A Song for Old Age
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 71
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
Words marked with a *star are described in the word list at the end.
The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.
Jesus said, "*Trust me until the day that you die. Then I will give to you a *crown of life". (Revelation 2:10)
The person that wrote this psalm knew the psalms that David wrote very well. Maybe it was the *prophet Jeremiah. In Something to do you will find some psalms to look at. If you do this, you will see that Psalm 71 repeats verses from them.
Verse 3: David often said that God was his rock and his *fortress.
He meant that God was someone that he could *trust (rock) and someone that he could hide in (*fortress).
Verse 4: "The hands of bad people" means that bad people were holding him. He was not free.
Verses 5 and 16: Master and *LORD are two Hebrew words that mean "*Lord" in English. "Master" is "*Lord on earth", "*LORD" is "*Lord in *heaven", where God lives.
Verse 7: This is a difficult verse to translate. The person that wrote the psalm (the *psalmist) says that people think that he is a warning. "Warning" means "there is danger". It makes people afraid. Maybe it makes them think about what God will do to them because they are bad.
Verse 9: The *psalmist does not want God to ‘throw him away’ when he is old. He wants God to continue giving him help.
Verse 13: There are new words here. *Scorn and *disgrace are things that happen to people when other people find out what they have done wrong.
Verses 15, 16, 19 and 24: These all talk about "*righteous". The word "righteous" means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous. He always does what is right. Some Bible students translate the end of verse 15, "even if I cannot write good words".
Verse 18: "Old and grey" means that the *psalmist’s hair has gone grey now that he is old. "The people still to be born" are his children and his grandchildren. We call them "the next generations". We must tell them about what God has done for us.
Verse 20: "Deep under the earth" means that the *psalmist thought that he would die and people would bury him. But he did not die … God made him safe, so people did not bury him!
Verse 22: The "*Holy One of Israel" is another name for God.
Verse 23: We say that when he died Jesus bought us (or "redeemed us") from everything that is bad. The *psalmist felt the same.
Here are some verses from the psalms. Read them from the Bible, or from this set of psalms, and decide if they are *like any verses from Psalm 71. Psalm 31:1-3; parts of Psalm 22; Psalm 35:4, 26, Psalm 36:6, Psalm 38:12, Psalm 40:13 and Psalm 70:1.
all day long ~ either every day, or all through the day.
crown ~ a special hat that a king wears, often made of gold.
cruel ~ not kind, hurting people.
disgrace ~ what you feel when people say you are bad.
evil ~ very very bad people (or the things that they do).
fortress ~ a safe place built of stones and rocks.
godless ~ people that do not obey God (or believe in him).
harp ~ an instrument (thing) that makes music.
heaven ~ the home of God.
holy ~ very very good; only God is really holy (because he always obeys his rules); Jerusalem was holy because people *worshipped God there.
like ~ another word for "as".
LORD ~ a special name for God; only his people use it (look after Psalm 25).
lord ~ someone with authority (with a capital L a name for God, look after Psalm 25).
prophet ~ someone who speaks for God (makes a prophecy).
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm.
righteous ~ very very good; only God is very righteous (or has righteousness); doing what is right.
righteousness ~ being very good.
scorn ~ laugh at someone in a bad way.
tongue ~ the bit in the mouth that speaks or tastes.
trust ~ (noun, or being something) believing that someone will help.
trust ~ (verb, or doing something) believe that someone will help.
womb ~ where a mother keeps her baby before birth.
worship ~ say that someone is very wonderful.
© 2000-2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)
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