New English Translation
Book 1 (Psalms 1-41)
1 How blessed[b] is the one[c] who does not follow[d] the advice[e] of the wicked,[f]
or stand in the pathway[g] with sinners,
or sit in the assembly[h] of scoffers.[i]
2 Instead[j] he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands;[k]
he meditates on[l] his commands[m] day and night.
3 He is like[n] a tree planted by flowing streams;[o]
it[p] yields[q] its fruit at the proper time,[r]
and its leaves never fall off.[s]
He succeeds in everything he attempts.[t]
4 Not so with the wicked!
Instead[u] they are like wind-driven chaff.[v]
5 For this reason[w] the wicked cannot withstand[x] judgment,[y]
nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.[z]
6 Certainly[aa] the Lord guards the way of the godly,[ab]
but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.[ac]
2 Why[ae] do the nations rebel?[af]
Why[ag] are the countries[ah] devising[ai] plots that will fail?[aj]
2 The kings of the earth[ak] form a united front;[al]
the rulers collaborate[am]
against the Lord and his anointed king.[an]
3 They say,[ao] “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us.[ap]
Let’s free ourselves from[aq] their ropes.”
4 The one enthroned[ar] in heaven laughs in disgust;[as]
the Lord taunts[at] them.
5 Then he angrily speaks to them
and terrifies them in his rage,[au] saying,[av]
6 “I myself[aw] have installed[ax] my king
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 The king says,[ay] “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me:[az]
‘You are my son.[ba] This very day I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,[bb]
the ends of the earth as your personal property.
9 You will break them[bc] with an iron scepter;[bd]
you will smash them like a potter’s jar.’”[be]
10 So now, you kings, do what is wise;[bf]
you rulers of the earth, submit to correction.[bg]
11 Serve[bh] the Lord in fear.
Repent in terror.[bi]
12 Give sincere homage.[bj]
Otherwise he[bk] will be angry,[bl]
and you will die because of your behavior,[bm]
when his anger quickly ignites.[bn]
How blessed[bo] are all who take shelter in him![bp]
A psalm of David, written when he fled from his son Absalom.[br]
3 Lord, how[bs] numerous are my enemies!
Many attack me.[bt]
2 Many say about me,
“God will not deliver him.”[bu] (Selah)[bv]
3 But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me;[bw]
you are my glory[bx] and the one who restores me.[by]
4 To the Lord I cried out,[bz]
and he answered me from his holy hill.[ca] (Selah)
5 I rested and slept;
I awoke,[cb] for the Lord protects[cc] me.
6 I am not afraid[cd] of the multitude of people[ce]
who attack me from all directions.[cf]
7 Rise up,[cg] Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Yes,[ch] you will strike[ci] all my enemies on the jaw;
you will break the teeth[cj] of the wicked.[ck]
8 The Lord delivers;[cl]
you show favor to your people.[cm] (Selah)
For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of David.
4 When I call out, answer me,
O God who vindicates me.[co]
Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place.[cp]
Have mercy on me[cq] and respond to[cr] my prayer.
2 You men,[cs] how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?[ct]
How long[cu] will you love what is worthless[cv]
and search for what is deceptive?[cw] (Selah)
3 Realize that[cx] the Lord shows the godly special favor;[cy]
the Lord responds[cz] when I cry out to him.
4 Tremble with fear and do not sin.[da]
Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways.[db] (Selah)
5 Offer the prescribed sacrifices[dc]
and trust in the Lord.[dd]
6 Many say, “Who can show us anything good?”
Smile upon us, Lord![de]
7 You make me happier[df]
than those who have abundant grain and wine.[dg]
8 I will lie down and sleep peacefully,[dh]
for you, Lord, make me safe and secure.[di]
For the music director, to be accompanied by wind instruments;[dk] a psalm of David.
5 Listen to what I say,[dl] Lord!
Carefully consider my complaint![dm]
2 Pay attention to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for I am praying to you!
3 Lord, in the morning[dn] you will hear[do] me;[dp]
in the morning I will present my case to you[dq] and then wait expectantly for an answer.[dr]
4 Certainly[ds] you are not a God who approves of evil;[dt]
evil people[du] cannot dwell with you.[dv]
5 Arrogant people cannot stand in your presence;[dw]
you hate[dx] all who behave wickedly.[dy]
6 You destroy[dz] liars;[ea]
the Lord despises[eb] violent and deceitful people.[ec]
7 But as for me,[ed] because of your great faithfulness I will enter your house;[ee]
I will bow down toward your holy temple as I worship you.[ef]
8 Lord, lead me in your righteousness[eg]
because of those who wait to ambush me,[eh]
remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me.[ei]
9 For[ej] they do not speak the truth;[ek]
their stomachs are like the place of destruction,[el]
their throats like an open grave,[em]
their tongues like a steep slope leading into it.[en]
10 Condemn them,[eo] O God!
May their own schemes be their downfall.[ep]
Drive them away[eq] because of their many acts of insurrection,[er]
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But may all who take shelter[es] in you be happy.[et]
May they continually[eu] shout for joy.[ev]
Shelter them[ew] so that those who are loyal to you[ex] may rejoice.[ey]
12 Certainly[ez] you reward[fa] the godly,[fb] Lord.
Like a shield you protect[fc] them[fd] in your good favor.[fe]
For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments, according to the sheminith style;[fg] a psalm of David.
6 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger.
Do not discipline me in your raging fury.[fh]
2 Have mercy on me,[fi] Lord, for I am frail.
Heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking.[fj]
3 I am absolutely terrified,[fk]
and you, Lord—how long will this continue?[fl]
4 Relent, Lord, rescue me![fm]
Deliver me because of your faithfulness.[fn]
5 For no one remembers you in the realm of death.[fo]
In Sheol who gives you thanks?[fp]
6 I am exhausted as I groan.
All night long I drench my bed in tears;[fq]
my tears saturate the cushion beneath me.[fr]
7 My eyes[fs] grow dim[ft] from suffering;
they grow weak[fu] because of all my enemies.[fv]
8 Turn back from me, all you who behave wickedly,[fw]
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.[fx]
9 The Lord has heard my appeal for mercy;
the Lord has accepted[fy] my prayer.
10 They will be humiliated[fz] and absolutely terrified.[ga]
All my enemies will turn back and be suddenly humiliated.
A musical composition[gc] by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning[gd] a Benjaminite named Cush.[ge]
7 O Lord my God, in you I have taken shelter.[gf]
Deliver me from all who chase me. Rescue me!
2 Otherwise they will rip[gg] me[gh] to shreds like a lion;
they will tear me to bits and no one will be able to rescue me.[gi]
3 O Lord my God, if I have done what they say,[gj]
or am guilty of unjust actions,[gk]
4 or have wronged my ally,[gl]
or helped his lawless enemy,[gm]
5 may an enemy relentlessly chase[gn] me[go] and catch me;[gp]
may he trample me to death[gq]
and leave me lying dishonored in the dust.[gr] (Selah)
6 Stand up angrily,[gs] Lord.
Rise up with raging fury against my enemies.[gt]
Wake up for my sake, and execute the judgment you have decreed for them.[gu]
7 The countries are assembled all around you;[gv]
take once more your rightful place over them.[gw]
8 The Lord judges the nations.[gx]
Vindicate me, Lord, because I am innocent,[gy]
because I am blameless,[gz] O Exalted One.[ha]
9 May the evil deeds of the wicked[hb] come to an end.[hc]
But make the innocent[hd] secure,[he]
O righteous God,
you who examine[hf] inner thoughts and motives.[hg]
10 The Exalted God is my shield,[hh]
the one who delivers the morally upright.[hi]
11 God is a just judge;
he is angry throughout the day.[hj]
12 If a person[hk] does not repent, God will wield his sword.[hl]
He has prepared to shoot his bow.[hm]
13 He has prepared deadly weapons to use against him;[hn]
he gets ready to shoot flaming arrows.[ho]
14 See the one who is pregnant with wickedness,
who conceives destructive plans,
and gives birth to harmful lies—
15 he digs a pit[hp]
and then falls into the hole he has made.[hq]
16 He becomes the victim of his own destructive plans[hr]—
and the violence he intended for others falls on his own head.[hs]
17 I will thank the Lord for[ht] his justice;
I will sing praises to the Lord Most High![hu]
For the music director, according to the gittith style;[hw] a psalm of David.
8 O Lord, our Lord,[hx]
how magnificent[hy] is your reputation[hz] throughout the earth!
You reveal your majesty in the heavens above.[ia]
2 From the mouths of children and nursing babies
you have ordained praise on account of your adversaries,[ib]
so that you might put an end to the vindictive enemy.[ic]
3 When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made,
and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place,[id]
4 Of what importance is the human race,[ie] that you should notice[if] them?
Of what importance is mankind,[ig] that you should pay attention to them?[ih]
5 You made them[ii] a little less than[ij] the heavenly beings.[ik]
You crowned mankind[il] with honor and majesty.[im]
6 you appoint them to rule over your creation;[in]
you have placed[io] everything under their authority,[ip]
7 including all the sheep and cattle,
as well as the wild animals,[iq]
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that moves through the currents[ir] of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,[is]
how magnificent[it] is your reputation[iu] throughout the earth![iv]
For the music director, according to the alumoth-labben style;[ix] a psalm of David.
9 I will thank the Lord with all my heart!
I will tell about all your amazing deeds.[iy]
2 I will be happy and rejoice in you.
I will sing praises to you, O Most High.[iz]
3 When my enemies turn back,
they trip and are defeated[ja] before you.
4 For you defended my just cause;[jb]
from your throne you pronounced a just decision.[jc]
5 You terrified the nations with your battle cry.[jd]
You destroyed the wicked;[je]
you permanently wiped out all memory of them.[jf]
6 The enemy’s cities have been reduced to permanent ruins.[jg]
You destroyed their cities;[jh]
all memory of the enemies has perished.[ji]
7 But the Lord[jj] rules[jk] forever;
he reigns in a just manner.[jl]
8 He judges the world fairly;
he makes just legal decisions for the nations.[jm]
9 Consequently[jn] the Lord provides safety for the oppressed;[jo]
he provides safety in times of trouble.[jp]
10 Your loyal followers trust in you,[jq]
for you, Lord, do not abandon those who seek your help.[jr]
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who rules[js] in Zion.
Tell the nations what he has done.[jt]
12 For the one who takes revenge against murderers took notice of the oppressed;[ju]
he did not overlook[jv] their cry for help[jw]
13 when they prayed:[jx]
“Have mercy on me,[jy] Lord!
See how I am oppressed by those who hate me,[jz]
O one who can snatch me away[ka] from the gates of death!
14 Then I will[kb] tell about all your praiseworthy acts;[kc]
in the gates of Daughter Zion[kd] I will rejoice because of your deliverance.”[ke]
15 The nations fell[kf] into the pit they had made;
their feet were caught in the net they had hidden.[kg]
16 The Lord revealed himself;
he accomplished justice.
The wicked were ensnared by their own actions.[kh] (Higgaion.[ki] Selah)
17 The wicked are turned back and sent to Sheol;[kj]
this is the destiny of[kk] all the nations that ignore[kl] God,
18 for the needy are not permanently ignored,[km]
the hopes of the oppressed are not forever dashed.[kn]
19 Rise up, Lord![ko]
Don’t let men be defiant.[kp]
May the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Terrify them, Lord.[kq]
Let the nations know they are mere mortals.[kr] (Selah)
10 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you pay no attention during times of trouble?[kt]
2 The wicked arrogantly chase the oppressed;[ku]
the oppressed are trapped[kv] by the schemes the wicked have dreamed up.[kw]
3 Yes,[kx] the wicked man[ky] boasts because he gets what he wants;[kz]
the one who robs others[la] curses[lb] and[lc] rejects the Lord.[ld]
4 The wicked man is so arrogant he always thinks,
“God won’t hold me accountable; he doesn’t care.”[le]
5 He is secure at all times.[lf]
He has no regard for your commands;[lg]
he disdains all his enemies.[lh]
6 He says to himself,[li]
“I will never[lj] be shaken,
because I experience no calamity.”[lk]
7 His mouth is full of curses and deceptive, harmful words;[ll]
his tongue injures and destroys.[lm]
8 He waits in ambush near the villages;[ln]
in hidden places he kills the innocent.
His eyes look for some unfortunate victim.[lo]
9 He lies in ambush in a hidden place, like a lion in a thicket.[lp]
He lies in ambush, waiting to catch[lq] the oppressed;
he catches the oppressed[lr] by pulling in his net.[ls]
10 His victims are crushed and beaten down;
they are trapped in his sturdy nets.[lt]
11 He says to himself,[lu]
“God overlooks it;
he does not pay attention;
he never notices.”[lv]
12 Rise up, Lord![lw]
O God, strike him down.[lx]
Do not forget the oppressed.
13 Why does the wicked man reject God?[ly]
He says to himself,[lz] “You[ma] will not hold me accountable.”[mb]
14 You have taken notice,[mc]
for[md] you always see[me] one who inflicts pain and suffering.[mf]
The unfortunate victim entrusts his cause to you;[mg]
you deliver[mh] the fatherless.[mi]
15 Break the arm[mj] of the wicked and evil man.
Hold him accountable for his wicked deeds,[mk]
which he thought you would not discover.[ml]
16 The Lord rules forever![mm]
The nations are driven out of his land.[mn]
17 Lord, you have heard[mo] the request[mp] of the oppressed;
you make them feel secure because you listen to their prayer.[mq]
18 You defend[mr] the fatherless and oppressed,[ms]
so that mere mortals may no longer terrorize them.[mt]
For the music director, by David.
11 In the Lord I have taken shelter.[mv]
How can you say to me,[mw]
“Flee to a mountain like a bird.[mx]
2 For look, the wicked[my] prepare[mz] their bows,[na]
they put their arrows on the strings,
to shoot in the darkness[nb] at the morally upright.[nc]
3 When the foundations[nd] are destroyed,
what can the godly[ne] accomplish?”[nf]
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;[ng]
the Lord’s throne is in heaven.[nh]
His eyes[ni] watch;[nj]
his eyes[nk] examine[nl] all people.[nm]
5 The Lord approves of[nn] the godly,[no]
but he[np] hates[nq] the wicked and those who love to do violence.[nr]
6 May he rain down[ns] burning coals[nt] and brimstone[nu] on the wicked!
A whirlwind is what they deserve.[nv]
7 Certainly[nw] the Lord is just;[nx]
he rewards godly deeds.[ny]
The upright will experience his favor.[nz]
For the music director, according to the sheminith style;[ob] a psalm of David.
