Rosh Hashana - "For God is king of all the earth" – Tehilim 47 – The Psalm of Shofar Blowing

  • Rav Elchanan Samet
 
1: For the Leader; a Psalm for the sons of Korach.
 
2: O clap your hands, all you peoples/ shout to God with the voice of triumph.
3: For the Lord is most high, awful/ a great King over all the earth.
4: He subdues peoples under us/ and nations under our feet.
5: He chooses our inheritance for us/ the pride of Yaakov. Sela.
6: God is gone up amid shouting/ the Lord amid the sound of the horn.

7: Sing praises to God, sing praises/ sing praises to our King, sing praises.
8: For God is the King of all the earth/ sing you praises. Maskil.
9: God reigns over the nations/ God sits upon His holy throne.
 
10: The princes of the peoples are gathered together/ the people of the God of Avraham;
 
for to God belong the shields of the earth;
He is greatly exalted.
 
According to the prevailing custom, Tehilim 47 is recited prior to blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashana. The psalm is recited by the congregation seven consecutive times and with great fervor. The manifest rationale for this practice seems to be what is stated in verse 6:
 
God is gone up amid shouting, the Lord amid the sound of the horn [shofar].[1]
 
In tractate Soferim (19:2), in the section that notes the special psalms that are recited as "the psalm of the day" on special days of the year, it is stated: "On Rosh Hashana, one recites: 'O clap your hands, all you peoples.'" This practice views our psalm as "the psalm of the day" that is appropriate for Rosh Hashana as a whole. In this study we will try to clarify the meaning of the entire psalm, and in that way clarify how it accords with the main contents of Rosh Hashana as they find expression in our prayers.
 
I. The way to distinguish between the various parts of the psalm
 
To clarify the meaning of a psalm in the book of Tehilim, it does not suffice to understand the meaning of its words and verses in themselves. Understanding the words and verses is indeed necessary as a foundation for the stage that follows – revealing the structure of the psalm. Perhaps this stage should be defined differently: Revealing the plan of the psalm, on the basis of which its words and verses were written. Only by seeing the psalm as a whole, with its various parts and the way that they are connected to each other to form a single entity – can we clarify its meaning. Understanding the meaning of the entire psalm is likely then to influence our interpretation of various details in it. It turns out then that the interpretation of the psalm's words and verses, and the revelation of the psalm's structure, are two processes that influence each other, in the sense of "tongs that are made with tongs" [see Avot 5:6].
 
Since the vast majority of the words in our psalm are readily understandable, we will for now skip the stage of verbal interpretation, and move on directly to an attempt to understand the structure of the psalm. After we have clarified the various parts of which our psalm is comprised, and discussed each part in itself, we will complete the exegetical discussion, which will be carried out in light of the structure of the psalm and the development between its parts.
 
How, then, are we to reveal the structure of our psalm?
 
Several modern commentators, who dealt with the issue of the psalm's structure in their commentaries, adopted the following approach: They used two words found in our psalm, which, in their opinion, signify a break or conclusion. Verse 5 ends with the word "sela," and verse 8 ends with the word "maskil." These words, when they appear in a psalm in Tehilim, do not seem to be part of the psalm's content, but rather they serve as instructions regarding the way the psalm is to be performed by the singers. We do not know the precise meaning of these and similar terms in the book of Tehilim.[2] This hypothesis regarding the role of these words sees their appearance as signifying a break, and thus certain commentators use them as a convenient tool for dividing a psalm into its constituent parts.
 
Accordingly, some commentators divide our psalm into three parts (some divide it into two parts by way of one of these two words):[3] Verses 2-5 until the word sela; verses 6-8 until the word maskil; and verses 9-10. In our opinion, this division does not help us understand the structure of the psalm and thus it does not clarify its meaning. This is a technical division that is not based on the character of the psalm – neither on its content, nor on its style.
 
We will follow a path different from the path of these commentators, and at the initial stage we will ignore the role of the words sela and maskil in our psalm. How then are we to reveal the boundaries of each part of the psalm?
 
One way to expose the structure of many psalms in the book of Tehilim is by finding some regular pattern that is repeated over the course of the psalm. Sometimes this repetition is word for word, and then it is easy to identify.[4] Sometimes, however, there is no word for word repetition, but rather a repetition of a combination of statements similar in meaning that appear in the psalm in a fixed order.[5] When we recognize the repetition of such a pattern in a psalm in Tehilim, we can assume that we have found the key to dividing the psalm and understanding its structure.
 
II. The recurring pattern in our psalm
 
Let us now read the psalm, paying special attention to what was stated at the end of the previous section, and consider the role of each verse in the context in which it is placed:
 
In verse 2 an appeal is made to "all you peoples," to shout to God, without stating who is making that appeal.[6] Verse 3 opens with the word ki, "for," and it apparently comes to justify the appeal in the previous verse. Indeed, the content of this verse is very well suited to serve as a rationale for that appeal: God is "a great king over all the earth," and it is fitting, therefore, that all nations should shout in His honor.
 
Until where does this rationale continue? The answer seems to be until verse 5: "He chooses our inheritance for us,' for verses 4-5 continue the description of the greatness of God that began in verse 3.
 
In these verses, 4-5, it is revealed retroactively who is the speaker in the psalm, the one who appeals to "all you peoples" in verse 2. The speaker is the people of Israel who speak of themselves in the first person plural: "under us," "under our feet," "He chooses our inheritance for us."[7]
 
At the end of verse 5 we come to the break word, sela, which is followed by verse 6: "God is gone up amid shouting, the Lord amid the sound of the horn."
 
Does verse 6 begin a new idea, or is it perhaps connected to the previous verses? One word indicates verse 6's connection to verse 2, in which it is stated: "shout to God": "God is gone up amid shouting" – amid the shouting of all the peoples. This explains the past tense of verse 6 – ala [lit., "went up": the verse contains a dramatic account of an event that took place before our eyes, as it were.
 
Now we can guess the meaning of the word sela at the end of verse 5: This is indeed a word denoting a break, which alludes to the need for filling in between the end of verse 5 and the beginning of verse 6. In this space, the reader or listener is supposed to imagine the response of the peoples to Israel's appeal to them, and only then to continue on to the result of this response that is described in verse 6: "God is gone up…". If we are correct in our understanding, the word sela does not prove the end of a matter; on the contrary, its role is to join verses 2-5 to verse 6.
 
