The Meaning of Psalms 12:1 Explained

Psalms 12:1

KJV: {To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.} Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

YLT: To the Overseer, on the octave. -- A Psalm of David. Save, Jehovah, for the saintly hath failed, For the stedfast have ceased From the sons of men:

Darby: {To the chief Musician. Upon Sheminith. A Psalm of David.} Save, Jehovah, for the godly man is gone; for the faithful have failed from among the children of men.

ASV: Help, Jehovah; for the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.

What does Psalms 12:1 Mean?

Study Notes

Neginoth Stringed instruments.
Sheminth The word means "the eighth" -- in music an octave.

Context Summary

Psalm 12:1-8 - God Our Refuge And Defense
The first of these is a debate between fear and faith, and dates from Saul's persecutions. Timid friends, anxious for David's safety, urged him to flee to the mountains. Such counsels of expediency are frequently given to the servants of God, Nehemiah 6:1-19. Luther's diaries are full of such references. But unless our duty is performed, we must stand our ground; we "can do no other." We must remember that God's love is with us, and that He always exchanges glances of love with His suffering ones. Compare Psalms 11:7 with Exodus 3:7.
The opening words of the next psalm appeal for help in bad and evil days. See Micah 7:2. A double heart is literally "a heart and a heart," Psalms 12:2. Let us be true in act and speech, else we forfeit the Spirit of truth, Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9. Our sighing will make God arise, Acts 7:56. We shall be helped and kept, Psalms 12:7 and Isaiah 54:17. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 12

1  David, destitute of human comfort, craves help of God
3  He comforts himself with God's promises, and his judgments on the wicked

What do the individual words in Psalms 12:1 mean?

To the Chief Musician On an eight-stringed harp a Psalm of David Help Yahweh for ceases the godly man disappear the faithful from among the sons of men
לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ עַֽל־ הַשְּׁמִינִ֗ית מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה יְ֭הוָה כִּי־ גָמַ֣ר חָסִ֑יד פַ֥סּוּ אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים מִבְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם

לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ  To  the  Chief  Musician 
Parse: Preposition-l, Article, Verb, Piel, Participle, masculine singular
Root: נָצַח  
Sense: to excel, be bright, be preeminent, be perpetual, be overseer, be enduring.
הַשְּׁמִינִ֗ית  an  eight-stringed  harp 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: שְׁמִינִית  
Sense: Sheminith.
מִזְמ֥וֹר  a  Psalm 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִזְמֹור  
Sense: melody, psalm.
לְדָוִֽד  of  David 
Parse: Preposition-l, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה  Help 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperative, masculine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: יָשַׁע 
Sense: to save, be saved, be delivered.
יְ֭הוָה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
גָמַ֣ר  ceases 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: גָּמַר  
Sense: to end, come to an end, complete, cease.
חָסִ֑יד  the  godly  man 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: חָסִיד  
Sense: faithful, kind, godly, holy one, saint, pious.
פַ֥סּוּ  disappear 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: פָּסַס  
Sense: to disappear, vanish, cease, fail.
אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים  the  faithful 
Parse: Adjective, masculine plural
Root: אָמַן 
Sense: to support, confirm, be faithful.
מִבְּנֵ֥י  from  among  the  sons 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
אָדָֽם  of  men 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אָדָם 
Sense: man, mankind.