TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN. UPON NEGINATH. A PSALM OF DAVID.
<<CHIEF MUSICIAN>>: In Hebrew "Le-MeNatzai-e-kh" which can mean "Chief Musician" but literally means "FOR HE WHO OVERCOMES" or "FOR HE WHO CONQUERS".
S.R. Hirsch interprets NEGINATH as the playing of music as accompaniment to the Psalms of David.
NEGINATH says Hirsch in its present form implies an everlasting inprinted ability to overcome through the saying of Psalms so that the Victory achieved through Prayer and Psalms may exceed that of the sword.
[Psalms 61:1] HEAR MY CRY, O GOD; ATTEND UNTO MY PRAYER.
We ask the Almighty to heed our pleas.
Midrash Tehillim (Psalms):
<<This relates to the verse,
THE LORD IS FAR FROM THE WICKED: BUT HE HEARETH THE PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS [Proverbs 15:29].
Every place where Israel beseeched the Almighty they were answered.
They called unto HIM in Egypt and were answered, as it says,
AND [I] HAVE HEARD THEIR CRY (Exodus 3:7).
They called unto HIM at the Sea and were answered as it says,
WHEREFORE CRIEST THOU UNTO ME? (Exodus 14:15).
They called unto HIM in the Wilderness and were answered as it says,
AND THE LORD HEARKENED TO THE VOICE OF ISRAEL [Numbers 21:3].
They entered the Land of Canaan and called unto HIM and were answered as it says,
SO SAMUEL CALLED UNTO THE LORD [1-Samuel 12:18].
Also in the time of Solomon, as it says,
AND IT WAS SO, THAT WHEN SOLOMON HAD MADE AN END OF PRAYING [1-Kings 8:54].
So too now even after HE has exiled us, as it says,
I CALLED UPON THY NAME, O LORD, OUT OF THE LOW DUNGEON [Lamentations 3:55].
And even now when we are at the ends of the earth,
FROM THE END OF THE EARTH WILL I CRY UNTO THEE (Psalms 61:2).
The Almighty answers us:
From the Ends of the Earth you are calling unto me?
When you were in the Land you did not call me:
(Therefore you call me now from the Ends of the Earth!.)
This is what Jeremiah said,
THEN SHALL YE CALL UPON ME, AND YE SHALL GO AND PRAY UNTO ME, AND I WILL HEARKEN UNTO YOU.
AND YE SHALL SEEK ME, AND FIND ME, WHEN YE SHALL SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
AND I WILL BE FOUND OF YOU, SAITH THE LORD [Jeremiah 29:12-14].
So too Moses said,
WHEN THOU ART IN TRIBULATION, AND ALL THESE THINGS ARE COME UPON THEE [Deuteronomy 4:30]
FROM THE END OF THE EARTH WILL I CRY UNTO THEE (Psalms 61:2).>>
[Psalms 61:2] FROM THE END OF THE EARTH WILL I CRY UNTO THEE, WHEN MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED: LEAD ME TO THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I.
Most of us are at the ends of the earth, in the geographical extremities far away from the Land of Israel and the Place of the Temple. This applies Not only in the physical sense but also the spiritual. Neverthless we ask God to lift us to a point beyond ourselves so that our voices may be heard so much the better.
[Psalms 61:3] FOR THOU HAST BEEN A SHELTER FOR ME, AND A STRONG TOWER FROM THE ENEMY.
God protects us and enforces us beyond what our natural vulnerability would allow.
[Psalms 61:4] I WILL ABIDE IN THY TABERNACLE FOR EVER: I WILL TRUST IN THE COVERT OF THY WINGS. SELAH.
[Psalms 61:5] FOR THOU, O GOD, HAST HEARD MY VOWS: THOU HAST GIVEN ME THE HERITAGE OF THOSE THAT FEAR THY NAME.
[Psalms 61:6] THOU WILT PROLONG THE KING'S LIFE: AND HIS YEARS AS MANY GENERATIONS.
This is the future Messiah.
[Psalms 61:7] HE SHALL ABIDE BEFORE GOD FOR EVER: O PREPARE MERCY AND TRUTH, WHICH MAY PRESERVE HIM.
[Psalms 61:8] SO WILL I SING PRAISE UNTO THY NAME FOR EVER, THAT I MAY DAILY PERFORM MY VOWS.