12 Deliver, Lord!
For the godly[oc] have disappeared;[od]
people of integrity[oe] have vanished.[of]
2 People lie to one another;[og]
they flatter and deceive.[oh]
3 May the Lord cut off[oi] all flattering lips,
and the tongue that boasts![oj]
4 They say,[ok] “We speak persuasively;[ol]
we know how to flatter and boast.[om]
Who is our master?”[on]
5 “Because of the violence done to the oppressed,[oo]
because of the painful cries[op] of the needy,
I will spring into action,”[oq] says the Lord.
“I will provide the safety they so desperately desire.”[or]
6 The Lord’s words are absolutely reliable.[os]
They are as untainted as silver purified in a furnace on the ground,
where it is thoroughly refined.[ot]
7 You, Lord, will protect them;[ou]
you will continually shelter each one from these evil people,[ov]
8 for the wicked seem to be everywhere,[ow]
when people promote evil.[ox]
For the music director, a psalm of David.
13 How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me?[oz]
How long will you pay no attention to me?[pa]
2 How long must I worry,[pb]
and suffer in broad daylight?[pc]
How long will my enemy gloat over me?[pd]
3 Look at me![pe] Answer me, O Lord my God!
Revive me,[pf] or else I will die.[pg]
4 Then[ph] my enemy will say, “I have defeated him.”
Then[pi] my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I[pj] trust in your faithfulness.
May I rejoice because of your deliverance.[pk]
6 I will sing praises[pl] to the Lord
when he vindicates me.[pm]
For the music director, by David.
14 Fools say to themselves,[po] “There is no God.”[pp]
They sin and commit evil deeds;[pq]
none of them does what is right.[pr]
2 The Lord looks down from heaven[ps] at the human race,[pt]
to see if there is anyone who is wise[pu] and seeks God.[pv]
3 Everyone rejects God;[pw]
they are all morally corrupt.[px]
None of them does what is right,[py]
not even one.
4 All those who behave wickedly[pz] do not understand—[qa]
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread,
and do not call out to the Lord.
5 They are absolutely terrified,[qb]
for God defends the godly.[qc]
6 You want to humiliate the oppressed,[qd]
even though[qe] the Lord is their[qf] shelter.
7 I wish the deliverance[qg] of Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the well-being of his people,[qh]
may Jacob rejoice,[qi]
may Israel be happy![qj]
A psalm of David.
15 Lord, who may be a guest in your home?[ql]
Who may live on your holy hill?[qm]
2 Whoever lives a blameless life,[qn]
does what is right,
and speaks honestly.[qo]
3 He[qp] does not slander,[qq]
or do harm to others,[qr]
or insult his neighbor.[qs]
4 He despises a reprobate,[qt]
but honors the Lord’s loyal followers.[qu]
He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise.[qv]
5 He does not charge interest when he lends his money.[qw]
He does not take bribes to testify against the innocent.[qx]
The one who lives like this[qy] will never be shaken.
A prayer[ra] of David.
16 Protect me, O God, for I have taken shelter in you.[rb]
2 I say to the Lord, “You are the Lord,
my only source of well-being.”[rc]
3 As for God’s chosen people who are in the land,
and the leading officials I admired so much[rd]—
4 their troubles multiply;
they desire other gods.[re]
I will not pour out drink offerings of blood to their gods,[rf]
nor will I make vows in the name of their gods.[rg]
5 Lord, you give me stability and prosperity;[rh]
you make my future secure.[ri]
6 It is as if I have been given fertile fields
or received a beautiful tract of land.[rj]
7 I will praise[rk] the Lord who[rl] guides[rm] me;
yes, during the night I reflect and learn.[rn]
8 I constantly trust in the Lord;[ro]
because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 So my heart rejoices
and I am happy;[rp]
my life is safe.[rq]
10 You will not abandon me[rr] to Sheol;[rs]
you will not allow your faithful follower[rt] to see[ru] the Pit.[rv]
11 You lead me in[rw] the path of life.[rx]
I experience absolute joy in your presence;[ry]
you always give me sheer delight.[rz]
A prayer of David.
17 Lord, consider my just cause.[sb]
Pay attention to my cry for help.
Listen to the prayer
I sincerely offer.[sc]
2 Make a just decision on my behalf.[sd]
Decide what is right.[se]
3 You have scrutinized my inner motives;[sf]
you have examined me during the night.[sg]
You have carefully evaluated me, but you find no sin.
I am determined I will say nothing sinful.[sh]
4 As for the actions of people[si]—
just as you have commanded,
I have not followed in the footsteps of violent men.[sj]
5 I carefully obey your commands;[sk]
I do not deviate from them.[sl]
6 I call to you because you will answer me, O God.
Listen to me![sm]
Hear what I say![sn]
7 Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds,[so]
you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies.[sp]
8 Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye.[sq]
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.[sr]
9 Protect me from[ss] the wicked men who attack[st] me,
my enemies who crowd around me for the kill.[su]
10 They are calloused;[sv]
they speak arrogantly.[sw]
11 They attack me, now they surround me;[sx]
they intend to throw me to the ground.[sy]
12 He[sz] is like a lion[ta] that wants to tear its prey to bits,[tb]
like a young lion crouching[tc] in hidden places.
13 Rise up, Lord!
Confront him.[td] Knock him down.[te]
Use your sword to rescue me from the wicked man.[tf]
14 Lord, use your power to deliver me from these murderers,[tg]
from the murderers of this world.[th]
They enjoy prosperity;[ti]
you overwhelm them with the riches they desire.[tj]
They have many children,
and leave their wealth to their offspring.[tk]
15 As for me, because I am innocent I will see your face;[tl]
when I awake you will reveal yourself to me.[tm]
For the music director, by the Lord’s servant David, who sang[to] to the Lord the words of this song when[tp] the Lord rescued him from the power[tq] of all his enemies, including Saul.[tr]
18 He said:[ts]
“I love[tt] you, Lord, my source of strength![tu]
2 The Lord is my high ridge,[tv] my stronghold,[tw] my deliverer.
My God is my rocky summit where[tx] I take shelter,[ty]
my shield, the horn that saves me,[tz] and my refuge.[ua]
3 I called[ub] to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,[uc]
and I was delivered from my enemies.
4 The waves[ud] of death engulfed me,
the currents[ue] of chaos[uf] overwhelmed me.[ug]
5 The ropes of Sheol tightened around me,[uh]
the snares of death trapped me.[ui]
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried out to my God.[uj]
From his heavenly temple[uk] he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help.[ul]
7 The earth heaved and shook.[um]
The roots of the mountains[un] trembled;[uo]
they heaved because he was angry.
8 Smoke ascended from[up] his nose;[uq]
fire devoured as it came from his mouth.[ur]
He hurled down fiery coals.[us]
9 He made the sky sink[ut] as he descended;
a thick cloud was under his feet.
10 He mounted[uu] a winged angel[uv] and flew;
he glided[uw] on the wings of the wind.[ux]
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,[uy]
in thick rain clouds.[uz]
12 From the brightness in front of him came
hail and fiery coals.[va]
13 The Lord thundered[vb] in[vc] the sky;
the Most High[vd] shouted.[ve]
14 He shot his[vf] arrows and scattered them,[vg]
many lightning bolts[vh] and routed them.[vi]
15 The depths[vj] of the sea[vk] were exposed;
the inner regions[vl] of the world were uncovered
by[vm] your battle cry,[vn] Lord,
by the powerful breath from your nose.[vo]
16 He reached down[vp] from above and took hold of me;
he pulled me from the surging water.[vq]
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy,[vr]
from those who hate me,
for they were too strong for me.
18 They confronted[vs] me in my day of calamity,
but the Lord helped me.[vt]
19 He brought me out into a wide open place;
he delivered me because he was pleased with me.[vu]
20 The Lord repaid[vv] me for my godly deeds;[vw]
he rewarded[vx] my blameless behavior.[vy]
21 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands;[vz]
I have not rebelled against my God.[wa]
22 For I am aware of all his regulations,[wb]
and I do not reject his rules.[wc]
23 I was innocent before him,
and kept myself from sinning.[wd]
24 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds;[we]
he took notice of my blameless behavior.[wf]
25 You prove to be loyal[wg] to one who is faithful;[wh]
you prove to be trustworthy[wi] to one who is innocent.[wj]
26 You prove to be reliable[wk] to one who is blameless,
but you prove to be deceptive[wl] to one who is perverse.[wm]
27 For you deliver oppressed[wn] people,
but you bring down those who have a proud look.[wo]
28 Indeed,[wp] you light my lamp, Lord.[wq]
My God[wr] illuminates the darkness around me.[ws]
29 Indeed,[wt] with your help[wu] I can charge against[wv] an army;[ww]
by my God’s power[wx] I can jump over a wall.[wy]
30 The one true God acts in a faithful manner;[wz]
the Lord’s promise[xa] is reliable.[xb]
He is a shield to all who take shelter[xc] in him.
31 Indeed,[xd] who is God besides the Lord?
Who is a protector[xe] besides our God?[xf]
32 The one true God[xg] gives[xh] me strength;[xi]
he removes[xj] the obstacles in my way.[xk]
33 He gives me the agility of a deer;[xl]
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.[xm]
34 He trains my hands for battle;[xn]
my arms can bend even the strongest bow.[xo]
35 You give me your protective shield;[xp]
your right hand supports me.[xq]
Your willingness to help[xr] enables me to prevail.[xs]
36 You widen my path;[xt]
my feet[xu] do not slip.
37 I chase my enemies and catch[xv] them;
I do not turn back until I wipe them out.
38 I beat them[xw] to death;[xx]
they fall at my feet.[xy]
39 You give me strength[xz] for battle;
you make my foes kneel before me.[ya]
40 You make my enemies retreat;[yb]
I destroy those who hate me.[yc]
41 They cry out, but there is no one to help them;[yd]
they cry out to the Lord,[ye] but he does not answer them.
42 I grind them as fine windblown dust;[yf]
I beat them underfoot[yg] like clay[yh] in the streets.
43 You rescue me from a hostile army.[yi]
You make me[yj] a leader of nations;
people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.[yk]
44 When they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.[yl]
Foreigners are powerless[ym] before me.
45 Foreigners lose their courage;[yn]
they shake with fear[yo] as they leave[yp] their strongholds.[yq]
46 The Lord is alive![yr]
My Protector[ys] is praiseworthy.[yt]
The God who delivers me[yu] is exalted as king.[yv]
47 The one true God[yw] completely vindicates me;[yx]
he makes nations submit to me.[yy]
48 He delivers me[yz] from my enemies.
You snatch me away[za] from those who attack me;[zb]
you rescue me from violent men.
49 So I will give you thanks before the nations,[zc] O Lord.
I will sing praises to you.[zd]
50 He[ze] gives his king magnificent victories;[zf]
he is faithful[zg] to his chosen ruler,[zh]
to David and his descendants[zi] forever.”[zj]
For the music director, a psalm of David.
19 The heavens declare the glory of God;[zl]
the sky displays his handiwork.[zm]
2 Day after day it speaks out;[zn]
night after night it reveals his greatness.[zo]
3 There is no actual speech or word,
nor is its[zp] voice literally heard.
4 Yet its voice[zq] echoes[zr] throughout the earth;
its[zs] words carry[zt] to the distant horizon.[zu]
In the sky[zv] he has pitched a tent for the sun.[zw]
5 Like a bridegroom it emerges[zx] from its chamber;[zy]
like a strong man it enjoys[zz] running its course.[aaa]
6 It emerges from the distant horizon,[aab]
and goes from one end of the sky to the other;[aac]
nothing can escape[aad] its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect
and preserves one’s life.[aae]
The rules set down by the Lord[aaf] are reliable[aag]
and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.[aah]
8 The Lord’s precepts are fair[aai]
and make one joyful.[aaj]
The Lord’s commands[aak] are pure[aal]
and give insight for life.[aam]
9 The commands to fear the Lord are right[aan]
and endure forever.[aao]
The judgments given by the Lord are trustworthy
and absolutely just.[aap]
10 They are of greater value[aaq] than gold,
than even a great amount of pure gold;
they bring greater delight[aar] than honey,
than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.
11 Yes, your servant finds moral guidance there;[aas]
those who obey them receive a rich reward.[aat]
12 Who can know all his errors?[aau]
Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.[aav]
13 Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins;[aaw]
do not allow such sins to control me.[aax]
Then I will be blameless,
and innocent of blatant[aay] rebellion.
14 May my words and my thoughts
be acceptable in your sight,[aaz]
O Lord, my sheltering rock[aba] and my redeemer.[abb]
For the music director, a psalm of David.
20 May the Lord answer[abd] you[abe] when you are in trouble;[abf]
may the God of Jacob[abg] make you secure.
2 May he send you help from his temple;[abh]
from Zion may he give you support.
3 May he take notice of[abi] all your offerings;
may he accept[abj] your burnt sacrifice. (Selah)
4 May he grant your heart’s desire;[abk]
may he bring all your plans to pass.[abl]
5 Then we will shout for joy over your[abm] victory;
we will rejoice[abn] in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now I am sure[abo] that the Lord will deliver[abp] his chosen king;[abq]
he will intervene for him[abr] from his holy, heavenly temple,[abs]
and display his mighty ability to deliver.[abt]
7 Some trust in chariots and others in horses,[abu]
but we[abv] depend on[abw] the Lord our God.
8 They will fall down,[abx]
but we[aby] will stand firm.[abz]
9 The Lord will deliver the king;[aca]
he will answer us[acb] when we call to him for help![acc]
For the music director, a psalm of David.
21 O Lord, the king rejoices in the strength you give;[ace]
he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide.[acf]
2 You grant[acg] him his heart’s desire;
you do not refuse his request.[ach] (Selah)
3 For you bring him[aci] rich[acj] blessings;[ack]
you place a golden crown on his head.
4 He asked you to sustain his life,[acl]
and you have granted him long life and an enduring dynasty.[acm]
5 Your deliverance brings him great honor;[acn]
you give him majestic splendor.[aco]
6 For you grant him lasting blessings;
you give him great joy by allowing him into your presence.[acp]
7 For the king trusts[acq] in the Lord,
and because of the Most High’s[acr] faithfulness he is not shaken.[acs]
8 You[act] prevail over[acu] all your enemies;
your power is too great for those who hate you.[acv]
9 You burn them up like a fiery furnace[acw] when you appear.[acx]
The Lord angrily devours them;[acy]
the fire consumes them.
10 You destroy their offspring[acz] from the earth,
their descendants[ada] from among the human race.[adb]
11 Yes,[adc] they intend to do you harm;[add]
they dream up a scheme,[ade] but they do not succeed.[adf]
12 For you make them retreat[adg]
when you aim your arrows at them.[adh]
13 Rise up, O Lord, in strength![adi]
We will sing and praise[adj] your power.
