the word or words wanting Ibould be Cut Jhort^ ottier$ prefer Draw
near, I am clearly of opinion, with Michaelis, that tjie word Waiitirtg
is Meet. " Meet my afiiftions, &c.** in the fame fcnfe as we fay /•
meet one*s wi/bes^ defires^ &c. — Ver. 23. This is an extra verfe j and
may have been added by fomc tranfcriber.


I see no reason to douht of ibis psalm having been composed fy
Dav'td^ in distress; thai is, during the rebellion of Ahbalom, Sec
^er. 7. and 8.


JUDGE thou my caufe, Jehovah !
for in mine innocence I have walked :
fince I truft in Jehovah ! I fhall not totter.
% Search me, Jehovah ! and bring me to the teft;

explore my reins and mine heart :

3 For thy bounty hath ever been before mine eyes,
and according to thy truth I have walked.

4 I have never fat down with faithlefs men,
Bdi* affociated with hypocrites.

5 I hate the c6mpany o£the malevolent;


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with the wicked I never fit down.

I wafh mine h^ds in innocence^ 6

when I approach thine altar, Jehovah !

to make my voice be heard in thy praife, 7

and to recount all thy wondrous works.

I love, Jehovah ! the houfe where thou dwelled 5 8

and the place of the tabernacle of thy glory.

Aggregate not my foul with finners, 9

nor my life with fanguinary men :

who harbour malicious deiigns ; 10

while their right hand is full of bribes.

But, as I walk in mine innocence, ii

redeem me and have mercy on me.

When my fool fhall (land on even ground ; i^

^ will, in the affemblies, blefs Jehovah !


Ver. 3. Tby bounty baib enjcrbeen before mine eyes, &c. The meaning
is, that he has made God's goodnefs and truth the model of his own.—
Ver. II. When my foot Jball fland on even ground, i. e. when I ihall be
fielivered out of my prefent fituation, and be again reftored tq a date
of fecurity. Some modem tranilators par^phrafe thus : / now perceive
that I Jball befaved.


Of the same stamp with the preceding one j and most prghahJy
iomposed on the same occasion,


JEHOVAH is my light, and my falvation :
whom then {hall I fear ?
Jehovah is the fafeguard of my life :
whom then (hall I dread?

When to devour my flefli the malevolent advanced— %
tbofe who perfecuted me, and were mine enepiie? 5

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they themfelves ftumbled, and fell back I

3 Should an hoft encamp about me,
mine heart would not be afraid :
fhould war be waged againft me,
even then would I be confident.

4 One thing I a(k of Jehovah,
and this I eameftly requeft ;
that I may dwell by the houfe of Jehovah,
all the days of my life :

to contemplate the beauty of Je h o v A h, *

and in his palace fearch for a place :

5 where, in a covert, he may hide me in the evil day ;
may hide me in his interior tabernacle;
and place me in perfeft fecurity.

6 Even now, he may exalt mine head
above all my furrounding enemies,
that I may offer, at his tabernacle,
facrifices of praife ;

and fing and pfalmodize to Jehovah.

7 Liften, Jehovah ! to my voice :
when I cry, have pity and anfwer me.

8 To thee mine heart fpeaketh : y Ui^ Lj ^ U4 c^w^^'
. my looks thy looks befeech : i 6 ;-t^ ^ -^^^^/^

9 hide not, Jehovah ! from me thy face :
fhun not, in ire, thy fervant :

thou art my refuge, abandon me not ;
nor forfake me, O God of my falvation !

I o Though my father and mother fhould forfake me,

let Jehovah take me up.

II Teach me, Jehovah ! thy way;
and guide me in the right path ;
on account of mine enemies :

I a to the will of mine enemies deliver me not.

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When falfe witnefles rife up agamft me>
and iniquity layeth for me fnares :-
I think I fhall no more fee 12

Jehovah's favour in the land of the living.

Look up to Jehovah : 14

be firm, and courageous ;
and look up to Jehovah.

Ver. *. When to devour my /</&, exaggcratively, as when wc fay be
would eat me up. He feems here to allude to a prior period, when he
was perfecuted by Saul.— Ver. t^. And place me in perfea Security. Lit.
And exalt me on a rock: but ther? wai no rock in the (anauary 5 and
this is a mere metaphor, which I thought I might render equivalent-
ly.— Ver. 12. In this and the following verfe there is fome confufion in
the original. The words are badly divided, and one word evidently
corrupted. The corruption, however, is readily removed by the
change of a fingle letter. On this change I have formed my verfionj
but am not quite fure that I have given the true meaning. To me the
meaning feems to be, that when the pfalmift confiders;he falfe tefti-
mony that is brought againfthim, and the fnares that are laid for him,
he has little hope of being again reftored to temporal profperity ; but
he inftantly checks that defponding thought, and encourages himfelf
to " look up to Jehovah."


