In my previous post on Psalm 30, I introduced this Psalm of Recovery. Much of the language of this Psalm is about someone who has gone through a terrible experience and is now healed. The narrator notes early arrogance: “I thought, ‘I shall never be shaken'”. But breaking this belief of invulnerability comes misfortune. Once recovered, the narrator praises God, thankful for the recovery.
If you don’t read Hebrew, just think “dlee” as you read this post.
The second line of the Psalm uses the term: כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי
What does this mean? The literal translation is given as: “for You have lifted me up”.
According to Malbim, the person has risen from illness.
The Metsudat David says this is King David who has risen; God has allowed his son Shlomo to build the Beit HaMikdash, the Temple. And therefore this shows that God has forgiven King David for his sin with BatSheva, who became the mother of Shlomo.
Sarna says דִלִּיתָנִי (“dileetanee”) is a biblical rarity. But it does show up in other places. It literally means “to draw water from a well.” The root has similarities to Delilah, which means “The Lord Drew Up”; Sarna suggests it was a name given to a sick newborn who survives in defiance of dire prediction.
Here are some other places in Tanakh that use a form of “dlee”:
Exodus 2:16 They (the daughters of Midian) came to draw water. וַתִּדְלֶנָה
And a bit later:
(Moses) drew water for us. וְגַם-דָּלֹה דָלָה לָנוּ
“Their (the cedar trees) boughs drip with moisture” יִזַּל-מַיִם מִדָּלְיָו
“Nations are but a drop in the bucket” הֵן גּוֹיִם כְּמַר מִדְּלִי
This one actually has the word for bucket, “dlee”.
“A man of understanding can draw them out” וְאִישׁ תְּבוּנָה יִדְלֶנָּה
Sarna also notes the Akkadian for “to draw water from a well” and for “bucket” are variations of dalu.
In Modern Hebrew, dlee means pail or bucket. After studying this Psalm, I will associate a water bucket with healing. The psalmist’s use of raising water from a well to demonstrate the recovery from illness gives the Psalm concrete biblical imagery for the theme of recovery.
Next post on Psalm 30: maybe it will be on the netherworld called “Sheol”, how dancing is like recovery, or when we do we say this Psalm in our prayers.