For the music director, according to the tune “Morning Doe”;[adl] a psalm of David.
22 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?[adm]
I groan in prayer, but help seems far away.[adn]
2 My God, I cry out during the day,
but you do not answer,
and during the night my prayers do not let up.[ado]
3 You are holy;
you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel.[adp]
4 In you our ancestors[adq] trusted;
they trusted in you[adr] and you rescued them.
5 To you they cried out, and they were saved;
in you they trusted and they were not disappointed.[ads]
6 But I[adt] am a worm,[adu] not a man;[adv]
people insult me and despise me.[adw]
7 All who see me taunt[adx] me;
they mock me[ady] and shake their heads.[adz]
8 They say,[aea]
“Commit yourself[aeb] to the Lord!
Let the Lord[aec] rescue him!
Let the Lord[aed] deliver him, for he delights in him.”[aee]
9 Yes, you are the one who brought me out[aef] from the womb
and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts.
10 I have been dependent on you since birth;[aeg]
from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God.[aeh]
11 Do not remain far away from me,
for trouble is near and I have no one to help me.[aei]
12 Many bulls[aej] surround me;
powerful bulls of Bashan[aek] hem me in.
13 They[ael] open their mouths to devour me[aem]
like a roaring lion that rips its prey.[aen]
14 My strength drains away like water;[aeo]
all my bones are dislocated.
My heart[aep] is like wax;
it melts away inside me.
15 The roof of my mouth[aeq] is as dry as a piece of pottery;
my tongue sticks to my gums.[aer]
You[aes] set me in the dust of death.[aet]
16 Yes,[aeu] wild dogs surround me—
a gang of evil men crowd around me;
like a lion they pin my hands and feet.[aev]
17 I can count[aew] all my bones;
my enemies[aex] are gloating over me in triumph.[aey]
18 They are dividing up my clothes among themselves;
they are rolling dice[aez] for my garments.
19 But you, O Lord, do not remain far away.
You are my source of strength.[afa] Hurry and help me![afb]
20 Deliver me[afc] from the sword.
Save[afd] my life[afe] from the claws[aff] of the wild dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion,[afg]
and from the horns of the wild oxen.[afh]
You have answered me.[afi]
22 I will declare your name to my countrymen.[afj]
In the middle of the assembly I will praise you.
23 You loyal followers of the Lord,[afk] praise him.
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him.
All you descendants of Israel, stand in awe of him.[afl]
24 For he did not despise or detest the suffering[afm] of the oppressed.[afn]
He did not ignore him;[afo]
when he cried out to him, he responded.[afp]
25 You are the reason I offer praise[afq] in the great assembly;
I will fulfill my promises before the Lord’s loyal followers.[afr]
26 Let the oppressed eat and be filled.[afs]
Let those who seek his help praise the Lord.
May you[aft] live forever!
27 Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him.[afu]
Let all the nations[afv] worship you.[afw]
28 For the Lord is king[afx]
and rules over the nations.
29 All the thriving people[afy] of the earth will join the celebration and worship;[afz]
all those who are descending into the grave[aga] will bow before him,
including those who cannot preserve their lives.[agb]
30 A whole generation[agc] will serve him;
they will tell the next generation about the Lord.[agd]
31 They will come and tell about his saving deeds;[age]
they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished.[agf]
A psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd,[agh]
I lack nothing.[agi]
2 He takes me to lush pastures,[agj]
he leads me to refreshing water.[agk]
3 He restores my strength.[agl]
He leads me down[agm] the right paths[agn]
for the sake of his reputation.[ago]
4 Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,[agp]
I fear[agq] no danger,[agr]
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.[ags]
5 You prepare a feast before me[agt]
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh[agu] my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.[agv]
6 Surely your goodness and faithfulness[agw] will pursue[agx] me all my days,[agy]
and I will live in[agz] the Lord’s house[aha] for the rest of my life.[ahb]
A psalm of David.
24 The Lord owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.
2 For he set its foundation upon the seas,
and established[ahd] it upon the ocean currents.[ahe]
3 Who is allowed to ascend[ahf] the mountain of the Lord?[ahg]
Who may go up to his holy dwelling place?
4 The one whose deeds are blameless
and whose motives are pure,[ahh]
who does not lie,[ahi]
or make promises with no intention of keeping them.[ahj]
5 Such godly people are rewarded by the Lord,[ahk]
and vindicated by the God who delivers them.[ahl]
6 Such purity characterizes the people who seek his favor,
Jacob’s descendants, who pray to him.[ahm] (Selah)
7 Look up,[ahn] you gates.
Rise up,[aho] you eternal doors.
Then the majestic king[ahp] will enter.[ahq]
8 Who is this majestic king?[ahr]
The Lord who is strong and mighty.
The Lord who is mighty in battle.
9 Look up, you gates.
Rise up, you eternal doors.
Then the majestic king will enter.
10 Who is this majestic king?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[ahs]
He is the majestic king. (Selah)
25 O Lord, I come before you in prayer.[ahu]
2 My God, I trust in you.
Please do not let me be humiliated;
do not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me.
3 Certainly none who rely on you will be humiliated.
Those who deal in treachery will be thwarted[ahv] and humiliated.
4 Make me understand your ways, O Lord.
Teach me your paths.[ahw]
5 Guide me into your truth[ahx] and teach me.
For you are the God who delivers me;
on you I rely all day long.
6 Remember[ahy] your compassionate and faithful deeds, O Lord,
for you have always acted in this manner.[ahz]
7 Do not hold against me[aia] the sins of my youth[aib] or my rebellious acts.
Because you are faithful to me, extend to me your favor, O Lord.[aic]
8 The Lord is both kind and fair;[aid]
that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live.[aie]
9 May he show[aif] the humble what is right.[aig]
May he teach[aih] the humble his way.
10 The Lord always proves faithful and reliable[aii]
to those who follow the demands of his covenant.[aij]
11 For the sake of your reputation,[aik] O Lord,
forgive my sin, because it is great.[ail]
12 The Lord shows his faithful followers
the way they should live.[aim]
13 They experience his favor;[ain]
their descendants[aio] inherit the land.[aip]
14 The Lord’s loyal followers receive his guidance,[aiq]
and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.[air]
15 I continually look to the Lord for help,[ais]
for he will free my feet from the enemy’s net.[ait]
16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me,
for I am alone[aiu] and oppressed.
17 Deliver me from my distress;[aiv]
rescue me from my suffering.[aiw]
18 See my pain and suffering.
Forgive all my sins.[aix]
19 Watch my enemies, for they outnumber me;
they hate me and want to harm me.[aiy]
20 Protect me[aiz] and deliver me!
Please do not let me be humiliated,
for I have taken shelter in you.
21 May integrity and godliness protect me,
for I rely on you.
22 O God, rescue[aja] Israel
from all their distress![ajb]
26 Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have integrity,[ajd]
and I trust in the Lord without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me.
Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives.[aje]
3 For I am ever aware of your faithfulness,[ajf]
and your loyalty continually motivates me.[ajg]
4 I do not associate[ajh] with deceitful men,
or consort[aji] with those who are dishonest.[ajj]
5 I hate the mob[ajk] of evil men,
and do not associate[ajl] with the wicked.
6 I maintain a pure lifestyle,[ajm]
so I can appear before your altar,[ajn] O Lord,
7 to give you thanks,[ajo]
and to tell about all your amazing deeds.[ajp]
8 O Lord, I love the temple where you live,[ajq]
the place where your splendor is revealed.[ajr]
9 Do not sweep me away[ajs] with sinners,
or execute me along with violent people,[ajt]
10 who are always ready to do wrong[aju]
or offer a bribe.[ajv]
11 But I have integrity.[ajw]
Rescue me[ajx] and have mercy on me!
12 I am safe,[ajy]
and among the worshipers I will praise the Lord.
27 The Lord is my light[aka] and my salvation.
I fear no one.[akb]
The Lord protects my life.
I am afraid of no one.[akc]
2 When evil men attack me[akd]
to devour my flesh,[ake]
when my adversaries and enemies attack me,[akf]
they stumble and fall.[akg]
3 Even when an army is deployed against me,
I do not fear.[akh]
Even when war is imminent,[aki]
I remain confident.[akj]
4 I have asked the Lord for one thing—
this is what I desire!
I want to live[akk] in the Lord’s house[akl] all the days of my life,
so I can gaze at the splendor[akm] of the Lord
and contemplate in his temple.
5 He will surely[akn] give me shelter[ako] in the day of danger;[akp]
he will hide me in his home.[akq]
He will place me[akr] on an inaccessible rocky summit.[aks]
6 Now I will triumph
over my enemies who surround me.[akt]
I will offer sacrifices in his dwelling place and shout for joy.[aku]
I will sing praises to the Lord.
7 Hear me,[akv] O Lord, when I cry out.
Have mercy on me and answer me.
8 My heart tells me to pray to you,[akw]
and I do pray to you, O Lord.[akx]
9 Do not reject me.[aky]
Do not push your servant away in anger.
You are my deliverer.[akz]
Do not forsake or abandon me,
O God who vindicates me.
10 Even if my father and mother abandoned me,[ala]
the Lord would take me in.[alb]
11 Teach me how you want me to live,[alc] Lord;
lead me along a level path[ald] because of those who wait to ambush me.[ale]
12 Do not turn me over to my enemies,[alf]
for false witnesses who want to destroy me testify against me.[alg]
13 Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience
the Lord’s favor in the land of the living?[alh]
14 Rely[ali] on the Lord!
Be strong and confident![alj]
Rely on the Lord!
28 To you, O Lord, I cry out!
My Protector,[all] do not ignore me.[alm]
If you do not respond to me,[aln]
I will join[alo] those who are descending into the grave.[alp]
2 Hear my plea for mercy when I cry out to you for help,
when I lift my hands[alq] toward your holy temple.[alr]
3 Do not drag me away with evil men,
with those who behave wickedly,[als]
who talk so friendly to their neighbors,[alt]
while they plan to harm them.[alu]
4 Pay them back for their evil deeds.
Pay them back for what they do.
5 For they do not understand the Lord’s actions,
or the way he carries out justice.[alw]
The Lord[alx] will permanently demolish them.[aly]
6 The Lord deserves praise,[alz]
for he has heard my plea for mercy.[ama]
7 The Lord strengthens and protects me;[amb]
I trust in him with all my heart.[amc]
I am rescued[amd] and my heart is full of joy;[ame]
I will sing to him in gratitude.[amf]
8 The Lord strengthens his people;[amg]
he protects and delivers his chosen king.[amh]
9 Deliver your people.
Empower[ami] the nation that belongs to you.[amj]
Care for them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms[amk] at all times![aml]
A psalm of David.
29 Acknowledge the Lord, you heavenly beings,[amn]
acknowledge the Lord’s majesty and power.[amo]
2 Acknowledge the majesty of the Lord’s reputation.[amp]
Worship the Lord in holy attire.[amq]
3 The Lord’s shout is heard over the water;[amr]
the majestic God thunders,[ams]
the Lord appears over the surging water.[amt]
4 The Lord’s shout is powerful,[amu]
the Lord’s shout is majestic.[amv]
5 The Lord’s shout breaks[amw] the cedars,
the Lord shatters[amx] the cedars of Lebanon.[amy]
6 He makes them skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion[amz] like a young ox.[ana]
7 The Lord’s shout strikes[anb] with flaming fire.[anc]
8 The Lord’s shout shakes[and] the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.[ane]
9 The Lord’s shout bends[anf] the large trees[ang]
and strips[anh] the leaves from the forests.[ani]
Everyone in his temple says, “Majestic!”[anj]
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the engulfing waters,[ank]
the Lord sits enthroned[anl] as the eternal king.
11 The Lord gives[anm] his people strength;[ann]
the Lord grants his people security.[ano]
A psalm, a song used at the dedication of the temple;[anq] by David.
30 I will praise you, O Lord, for you lifted me up,[anr]
and did not allow my enemies to gloat[ans] over me.
2 O Lord my God,
I cried out to you and you healed me.[ant]
3 O Lord, you pulled me[anu] up from Sheol;
you rescued me from among those descending into the grave.[anv]
4 Sing to the Lord, you faithful followers[anw] of his;
give thanks to his holy name.[anx]
5 For his anger lasts only a brief moment,
and his good favor restores one’s life.[any]
One may experience sorrow during the night,
but joy arrives in the morning.[anz]
6 In my self-confidence I said,
“I will never be shaken.”[aoa]
7 O Lord, in your good favor you made me secure.[aob]
Then you rejected me[aoc] and I was terrified.
8 To you, O Lord, I cried out;
I begged the Lord for mercy:[aod]
9 “What[aoe] profit is there in taking my life,[aof]
in my descending into the Pit?[aog]
Can the dust of the grave[aoh] praise you?
Can it declare your loyalty?[aoi]
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me.
O Lord, deliver me.”[aoj]
11 Then you turned my lament into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy.[aok]
12 So now[aol] my heart[aom] will sing to you and not be silent;
O Lord my God, I will always[aon] give thanks to you.
For the music director, a psalm of David.
31 In you, O Lord, I have taken shelter.
Never let me be humiliated.
Vindicate me by rescuing me.[aop]
2 Listen to me.[aoq]
Quickly deliver me.
Be my protector and refuge,[aor]
a stronghold where I can be safe.[aos]
3 For you are my high ridge[aot] and my stronghold;
for the sake of your own reputation[aou] you lead me and guide me.[aov]
4 You will free me[aow] from the net they hid for me,
for you are my place of refuge.
5 Into your hand I entrust my life;[aox]
you will rescue[aoy] me, O Lord, the faithful God.
6 I hate those who serve worthless idols,[aoz]
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness,
because you notice my pain
and you are aware of how distressed I am.[apa]
8 You do not deliver me over to the power of the enemy;
you enable me to stand[apb] in a wide open place.
9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress!
My eyes grow dim[apc] from suffering.[apd]
I have lost my strength.[ape]
10 For my life nears its end in pain;
my years draw to a close as I groan.[apf]
My strength fails me because of[apg] my sin,
and my bones become brittle.[aph]
11 Because of all my enemies, people disdain me;[api]
my neighbors are appalled by my suffering[apj]—
those who know me are horrified by my condition;[apk]
those who see me in the street run away from me.
12 I am forgotten, like a dead man no one thinks about;[apl]
I am regarded as worthless, like a broken jar.[apm]
13 For I hear what so many are saying,[apn]
the terrifying news that comes from every direction.[apo]
When they plot together against me,
they figure out how they can take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord!
I declare, “You are my God!”
15 You determine my destiny.[app]
Rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me.
16 Smile[apq] on your servant.
Deliver me because of your faithfulness.
17 O Lord, do not let me be humiliated,
for I call out to you.