A pathetic prayer for himself and the people of hraeU -


TO thee> Jehovah, my rock ! I cry !
be not jthou deaf to my call :
left if thou be filent, in my regard,
I become like thofe who go down to the pit.
Hear my fupplications,, when X.6 thee I cry : %

when mine hands I raife toward thy fanfl:uary.

Rank me not with the wicked and iniquitous \ 3

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who fp«ak peaceably to their neighbours,
.. whifetnifchief is in their hearts, *

4 '^ 'Repfiy fuch, according to their deeds,

, and according \o their evil^ifpofitions : •
according to the works of their hands repay them,
recompenfe them according to their deferts.

5 Since they mind not the deeds of Jbhov ah,
nor care for the work of his hands :

he will overthrow, but never re-eftablifli them«

6 Bleffed be Jehovah ;
who heareth my fupplications.

7 Jehovah is my ftrength, and my (hield:
in him mine heart confideth.

When I am helped by him my heart cxulteth 5
and with my fongs him I celebrate.

8 Jehovah is the ftrength of his people ;
and the fafc-guard of his anointed is he.

9 Save thy people ; and blefs thine inheritance j
and feed them, and exalt them for ever.

Vcr. 8. There is a corruption here in the original, which runs thus :
Jebovab is their Jhengtb ; followed by our Englifli tranflators : but all
the antients, fave Chald., read otherwife ; agreeably to my verAon :
the ftrength of bis people. The addition of a fmgle letter, which was
eaialy dropt out of the text, makes this difference.


This psalm contains a beautiful description of an eastern tbun*
der storm. By Grotius it is thought to have been composed after
the defeat of the Syrians^ 2 Sam. 8. 5.


I GIVE to Jehovah, ye great ones !

Give to Jehovah glory and power :

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To Jehovah give the glory due toT his n^me : a

and worihip him with holy dedbrum.

The voice of Jehovah, upon the waters ! , ' 3
the God of glory thundereth I - % ,

Jehovah on the great waters !

The voice of Jehovah is full of power! * 4

The voice of Jehovah is full of majefty !
The voice of Jehovah (bivers the cedars ! 5

Jehovah (hivers the cedars of Lebanon!
maketh Lebanon fkip like a calf; 6

and Sirion like a young buffalo !

The voice of Jehovah fcattereth lightnings ! 7

The voice of Jehovah fliaketh the wildemefs : 8

the wildemefs of Kade(h Jehovah (haketh !
The voice of Jehovah (haketh the oaks, 9

and bareth the trees of the foreft :
while, in his palace, every thing fpeaketh his glory. 10
Above the ftorm Jehovah fitteth;
and fitteth king for ever.

May Jehovah give ftrength to his people : it

may Jehovah blefs his people with profperity.


Ver. 3. Tl^if voice of Jehovah upon the waters. He alludes to the great
or Mediterranean fea, whence the ftorm is fuppofed to proceed.—
Ver. 6. Maketh Lebanon Jkip^ &c. i. e. maketh the trees on it {hake and
bound. Sirion is the fame witli Hermon. — Ver. 9. Shaketh the oaks.
The common verfion is, maketh the binds to calve : but I am per-
fuaded that this cannot be the meaning; nor have I any doubt of
cither the oak or fome other tree being the proper rendering, as I fhall
clfewhere endeavour to prove. Indeed, any other verfion deftroys the
harmony of the pfalm, and the parallelifm of the fentence.— Ver. lo.
Whi/e in his own palace ^ &c. i. e. the heavens ^ above the clouds and
ftorms, where he refideth in pure majefty, and reigneth as king for ever.
This I take to be the true meaning of the text, which has been much
mifunderftood, and vaiioufty rendered.

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i a psalm-song at the dedication op da-
vid's house.

a I WILL extol thee, Jehovah, becaufe thou

haft exahed me ;
and haft not fufFered my foes to rejoice over me,

3 Jehovah ! my God ! to thee I cried :

and thou, Jehovah ! reftoredft me to health,

4 From Hades thou broughteft back my foul ;
prefervcdft me from defcending into the pit*

5 Sing to Jehovah, ye his pious ones;
and commemorate, with prawe, his holinefs.

6 For, although in his frown there is rebuke,
there is life in his favour :

in the evening there may be forrow 5
but joy in the morning.

7 In my profperity, indeed, I thought
I (hould never be fliaken :

8 fo firmly hadft thou, Jehovah !
been pleafed to eftablifli my mountain.

Thou withdreweft thy countenance —
I was fuddenly difmayed 1

9 Thee, Jehovah ! I iben invoked 5
to Jehovah I made fupplication :

10 ** What gain, /aid J, from my blood,

*^ when I (hall have gone down to the pit ?

*^ will duft thee praife i will it preach thy truth ?

