The Meaning of Psalms 109:1 Explained

Psalms 109:1

KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

YLT: To the Overseer. -- A Psalm of David. O God of my praise, be not silent,

Darby: {To the chief Musician. Of David. A Psalm.} O God of my praise, be not silent:

ASV: Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

What does Psalms 109:1 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalms 109:1-16 - The Persecutor Of The Needy
This psalm is like a patch of the Sahara amid a smiling Eden. But, terrible as the words are, remember that they were written by the man who, on two occasions, spared the life of his persecutor, and who, when the field of Gilboa was wet with Saul's life-blood, sang the loveliest of elegiacs to his memory. These maledictions do not express personal vindictiveness. Probably they should be read as depicting the doom of the wrong-doer. The Apostle, quoting this psalm, expressly says that the Spirit of Inspiration spoke before by the mouth of David, Acts 1:16. The imperative let might better be translated by the future shall. This would be in perfect conformity with Hebrew usage.
Notice in Psalms 109:4 that by omitting the three words in italics, a beautiful suggestion is made of the life of prayer: But I-prayer. The only response of the psalmist to the hatred of his enemies was to give himself more absolutely to prayer. His whole being was consumed in the one intense appeal to God. Such times come to us all. Such prayers always end in praise and thanksgiving, Psalms 109:30. Happy are we who also can count on the Advocate with the Father, Psalms 109:31. Jesus prays our prayers with us. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalms 109

1  David complains of his slanderous enemies
16  He shows their sin
21  Complaining of his own misery, he prays for help
29  He promises thankfulness

What do the individual words in Psalms 109:1 mean?

To the Chief Musician of David A Psalm God of my praise not do keep silent
לַ֭מְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִ֣ד מִזְמ֑וֹר אֱלֹהֵ֥י תְ֝הִלָּתִ֗י אַֽל־ תֶּחֱרַֽשׁ

לַ֭מְנַצֵּחַ  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.
לְדָוִ֣ד  of  David 
Parse: Preposition-l, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
מִזְמ֑וֹר  A  Psalm 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִזְמֹור  
Sense: melody, psalm.
אֱלֹהֵ֥י  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
תְ֝הִלָּתִ֗י  of  my  praise 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: תְּהִלָּה  
Sense: praise, song or hymn of praise.
תֶּחֱרַֽשׁ  do  keep  silent 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, second person masculine singular
Root: חָרַשׁ 
Sense: to cut in, plough, engrave, devise.