May evil men be humiliated.
May they go wailing to the grave.[apr]
18 May lying lips be silenced—
lips[aps] that speak defiantly against the innocent[apt]
with arrogance and contempt.
19 How great is your favor,[apu]
which you store up for your loyal followers.[apv]
In plain sight of everyone you bestow it on those who take shelter[apw] in you.[apx]
20 You hide them with you, where they are safe from the attacks[apy] of men;[apz]
you conceal them in a shelter, where they are safe from slanderous attacks.[aqa]
21 The Lord deserves praise[aqb]
for he demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to me when I was besieged by enemies.[aqc]
22 I jumped to conclusions and said,[aqd]
“I am cut off from your presence!”[aqe]
But you heard my plea for mercy when I cried out to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all you faithful followers[aqf] of his!
The Lord protects those who have integrity,
but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly.[aqg]
24 Be strong and confident,[aqh]
all you who wait on the Lord.
By David; a well-written song.[aqj]
32 How blessed[aqk] is the one whose rebellious acts are forgiven,[aql]
whose sin is pardoned.[aqm]
2 How blessed is the one[aqn] whose wrongdoing the Lord does not punish,[aqo]
in whose spirit there is no deceit.[aqp]
3 When I refused to confess my sin,[aqq]
my whole body wasted away,[aqr]
while I groaned in pain all day long.
4 For day and night you tormented me;[aqs]
you tried to destroy me[aqt] in the intense heat[aqu] of summer.[aqv] (Selah)
5 Then I confessed my sin;
I no longer covered up my wrongdoing.
I said, “I will confess[aqw] my rebellious acts to the Lord.”
And then you forgave my sins.[aqx] (Selah)
6 For this reason every one of your faithful followers[aqy] should pray to you
while there is a window of opportunity.[aqz]
Certainly[ara] when the surging water[arb] rises,
it will not reach them.[arc]
7 You are my hiding place;
you protect me from distress.
You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance.[ard] (Selah)
8 I will instruct and teach you[are] about how you should live.[arf]
I will advise you as I look you in the eye.[arg]
9 Do not be[arh] like an unintelligent horse or mule,[ari]
which will not obey you
unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit.[arj]
10 An evil person suffers much pain,[ark]
but the Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him.[arl]
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be happy, you who are godly!
Shout for joy, all you who are morally upright![arm]
33 You godly ones, shout for joy because of the Lord!
It is appropriate for the morally upright to offer him praise.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp.
Sing to him to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument.
3 Sing to him a new song.[aro]
Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him.[arp]
4 For the Lord’s decrees[arq] are just,[arr]
and everything he does is fair.[ars]
5 He promotes[art] equity and justice;
the Lord’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.[aru]
6 By the Lord’s decree[arv] the heavens were made,
and by the breath[arw] of his mouth all the starry hosts.
7 He piles up the water of the sea;[arx]
he puts the oceans[ary] in storehouses.
8 Let the whole earth fear[arz] the Lord.
Let all who live in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it[asa] came into existence.
He issued the decree,[asb] and it stood firm.
10 The Lord frustrates[asc] the decisions of the nations;
he nullifies the plans[asd] of the peoples.
11 The Lord’s decisions stand forever;
his plans abide throughout the ages.[ase]
12 How blessed[asf] is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen to be his special possession.[asg]
13 The Lord watches[ash] from heaven;
he sees all people.[asi]
14 From the place where he lives he looks carefully
at all the earth’s inhabitants.
15 He is the one who forms every human heart,[asj]
and takes note of all their actions.
16 No king is delivered by his vast army;
a warrior is not saved by his great might.
17 A horse disappoints those who trust in it for victory;[ask]
despite its great strength, it cannot deliver.
18 Look, the Lord takes notice of his loyal followers,[asl]
those who wait for him to demonstrate his faithfulness[asm]
19 by saving their lives from death[asn]
and sustaining them during times of famine.[aso]
20 We[asp] wait for the Lord;
he is our deliverer[asq] and shield.[asr]
21 For our hearts rejoice in him,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May we experience your faithfulness, O Lord,[ass]
for[ast] we wait for you.
By David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, causing the king to send him away.[asv]
34 I will praise[asw] the Lord at all times;
my mouth will continually praise him.[asx]
2 I will boast[asy] in the Lord;
let the oppressed hear and rejoice.[asz]
3 Magnify the Lord with me.
Let us praise[ata] his name together.
4 I sought the Lord’s help[atb] and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him and be radiant;
do not let your faces be ashamed.[atc]
6 This oppressed man cried out and the Lord heard;
he saved him[atd] from all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord camps around
the Lord’s[ate] loyal followers[atf] and delivers them.[atg]
8 Taste[ath] and see that the Lord is good.
How blessed[ati] is the one[atj] who takes shelter in him.[atk]
9 Fear the Lord, you chosen people of his,[atl]
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come children. Listen to me.
I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord.[atm]
12 Do you want to really live?[atn]
Would you love to live a long, happy life?[ato]
13 Then make sure you don’t speak evil words[atp]
or use deceptive speech.[atq]
14 Turn away from evil and do what is right.[atr]
Strive for peace and promote it.[ats]
15 The Lord pays attention to the godly
and hears their cry for help.[att]
16 But the Lord opposes evildoers
and wipes out all memory of them from the earth.[atu]
17 The godly[atv] cry out and the Lord hears;
he saves them from all their troubles.[atw]
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
he delivers[atx] those who are discouraged.[aty]
19 The godly[atz] face many dangers,[aua]
but the Lord saves[aub] them[auc] from each one of them.
20 He protects[aud] all his bones;[aue]
not one of them is broken.[auf]
21 Evil people self-destruct;[aug]
those who hate the godly are punished.[auh]
22 The Lord rescues his servants;[aui]
all who take shelter in him escape punishment.[auj]
35 O Lord, fight[aul] those who fight with me.
Attack those who attack me.
2 Grab your small shield and large shield,[aum]
and rise up to help me.
3 Use your spear and lance[aun] against[auo] those who chase me.
Assure me with these words:[aup] “I am your deliverer.”
4 May those who seek my life be embarrassed and humiliated.
May those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed.[auq]
5 May they be[aur] like wind-driven chaff,
as the angel of the Lord[aus] attacks them.[aut]
6 May their path be[auu] dark and slippery,
as the angel of the Lord chases them.
7 I did not harm them, but they hid a net to catch me
and dug a pit to trap me.[auv]
8 Let destruction take them by surprise.[auw]
Let the net they hid catch them.
Let them fall into destruction.[aux]
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord
and be happy because of his deliverance.[auy]
10 With all my strength I will say,[auz]
“O Lord, who can compare to you?
You rescue[ava] the oppressed from those who try to overpower them,[avb]
the oppressed and needy from those who try to rob them.”[avc]
11 Violent men perjure themselves,[avd]
and falsely accuse me.[ave]
12 They repay me evil for the good I have done;[avf]
I am overwhelmed with sorrow.[avg]
13 When they were sick, I wore sackcloth,[avh]
and refrained from eating food.[avi]
(If I am lying, may my prayers go unanswered.)[avj]
14 I mourned for them as I would for a friend or my brother.[avk]
I bowed down[avl] in sorrow as if I were mourning for my mother.[avm]
15 But when I stumbled, they rejoiced and gathered together;
they gathered together to ambush me.[avn]
They tore at me without stopping to rest.[avo]
16 When I tripped, they taunted me relentlessly,[avp]
and tried to bite me.[avq]
17 O Lord, how long are you going to watch this?
Rescue[avr] me[avs] from their destructive attacks;
guard my life[avt] from the young lions.
18 Then I will give you thanks in the great assembly;[avu]
I will praise you before a large crowd of people.[avv]
19 Do not let those who are my enemies for no reason[avw] gloat[avx] over me.
Do not let those who hate me without cause carry out their wicked schemes.[avy]
20 For they do not try to make peace with others,[avz]
but plan ways to deceive those who live peacefully in the land.[awa]
21 They are ready to devour me;[awb]
they say, “Aha! Aha! We’ve got you!”[awc]
22 But you take notice,[awd] Lord; do not be silent!
O Lord, do not remain far away from me.
23 Rouse yourself, wake up[awe] and vindicate me.[awf]
My God and Lord, defend my just cause.[awg]
24 Vindicate me by your justice, O Lord my God.
Do not let them gloat[awh] over me.
25 Do not let them say to themselves,[awi] “Aha! We have what we wanted!”[awj]
Do not let them say, “We have devoured him.”
26 May those who rejoice in my troubles be totally embarrassed and ashamed.[awk]
May those who arrogantly taunt me be covered with shame and humiliation.[awl]
27 May those who desire my vindication shout for joy and rejoice.
May they continually say,[awm] “May the Lord be praised,[awn] for he wants his servant to be secure.”[awo]
28 Then I will tell others about your justice,[awp]
and praise you all day long.[awq]
For the music director, an oracle, written by the Lord’s servant David.[aws]
- Psalm 1:1 sn Psalm 1. In this wisdom psalm the author advises his audience to reject the lifestyle of the wicked and to be loyal to God. The psalmist contrasts the destiny of the wicked with that of the righteous, emphasizing that the wicked are eventually destroyed while the godly prosper under the Lord’s protective care.
- Psalm 1:1 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see v. 3; Pss 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
- Psalm 1:1 tn Heb “[Oh] the happiness [of] the man.” Hebrew wisdom literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, we translate the gender and age specific “man” with the more neutral “one.” (Generic “he” is employed in vv. 2-3). Since the godly man described in the psalm is representative of followers of God (note the plural form צַדִּיקִים [tsadiqim, “righteous, godly”] in vv. 5-6), one could translate the collective singular with the plural “those” both here and in vv. 2-3, where singular pronouns and verbal forms are utilized in the Hebrew text (cf. NRSV). However, here the singular form may emphasize that godly individuals are usually outnumbered by the wicked. Retaining the singular allows the translation to retain this emphasis.
- Psalm 1:1 tn Heb “walk in.” The three perfect verbal forms in v. 1 refer in this context to characteristic behavior. The sequence “walk—stand—sit” envisions a progression from relatively casual association with the wicked to complete identification with them.
- Psalm 1:1 tn The Hebrew noun translated “advice” most often refers to the “counsel” or “advice” one receives from others. To “walk in the advice of the wicked” means to allow their evil advice to impact and determine one’s behavior.
- Psalm 1:1 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (reshaʿim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21).
- Psalm 1:1 tn “Pathway” here refers to the lifestyle of sinners. To “stand in the pathway of/with sinners” means to closely associate with them in their sinful behavior.
- Psalm 1:1 tn Here the Hebrew term מוֹשַׁב (moshav), although often translated “seat” (cf. NEB, NIV), appears to refer to the whole assembly of evildoers. The word also carries the semantic nuance “assembly” in Ps 107:32, where it is in synonymous parallelism with קָהָל (qahal, “assembly”).
- Psalm 1:1 tn The Hebrew word refers to arrogant individuals (Prov 21:24) who love conflict (Prov 22:10) and vociferously reject wisdom and correction (Prov 1:22; 9:7-8; 13:1; 15:12). To “sit in the assembly” of such people means to completely identify with them in their proud, sinful plans and behavior.
- Psalm 1:2 tn Here the Hebrew expression כִּי־אִם (ki ʾim, “instead”) introduces a contrast between the sinful behavior depicted in v. 1 and the godly lifestyle described in v. 2.
- Psalm 1:2 tn Heb “his delight [is] in the law of the Lord.” In light of the following line, which focuses on studying the Lord’s law, one might translate, “he finds pleasure in studying the Lord’s commands.” However, even if one translates the line this way, it is important to recognize that mere study and intellectual awareness are not ultimately what bring divine favor. Study of the law is metonymic here for the correct attitudes and behavior that should result from an awareness of and commitment to God’s moral will; thus “obeying” has been used in the translation rather than “studying.”
- Psalm 1:2 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal form draws attention to the characteristic behavior described here and lends support to the hyperbolic adverbial phrase “day and night.” The verb הָגָה (hagag) means “to recite quietly; to meditate” and refers metonymically to intense study and reflection.
- Psalm 1:2 tn Or “his law.”
- Psalm 1:3 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries the same characteristic force as the imperfect in the preceding verse. According to the psalmist, the one who studies and obeys God’s commands typically prospers.
- Psalm 1:3 tn Heb “channels of water.”
- Psalm 1:3 tn Heb “which.”
- Psalm 1:3 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in v. 3 draw attention to the typical nature of the actions/states they describe.
- Psalm 1:3 tn Heb “in its season.”
- Psalm 1:3 tn Or “fade”; “wither.”sn The author compares the godly individual to a tree that has a rich water supply (planted by flowing streams), develops a strong root system, and is filled with leaves and fruit. The simile suggests that the godly have a continual source of life which in turn produces stability and uninterrupted prosperity.
- Psalm 1:3 tn Heb “and all which he does prospers”; or “and all which he does he causes to prosper.” (The simile of the tree does not extend to this line.) It is not certain if the Hiphil verbal form (יַצְלִיחַ, yatsliakh) is intransitive-exhibitive (“prospers”) or causative (“causes to prosper”) here. If the verb is intransitive, then כֹּל (kol, “all, everything”) is the subject. If the verb is causative, then the godly individual or the Lord himself is the subject and כֹּל is the object. The wording is reminiscent of Josh 1:8, where the Lord tells Joshua: “This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper (literally, “cause your way to prosper”) and be successful.”
- Psalm 1:4 tn Here the Hebrew expression כִּי־אִם (ki ʾim, “instead,” cf. v. 2) introduces a contrast between the prosperity of the godly depicted in v. 3 and the destiny of the wicked described in v. 4.
- Psalm 1:4 tn Heb “[they are] like the chaff which [the] wind blows about.” The Hebrew imperfect verbal form draws attention to the typical nature of the action described.sn Wind-driven chaff. In contrast to the well-rooted and productive tree described in v. 3, the wicked are like a dried up plant that has no root system and is blown away by the wind. The simile describes the destiny of the wicked (see vv. 5-6).
- Psalm 1:5 tn Or “Therefore.”
- Psalm 1:5 tn Heb “arise in,” but the verb is used metonymically here in the sense of “stand”; “endure,” as in 1 Sam 13:14 and Job 8:15. The negated Hebrew imperfect verbal form is here taken as indicating incapability or lack of potential, though one could understand the verb form as indicating what is typical (“do not withstand”) or what will happen (“will not withstand”).
- Psalm 1:5 tn Heb “the judgment.” The article indicates a judgment that is definite in the mind of the speaker. In the immediate context this probably does not refer to the “final judgment” described in later biblical revelation, but to a temporal/historical judgment which the author anticipates. Periodically during the OT period, God would come in judgment, removing the wicked from the scene, while preserving a godly remnant (see Gen 6-9; Ps 37; Hab 3).
