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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Psalms 81

Verses 1-16

Psalms 81:0

Historical Background - This Psalm was probably read at certain festive occasions.

Structure - The first five verses of Psalms 81:0 are a call from God for the children of God to assemble. The Lord reminds them of their deliverance from Egypt (Psalms 81:5-7; Psalms 81:10). Then He admonishes them for their stubbornness (Psalms 81:8-13). Finally, the Lord reminds them of the blessings that await them if they would only obey His Word (Psalms 81:14-16).

Psalms 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

Psalms 81:3 “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon” - Comments - Moses commanded that two silver trumpets be made for sounding to the assembly (Numbers 10:1-2).

Numbers 10:1-2, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.”

The trumpets were blown for many occasions. They were blown monthly based on the new moon, which signified the beginning of a new month, that is, the first day of the month (Numbers 10:10).

Numbers 10:10, “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

The blowing of trumpets was accompanied by a burnt offering in the beginning of each month (Numbers 28:11-15).

Numbers 28:11-15, “And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD ; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.”

The trumpets were also blown at the Feast of Trumpets, one of the major annual festivals. This was called a day of blowing the trumpets (Leviticus 23:24, Numbers 29:1).

Leviticus 23:24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”

Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.”

Psalms 81:3 “in the time appointed” Comments - Many modern English translations read, “at the full moon.”

ASV, “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon , on our feast-day.”

YLT, “Blow in the month a trumpet, In the new moon , at the day of our festival,”

This full moon would have occurred at the fifteenth of each month. In the seventh month, the first day was the Feast of Trumpets. The tenth day was the Day of Atonement. On the fifteenth day of this same month, at the full moon, was the Feast of Tabernacles. See Numbers 29:0 for a full description of these feasts in the seventh month.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 81". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.