Let us continue with our reading of the psalm: In verse 7 we find an additional appeal to those present to sing praises to God. Who are these people, and who is appealing to them?  Now we have no difficulty with this: The appeal is made to "all the peoples" mentioned in verse 2, and the party making the appeal is once again the people of Israel who speak for themselves in first person plural. This last matter is alluded to this time in the body of the appeal to all the nations: "Sing praises to our king, sing praises."
 
What is common to the appeal in verse 2 and that in verse 7 is that the nations are expected to make various different sounds in honor of God, only that the sounds are different from each other: Verse 2 speaks of a clap of hands, and of shouting to God with the voice of triumph, whereas verse 7 speaks of singing.
 
Verse 8 opens with the word ki, "for," and thus it also contains a rationale for the appeal made in the previous verse. This rationale is very similar to the one in verse 3, and contains no new word that was not already mentioned in that verse:
 
3: For the Lord is … a great king over all the earth
8: For God is the king of all the earth
 
The rationale here is exceedingly brief: Not only is verse 8 shorter than its parallel – verse 3 – by four words, but verses 4-5 in the first rationale have no parallel in the second rationale.[8]
 
Now, at the end of verse 8, we come to the word denoting a break, "maskil," which is followed by verse 9, in which it is stated:
 
God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne.
 
This verse is formulated in the past tense [malakh, lit., reigned; yashav, lit., sat], just as its parallel in verse 6, and it too describes God's action, which is apparently a result of the peoples' response to our appeal in verse 7: "Sing praise to God, sing praises." Because of that response, "God reigns over the nations," by way of the fact that He "sits upon His holy throne."
 
The connection between verse 9 and its parallel verse 6 retroactively reveals to where "God is gone up" in verse 6: He is gone up to sit on His holy throne and reign over the nations who shout and sing praises to Him.
 
It stands to reason that the role of the word maskil at the end of verse 8 is similar to the role of the word sela at the end of verse 5: It serves as a break word that allows us to mentally fill in the response of the nations to our appeal to them – their praising of God, "King of all the earth," and thus it connects verses 7-8 to verse 9.
 
Before us now stand two parts of the psalm with an impressive parallel between them: each of the two parts contains four elements that appear in the same order:
 
1. An appeal on the part of the people of Israel to the peoples to sound various voices in honor of God.
2. A rationale for this appeal (and here there is verbal similarity between the two rationales).
3. A word denoting a break – sela/maskil – which alludes to a need to fill in the response of the peoples.
4, The result of all this: God's action (described in the past tense) that stems from the people's response to Israel's appeal to them.  
 
III. Another repetition of this pattern with changes
 
The task of exposing the structure of the psalm has not yet been completed. The psalm concludes with verse 10, a twelve-word verse that is not included in the part of the psalm that precedes it. What then is the relationship between that verse and the preceding verses?
 
 
A careful examination of verse 10 reveals that the pattern that appeared already twice in the psalm appears a third time with changes.
 
The beginning of verse 10 describes the action of the peoples: "The princes [nedivei] of the peoples are gathered together." The leaders of the peoples (the word "nediv" in Scripture refers to a distinguished person[9]) assemble in honor of God, as will be explained later in our verse.
 
These words parallel then the appeals to the nations in verses 2 and 7, only that this time the people of Israel do not turn to the peoples, but rather they perform this act in honor of God on their own. There is no longer a need for Israel's commanding or urging the peoples to act in honor of God.
 
The words "the princes of the peoples" in verse 10 parallels the words "all the peoples" in verse 2 (and the words "all the peoples" are also the hidden subject of verse 7), only that in verse 10 the range of the active participants narrows from "all" the peoples to "the princes" of the peoples, for a reason that will be clarified later in our study.
 
Have the people of Israel disappeared from verse 10? Not necessarily. Several commentators maintain that "the people of the God of Avraham" refers to the people of Israel.[10] According to this interpretation, the two parts of the verse must be connected by way of the mental addition of a copulative vav or the word im, "with."[11] That is to say, the princes of the peoples are gathered together with the people of the God of Avraham, i.e., the people of Israel.[12]
 
According to this interpretation, the parallel between the beginning of verse 10 and verses 2 and 7 is strengthened: in all three verses, the peoples of the world and the people of Israel are present, only that in verse 10 the two sides are equal in their presence. The people of Israel no longer play a role in urging all the peoples to take action, and therefore they join the princes of the peoples who gather together on their own in honor of God. 
 
            Verse 10 continues:
 
For to God belong the shields of the earth
 
These words serve as the rationale for the gathering of the princes of the peoples together with the people of the God of Avraham described earlier. This rationale is verbally similar to its two predecessors in verses 3 and 8: It too opens with the word ki, "for," and contains the words "God" and "earth," and adds only the word "shields."
 
Twice in the book of Tehilim the word "shield" parallels the king:
 
84:10: Behold, O God our shield/ and look upon the face of Your anointed.
89:19: For of the Lord is our shield; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
 
This designation of the king stems from the king's role to protect his people.[13] 
 
In our psalm as well, "the shields of the earth" are "the kings of the earth," and it appears that they are "the princes of the peoples" mentioned in the beginning of the verse.
 
Why then does the verse not refer to them as "the kings of the peoples" or "the kings of the earth"? It seems that the designation "king" in our psalm belongs exclusively to God. 
 
Despite the verbal similarity between the rationale in verse 10 and the two previous rationales (in verses 3 and 8), there is an essential difference between them, which follows from the difference between the first element in verse 10 and its two parallels (in verses 2 and 7): The rationales in the first two parts of the psalm are intended to convince the peoples to act in honor of God. Therefore they are sounded by Israel as a continuation of their appeal to the peoples. The rationale in verse 10, on the other hand, is sounded by the verse in order to explain the action of "the princes of the peoples" which already took place, seeing that they have already "gathered together." If so, this rationale presents the consciousness of these princes of the peoples, because of which they gathered together in honor of God. What is this consciousness? It is their sense of belonging to God. This is the meaning of the construct: "For to God belong the shields of the earth" – the shields of the earth are God's, they feel as if they belong to Him, and they are loyal to Him, and therefore they have gathered together in his honor.
           