- Psalm 1:5 tn Heb “and sinners in the assembly (or “circle”) of [the] godly.” The negative particle and verb from the preceding line are assumed by ellipsis here (“will not arise/stand”).sn The assembly of the godly is insulated from divine judgment (Ps 37:12-17, 28-29).
- Psalm 1:6 tn The translation understands כי (ki) as asseverative. Another option is to translate “for,” understanding v. 6 as a theological explanation for vv. 3-5, which contrasts the respective destinies of the godly and the wicked.
- Psalm 1:6 tn Heb “the Lord knows the way of the righteous.” To “know a way” means, in its most basic sense, “to recognize/acknowledge a pathway, route, or prescribed way of life” (see Josh 3:4; Job 21:14; Ps 67:2; Isa 42:16; Jer 5:4-5). Here it could refer to the Lord recognizing the behavior of the godly and, by metonymy, rewarding their godliness with security and prosperity (resulting in the translation, “the Lord rewards the behavior of the godly”). The present translation takes the verb in the sense of “mark out” (cf. Job 23:10), which metonymically could mean “watch over, protect, guard.” In this case the “way of the godly” is not their behavior, but their course of life or destiny; a translation reflecting this would be “the Lord protects the lives of the godly” or “the Lord watches over the destiny of the godly” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). The Hebrew active participle יוֹדֵעַ (yodeaʿ, “knows”) has here a characteristic durative force.
- Psalm 1:6 tn Heb “but the way of the wicked perishes.” The “way of the wicked” may refer to their course of life (Ps 146:9; Prov 4:19; Jer 12:1) or their sinful behavior (Prov 12:26; 15:9). The Hebrew imperfect verbal form probably describes here what typically happens, though one could take the form as indicating what will happen (“will perish”).
- Psalm 2:1 sn Psalm 2. In this royal psalm the author asserts the special status of the divinely chosen Davidic king and warns the nations and their rulers to submit to the authority of God and his chosen vice-regent.
- Psalm 2:1 tn The question is rhetorical. Rather than seeking information, the psalmist expresses his outrage that the nations would have the audacity to rebel against God and his chosen king.
- Psalm 2:1 tn The Hebrew verb רָגַשׁ (ragash) occurs only here. In Dan 6:6, 11, 15 the Aramaic cognate verb describes several officials acting as a group. A Hebrew nominal derivative is used in Ps 55:14 of a crowd of people in the temple.
- Psalm 2:1 tn The interrogative לָמָּה (lammah, “why?”) is understood by ellipsis in the second line.
- Psalm 2:1 tn Or “peoples” (so many English versions).
- Psalm 2:1 tn The Hebrew imperfect form describes the rebellion as underway. The verb הָגָה (hagah), which means “to recite quietly, meditate,” here has the metonymic nuance “devise, plan, plot” (see Ps 38:12; Prov 24:2).
- Psalm 2:1 tn Heb “devising emptiness.” The noun רִיק (riq, “emptiness”) may characterize their behavior as “worthless, morally bankrupt” but more likely refers to the outcome of their plots (i.e., failure). As the rest of the psalm emphasizes, their rebellion will fail.
- Psalm 2:2 sn The expression kings of the earth refers somewhat hyperbolically to the kings who had been conquered by and were subject to the Davidic king.
- Psalm 2:2 tn Or “take their stand.” The Hebrew imperfect verbal form describes their action as underway.
- Psalm 2:2 tn Or “conspire together.” The verbal form is a Niphal from יָסַד (yasad). BDB 413-14 s.v. יָסַד defines the verb as “establish, found,” but HALOT 417 s.v. II יסד proposes a homonym meaning “get together, conspire” (an alternate form of סוּד, sud).
- Psalm 2:2 tn Heb “and against his anointed one.” The Davidic king is the referent (see vv. 6-7).
- Psalm 2:3 tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The quotation represents the words of the rebellious kings.
- Psalm 2:3 tn Heb “their (i.e., the Lord’s and the king’s) shackles.” The kings compare the rule of the Lord and his vice-regent to being imprisoned.
- Psalm 2:3 tn Heb “throw off from us.”
- Psalm 2:4 tn Heb “sitting.” The Hebrew verb יָשַׁב (yashav) is here used metonymically of “sitting enthroned” (see Pss 9:7; 29:10; 55:19; 102:12; 123:1).
- Psalm 2:4 tn As the next line indicates, this refers to derisive laughter. The Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in vv. 4-5 describe the action from the perspective of an eyewitness who is watching the divine response as it unfolds before his eyes.
- Psalm 2:4 tn Or “scoffs at”; “derides”; “mocks.”
- Psalm 2:5 sn And terrifies them in his rage. This line focuses on the effect that God’s angry response (see previous line) has on the rebellious kings.
- Psalm 2:5 tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification to indicate that the speaker is the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV).
- Psalm 2:6 tn The first person pronoun appears before the first person verbal form for emphasis, reflected in the translation by “myself.”
- Psalm 2:6 tn Or perhaps “consecrated.”
- Psalm 2:7 tn The words “the king says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The speaker is the Lord’s chosen king.
- Psalm 2:7 tn Or “I will relate the decree. The Lord said to me” (in accordance with the Masoretic accentuation).
- Psalm 2:7 sn ‘You are my son.’ The Davidic king was viewed as God’s “son” (see 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 89:26-27). The idiom reflects ancient Near Eastern adoption language associated with covenants of grant, by which a lord would reward a faithful subject by elevating him to special status, referred to as “sonship.” Like a son, the faithful subject received an “inheritance,” viewed as an unconditional, eternal gift. Such gifts usually took the form of land and/or an enduring dynasty. See M. Weinfeld, “The Covenant of Grant in the Old Testament and in the Ancient Near East,” JAOS 90 (1970): 184-203, for general discussion and some striking extra-biblical parallels.
- Psalm 2:8 sn I will give you the nations. The Lord promises the Davidic king universal dominion.
- Psalm 2:9 tc The LXX reads “you will shepherd them.” This reading, quoted in the Greek text of the NT in Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15, assumes a different vocalization of the consonantal Hebrew text and understands the verb as רָעָה (raʿah, “to shepherd”) rather than רָעָע (raʿaʿ, “to break”). But the presence of נָפַץ (nafats, “to smash”) in the next line strongly favors the MT vocalization.
- Psalm 2:9 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁבֶט (shevet) can refer to a “staff” or “rod,” but here it probably refers to the Davidic king’s royal scepter, symbolizing his sovereignty.
- Psalm 2:9 sn Like a potter’s jar. Before the Davidic king’s awesome power, the rebellious nations are like fragile pottery.
- Psalm 2:10 sn The speaker here is either the psalmist or the Davidic king, who now addresses the rebellious kings.
- Psalm 2:10 tn The Niphal has here a tolerative nuance; the kings are urged to submit themselves to the advice being offered.
- Psalm 2:11 tn The Hebrew verb translated “serve” refers here to submitting to the Lord’s sovereignty as expressed through the rule of the Davidic king. Such “service” would involve maintaining allegiance to the Davidic king by paying tribute on a regular basis.
- Psalm 2:11 tn Traditionally, “rejoice with trembling” (KJV). The verb גִּיל (gil) normally means “rejoice,” but this meaning does not fit well here in conjunction with “in trembling.” Some try to understand “trembling” (and the parallel יִרְאָה, yirʾah, “fear”) in the sense of “reverential awe” and then take the verbs “serve” and “rejoice” in the sense of “worship” (cf. NASB). But רְעָדָה (reʿadah, “trembling”) and its related terms consistently refer to utter terror and fear (see Exod 15:15; Job 4:14; Pss 48:6; 55:5; 104:32; Isa 33:14; Dan 10:11) or at least great emotional distress (Ezra 10:9). It seems more likely here that גִּיל carries its polarized meaning “mourn, lament,” as in Hos 10:5. “Mourn, lament” would then be metonymic in this context for “repent” (referring to one’s rebellious ways). On the meaning of the verb in Hos 10:5, see F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Hosea (AB), 556-57.
- Psalm 2:12 tn Traditionally, “kiss the son” (KJV). But בַּר (bar) is the Aramaic word for “son,” not the Hebrew. For this reason many regard the reading as suspect. Some propose emendations of vv. 11b-12a. One of the more popular proposals is to read בִּרְעָדָה נַשְּׁקוּ לְרַגְלָיו (birʿadah nashequ leraglayv, “in trembling kiss his feet”). It makes better sense to understand בַּר (bar) as an adjective meaning “pure” (see Pss 24:4; 73:1 and BDB 141 s.v. בַּר 3) functioning here in an adverbial sense. If read this way, then the syntactical structure of exhortation (imperative followed by adverbial modifier) corresponds to the two preceding lines (see v. 11). The verb נָשַׁק (nashaq, “kiss”) refers metonymically to showing homage (see 1 Sam 10:1; Hos 13:2). The exhortation in v. 12a advocates a genuine expression of allegiance and warns against insincerity. When swearing allegiance, vassal kings would sometimes do so insincerely, with the intent of rebelling when the time was right. The so-called “Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon” also warn against such an attitude. In this treaty the vassal is told: “If you, as you stand on the soil where this oath [is sworn], swear the oath with your words and lips [only], do not swear with your entire heart, do not transmit it to your sons who will live after this treaty, if you take this curse upon yourselves but do not plan to keep the treaty of Esarhaddon…may your sons and grandsons because of this fear in the future” (see J. B. Pritchard, ed., The Ancient Near East, 2:62).
- Psalm 2:12 tn Throughout the translation of this verse the third person masculine pronouns refer to the Lord (cf. v. 11).
- Psalm 2:12 tn The implied subject of the verb is the Lord, mentioned in v. 11. Elsewhere the subject of this verb is consistently the Lord, suggesting it may be a technical term for divine anger. Anger is here used metonymically for judgment, as the following statement makes clear. A Moabite cognate occurs in the Mesha inscription, where it is used of the Moabite god Chemosh’s anger at his people (see J. B. Pritchard, ed., The Ancient Near East, 1:209).
- Psalm 2:12 tn Heb “and you will perish [in the] way.” The Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) here refers to their rebellious behavior (not to a pathway, as often understood). It functions syntactically as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb “perish.”
- Psalm 2:12 tn Or “burns.” The Lord’s anger is compared here to fire, the most destructive force known in ancient Israel.
- Psalm 2:12 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
- Psalm 2:12 sn Who take shelter in him. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear, and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 3:1 sn Psalm 3. The psalmist acknowledges that he is confronted by many enemies (vv. 1-2). But, alluding to a divine oracle he has received (vv. 4-5), he affirms his confidence in God’s ability to protect him (vv. 3, 6) and requests that God make his promise a reality (vv. 7-8).
- Psalm 3:1 sn According to Jewish tradition, David offered this prayer when he was forced to flee from Jerusalem during his son Absalom’s attempted coup (see 2 Sam 15:13-17).
- Psalm 3:1 tn The Hebrew term מָה (mah, “how”) is used here as an adverbial exclamation (see BDB 553 s.v.).
- Psalm 3:1 tn Heb “many rise up against me.”
- Psalm 3:2 tn Heb “there is no deliverance for him in God.”
- Psalm 3:2 sn The function of the Hebrew term סֶלָה (selah), transliterated here “Selah,” is uncertain. It may be a musical direction of some kind.
- Psalm 3:3 tn Heb “a shield round about me.”
- Psalm 3:3 tn Heb “my glory,” or “my honor.” The psalmist affirms that the Lord is his source of honor, i.e., the one who gives him honor in the sight of others. According to BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 7, the phrase refers to God as the one to whom the psalmist gives honor. But the immediate context focuses on what God does for the psalmist, not vice-versa.
- Psalm 3:3 tn Heb “[the one who] lifts my head.” This phrase could be understood to refer to a general strengthening of the psalmist by God during difficult circumstances. However, if one takes the suggestion of the superscription that this is a Davidic psalm written during the revolt of Absalom, the phrase “lift the head” could refer to the psalmist’s desire for restoration to his former position (cf. Gen 40:13 where the same phrase is used). Like the Hebrew text, the present translation (“who restores me”) can be understood in either sense.
- Psalm 3:4 tn The prefixed verbal form could be an imperfect, yielding the translation “I cry out,” but the verb form in the next line (a vav [ו] consecutive with the preterite) suggests this is a brief narrative of what has already happened. Consequently the verb form in v. 4a is better understood as a preterite, “I cried out.” (For another example of the preterite of this same verb form, see Ps 30:8.) Sometime after the crisis arose, the psalmist prayed to the Lord and received an assuring answer. Now he confidently awaits the fulfillment of the divine promise.
- Psalm 3:4 sn His holy hill. That is, Zion (see Pss 2:6; 48:1-2). The psalmist recognizes that the Lord dwells in his sanctuary on Mount Zion.
- Psalm 3:5 tn The three verbal forms that appear in succession here (perfect + vav [ו] consecutive with preterite + perfect) are most naturally taken as narrational. When the psalmist received an assuring word from the Lord, he was able to sleep calmly. Because the Lord was protecting him, he awoke safely from his sleep.
- Psalm 3:5 tn Or “supports”; “sustains.” In this explanatory causal clause the imperfect verbal form probably has a habitual or present progressive nuance, for the psalmist is confident of God’s continual protection (see v. 3). Another option is to take the verb as a preterite, “for the Lord protected me.” In this case, the psalmist focuses specifically on the protection God provided while he slept.
- Psalm 3:6 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s continuing attitude as he faces the crisis at hand.
- Psalm 3:6 tn Or perhaps “troops.” The Hebrew noun עָם (ʿam) sometimes refers to a military contingent or army.
- Psalm 3:6 tn Heb “who all around take a stand against me.”
- Psalm 3:7 tn In v. 1 the psalmist describes his enemies as those who “confront” him (קָמִים [qamim], literally, “rise up against him”). Now, using the same verbal root (קוּם, qum) he asks the Lord to rise up (קוּמָה, qumah) in his defense.
- Psalm 3:7 tn Elsewhere in the psalms the particle כִּי (ki), when collocated with a perfect verbal form and subordinated to a preceding imperative directed to God, almost always has an explanatory or causal force (“for, because”) and introduces a motivating argument for why God should respond positively to the request (see Pss 5:10; 6:2; 12:1; 16:1; 41:4; 55:9; 56:1; 57:1; 60:2; 69:1; 74:20; 119:94; 123:3; 142:6; 143:8). (On three occasions the כִּי is recitative after a verb of perception [“see/know that,” see Pss 4:3; 25:19; 119:159]). If כִּי is taken as explanatory here, then the psalmist is arguing that God should deliver him now because that is what God characteristically does. However, such a motivating argument is not used in the passages cited above. The motivating argument usually focuses on the nature of the psalmist’s dilemma or the fact that he trusts in the Lord. For this reason it is unlikely that כִּי has its normal force here. Most scholars understand the particle כִּי as having an asseverative (emphasizing) function here (“indeed, yes”; NEB leaves the particle untranslated).