11 " Hear, Jehovah ! and pity me:
^^ Jehovah ! be thou mine helper.'*

12, Thou turnedft my mourning into mirth j
Thou ftrippedft me of my fack-cloth ;
and clothedft me with a robe of joy !

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Therefore I will praife thee, my glory ! 13

nor will I ever be filent in thj praife :

Thee, Jbhotah ! my God ! I will praife for ever.

Vcr. 8. Afy mountain. He alludes to Mount Zion ) the ^/a/Z', as it
were, on which his kingdom Teemed (b firmly to be fixed, that there
was no danger of an overthrow. The Greek interpreters read another
word, the Englifh of which is honour i as if the pfaimift had faid, tbou
badft fo firmly eftMiJbed mine honour : and this reading is preferred
by fomc late tranflators. The other I think more poetical and ex-
preflive.— Ver. 13. I will praife tha, my glcry I The prefcnt Hebrew
runs thus : Glory wilt praife tbee^ and will not be Ji lent. But the
Syriac tranilator read both verbs in the firft perfoto ^ and I have no
doubt of this being the original lection.


This psalm b generally thought to have been composed during
SauPt persecution*


IN thee, Jehovah 1 I put my truftj 2

let me never be confounded :
refcue me for thy juftice*9 fake.

Lend me thj^e ear — fpeedily refcue me— 3

be to me a tower of ftrength—
a fortrefs for my prefervation :

for my rock and fortrefs art Thou ! 4

For thy name's fake, lead and direft me :
draw me out of the fnare, my foes have laid for me^ 5
for thou, Jehovah I art my ftrength.
To thee I recommend my life : 6

redeem me, Jehovah ! God of truth !

Thou hateft theworfhippers of idols: 7

but I in Jehovah put my truft. 8

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I will exult and rejoice in thy goodnefs—
when thou baft feen mine affli£tion^
adverted to the diftrefs of my foul,

9 refcued me from the hand of mine enemy,
and fet my feet in a freer fpace.

10 Pity me, Jehovah ! for in diftrefs I am :
Mine eye, my foul, and my body

are wafted with vexation !

1 1 My life is confumed with forrow>
and my years with fighing !

My vigour is exhaufted by affli6lion,
and my bones are corroded with grief!
IZ Of all my foes I am the reproach ;
to my neighbours a burthen,
to mine acquaintance a dread !
They, who fee me abroad, fliun me ;

13 as one dead I am forgotten :
I am out of remembrance, .
like a veiTel that has been loft.

14 When I hear the reproaches of the many,
terror encompaffeth me on every fide ;
while againft me they confult together ;
and lay plots to take away my life !

15 Yet in thee, Jehovah ! I confide :
I fay : ^^ My God thou art :

16 '^ My fate is in thine hands :

*' Refcue me from the power of my foes and per-
** fecutors.

17 ^^ Make thy countenance to fliine on thy fervant :
^' Save me, Jehovah ! for thy goodnefs' fake ;

18 *^ let me not be confounded, fince thee I invoke.
^' Be the wicked confounded,

'* and drop filently down to Hades !

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** dumb be the lips of falfehood — 15

*^ that fpeak harflily againft the innocent^
*^ with haughtinefs and contempt/'

How many, f Jehovah ! are the good things 20

which thou referveft for thofe who revere thee

haft prepared for thofe who make thee their refuge,

in defpite of the fons of man !

In the covert of thine own countenance thou at

hideft them,
from the vexatious perfecutions of man.
Thou hideft me, in thine inmoft fan£kuary,
from contentious detrafting tongues.

Bleffed be Jehovah ; who to me hath fhown aa

fuch wonderful favour, in a fortified city.
In my conftemation, I had faid : 23

*^ I am cut off from thy regard !*'
But thou heardeft my fupplication,
when to thee I cried !

Love Jehovah, all ye his pious ones t 24.

The faithful Jehovah protefleth :
but repayeth with ufury the infolent.

Be conftant and courageous, 35

all ye who truft in Jehovah !


Although this pfalm is not hard to be underftood by the Hebrew
fcholar, many pafTages are not eafily rendered into any modern tongue.
I have laboured to make them intelligible, without much deviation
from the letter : yet a few explanatory notes may be not unneceflary.
Vcr. 9. Kefcued me from the band of mine enemy. Lit. ** haft not fliut
me up in the hand of mine enemy :" but as negative propofitions in
Hebrew are often equivalent in fenfe to oppofite pofiiives, J deemed it
better to ufe an equivalent, as more agreeable to what precedes and fol-
lows.— Ver. 12. Nothing could better paint the diftrefsful fituation of
David, than the emphatic terms which he ufesin this and the twofol-

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lowing verfcs.-r-Vcr. 10. The word Jebovab is authorifed by Sep.
Arab, and one MS. — Ver. 21. Tbou hidefl me in thine inmofl fanQuoay.
This is to be confidered as a mere metaphor 5 allufivc, however, to^he
inner part, or Holy of Holies, of the real tabernacle.— Ver. %%, In a
fortified city. The original here has been fuppofed by Houbigant, and
others, to be corrupted : but I fee no reafon for fuch a fuppofition.
The words refer, I think, to the city of ZikJag, which was by Achilh
aifigned to David, and where he was no more molefted by Saul.