Immediately following the description of the assembly of the princes of the peoples and its rationale, comes the description of the result regarding God,[14] which is described in the closing words of the psalm:
 
He is greatly exalted.
 
Here, too, as in verses 6 and 9, the verb referring to God – na'ala, is exalted – is in the past tense. But the past tense is used in verse 10 already at the beginning, in the description of the gathering of the princes of the peoples:  ne'esafu, are gathered. Verbs derived from the root ayin-lamed-heh are common to the component of the result both in our verse and in its parallel in verse 6: "God is gone up [ala]," only that in our verse the verb appears in the nif'al conjugation. At this point there is no need for the act of going up to the throne (as in the first part) or sitting on it (as in the second part); "He is highly exalted" – God is highly exalted when the princes of the peoples gather in His honor together with the people of the God of Avraham out of a sense of belonging to Him.
 
It turns out that verse 10 serves as the third part of our psalm. The pattern we found in the first two parts is repeated in the third part, albeit with significant differences, which undoubtedly express the progress of the process described in the psalm. These are the components that appear in the third part:
 
1. A description of the gathering of the princes of the peoples together with Israel in honor of God.
2. The rationale for this gathering in the consciousness of the assembled that they belong to God.
3. The result of the assembly in relation to God: "He is highly exalted."
 
IV. Presentation of the structure of the psalm
 
Here is the place to present the psalm with its three parts – its three stanzas – paralleling each other:
 
 
  1. For the Leader; a Psalm for the sons of Korach.
I
2: O clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with the voice of triumph.
II
7: Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
III
10: The princes of the peoples are gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham;
 
3: For
the Lord is most high, awful;
a great King over all the earth.
4: He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
5: He chooses our inheritance for us, the pride of Yaakov whom He loves. Sela.
8: For
God is the King of all the earth; sing you praises.
Maskil.
for
to God belong the shields of the earth;
6: God is gone up amid shouting, the Lord amid the sound of the horn.
9: God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne.
He is greatly exalted.
 
 
The presentation of the structure of the psalm visually illustrates the gradual shortening of its parts.[15] The relative shortening of the second stanza in relation to the first stanza is almost identical to that of the third stanza in relation to the second.[16] This finding further strengthens our description of the deliberate structure of the psalm as we have uncovered it.
 
There are three-part literary units in the Bible the length of whose parts varies with a fixed ratio. An example of this phenomenon (which is the opposite of our psalm in terms of the order of its components) is the priestly blessing (Bemidbar 6:24-26).
 
In poetry, shortening is often used for emphasis, and it seems that this is the case in our psalm. It seems that the progress in our psalm from one part to the next is directly proportional to the shortening of the parts.
 
Later in our study of the psalm we will reexamine each stanza in order to clarify how the idea of the psalm progresses from one stanza to the next. To do so, however, we must first proceed to the next section, in which we will clarify the central idea of the psalm.
 
V.  The comparison of the coronation of God in our psalm to the coronation of a king of flesh and blood
 
As will become clear later in this section and in those that follow, the theme of our psalm is the coronation of God by all the peoples.[17] The description of God as "King of all the earth" appears in the rationale both in the first part and in the second part of the psalm. In the second part God is further referred to as "our King" (verse 7) – the king of Israel. In the result component of the second part, in verse 9, God's action after the peoples sing praises in His honor is described as: "God reigns over the nations."'
 
The image of God as King of all the earth is one of the most common images of god in the books of the Prophets and the Writings, and it is also common in the liturgy and in Jewish religious thought. This image is based on the familiar hierarchy in human society, in which the king stands at the head of the people and the state, and is capable of acting among them as he pleases, and nobody can tell him what to do. A good king uses his power for the benefit of his people and country, and this is also how God behaves in relation to His world.[18]
 
In light of God's image as the king, it stands to reasons that the acceptance of His kingdom by human beings would be likened to the coronation ceremony of a human king. How did such a ceremony take place in Israel in Biblical times?
 
There are only a few accounts of royal coronations in the Bible, for such ceremonies took place (or at least were described) only in special situations, e.g., when the monarchy of the king in question was challenged.[19]
 
The most detailed description in the Bible of a coronation ceremony is that of Shelomo, whose coronation was meant to overcome the attempt to seize the monarchy on the part of Adoniyahu and his men (I Melakhim 1). The description of Shelomo's coronation procedure appears three times in the first chapter of I Melakhim: the first time in David's command to Tzadok the priest, Natan the prophet and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada to crown Shelomo as king (verses 33-35); the second time in the account of the fulfillment of this command (verses 38-40); and the third time in the after-the-fact account of the event by Yonatan the son of Evyatar to Adoniyahu and his men (verses 43-48). These accounts are, of course, filled with repetitions, but in each of the three accounts we find an element in the coronation ceremony not found in the others.
 
In David's command we find five stages:       
 
1. Those loyal to David should cause Shelomo to ride upon David's mule, and bring him down to the Gichon (33).
2. Tzadok the priest and Natan the prophet should anoint him there as king over Israel (34).
3. "And blow you with the horn, and say: Long live king Shelomo" (34).
4.  "Then you shall come up after him" – return to the palace (35).
5.  "And he shall come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead" (35).
 
            In the account of the fulfillment of this command, a description is given of the first three stages in order in full correspondence (more or less) to David's command. However, the fourth stage in the fulfillment of the command is significantly different and much broader than the original command:
 
The command
The fulfillment
35: Then you shall come up[20] after him.
40: And all the people came up after him,
and the people piped with pipes,
and rejoiced with great joy,
so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
 
 
The reason for this difference lies in the fact that David could not command this spontaneous popular response, since it was not in his hands. This expansion indicates the enthusiastic consent of the people to Shelomo's coronation and their active participation in the coronation ceremony.
 
The fifth stage in David's command is not described in the account of its fulfillment because the expansion of the fourth stage of the fulfillment – the sounds of the people which were heard from afar – takes us already to Adoniyahu's camp:
 
41: And Adoniyahu and all the guests that were with him heard it… And when Yoav heard the sound of the horn, he said: What is this noise of the city being in an uproar?
 