- Psalm 3:7 tn If the particle כִּי (ki) is taken as explanatory, then the perfect verbal forms in v. 7b would describe God’s characteristic behavior. However, as pointed out in the preceding note on the word “yes,” the particle probably has an asseverative force here. If so, the perfects may be taken as indicating rhetorically the psalmist’s certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s assault on his enemies as if it had already happened. Such confidence is consistent with the mood of the psalm, as expressed before (vv. 3-6) and after this (v. 8). Another option is to take the perfects as precative, expressing a wish or request (“Strike all my enemies on the jaw, break the teeth of the wicked”). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
- Psalm 3:7 sn The expression break the teeth may envision violent hand-to hand combat, though it is possible that the enemies are pictured here as a dangerous animal (see Job 29:17).
- Psalm 3:7 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (reshaʿim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and his people.
- Psalm 3:8 tn Heb “to the Lord [is] deliverance.”
- Psalm 3:8 tn Heb “upon your people [is] your blessing.” In this context God’s “blessing” includes deliverance/protection, vindication, and sustained life (see Pss 21:3, 6; 24:5).
- Psalm 4:1 sn Psalm 4. The psalmist asks God to hear his prayer, expresses his confidence that the Lord will intervene, and urges his enemies to change their ways and place their trust in God. He concludes with another prayer for divine intervention and again affirms his absolute confidence in God’s protection.
- Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “God of my righteousness.”
- Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “in distress (or “a narrow place”) you make (a place) large for me.” The function of the Hebrew perfect verbal form here is uncertain. The translation above assumes that the psalmist is expressing his certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s deliverance as if it had already happened. Such confidence is consistent with the mood of the psalm (vv. 3, 8). Another option is to take the perfects as precative, expressing a wish or request (“lead me”). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
- Psalm 4:1 tn Or “show me favor.”
- Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “hear.”
- Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “sons of man.”
- Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “how long my honor to shame?”
- Psalm 4:2 tn The interrogative construction עַד־מֶה (ʿad meh, “how long?”), is understood by ellipsis in the second line.
- Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “emptiness.”
- Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “a lie.” Some see the metonymic language of v. 2b (“emptiness, lie”) as referring to idols or false gods. However, there is no solid immediate contextual evidence for such an interpretation. It is more likely that the psalmist addresses those who threaten him (see v. 1) and refers in a general way to their sinful lifestyle. (See R. Mosis, TDOT 7:121.) The two terms allude to the fact that sinful behavior is ultimately fruitless and self-destructive.
- Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “and know that.”
- Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “that the Lord sets apart a faithful one for himself.” The psalmist states a general principle, though the singular form and the parallel line indicate he has himself in mind as the representative godly person. A חָסִיד (khasid; here translated as “the godly”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).
- Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “hears.”
- Psalm 4:4 sn The psalmist warns his enemies that they need to tremble with fear before God and repudiate their sinful ways.
- Psalm 4:4 tn Heb “say in your heart(s) on your bed(s) and wail/lament.” The verb דֹמּוּ (dommu) is understood as a form of דָמָם (“wail, lament”) in sorrow and repentance. Another option is to take the verb from II דָמָם (damam, “be quiet”); cf. NIV, NRSV “be silent.”
- Psalm 4:5 tn Or “proper, right.” The phrase also occurs in Deut 33:19 and Ps 51:19.
- Psalm 4:5 sn Trust in the Lord. The psalmist urges his enemies to make peace with God and become his followers.
- Psalm 4:6 tn Heb “lift up upon us the light of your face, Lord.” The verb נסה is apparently an alternate form of נשׂא, “lift up.” See GKC 217 §76.b. The idiom “light of your face” probably refers to a smile (see Eccl 8:1), which in turn suggests favor and blessing (see Num 6:25; Pss 31:16; 44:3; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19; 89:15; Dan 9:17).sn Smile upon us. Though many are discouraged, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and transform the situation.
- Psalm 4:7 tn Heb “you place joy in my heart.” Another option is to understand the perfect verbal form as indicating certitude, “you will make me happier.”
- Psalm 4:7 tn Heb “from (i.e., more than) the time (when) their grain and their wine are abundant.”
- Psalm 4:8 tn Heb “in peace at the same time I will lie down and sleep.”
- Psalm 4:8 tn Heb “for you, Lord, solitarily, securely make me dwell.” The translation understands לְבָדָד (levadad) as modifying the verb; the Lord keeps enemies away from the psalmist so that he is safe and secure. Another option is to take לְבָדָד with what precedes and translate, “you alone, Lord, make me secure.”
- Psalm 5:1 sn Psalm 5. Appealing to God’s justice and commitment to the godly, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and deliver him from evildoers.
- Psalm 5:1 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word נְחִילוֹת (nekhilot), which occurs only here, is uncertain. Many relate the form to חָלִיל (khalil, “flute”).
- Psalm 5:1 tn Heb “my words.”
- Psalm 5:1 tn Or “sighing.” The word occurs only here and in Ps 39:3.
- Psalm 5:3 sn In the morning is here viewed as the time of prayer (Pss 59:16; 88:13) and/or of deliverance (Ps 30:5).
- Psalm 5:3 tn The imperfect is here understood in a specific future sense; the psalmist is expressing his confidence that God will be willing to hear his request. Another option is to understand the imperfect as expressing the psalmist’s wish or request. In this case one could translate, “Lord, in the morning hear me.”
- Psalm 5:3 tn Heb “my voice.”
- Psalm 5:3 tn Heb “I will arrange for you.” Some understand a sacrifice or offering as the implied object (cf. NEB “I set out my morning sacrifice”). The present translation assumes that the implied object is the psalmist’s case/request. See Isa 44:7.
- Psalm 5:3 tn Heb “and I will watch.”
- Psalm 5:4 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 5:4 tn Heb “not a God [who] delights [in] wickedness [are] you.”
- Psalm 5:4 tn The Hebrew text has simply the singular form רָע (raʿ),which may be taken as an abstract noun “evil” (the reference to “wickedness” in the preceding line favors this; cf. NEB, NASB, NRSV) or as a substantival adjective “evil one” (the references to evil people in the next two verses favor this; cf. NIV “with you the wicked cannot dwell”).
- Psalm 5:4 tn Heb “cannot dwell as a resident foreigner [with] you.” The negated imperfect verbal form here indicates incapability or lack of permission. These people are morally incapable of dwelling in God’s presence and are not permitted to do so.sn Only the godly are allowed to dwell with the Lord. Evil people are excluded. See Ps 15.
- Psalm 5:5 tn Heb “before your eyes.”
- Psalm 5:5 sn You hate. The Lord “hates” the wicked in the sense that he despises their wicked character and deeds and actively opposes and judges them for their wickedness. See Ps 11:5.
- Psalm 5:5 tn Heb “all the workers of wickedness.”
- Psalm 5:6 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates God’s typical response to such individuals. Another option is to translate the verb as future (“You will destroy”); the psalmist may be envisioning a time of judgment when God will remove the wicked from the scene.
- Psalm 5:6 tn Heb “those who speak a lie.” In the OT a “lie” does not refer in a general philosophical sense to any statement that fails to correspond to reality. Instead it refers more specifically to a slanderous and/or deceitful statement that promotes one’s own selfish, sinful interests and/or exploits or harms those who are innocent. Note the emphasis on violence and deceit in the following line.
- Psalm 5:6 tn The imperfect verbal form highlights the Lord’s characteristic attitude toward such individuals.
- Psalm 5:6 tn Heb “a man of bloodshed and deceit.” The singular אִישׁ (ʾish, “man”) is used here in a collective or representative sense; thus the translation “people” is appropriate here. Note the plural forms in vv. 5-6a.
- Psalm 5:7 sn But as for me. By placing the first person pronoun at the beginning of the verse, the psalmist highlights the contrast between the evildoers’ actions and destiny, outlined in the preceding verses, with his own.
- Psalm 5:7 sn I will enter your house. The psalmist is confident that God will accept him into his presence, in contrast to the evildoers (see v. 5).
- Psalm 5:7 tn Heb “in fear [of] you.” The Hebrew noun יִרְאָה (yirʾah, “fear”), when used of fearing God, is sometimes used metonymically for what it ideally produces: “worship, reverence, piety.”
- Psalm 5:8 tn God’s providential leading is in view. His צְדָקָה (tsedaqah, “righteousness”) includes here the deliverance that originates in his righteousness; he protects and vindicates the one whose cause is just. For other examples of this use of the word, see BDB 842 s.v.
- Psalm 5:8 tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 27:11; 56:2.
- Psalm 5:8 tn Heb “make level before me your way.” The imperative “make level” is Hiphil in the Kethib (consonantal text); Piel in the Qere (marginal reading). God’s “way” is here the way in which he leads the psalmist providentially (see the preceding line, where the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him).
- Psalm 5:9 tn Or “certainly.”
- Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “for there is not in his mouth truthfulness.” The singular pronoun (“his”) probably refers back to the “man of bloodshed and deceit” mentioned in v. 6. The singular is collective or representative, as the plural in the next line indicates, and so has been translated “they.”
- Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “their inward part[s] [is] destruction.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse.
- Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “their throat is an open grave.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse. The metaphor is suggested by the physical resemblance of the human throat to a deeply dug grave; both are dark chasms.
- Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “they make smooth their tongue.” Flattering, deceitful words are in view. See Ps 12:2. The psalmist’s deceitful enemies are compared to the realm of death/Sheol in v. 9b. Sheol was envisioned as a dark region within the earth, the entrance to which was the grave with its steep slopes (cf. Ps 88:4-6). The enemies’ victims are pictured here as slipping down a steep slope (the enemies’ tongues) and falling into an open grave (their throat) that terminates in destruction in the inner recesses of Sheol (their stomach). The enemies’ קֶרֶב (qerev, “inward part”) refers here to their thoughts and motives, which are destructive in their intent. The throat is where these destructive thoughts are transformed into words, and their tongue is what they use to speak the deceitful words that lead their innocent victims to their demise.sn As the psalmist walks down the path in which God leads him, he asks the Lord to guide his steps and remove danger from the path (v. 8), because he knows his enemies have “dug a grave” for him and are ready to use their deceitful words to “swallow him up” like the realm of death (i.e., Sheol) and bring him to ruin.
- Psalm 5:10 tn Heb “declare/regard them as guilty.” Declaring the psalmist’s adversaries guilty is here metonymic for judging them or paying them back for their wrongdoing.
- Psalm 5:10 tn Heb “may they fall from their plans.” The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation. The psalmist calls judgment down on the evildoers. Their plans will be their downfall in that God will judge them for their evil schemes.
- Psalm 5:10 tn Or “banish them.”
- Psalm 5:10 tn The Hebrew noun used here, פֶּשַׁע (peshaʿ), refers to rebellious actions. The psalmist pictures his enemies as rebels against God (see the next line).
- Psalm 5:11 sn Take shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 5:11 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer. The psalmist calls on God to reward his faithful followers.
- Psalm 5:11 tn Or perhaps more hyperbolically, “forever.”
- Psalm 5:11 tn As in the preceding line, the prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer.
- Psalm 5:11 tn Heb “put a cover over them.” The verb form is a Hiphil imperfect from סָכַךְ (sakhakh, “cover, shut off”). The imperfect expresses the psalmist’s wish or request.
- Psalm 5:11 tn Heb “the lovers of your name.” The phrase refers to those who are loyal to the Lord. See Pss 69:36; 119:132; Isa 56:6.
- Psalm 5:11 tn The vav (ו) with prefixed verbal form following the volitional “shelter them” indicates purpose or result (“so that those…may rejoice).
- Psalm 5:12 tn Or “For.”
- Psalm 5:12 tn Or “bless.” The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line highlight how God characteristically rewards and protects the godly.
- Psalm 5:12 tn Or “innocent.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense.
- Psalm 5:12 tn Heb “surround.” In 1 Sam 23:26 the verb describes how Saul and his men hemmed David in as they chased him.
- Psalm 5:12 tn Heb “him.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense and is thus translated “them.”
- Psalm 5:12 tn Or “with favor” (cf. NRSV). There is no preposition before the noun in the Hebrew text, nor is there a pronoun attached. “Favor” here stands by metonymy for God’s defensive actions on behalf of the one whom he finds acceptable.
- Psalm 6:1 sn Psalm 6. The psalmist begs the Lord to withdraw his anger and spare his life. Having received a positive response to his prayer, the psalmist then confronts his enemies and describes how they retreat.
- Psalm 6:1 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term שְׁמִינִית (sheminit, “sheminith”) is uncertain; perhaps it refers to a particular style of music. See 1 Chr 15:21.
- Psalm 6:1 sn The implication is that the psalmist has sinned, causing God to discipline him by bringing a life-threatening illness upon him (see vv. 2-7).
- Psalm 6:2 tn Or “show me favor.”
- Psalm 6:2 tn Normally the verb בָּהַל (bahal) refers to an emotional response and means “tremble with fear, be terrified” (see vv. 3, 10). Perhaps here the “bones” are viewed as the seat of the psalmist’s emotions. However, the verb may describe one of the effects of his physical ailment, perhaps a fever. In Ezek 7:27 the verb describes how the hands of the people will shake with fear when they experience the horrors of divine judgment.
- Psalm 6:3 tn Heb “my being is very terrified.” The suffixed form of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often equivalent to a pronoun in poetic texts.
- Psalm 6:3 tn Heb “and you, Lord, how long?” The suffering psalmist speaks in broken syntax. He addresses God, but then simply cries out with a brief, but poignant, question: How long will this (= his suffering) continue?
- Psalm 6:4 tn Heb “my being,” or “my life.” The suffixed form of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often equivalent to a pronoun in poetic texts.
- Psalm 6:4 sn Deliver me because of your faithfulness. Though the psalmist is experiencing divine discipline, he realizes that God has made a commitment to him in the past, so he appeals to God’s faithfulness in his request for help.
- Psalm 6:5 tn Heb “for there is not in death your remembrance.” The Hebrew noun זֵכֶר (zekher, “remembrance”) here refers to the name of the Lord as invoked in liturgy and praise. Cf. Pss 30:4; 97:12. “Death” here refers to the realm of death where the dead reside. See the reference to Sheol in the next line.
