The Talmud (RH 32b) lists the three Torah verses suitable for mention in the Kingship section of Rosh Hashana's Musaf as Num 23:21, Deu 33:5 and Exo 15:18. The Tur (OC 591) among others quotes R' Hai Gaon that the custom is to recite these verses in the order they appear in the Torah, not in the order the Talmud mentioned them in. The Tur there also notes that in the Remembrance section the custom is to interrupt the two verses from Jeremiah with one from Ezekiel because its theme is similar to the first verse.

The implication seems to be that we generally try to put the verses in order, but if we have some reason not to we won't and it's still ok. That seems reasonable enough.

Here are the Torah verses for the three sections: Exo 15:18, Num 23:21, Deu 33:5; Gen 8:1, Exo 2:24, [Exo 6:5 / Lev 26:42]; Exo 19:16, Exo 19:19, Exo 20:15.

Here are the verses from the Prophets: Isa 44:6, Ova 1:21, Zek 14:9; Jer 2:2, Eze 16:60, Jer 31:19; Isa 18:3, Isa 27:13, Zek 9:14-15

Everything there is in order (except the one exception for which we already got a reason).

But here are the verses from Psalms: 22:29, 93:1, [146:10,] 24:7-10; 111:4-5, [105:8,] 106:45; 47:6, 98:6, 81:4[-5], 150:1-6

Those aren't at all in order. Why don't we prefer to put the verses from Psalms in order in each section?


1 Answer 1


Why recite the Psalms verses out of order ?

Well, write them in order first, and then notice that, in each case, a small modification helps make more sense of the text; thus,

22:29 For the kingdom is the LORD'S; and He is the ruler over the nations.

24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. 'Who is the King of glory?' 'The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.' Lift up your heads, O ye gates, yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. 'Who then is the King of glory?' 'The LORD of hosts; He is the King of glory.' Selah

93:1 The LORD reigneth; He is clothed in majesty; the LORD is clothed, He hath girded Himself with strength; yea, the world is established, that it cannot be moved.

Notice how the beginning of 93:1 (“The LORD reigneth”) echoes the same ideas as those reflected in 22:29 (“the kingdom is the LORD'S” and “He is the ruler over the nations”), while, at the same time, the ones immediately following (“He is clothed in majesty” and “He hath girded Himself with strength”) mirror those mentioned in 24:7-10 (“King of glory” and “the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle”). As such, it would make more sense to have 93:1 placed between the other two passages, rather than after them.

Similarly for

106:45 And He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies.

111:4 He hath made a memorial for His wonderful works; the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given food unto them that fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.

It makes more sense to have conjunctions, such as and, which help string up consecutive sentences into a single phrase, placed towards the end of the enumeration, rather than at the beginning; i.e., “X, Y, and Z” instead of “and A, B, C”.


47:6 God is gone up amidst shouting, the LORD amidst the sound of the horn.

81:4 Blow the horn at the new moon, at the full moon for our feast-day.

98:6 With trumpets and sound of the horn shout ye before the King, the LORD.

150:1-6 Hallelujah. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His abundant greatness. Praise Him with the blast of the horn; praise Him with the psaltery and harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and the pipe. Praise Him with the loud-sounding cymbals; praise Him with the clanging cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Hallelujah.

Though not present in the selection itself, the verses immediately succeeding 47:6 make explicit mention of God's kingship, and of His royal throne, whereas both themes are completely absent from Psalm 81 in its entirety; as such, it would make more sense to move 98:6 closer to 47:6, since both passages exhibit similar patterns of thought and expression.

  • All of the above quotes have been taken from ( an older edition of ) the Jewish Publication Society Bible.
    – user18041
    Jun 17, 2020 at 19:04

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