The completion of the description of the fulfillment of David's command, and even more than what he commanded, we hear later from Yonatan the son of Evyatar, in his words to Adoniyahu and his men. There we find an account of the fulfillment of all five stages of David's command, the fourth stage being described in accordance with its earlier description:
 
48: … and they are come up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard.
 
Immediately afterwards an account is given of the fulfillment of the fifth stage, about which we have not yet read:
 
46: And also Shelomo sits on the throne of the kingdom. 
 
Yonatan reports also about a sixth stage in the coronation ceremony:
 
47: And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying: God make the name of Shelomo better than your name, and make his throne greater than your throne…[21]
 
It stands to reason that the stage of the blessings recited by the king's servants was ordinarily directed toward the new king himself, and it was only due to the special situation in our story, in which David was still alive, that the blessings are directed toward David. Even so, the content of the blessings relates, of course, to Shelomo.
 
We must now go through the three parts of our psalm, and clarify the degree of correspondence between the description of the coronation of God in the psalm and the account of the coronation of a human king in the Bible, as we find in the coronation of Shelomo and perhaps additional kings.
 
VI. The first stanza (2-6)
 
The appeal to all the peoples
 
Our psalm opens with an appeal to "all the peoples": "Tik'u kaf" (translated above as "clap your hands"). What does this mean?
 
Teki'at kaf has two meanings in Scripture: In Mishlei 6:1, it is stated:'
 
My son, if you are become surety for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands [takata kapekha] for a stranger…
 
According to the parallelism, teki'at kaf means serving as a guarantor for another person, obligating oneself for him.[22]
 
At the end of the book of Nachum, however, in a prophecy concerning the fall of the king of Ashur, the prophet says (3:19):
 
There is no assuaging of your hurt, your wound is grievous; all that hear the report of you clap the hands [tik'u kaf] over you; for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?
 
It stands to reason that here the meaning of the phrase is striking one hand against the other, clapping. The prophet describes how all those who hear about the fall of the king of Ashur receive the news with excitement and applause.
 
The second meaning seems to fit our psalm, for we find applause at a coronation ceremony in the account of the coronation of Yoash in II Melakhim 11:12:
 
Then he [Yehoyada] brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown and the insignia; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands [vayaku kaf], and said: Long live the king.
 
The parallelism in our verse also points to this meaning: "Tik'u kaf" parallels "shout [hari'u] to God with the voice of triumph," which indicates that the command relates to the sounding of different sounds in honor of God at the time of His coronation.
 
This teru'a which the peoples are commanded to sound might be with a shofar (as is described in verse 6: "God is gone up amid shouting [teru'a], the Lord amid the sound of the horn"), or with the mouth (as is alluded to in the end of the verse: "with the voice of triumph"), or with the two of them.
 
In any case, the first act in the coronation of God in which all the peoples are called to participate parallels the third stage in the coronation of Shelomo (I Melakhim 1:34): "And blow you with the horn, and say: Long live king Shelomo."  A similar stage is described in the coronation of Yoash (II Melakhim 11:12): "And they clapped their hands, and said: Long live the king." This stage in the coronation ceremony was performed (both with Shelomo and with Yoash) only after the act of anointing (and in the case of Yoash, added to the anointment was the placing upon him of the crown and the insignia). Why is there no description in our psalm of the previous stage – the stage of the anointment or placement of the crown?
 
It is possible that our psalm wants to avoid excessive anthropomorphism, but we prefer a different answer: God is not a new king, whose monarchy begins now! The appeal to the nations is to recognize the monarchy of God that already exists and to participate in the ceremony of renewing that monarchy, in which the king's subjects recognize his kingship.[23] This is stated explicitly in the psalm, in the rational given for the command directed toward all the peoples:
 
3: For the Lord is most high, awful; a great King over all the earth –
 
meaning: From time immemorial He is the King over all the earth. 
 
If so, what is the purpose of the coronation of God, which is now being renewed by all the peoples? We can learn the answer to this question from the words of the ancient and well-known piyyut, Adon Olam (the authorship of which is uncertain):
 
Eternal master, who reigned supreme,
Before all creation was drawn,
When it was finished according to his will,
Then "King" His name was proclaimed to be.
 
The rationale for the appeal
 
Is it appropriate to justify the appeal to "all the peoples" to shout in God's honor with the argument that "He subdues peoples under us" (we raised this question in note 7 above)? The answer to this question is that at the beginning of the coronation process described in the first part of the psalm this rationale is indeed necessary. The peoples do not yet recognize God's kingship over the world, and they must be convinced to recognize it. This persuasion is based on cultivating their sense of fear in His regard, and this finds expression already at the beginning of the rationale, in verse 3: "For the Lord is most high, awful." In the continuation of the verse it is stated that God is "a great King over all the earth." It is not stated that He is King of all the earth, but rather over all the earth. What this means is that He forces His kingship on all the earth and its inhabitants – whether or not they wish to accept it.
 
Verses 4-5 present two illustrations of what is stated in verse 3 regarding God's absolute control over all the earth, His control over human history. These examples are, of necessity, brought from the history of the people of Israel, for the people of Israel long ago recognized God's kingship and accepted it upon themselves, and now they call upon all the peoples that they too should recognize God's kingship and accept it upon themselves. Therefore, it is precisely the action of God among the people of Israel who recognize His kingdom, and especially that which relates to their relationships with the peoples who have not yet recognized it, that can teach those peoples about God's being "most high, awful, a great King over all the earth." God shines His face upon His servants who accept upon themselves the yoke of His kingdom, and sets under their feet those nations and peoples who have not accepted it upon themselves. God also chooses for His people – His servants who crown Him as king over them – their inheritance, Eretz Israel, which is called here "the pride of Yaakov," an inheritance that God loves, and therefore He gave it to His people.
 
"Then," when they see all this, "said they among the nations: The Lord has done great things with these" (Tehilim 126:2), and there will be fulfilled in them and in us the words of the prophet Zecharya:
 
8:20: Thus says the Lord of hosts: It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities; 
21: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying: Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will go also. 
22: Yea, many peoples and mighty nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the Lord.
23: Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.
 