- Psalm 6:5 tn The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “no one.”sn In Sheol who gives you thanks? According to the OT, those who descend into the realm of death/Sheol are cut off from God’s mighty deeds and from the worshiping covenant community that experiences divine intervention (Pss 30:9; 88:10-12; Isa 38:18). In his effort to elicit a positive divine response, the psalmist reminds God that he will receive no praise or glory if he allows the psalmist to die. Dead men do not praise God!
- Psalm 6:6 tn Heb “I cause to swim through all the night my bed.”
- Psalm 6:6 tn Heb “with my tears my bed I flood/melt.”
- Psalm 6:7 tn The Hebrew text has the singular “eye” here.
- Psalm 6:7 tn Or perhaps, “are swollen.”
- Psalm 6:7 tn Or perhaps, “grow old.”
- Psalm 6:7 sn In his weakened condition the psalmist is vulnerable to the taunts and threats of his enemies.
- Psalm 6:8 tn Heb “all [you] workers of wickedness.” See Ps 5:5.
- Psalm 6:8 sn The Lord has heard. The psalmist’s mood abruptly changes because the Lord responded positively to the lament and petition of vv. 1-7 and promised him deliverance.
- Psalm 6:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is probably a preterite here; it is parallel to a perfect and refers to the fact that the Lord has responded favorably to the psalmist’s request.
- Psalm 6:10 tn In the structure of the Psalm, this verse is either another petition or a statement of confidence. If a petition, the four prefixed verbal forms in this verse should be understood as jussives. By form, many prefixed verbs can be either imperfect or jussive. But the third verb in the series, יָשֻׁבוּ (yashuvu), can be distinguished as an imperfect by its qibbuts theme vowel, and is not a jussive (which would have had a qamets hatuph or holem). Expecting all four verbs to be the same due to parallelism leads to the conclusion that this section is a statement of confidence, in which the imperfect verbs should be treated as future.
- Psalm 6:10 sn The psalmist uses the same expression in v. 3 to describe the terror he was experiencing. He is confident that the tables will be turned and his enemies will know what absolute terror feels like.
- Psalm 7:1 sn Psalm 7. The psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and deliver him from his enemies. He protests his innocence and declares his confidence in God’s justice.
- Psalm 7:1 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term שִׁגָּיוֹן (shiggayon; translated here “musical composition”) is uncertain. Some derive the noun from the verbal root שָׁגָה (shagah, “swerve, reel”) and understand it as referring to a “wild, passionate song, with rapid changes of rhythm” (see BDB 993 s.v. שִׁגָּיוֹן). But this proposal is purely speculative. The only other appearance of the noun is in Hab 3:1, where it occurs in the plural.
- Psalm 7:1 tn Or “on account of.”
- Psalm 7:1 sn Apparently this individual named Cush was one of David’s enemies.
- Psalm 7:1 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.
- Psalm 7:2 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew text, even though “all who chase me” in v. 1 refers to a whole group of enemies. The singular is also used in vv. 4-5, but the psalmist returns to the plural in v. 6. The singular is probably collective, emphasizing the united front that the psalmist’s enemies present. This same alternation between a collective singular and a plural referring to enemies appears in Pss 9:3, 6; 13:4; 31:4, 8; 41:6, 10-11; 42:9-10; 55:3; 64:1-2; 74:3-4; 89:22-23; 106:10-11; 143:3, 6, 9.
- Psalm 7:2 tn Heb “my life.” The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.
- Psalm 7:2 tn Heb “tearing and there is no one rescuing.” The verbal form translated “tearing” is a singular active participle.
- Psalm 7:3 tn Heb “if I have done this.”
- Psalm 7:3 tn Heb “if there is injustice in my hands.” The “hands” figuratively suggest deeds or actions.
- Psalm 7:4 tn Heb “if I have repaid the one at peace with me evil.” The form שׁוֹלְמִי (sholemi, “the one at peace with me”) probably refers to a close friend or ally, i.e., one with whom the psalmist has made a formal agreement. See BDB 1023 s.v. שָׁלוֹם 4.a.
- Psalm 7:4 tn Heb “or rescued my enemy in vain.” The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive (the verb form is pseudo-cohortative; see IBHS 576-77 §34.5.3) carries on the hypothetical nuance of the perfect in the preceding line. Some regard the statement as a parenthetical assertion that the psalmist is kind to his enemies. Others define חָלַץ (khalats) as “despoil” (cf. NASB, NRSV “plundered”; NIV “robbed”), an otherwise unattested nuance for this verb. Still others emend the verb to לָחַץ (lakhats, “oppress”). Most construe the adverb רֵיקָם (reqam, “emptily, vainly”) with “my enemy,” i.e., the one who is my enemy in vain.” The present translation (1) assumes an emendation of צוֹרְרִי (tsoreri, “my enemy”) to צוֹרְרוֹ (tsorero, “his [i.e., the psalmist’s ally’s] enemy”) following J. Tigay, “Psalm 7:5 and Ancient Near Eastern Treaties,” JBL 89 (1970): 178-86, (2) understands the final mem (ם) on רֵיקָם as enclitic, and (3) takes רִיק (riq) as an adjective modifying “his enemy.” (For other examples of a suffixed noun followed by an attributive adjective without the article, see Pss 18:17 (“my strong enemy”), 99:3 (“your great and awesome name”) and 143:10 (“your good spirit”). The adjective רִיק occurs with the sense “lawless” in Judg 9:4; 11:3; 2 Chr 13:7. In this case the psalmist affirms that he has not wronged his ally, nor has he given aid to his ally’s enemies. Ancient Near Eastern treaties typically included such clauses, with one or both parties agreeing not to lend aid to the treaty partner’s enemies.
- Psalm 7:5 tn The vocalization of the verb form seems to be a mixture of Qal and Piel (see GKC 168 §63.n). The translation assumes the Piel, which would emphasize the repetitive nature of the action. The translation assumes the prefixed verbal form is a jussive. The psalmist is so certain that he is innocent of the sins mentioned in vv. 3-4, he pronounces an imprecation on himself for rhetorical effect.
- Psalm 7:5 tn Heb “my life.” The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.
- Psalm 7:5 tn Heb “and may he overtake.” The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive. The object “me,” though unexpressed, is understood from the preceding statement.
- Psalm 7:5 tn Heb “and may he trample down to the earth my life.”
- Psalm 7:5 tn Heb “and my honor in the dust may he cause to dwell.” The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive. Some emend כְבוֹדִי (khevodi, “my honor”) to כְבֵדִי (khevedi, “my liver” as the seat of life), but the term כְבוֹדִי (khevodi) is to be retained since it probably refers to the psalmist’s dignity or honor.
- Psalm 7:6 tn Heb “in your anger.”
- Psalm 7:6 tn Heb “Lift yourself up in the angry outbursts of my enemies.” Many understand the preposition prefixed to עַבְרוֹת (ʿavrot, “angry outbursts”) as adversative, “against,” and the following genitive “enemies” as subjective. In this case one could translate, “rise up against my furious enemies” (cf. NIV, NRSV). The present translation, however, takes the preposition as indicating manner (cf. “in your anger” in the previous line) and understands the plural form of the noun as indicating an abstract quality (“fury”) or excessive degree (“raging fury”). Cf. Job 21:30.
- Psalm 7:6 tc Heb “Wake up to me [with the] judgment [which] you have commanded.” The LXX understands אֵלִי (ʾeliy, “my God”) instead of אֵלַי (ʾelay, “to me”; the LXX reading is followed by NEB, NIV, NRSV.) If the reading of the MT is retained, the preposition probably has the sense of “on account of, for the sake of.” The noun מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat, “judgment”) is probably an adverbial accusative, modifying the initial imperative, “wake up.” In this case צִוִּיתָ (tsivvita, “[which] you have commanded”) is an asyndetic relative clause. Some take the perfect as precative. In this case one could translate the final line, “Wake up for my sake! Decree judgment!” (cf. NIV). However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
- Psalm 7:7 tn Heb “and the assembly of the peoples surrounds you.” Some understand the prefixed verbal form as a jussive, “may the assembly of the peoples surround you.”
- Psalm 7:7 tn Heb “over it (the feminine suffix refers back to the feminine noun “assembly” in the preceding line) on high return.” Some emend שׁוּבָה (shuvah, “return”) to שֵׁבָה (shevah, “sit [in judgment]”) because they find the implication of “return” problematic. But the psalmist does not mean to imply that God has abandoned his royal throne and needs to regain it. Rather he simply urges God, as sovereign king of the world, to once more occupy his royal seat of judgment and execute judgment, as the OT pictures God doing periodically.
- Psalm 7:8 sn The Lord judges the nations. In hyperbolic fashion the psalmist pictures the nations assembled around the divine throne (v. 7a). He urges God to take his rightful place on the throne (v. 7b) and then pictures him making judicial decisions that vindicate the innocent (see vv. 8-16).
- Psalm 7:8 tn Heb “judge me, O Lord, according to my innocence.”
- Psalm 7:8 tn Heb “according to my blamelessness.” The imperative verb translated “vindicate” governs the second line as well.
- Psalm 7:8 tn The Hebrew form עָלָי (ʿalay) has been traditionally understood as the preposition עַל (ʿal, “over”) with a first person suffix. But this is syntactically awkward and meaningless. The form is probably a divine title derived from the verbal root עָלָה (ʿalah, “ascend”). This relatively rare title appears elsewhere in the OT (see HALOT 824-25 s.v. I עַל, though this text is not listed) and in Ugaritic as an epithet for Baal (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 98). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:44-45, and P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 98.
- Psalm 7:9 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (reshaʿim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and his people.
- Psalm 7:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation here.
- Psalm 7:9 tn Or “the godly” (see Ps 5:12). The singular form is collective (see the plural “upright in heart” in v. 10), though it may reflect the personal focus of the psalmist in this context.
- Psalm 7:9 tn The prefixed verbal form expresses the psalmist’s prayer or wish.
- Psalm 7:9 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 11:4; 26:2; 139:23.
- Psalm 7:9 tn Heb “and [the one who] tests hearts and kidneys, righteous God.” The translation inverts the word order to improve the English style. The heart and kidneys were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.
- Psalm 7:10 tn Traditionally, “my shield is upon God” (cf. NASB). As in v. 8, עַל (ʿal) should be understood as a divine title, here compounded with “God” (cf. NIV, “God Most High”). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:45-46. The shield metaphor pictures God as a protector against deadly attacks.
- Psalm 7:10 tn Heb “pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the Lord and, as a result, experience his deliverance (see Pss 11:2; 32:11; 36:10; 64:10; 94:15; 97:11).
- Psalm 7:11 tn Heb “God (the divine name אֵל [ʾel] is used) is angry during all the day.” The verb זֹעֵם (zoʿem) means “be indignant, be angry, curse.” Here God’s angry response to wrongdoing and injustice leads him to prepare to execute judgment as described in the following verses.
- Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “If he”; the referent (a person who is a sinner) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The subject of the first verb is understood as the sinner who fails to repent of his ways and becomes the target of God’s judgment (vv. 9, 14-16).
- Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “if he does not return, his sword he wields.” The referent (God) of the pronominal subject of the second verb (“sharpens”) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The verb לָטַשׁ (latash) appears only five times in the Bible. It is typically taken as a reference to sharpening, as in 1 Sam 13:20. But the meaning “wield” known from Ugaritic, a close cognate language, seems to fit the context better. The following verbs describe past actions of having gotten instruments prepared for battle. It is more consistent with that setting to picture God taking his sword and swinging it as a final act of preparation or as an immediate threat.
- Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “his bow he has stepped [on] and prepared it.” “Treading the bow” involved stepping on one end of it in order to bend and string it and thus prepare it for battle. The verbs are a perfect and a preterite, thus referring to past action.
- Psalm 7:13 tn Heb “and for him he has prepared the weapons of death.”
- Psalm 7:13 tn Heb “his arrows into flaming [things] he makes.” The verb is a prefixed form and understood as an imperfect. As a parallel to the first verb in the series, יִלְטֹשׁ (yiltosh; he will wield), it describes a final act of preparation or the beginning of engaging in battle. It is also possible that the form is a preterite and should be understood as past tense, like the preceding perfect and preterite verbs.
- Psalm 7:15 tn Heb “a pit he digs and he excavates it.” Apparently the imagery of hunting is employed; the wicked sinner digs this pit to entrap and destroy his intended victim. The redundancy in the Hebrew text has been simplified in the translation.
- Psalm 7:15 tn The verb forms in vv. 15-16 describe the typical behavior and destiny of those who attempt to destroy others. The image of the evildoer falling into the very trap he set for his intended victim emphasizes the appropriate nature of God’s judgment.
- Psalm 7:16 tn Heb “his harm [i.e., the harm he conceived for others, see v. 14] returns on his head.”
- Psalm 7:16 tn Heb “and on his forehead his violence [i.e., the violence he intended to do to others] comes down.”
- Psalm 7:17 tn Heb “according to.”
- Psalm 7:17 tn Heb “[to] the name of the Lord Most High.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his divine characteristics as suggested by his name, in this case the compound “Lord Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.
- Psalm 8:1 sn Psalm 8. In this hymn to the sovereign creator, the psalmist praises God’s majesty and marvels that God has given mankind dominion over the created order.
- Psalm 8:1 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term הגתית is uncertain; it probably refers to a musical style or type of instrument.
- Psalm 8:1 tn The plural form of the title emphasizes the Lord’s absolute sovereignty.
- Psalm 8:1 tn Or “awesome”; or “majestic.”
- Psalm 8:1 tn Heb “name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
- Psalm 8:1 tc Heb “which, give, your majesty on the heavens.” The verb form תְּנָה (tenah; an imperative?) should be emended to a second masculine singular perfect (נָתַתָּה, natattah) or imperfect (תִתֵּן, titten) form. The introductory אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher, “which”) can be taken as a relative pronoun (“you who”) or as a causal conjunction (“because”). One may literally translate, “you who [or “because you”] place your majesty upon the heavens.” For other uses of the phrase “place majesty upon” see Num 27:20 and 1 Chr 29:25.
- Psalm 8:2 tn Heb “you establish strength because of your foes.” The meaning of the statement is unclear. The present translation follows the reading of the LXX which has “praise” (αἶνος, ainos) in place of “strength” (עֹז, ʿoz); cf. NIV, NCV, NLT.
- Psalm 8:2 tn Heb “to cause to cease an enemy and an avenger.” The singular forms are collective. The Hitpael participle of נָקַם (naqam) also occurs in Ps 44:16.
- Psalm 8:3 tn Heb “when I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and stars which you established.” The verb “[and] see” is understood by ellipsis in the second half of the verse.
- Psalm 8:4 tn Heb “What is man[kind]?” The singular noun אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh, “man”) is used here in a collective sense and refers to the human race.