Thh psalm seenu to have been composed after David! s repeni*
ance for his adultery with Uriah's wfe^ and the consequent mur*
derof Uriah, — It is the second of the psalms called Penitential.
The title is:


HAPPY is he—
whofe tranfgreffion is pardoned, and fin forgiven.
% Happy is the man-
to whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity ;
and whofe foul is void of deceit.

3 While I was deaf /o remorfe^ my bones were wafted
from my roaring all the day long !

4 for day and night thine hand aggrieved me;
my moifture was turned into fummer-drought.

5 My fin, at lengthy to thee I confefled ;
mine iniquity I ftrove not to conceal,

I faid : ^« To Jehovah I will own my trefpafles :*^
and Jlraight thou remittedft the guilt of my fUi.

6 Whofoever (hall pioufly thus to thee pray,
(at a feafou when favour may yet be found)
him thegreateft flood of waters (hall not reach.

7 Thou art my refuge — from trouble thou haft freed

me— •
and given me caufe for fongs of deliverance.

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" I myfelf {faidjl tbou) will inflruft thee, 8

*^ and (how thee the way thou fhouldft go :
^* Ihine eye on thee Iwill keep.

*' That thou be not like a horfe — like a mule— 9

^^ which, untaught to the bridle and rein,
^ will not come near one, to be jaw-bound."

Many are the forrows of the wicked : 10

but mercy will attend him who trufteth in Jehovah.
In Jehovah be glad and rejoice, ye juft^ ii

and fliout for joy, all ye upright in heart.

NOTES. -^j

Ver. 6. The greatrjl flood of water s^ i* c. the greateft calamities; a
very common Hebrew metaphor.^-Ver. 9. The common rendering of
this verlc is to me uninteltigible; yet the meaning is obvious; nor i»
there any need for correcting the text as it now (lands. The bridles
of that age were not Uke our bridles : they had neither bit nor chain.
They were forts of halters, or head-ftalls, which are ftill ufed as bri*
dies in fome parts of this ifland. The metaphor is natural and ex*
preflive — ^Ver. 11. This verfe is by fome thought to belong to die next
pfalm, and is there placed by Green and Street.


In the Hebrew copy this psalm has no title, but in Sep. Syn
and Fulg, it is sailed


REJOICE, yejuft, in Jehovah :
praife becometh the righteous.

Praife Jehovah ^n the harp ; a

fing to him with the ten-ftringed pfaltery.
Sing to him a new fong : 3

ftrike up a tuneful melody.

For upright is the word of Jehovah ; 4

and faithful are all his works.

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5 He loveth juftice and equity :

of the goodiiefs of Jehovah the earth is full.

6 By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made ; v
and all their hofts by the breath of his mouth.

7 The waters of the fea he collefted, as in a bottle :
in ftore-houfes he depofited the depths.

8 Let the whole earth revere Jehovah !
fear him, all the inhabitants of the globe !

9 For he fpoke — and it was made !

he commanded — and it arofe into exiftence.

10 Jehovah fruftrateth the purpofes of nations ;
difappointeth the defigns of peoples.

11 The purpofe of Jehovah ftandeth for ever:

the defigns of his heart from generation to generation*
JZ Happy the nation whofe God is Jehovah ;
the people, he hath chofen for his heritage.

13 From the heavens Jehovah looketh down;
beholdeth all the children of man :

14 from the place of his own refidence,
vicweth all the inhabitants of the globe :

J 5 direfting the bent of every heart ;
and attending to all their operations.

16 No king is faved by a numerous hoft^
nor hero by greatnefs of might :

17 impotent is the fteed to fave bis rider i
and, with all his ftrength, unable to refcue.

18 Lo ! the eye of Jehovah is on thofe who fear

on thofe who truft to his benevolence;

19 to fecure their lives from death,
and preferve them even in a famine.

%o Our foul's hope is in Jehovah :
our help and our fhield is he.
£ a

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Therefore, in him our heart rejoiceth ; a I

therefore, in his holy name we tmft.

Upon u8^ Jehovah ! be thy bounty, 2%

according as we truft in thee.

Vcr. 7. Js in a botfte. The prefcnt Hcb. has a^ in a heap* But

1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Online LibraryAlexander GeddesA new translation of the book of psalms: from the original Hebrew; with ... → online text (page 4 of 17)