All of this great movement of the people, who grasped the meaning of the rationale in verses 3-5 and undertook to clap their hands in honor of God and crown Him as king over them, is reduced in our psalm to the silent pause, indicated by the word sela.
 
The result
 
6: God is gone up amid shouting, the Lord amid the sound of the horn.
 
            Where did God go up to accompanied by the shouting and the sound of the horn of the peoples crowning Him as their king?
 
In order to answer this question, we must go back to the ceremony of Shelomo's coronation: After the third stage of his coronation, in which they blew the horn and called out: Long live king Shelomo, Shelomo went up from the Gichon, "and all the people came up after him." Where did Shelomo go up to? He ascended to the site of the royal throne, in order to sit upon it and begin his actual reign. But we have not yet reached that stage of the coronation ceremony in the first part of the psalm.
 
VII. The second stanza (7-9)
 
            We already saw in section II of our study that the same pattern appears in both the first and the second parts of the psalm. A fixed order of similar components appears in each of these parts of the psalm.
 
            However, the assumption that our psalm describes the ceremony of God's coronation does not easily fit into this repetition. A coronation ceremony is a procedure that constantly advances uninterruptedly toward its goal and strives to reach its climax, while our psalm is built on a pattern that repeats itself. In order to reconcile this apparent contradiction, we must demonstrate that in the repetition of the fixed pattern in the second stanza of the psalm there is progress toward the completion of the coronation process. 
 
The appeal to the peoples
 
In this stanza of our psalm, the appeal to the peoples, "Sing praises," is repeated five times, with no variation or addition (unlike the first stanza which mentions various terms of sound making). What is the difference between the sound of "clapping hands" and "shouting to God with the voice of triumph and the sound of the horn" and the sound of "singing praises"?
 
In modern Hebrew, the root zayin-mem-resh is used for vocal singing (with the exception of the modern term, tizmoret, which refers specifically to those who play musical instruments). There is, however, no basis for this in Biblical Hebrew. It suffices to mention verses such as: "O God, I will sing a new song to You, upon a psaltery of ten strings will I sing praises [azamera] to You" (Tehilim 144:9); "Let them praise His name in dance; let them sing praises [yezamru] to Him with the timbrel and harp." Zimra refers then to the playing of musical instruments, which might accompany vocal singing, but not necessarily.
 
However, while the clapping of hands and shouting (with the mouth or a horn) are sounds that express a wide range of emotions, such as joy, agreement, enthusiasm, and the like, zimra in the Bible always expresses feelings of praise and gratitude to God. This is evident from several verses in the book of Tehilim,[24] in which verbs derived from the root zayin-mem-reish parallel verbs which mean to thank and to praise:
 
7:18: I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness; and will sing praise [va-azamra] to the name of the Lord Most High. 
9:3: I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise [azamra] to Your name, O Most High:
18:50: Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and will sing praises [azamra] to Your name.
71:22: I also will give thanks to You with the psaltery, even to Your truth, O my God; I will sing praises [azamra] to You with the harp, O You Holy One of Israel.
92:2: It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises [u-lezamer] to Your name, O Most High.
146:2: I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises [azamra] to my God while I have my being.
 
And similarly Tehilim 30:5; 33:2; 57:10; 108:4; 138:1, and others.
 
If our distinction is correct, then the appeal to the peoples in the second stanza to sing praises to God – to thank and to praise Him – is on a higher level than the appeal in the first stanza to clap hands and shout to God with a voice of triumph.
 
What causes this development? It stems, of course, from the fact that the second stanza of the psalm comes after the end of the first stanza, or in other words, from the fact that in the second stanza we are at a more advanced stage in the ceremony of God's coronation.
 
In the beginning, the applause and shouts of the first stanza in the psalm accompanied the ceremony of renewing God's coronation – they served as a response to the king's crowning. But what do the sounds of singing praises (= praises, thanksgiving and joy) accompany? It may be suggested that they accompany the king's ascent to the place of his throne. This going up was described at the end of the first stanza (verse 6): "God is gone up amid shouting [= accompanied by the sound of shouting], the Lord [is gone up] amid the sound of the horn." Now, at the beginning of stanza II, the nations are called upon to accompany God's ascent to His throne with sounds of joy and praise, befitting the present stage of the coronation ceremony.
 
To which stage of Shelomo's coronation ceremony can this be compared? Of course, to the expanded fourth stage (as it is described in the execution, and not as commanded by David):
 
And all the people came up after him,
and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy,
so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
 
Using the terminology of our psalm, it may be said that the people accompanied Shelomo's ascent with "the singing of praises," only that the word zimra is never used in Biblical prose, and in all of its appearances in Scripture, it is always used in a religious context; one can mezamer, but exclusively to God.[25]
 
A similar stage of the coronation ceremony is found also in the coronation of Yoash (II Melakhim 10:12-14). After he is anointed and the crown and insignia are placed upon him, it is stated:
 
14: And she looked, and, behold, the king stood on the platform, as the manner was, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets…
 
The rationale
 
            The shortening of the rationale in this stanza of the psalm, in comparison to the rationale in the first stanza, stems from the fact that now there is no need to talk at length to the peoples: after all, they have already chosen to participate in the ceremony of God's coronation. They clapped hands and shouted to God at the beginning of the ceremony, and now they are called upon to accompany the king, as it were, as He goes up to sit on His throne. All they need now is a little encouragement from Israel to sing to God with joy and gratitude as they accompany the king.
 
            This situation finds expression also in the content of the rationale. It is true that the vocabulary of the rationale in the second stanza is taken from the rationale in verse 2, but it is precisely the verbal similarity between the two rationales that highlights the differences between them:
 
3: For the Lord is most high, awful; a great King over all the earth.
8: For God is the King of all the earth…
 
In the rationale in our stanza, the description of God as "most high, awful," and His description as King over all the earth, are missing. While the rationale in the first part of the psalm comes to cultivate the peoples' fear of God, the rationale in the second part gives no such indication. This is necessary: When one appeals to the peoples to sing to God with joy and praise, he assumes that they are equipped with the mental background to do so. Those who sing praises to God do this out of love and joy, and there is no need to cause them fear.
 
