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Hebrew—An Introduction to Reading the Old Testament
About this course
Lesson 2: Verbs—perfect
לֹא־גָבַהּ לִבִּי (step 8 of 9)
A beautiful, humble song

Let’s now learn a new song with words consisting of the entirety of Psalm 131. This song is sung in the video below by a variety of famous Israelis and is mixed together in truly a beautiful way. However, these singers, as with the masses in Israel, do not yet know what it truly means to hope in the Lord—in the salvation he has brought us through יֵשׁוּעַ the promised מָשִׁיחַ. So as you listen to and sing this song, I encourage you to also make it a prayer for my people.

As for learning, I encourage you to listen to this song at least three times to start with. Just take it in the first time, singing along at some of the repeated parts if you can. The second time, fix your eyes on the words to this psalm printed below the video and try to follow along. As you do so, be aware that the first four words of the psalm are the psalm title and are not sung, and that other phrases are repeated in different ways. Finally, click on the words to see their meaning and parsing as you listen the third time through. But before you click, do you best to recognize the two qal perfects in this text.
Psalm 131
שִׁיר
הַמַּעֲלוֹת
לְדָוִד
יְהוָה
לֹא
גָבַהּ
לִבִּי
וְלֹא
רָמוּ
עֵינַי
וְלֹא
הִלַּכְתִּי
בִּגְדֹלוֹת
וּבְנִפְלָאוֹת
מִמֶּנִּי׃
אִם
לֹא
שִׁוִּיתִי
וְדוֹמַמְתִּי
נַפְשִׁי
כְּגָמֻל
עֲלֵי
אִמּוֹ
כַּגָּמֻל
עָלַי
נַפְשִׁי׃
יַחֵל
יִשְׂרָאֵל
אֶל
יְהוָה
מֵעַתָּה
וְעַד
עוֹלָם׃
The vocab

Now that you have this song in your head, let’s focus on the key words to learn from this song.
לֹא
5184x
no (particle)
גָּבַהּ
34x
be high, exalted (verb)
גָּדוֹל
526x
big, great (adjective)
פָּלָא
71x
be extraordinary (verb)
מִן
1226x
from (preposition)
Note: You might be wondering what exactly “and I have not walked in great and in extraordinaries from me" (i.e. וְלֹא־הִלַּ֓כְתִּי בִּגְדֹלוֹת וּבְנִפְלָאוֹת מִמֶּֽנִּי) means. This is a tough phrase that we will touch on a bit more in a later lesson. For now, suffice it to say that its meaning is something like, “and I have not walked in things too great or wonderful for me.”
אִם
922x
if (particle)
שָׁוָה
14x
compare, make level (verb)
דָּמַם
29x
be silent, still (verb)
גָּמַל
37x
deal fully with, wean, ripen (verb)
אֵם
220x
mother (noun)
יָחַל
40x
wait (verb)
אֵל
5507x
to (preposition)
עַתָּה
433x
now (adverb)
עַד
1261x
until (preposition)