I don’t get this note with this psalm at all. It starts off with that it’s to the choirmaster, like several of the others so far but it says “according to Muth-labben.b“ I looked up what that word meant (and the link is to the wiktionary definition) and it says that it means “on the death of Labben” who I don’t recall mentioned elsewhere, but I could be wrong. The other guess is that it’s “on the death of the son” which makes it sound like David was glad his son died when it’s paired with that it also has that note “A Psalm of David”. But David was devastated when his son died and, as you will see when you read this, this is not the psalm of a devastated person.
Of course, there is also the hypothesis that the Muth-labben thing denotes something about the way it’s sung, like the key or instrument, which makes way more sense to me.
5You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
6The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
13Be gracious to me, O LORD!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.
15The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion.d Selah
17The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
18For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
The feel of the psalm itself makes the first theory about what Muth-Labben means not make any sense to me. There’s also the word Higgaion, which I also looked up and also appears to have some musical purpose that we’ve lost somewhere along the way, and the reappearance of Selah” which we’ve discussed previously.
This one reads like a pretty straightforward psalm of praise. It’s happy and it’s grateful and it’s not even a little upset about anything. It’s victorious with not even a hint of the author being upset about anything. It reminds me of the more uplifting praise band songs I’ve heard at church, but definitely more violent than that.