An even more striking difference between the two rationales is the lack of a national tone in the rationale found in the second stanza: it has no parallel to verses 4-5 in the first stanza. This absence stems from the same reason: it is unnecessary to emphasize Israel's ascendancy and rule over others. Such an emphasis in the first stanza was intended to frighten the peoples and bring them to recognize God's kingship over the entire earth. But once they recognize God's kingship, and even express this through their active participation in His coronation process, the gap between them and Israel narrows, and their partnership grows stronger.
 
This difference between the two rationales accounts for a phenomenon that seems to indicate a retreat in the second rationale in comparison to the first. Whereas in verse 3 mention is made of the Tetragrammaton: "For the Lord is most high," in verse 8 we find only the name Elokim: "For God is the King of all the earth."
 
The Tetragrammaton is the name of God in the mouths of Israel. The peoples in the Bible do not use that name. According to this, the meaning of mentioning the Tetragrammaton in verse 3 is as follows: "For the Lord – who is our God – is in fact a great King over all the earth, and it falls upon you as well to recognize His kingship." That is to say, the mention of the Tetragrammaton in the first rationale is part of the highlighting of the difference between Israel and the nations that characterizes that rationale. In the second rationale, however, it is no longer necessary to emphasize the difference between Israel and the peoples who already recognize God's kingship. On the contrary, it is necessary to emphasize what is common to the two of them, and therefore the people of Israel use the name Elokim that is common to them and to the peoples.
 
After all this, we should not exaggerate the blurring of the difference between Israel and the nations in the second part of the psalm; in the end it is Israel who urge the nations to sing praises to God, and they still have to justify this appeal to the nations, which implies that the matter is still not self-evident.
 
Israel's superiority over the nations finds a slight and almost imperceptible verbal expression, not in the rationale, but precisely in the appeal to the nations in verse 7:
 
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
 
God is our king, and you, the peoples are asked to turn Him into your king as well, by singing praises to Him in the ceremony marking the renewal of His coronation, for in truth, he is "King of all the earth."
 
Here, too, as in the first part of the psalm, the response of the peoples is alluded to in only one word – maskil.  
 
The result
 
9: God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne.
 
The process of God's ascent to His throne has ended, accompanied by the singing of praise of all the peoples. Now the time has come for the realization of the coronation ceremony – God's actual kingship over the peoples who have accepted His monarchy upon themselves with joy and praise: "God reigns over the nations" – over those same nations who stand at the heart of our psalm, whom we demand to participate in the ceremony of God's coronation and they do so. How does God reign over them? "God sits upon His holy throne" – by way of His solemn and symbolic sitting on His holy throne.
 
Of course, this stage in the coronary ceremony parallels the fifth stage in the coronation of Shelomo: "And he shall come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead" - "and also Shelomo sits on the throne of the kingdom."
 
VIII. The third stanza (10)
 
The changes in the repetition of the fixed pattern in our psalm were noted above in section III. These changes relate to all three components of which this stanza is built, and they express the progress in this part of the psalm as compared to the two parts that precede it.
 
In this stanza of the psalm God's coronation procedure reaches its final and highest stage: God sits on His holy throne, and His senior servants gather to him to express their loyalty to Him, to honor this great moment with their presence, and to bless the king. This stage, of course, parallels the sixth and final stage in Shelomo's coronation ceremony, as it is described by Yonatan:
 
46: And also Shelomo sits on the throne of the kingdom.
47: And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David…
 
The perception of this stanza of the psalm as the climax of the coronation procedure discussed in our psalm accounts for the changes found in this stanza in comparison to its predecessors. 
 
The gathering of the princes of the peoples
 
In the earlier stages of the coronation ceremony, the participation of the other peoples required the mediation of Israel: they appealed to the peoples to express their partnership by producing various sounds in honor of God, and they also justified their demands to them. The peoples' response to these appeals is implied, but not stated explicitly in the psalm (apart from what is alluded to by the break words sela and maskil).
 
At the climax of the coronation ceremony, after the peoples already in the previous stage expressed their joy concerning the kingdom of God by way of their singing praises to Him, there is no longer a need for Israel's appeal to them. The princes of the peoples gather together on their own in honor of God. Now a description is given of their actual gathering, that is to say, a description is given of their response to the command of their hearts (the same response that is not explicitly described in the previous parts of the psalm).
 
Why is the scope of the persons actively involved in honoring God reduced from "all the peoples" in verse 2 to "the princes of the peoples" in verse 10? This follows necessarily from the likening of the ceremony of God's coronation to the ceremony of the coronation of a human king. The previous stages of the coronation ceremony were performed in public, and it was possible to include the masses in them. But the final stage of the ceremony is performed in the palace, in private, in the place where the king sits on his throne. Not only the location, but also the nature of this stage is exclusive:   only the "servants of the king" – the important ministers – participate in it, and they do not clap or shout, nor even sing praises; they come only to express their loyalty to their king and to bless him.
 
This reduction in the number of participants in the coronation ceremony in the current stage, together with the raising of the quality of those participants, is of course found also at Shelomo's coronation:
 
At first: "And all the people said: Long live king Shelomo. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them"; and in the end: "And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David."
 
Although the mediation of Israel is not necessary at this stage, the people of Israel are expected to be present at the "reception" that the king arranges for his distinguished servants. They too – "the people of the God of Avraham" – gather together with "the princes of the peoples" in honor of God.
 
From what we have said in previous sections about the exclusivity of the present assembly, it may be inferred that the entire "people of the God of Avraham" are considered God's close servants who gather together in His honor with "the princes of the peoples" and "the shields of the earth."
 
The relationship between Israel and the peoples undergoes impressive changes over the course of our psalm: in the first part, Israel emphasizes their superiority over the nations, by illustrating God's kingdom over all the earth with the fact that "He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet." In the second part, the equality between Israel and the peoples increases and almost no emphasis is placed on Israel's superiority, and yet it is the people of Israel who appeal to the nations to sing praises to God who is "our King." In the third part there is equality between "the princes of the peoples" and "the people of the God of Avraham" when they gather together in honor of God. What is more, the princes of the peoples are mentioned before the people of the God of Avraham. Nevertheless, in the previous paragraph we demonstrated that all of Israel fall into the category of God's distinguished servants, and not just their leaders and kings. This is the way they are defined in verse 10, as the people of the God of Avraham. And as God said to Israel when He came to enter into a covenant with them:
 
Shemot 19:6: And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.
 
The rationale
 
For to God belong the shields of the earth.
 
In section III we noted the verbal similarity of this rationale to the two previous rationales in verses 3 and 8, and also the fundamental difference between them. We wish to add here a distinction with respect to the development of the rationale in the three parts of the psalm.
 
In all three rationales, the relationship between God and the earth is discussed in the sense of the inhabitants of the earth. However, the nature of this relationship changes from one rationale to the next. In the first rationale – "for the Lord is most high, awful; a great King over all the earth" – God imposes His kingdom on all the earth from above downward, and human beings are required to accept the yoke of His kingdom.
 
In the second rationale – "for God is the King of all the earth" – there is no coercion, but only a simple construct: King of all the earth. This development stems from the peoples' readiness to accept upon themselves God's kingship of their own free will. Nevertheless, God's kingship comes from above as is stated in the result of this part: "God reigns over the nations."
 
In the third rationale, the direction of activity changes in the relationship between God and man: it is not God who rules over the earth, but rather "the shields of the earth" are "to God" – from below upwards. This rationale does not come to strengthen a demand made of the peoples, as in the previous times, but rather it explains the inner motive for which the shields of the earth and the princes of the peoples gathered together in honor of God.
 
The result
 
He is greatly exalted [na'ala].
 
The end of the third stanza and of the entire psalm is surprising in its brevity and simplicity. The word na'ala means exalted, sublime. In only one other place in Scripture is the verb ala in the nif'al conjugation used with respect to God in a similar sense:
 
Tehilim 97:9: For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted [na'aleita] far above all gods.
 
The difference between the two verses is that in our psalm it is not stated above what God is "greatly exalted." This "lacuna" does not require any presumed completion: Our verse means to say that God is highly exalted at that time that the princes of the peoples gather together in His honor. Not exalted in relation to something else, but in His very essence.
 
The third stanza of the psalm differs from its predecessors in many respects, most of which were noted in section III and in the present section of our study. There is, however, one difference that is not so conspicuous: In the first two stanzas the coronation ceremony is accompanied by various loud sounds: the clapping of hands, shouting, a voice of triumph, the sound of the horn and the singing of praises. But here in the third stanza not a sound is heard. The gathering together of the princes of the peoples with the people of the God of Avraham is a silent assembly. Not a sound is heard, not even the sound of speech.[26] Even when God is "highly exalted," He is not "gone up among shouting," as in the first part of the psalm, but rather He is sublime and exalted in absolute silence, and without any action.
 
Thus our psalm, which was mostly stormy, ends with the sound of silence.
           
In the Yishtabach blessing that is recited every morning after the recitation of the last psalms in the book of Tehilim, we conclude with the words:
 
Who chooses songs of praise, the one King, God, life of the world.
 
Chassidim explain this line as follows: Read not "who chooses songs [shirei] of praise," but rather "who chooses the remnants [shayarei] of praise," that which remains in the heart of him who sings and praises out loud, and cannot be expressed, not with song, not with a horn and not with speech. It is precisely those remnants of praise that God chooses.
 
* * *
At the beginning of our study we cited what is stated in tractate Soferim that "On Rosh Hashana, one recites: 'O clap your hands, all you peoples.'" The analysis of our psalm justifies its connection in its entirety to the content of Rosh Hashana and its establishment in the ancient practice as the "psalm of the day" of Rosh Hashana. The main content of Rosh Hashana, as expressed in our prayers, is the coronation of God on this day by the people of Israel, and the hope that all of mankind will join us to enthrone God as king together with us. There is nothing like Psalm 47 to give life to the vision of the Messianic future towards which we direct our prayers on this day.[27] Many prayers and piyyutim recited on Rosh Hashanah outline this future in accordance with what is described in our psalm. For it is for this that we pray:
 
Nations in far-off lands will hear of this and come, and give you a royal crown.[28]
 
 
(Translated by David Strauss)
 

[1] Indeed, the customary practice is that the shofar blower recites this verse immediately prior to the beginning of the blasts.
[2] a. The word "sela" appears seventy-one times in thirty-nine psalms in the book of Tehilim. In some of the ancient Greek translations, the word is translated as "break." The Radak in his Sefer ha-Shorashim explains the term as "raising"- an instruction to the singers to raise their voices. Many translations and commentaries, however, understood the word to mean "forever," and saw it as part of the content of the verse in which it appears. 
b. The word "maskil" as a technical term appears in the heading of thirteen psalms, and it is only here that it appears in the middle of the psalm. Here too, many commentaries explained it as part of the content of the verse: "sing praises in a skillful manner," "sing a song that is made skillfully," or "sing, each and every skillful person."
c. Most of the technical terms in the book of Tehilim appear in the headings of the psalms, including: mizmor, la-menatze'ach, mikhtam, al ha-gitit, al ha-sheminit, and others. Various suggestions have been put forward regarding each term, but there is no certain proof to any explanation.
[3] Tz. P. Chajes, in Peirush Mada'i, ed. A. Kahana; E. Sh. Hartom (who divides the psalm into two parts at the word sela); Amos Chakham in his Da'at Mikra commentary; all of these commentators in their commentaries to our psalm.
This is also the way that M. Weiss divided our psalm at the beginning of his article, "Perek ha-Teki'ot," which was published in Amana, a periodical for Torah culture, 5716, p. 10 (in the body of the article, however, he divides the psalm into two parts at the word maskil). So too Y. Kil in his article about our psalm, "Kol ha-Amim Tik'u Kaf," published in Yamim Nora'im, in the series Ma'ayanot, Me'asef le-Inyanei Chinukh ve-Hora'a, Jerusalem 5728, pp. 223-237.
[4] Sometimes verbal repetition serves as a "chorus" at the end of each part of the psalm.
[5] This repetition is nothing but an expansion of the phenomenon of parallelism in a single verse, which is the most distinctive characteristic of Biblical poetry.
[6] The precise meaning of the words in each of the verses will be discussed below, when we will consider each part of the psalm on its own.
[7] The fact that verses 4-5 are part of the rationale for the command in verse 2 raises two difficulties: First, what is the meaning of the future tense in yadber (lit., he will subdue) and yivchar (lit., he will choose)? If this means that this is what God will do for us in the future, does this explain the demand made of all the peoples to shout to God already now? It seems that the future tense here, as in other places in Scripture, denotes continuous action: He subdued peoples under us, and He continues to do so even now. Similarly in verse 5: "He chose (in the sense of "gave") for us our inheritance, and he continues to do so even now."
The second difficulty is substantive: Is it appropriate to justify the appeal to all the peoples to shout to God, with the argument that He subdues peoples under us? We will address this question not here, but at a later stage.
[8] It is possible that due to its extreme brevity, this rationale includes another word that repeats the previous command to the peoples, "sing praises." This command appears four times in verse 7, and a fifth time in verse 8!
[9] This is the prevalent meaning of this word in the Bible. Only in the minority of its appearances in the Bible does it denote "kind-heartedness" (though it stands to reason that there is a connection between the two meanings).
Here are two verses in which the word nediv parallels another term for a distinguished person:
Bemidbar 21:18: The well, which the princes [sarim] digged, which the nobles of the people [nedivei am] delved…
Tehilim 83:12: Make their nobles [nediveimo] like Orev and Zeev, and like Zevach and Tzalmuna all their princes [nesikheimo].
[10] This is the opinion of the Radak and Tz. P. Chajes. The people of Israel are often referred to in the Bible by the name of the patriarch Israel. According to this explanation, this is the only place in the Bible that they are called by the name of Avraham. The reason for this lies in the context in which the people of Israel act in this psalm, as those who appeal to all the peoples to crown God as the king. This is the way the Radak explains the matter: "And it says 'Avraham' – because he was the first to proclaim His name in the world… 'And Avram called there on the name of the Lord' (Bereishit 13:4)."
[11] The Radak fills in the word im, "with," and this is also the preference of Chajes. It is possible that the word am must be read twice, once as am and a second time as im.
[12] Other interpretations see the words "the people of Avraham" as substituting for "the princes of the peoples," but they disagree as to whether these expressions refer to the people of Israel (alone) or to the nations of the world (alone).
[13] See, for example, I Shemuel 8:20; Eikha 4:20; and elsewhere.
[14]  Here there is no break before describing the result, as there was in the first two parts of the psalm. In those instances, there was an appeal to the peoples, followed by their response, which is not spelled out in the body of the psalm, but merely alluded to by the words sela and maskil. Verse 10, however, describes the action of the peoples in honor of God (without having been called upon to do so, but out of self-motivation), and therefore there is no need for a break word in that verse. 
[15] The most dramatic shortening is that of the rationale in stanzas 2-3 compared to that in stanza 1. The shortening of the result component in stanza 3 – two words – compared to the similar component in stanzas 1-2 is also impressive.
[16] In stanza 1 – 5 verses containing 39 words; in stanza 2 – 3 verses containing 22 words. The difference between them is 17 words, which is about 43%. In stanza 3 – 1 verse containing 12 words. The difference between stanza 3 and the previous stanza is 10 words, which is about 44%.
[17] Note: Our psalm does not describe the "'acceptance of the kingdom of God by the peoples."  Accepting that kingdom is a passive matter, whereas crowning God as king is an active matter.
[18] This image, which we often use in our prayers and especially on Rosh Hashana, may pose a difficulty to a modern person living in a democratic society in which there is no king (or in which the king serves only as a symbol). Such a person has no choice but to employ his historical consciousness and his acquaintance with the ancient world in which a king with almost unlimited powers stood at the head of his people.
[19] See Rambam, Hilkhot Melakhim 1:12. Most descriptions of coronations in the Bible are laconic; they mention the anointing, and sometimes also the blowing of a horn that accompanied it. In other cases, even this is not mentioned but only: "And they made him king over all Israel" (I Melakhim 12:20), and nothing more.
[20] The reference here is to those who brought Shelomo down to the Gichon, Tzadok the priest, Natan the prophet, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada, and with them the servants of David – the Kereti and the Peleti (compare verse 33 to verse 38).
[21] The absence of this stage in David's command stems from the fact that David could not command anything beyond his control, for the coming of the king's servants to David to express their loyalty to Shelomo who was sitting on his throne depended on what was in their hearts (and, in fact, some of David's servants did not support Shelomo, but rather Adoniyahu). We proposed a similar argument regarding the joy of the people when Shelomo came up from the Gichon, about which David could also not command.
[22] This phrase – teki'at kaf – is used in this sense also in modern Hebrew. It describes the action by way of which a person obligates himself to his fellow: shaking hands. This meaning does not fit our psalm, but nevertheless Rashi explains: "Tik'u kaf – obligate yourselves one to the other to shout to God with the voice of triumph."
[23] See what is related about the renewal of the kingdom of Shaul after all of Israel recognized him as king – I Shemuel 11:12-15.
[24]  The verb le-zamer and the noun zimra appear about fifty times in the Bible, mostly in the book of Tehilim.
[25]  So too in Amos 5:23: "Take you away from Me the noise of your songs; and let Me not hear the melody [zimrat] of your psalteries," the reference is to the songs and praises to God in the Temple, as is evident from the context there.
[26] This, unlike the gathering of the king's servants during the stage when Shelomo sat on the throne, when words of blessing were sounded by them.
[27] a. Our psalm has a clear messianic character, but it does not deal with the redemption of Israel – this redemption is described in verses 4-5 as something that has already happened – but with the redemption of all the peoples who will join with Israel and together crown God as king over the entire world.
b. In our remarks above, we wished to justify the adoption of psalm 47 in its entirety as "the psalm of the day" for Rosh Hashana, but we did not mean to argue that the psalm was composed from the outset to be recited on Rosh Hashana, as was argued by various scholars at the beginning of the twentieth century. This is not the place to discuss this question.
[28] This is the concluding line of an ancient piyyut whose author is unknown, which is recited in the repetition of the Rosh Hashanah Musaf service, and opens with the words "ve-ye'etayu kol le-ovdekha."