- Psalm 8:4 tn Heb “remember him.”
- Psalm 8:4 tn Heb “and the son of man.” The phrase “son of man” is used here in a collective sense and refers to human beings. For other uses of the phrase in a collective or representative manner, see Num 23:19; Ps 146:3; Isa 51:12.
- Psalm 8:4 tn The two imperfect verbal forms in v. 4 describe God’s characteristic activity.
- Psalm 8:5 tn Heb “him.” The antecedent is “son of man,” so the pronoun is third masculine singular. But since “son of man” is taken in a generic sense, the translation says “them” referring to the human race.
- Psalm 8:5 tn Heb “and you make him lack a little from אֱלֹהִים (ʾelohim, “God” or “the heavenly beings”). The Piel form of חָסַר (khasar, “to decrease, to be devoid”) is used only here and in Eccl 4:8, where it means “to deprive, to cause to be lacking.” The verb form is past tense, as confirmed both by the preterite pointing of the initial vav (ו) and by the form of the pronominal suffix (without nun as with the forms in the previous verse). Some see this as an allusion to the creation of Adam and Eve in Gen 1:26-27, but it may also be a general reference to the status of humanity. Any connection is theological as Ps 8:5 does not share any terminology with Gen 1:26-27.
- Psalm 8:5 tn The Hebrew term אֱלֹהִים (ʾelohim) can refer to the one true God, to false gods, or the heavenly beings. In this context it would refer either to God or to the angels. The LXX (the ancient Greek translation of the OT) reads “angels” in Ps 8:5 (and is the source of the quotation of Ps 8:5 in Heb 2:7). The term אֱלֹהִים may refer to heavenly beings (angels) in Gen 3:5, where the serpent says to the woman, “you will be like the heavenly beings who know good and evil.” (Note Gen 3:22, where God says, “the man has become like one of us.” Also see the notes at Gen 1:26-27 regarding the plural forms.) In Ps 82:1, 6 אֱלֹהִים may refer to the members of the heavenly assembly (or may be a polemic against false gods).
- Psalm 8:5 tn Heb “him.” The antecedent, “son of man” is understood generically as representing the human race. The form of the third masculine singular pronoun on the verb (i.e., without nun connector as in the previous verse) confirms that the verb is a preterite. Although beginning with vav-patakh-dagesh commonly the characterizes the preterite form, it is not always present in poetry. This form of the third masculine singular suffix is used with the short prefixed paradigms, preterite and jussive, of which only the preterite fits the context.
- Psalm 8:5 sn Honor and majesty. These terms allude to mankind’s royal status as God’s vice-regents (cf. v. 6 and Gen 1:26-30).
- Psalm 8:6 tn Heb “you cause [i.e., “permit, allow”] him to rule over the works of your hands.”
- Psalm 8:6 tn The perfect verbal form probably has a present perfect nuance here. It refers to the continuing effects of God’s original mandate (see Gen 1:26-30).
- Psalm 8:6 tn Heb “under his feet.”sn Placed everything under their authority. This verse affirms that mankind rules over God’s creation as his vice-regent. See Gen 1:26-30.
- Psalm 8:7 tn Heb “and also the beasts of the field.”
- Psalm 8:8 tn Heb “paths.”
- Psalm 8:9 tn The plural form of the title emphasizes the Lord’s absolute sovereignty.
- Psalm 8:9 tn Or “awesome, majestic.”
- Psalm 8:9 tn Heb “name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
- Psalm 8:9 sn Using the poetic device of inclusio, the psalmist ends the psalm the way he began it. The concluding refrain is identical to v. 1.
- Psalm 9:1 sn Psalm 9. The psalmist, probably speaking on behalf of Israel or Judah, praises God for delivering him from hostile nations. He celebrates God’s sovereignty and justice, and calls on others to join him in boasting of God’s greatness. Many Hebrew mss and the ancient Greek version (LXX) combine Psalms 9 and 10 into a single psalm.
- Psalm 9:1 tc The meaning of the Hebrew term עַלְמוּת (’almut) is uncertain. Some mss divide the form into עַל מוּת (’al mut, “according to the death [of the son]”), while the LXX assumes a reading עֲלֻמוֹת עַל (’al ’alumot, “according to alumoth”). The phrase probably refers to a particular tune or musical style.
- Psalm 9:1 tn The cohortative forms in vv. 1-2 express the psalmist’s resolve to praise God publicly.
- Psalm 9:2 tn Heb “[to] your name, O Most High.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his divine characteristics as suggested by his name, in this case “Most High.” This divine title (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.
- Psalm 9:3 tn Or “perish”; or “die.” The imperfect verbal forms in this line either emphasize what typically happens or describe vividly the aftermath of a recent battle in which the Lord defeated the psalmist’s enemies.
- Psalm 9:4 tn Heb “for you accomplished my justice and my legal claim.”
- Psalm 9:4 tn Heb “you sat on a throne [as] one who judges [with] righteousness.” The perfect verbal forms in v. 4 probably allude to a recent victory (see vv. 5-7). Another option is to understand the verbs as describing what is typical (“you defend…you sit on a throne”).
- Psalm 9:5 tn The verb גָּעַר (gaʿar) is often understood to mean “rebuke” and in this context taken to refer to the Lord’s “rebuke” of the nations. In some cases it is apparent that scolding or threatening is in view (see Gen 37:10; Ruth 2:16; Zech 3:2). However, in militaristic contexts this translation is inadequate, for the verb refers in this setting to the warrior’s battle cry, which terrifies and paralyzes the enemy. See A. Caquot, TDOT 3:53, and note the use of the verb in Pss 68:30; 106:9; and Nah 1:4, as well as the related noun in Job 26:11; Pss 18:15; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
- Psalm 9:5 tn The singular form is collective (note “nations” and “their name”). In the psalms the “wicked” (רְשָׁעִים, reshaʿim) are typically proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). In this context the hostile nations who threaten Israel/Judah are in view.
- Psalm 9:5 tn Heb “their name you wiped out forever and ever.” The three perfect verbal forms in v. 5 probably refer to a recent victory (definite past or present perfect use), although they might express what is typical (characteristic use).
- Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “the enemy—they have come to an end [in] ruins permanently.” The singular form אוֹיֵב (ʾoyev, “enemy”) is collective. It is placed at the beginning of the verse to heighten the contrast with יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) in v. 7.
- Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “you uprooted cities.”
- Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “it has perished, their remembrance, they.” The independent pronoun at the end of the line is in apposition to the preceding pronominal suffix and lends emphasis (see IBHS 299 §16.3.4). The referent of the masculine pronoun is the nations/enemies (cf. v. 5), not the cities (the Hebrew noun עָרִים [ʿarim, “cities”] is grammatically feminine). This has been specified in the present translation for clarity; many modern translations retain the pronoun “them,” resulting in ambiguity (cf. NRSV “their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished”).
- Psalm 9:7 tn The construction vav (ו) + subject highlights the contrast between the exalted Lord and his defeated foes (see v. 6).
- Psalm 9:7 tn Heb “sits” (i.e., enthroned, see v. 4). The imperfect verbal form highlights the generalization.
- Psalm 9:7 tn Heb “he establishes for justice his throne.”
- Psalm 9:8 tn Heb “the peoples.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 8 either describe God’s typical, characteristic behavior, or anticipate a future judgment of worldwide proportions (“will judge…”).
- Psalm 9:9 tn Following the imperfect in v. 9, the construction vav (ו) conjunctive + shortened form of the prefixed verb הָיָה (hayah) indicates a consequence or result of the preceding statement. The construction functions this same way in Pss 81:15 and 104:20.
- Psalm 9:9 tn Heb “and the Lord is an elevated place for the oppressed.” The singular form דָּךְ (dakh, “oppressed”) is collective here.
- Psalm 9:9 tn Heb “[he is] an elevated place for times in trouble.” Here an “elevated place” refers to a stronghold, a defensible, secure position that represents a safe haven in times of unrest or distress (cf. NEB “tower of strength”; NIV, NRSV “stronghold”).
- Psalm 9:10 tn Heb “and the ones who know your name trust in you.” The construction vav (ו) conjunctive + imperfect at the beginning of the verse expresses another consequence of the statement made in v. 8. “To know” the Lord’s “name” means to be his follower, recognizing his authority and maintaining loyalty to him. See Ps 91:14, where “knowing” the Lord’s “name” is associated with loving him.
- Psalm 9:10 tn Heb “the ones who seek you.”
- Psalm 9:11 tn Heb “sits” (i.e., enthroned, and therefore ruling—see v. 4). Another option is to translate as “lives” or “dwells.”
- Psalm 9:11 tn Heb “declare among the nations his deeds.”
- Psalm 9:12 tn Heb “for the one who seeks shed blood remembered them.” The idiomatic expression “to seek shed blood” seems to carry the idea “to seek payment/restitution for one’s shed blood.” The plural form דָּמִים (damim, “shed blood”) occurs only here as the object of דָּרַשׁ (darash, “to seek”); the singular form דָּם (dam, “blood”) appears with the verb in Gen 9:5; 42:22; Ezek 33:6. “Them,” the pronominal object of the verb “remembered,” refers to the oppressed, mentioned specifically in the next line, so the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Psalm 9:12 tn Heb “did not forget.”
- Psalm 9:12 tn Heb “the cry for help of the oppressed.” In this context the “oppressed” are the psalmist and those he represents, whom the hostile nations have threatened.
- Psalm 9:13 tn The words “when they prayed,” though not represented in the Hebrew text, are supplied in the translation for clarification. The petition in vv. 13-14 is best understood as the cry for help which the oppressed offered to God when the nations threatened. The Lord answered this request, prompting the present song of thanksgiving.
- Psalm 9:13 tn Or “show me favor.”
- Psalm 9:13 tn Heb “see my misery from the ones who hate me.”
- Psalm 9:13 tn Heb “one who lifts me up.”
- Psalm 9:14 tn Or “so that I might.”
- Psalm 9:14 tn Heb “all your praise.” “Praise” stands by metonymy for the mighty acts that prompt it.
- Psalm 9:14 sn Daughter Zion is an idiomatic title for Jerusalem. It appears frequently in the prophets, but only here in the psalms.
- Psalm 9:14 tn Heb “in your deliverance.”
- Psalm 9:15 tn Heb “sank down.”
- Psalm 9:15 sn The hostility of the nations against God’s people is their downfall, for it prompts God to intervene and destroy them. See also Ps 7:15-16.
- Psalm 9:16 tn Heb “by the work of his hands [the] wicked [one] was ensnared.” The singular form רָשָׁע (rashaʿ, “wicked”) is collective or representative here (see vv. 15, 17). The form נוֹקֵשׁ (noqesh) appears to be an otherwise unattested Qal form (active participle) from נָקַשׁ (naqash), but the form should be emended to נוֹקַשׁ (noqash), a Niphal perfect from יָקַשׁ (yaqash).
- Psalm 9:16 tn This is probably a technical musical term.
- Psalm 9:17 tn Heb “the wicked turn back to Sheol.” The imperfect verbal form either emphasizes what typically happens or describes vividly the aftermath of the Lord’s victory over the psalmist’s enemies. See v. 3.
- Psalm 9:17 tn The words “this is the destiny of” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. The verb “are turned back” is understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).
- Psalm 9:17 tn Heb “forget.” “Forgetting God” refers here to worshiping false gods and thereby refusing to recognize his sovereignty (see also Deut 8:19; Judg 3:7; 1 Sam 12:9; Isa 17:10; Jer 3:21; Ps 44:20). The nations’ refusal to acknowledge God’s sovereignty accounts for their brazen attempt to attack and destroy his people.
- Psalm 9:18 tn Or “forgotten.”
- Psalm 9:18 tn Heb “the hope of the afflicted does [not] perish forever.” The negative particle is understood by ellipsis; note the preceding line. The imperfect verbal forms express what typically happens.
- Psalm 9:19 sn Rise up, Lord!…May the nations be judged. The psalm concludes with a petition that the Lord would continue to exercise his justice as he has done in the recent crisis.
- Psalm 9:19 tn Or “prevail.”
- Psalm 9:20 tn Heb “place, Lord, terror with regard to them.” The Hebrew term מוֹרָה (morah, “terror”) is an alternative form of מוֹרָא (moraʾ; a reading that appears in some mss and finds support in several ancient textual witnesses).
- Psalm 9:20 tn Heb “let the nations know they [are] man[kind]”; i.e., mere human beings (as opposed to God).
- Psalm 10:1 sn Psalm 10. Many Hebrew mss and the ancient Greek version (LXX) combine Psalms 9 and 10 into a single psalm. Taken in isolation, Psalm 10 is a petition for help in which the psalmist urges the Lord to deliver him from his dangerous enemies, whom he describes in vivid and terrifying detail. The psalmist concludes with confidence; he is certain that God’s justice will prevail.
- Psalm 10:1 tn Heb “you hide for times in trouble.” The interrogative “why” is understood by ellipsis; note the preceding line. The Hiphil verbal form “hide” has no expressed object. Some supply “your eyes” by ellipsis (see BDB 761 s.v. I עָלַם Hiph and HALOT 835 s.v. I עלם hif) or emend the form to a Niphal (“you hide yourself,” see BHS, note c; cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV).
- Psalm 10:2 tn Heb “because of the pride of [the] wicked he burns [i.e., hotly pursues] [the] oppressed.” The singular forms רָשָׁע (rashaʿ, “wicked”) and עָנִי (ʿani, “oppressed”) are collective and representative, as indicated in the next line, which uses plural verb forms to describe the actions of both.
- Psalm 10:2 tn The two imperfect verbal forms in v. 2 describe either what typically happens (from the psalmist’s perspective) or what the psalmist was experiencing at the time he offered this prayer.
- Psalm 10:2 tn Heb “they are trapped in the schemes which they have thought up.” The referents of the two pronominal suffixes on the verbs have been specified in the translation for clarity. The referent of the first suffix (“they”) is taken as the oppressed, while the referent of the second (“they”) is taken to be the wicked (cf. NIV, which renders “wicked” in the previous line as a collective singular). Others take the referent of both occurrences of “they” in the line to be the wicked (cf. NRSV, “let them be caught in the schemes they have devised”).
- Psalm 10:3 tn The translation assumes כִּי (ki) is asseverative: “indeed, certainly.” Another option is to translate “for,” understanding v. 3 as giving the reason why the wicked so arrogantly seek to destroy the helpless (so NASB, NRSV).
- Psalm 10:3 tn The representative or typical evildoer is described in vv. 3-11, 13, 15. Since the singular form predominates in these verses, it has been retained in the translation.
- Psalm 10:3 tn Heb “the wicked [one] boasts on account of the desire of his appetite.” The translation assumes that the preposition עַל (ʿal) introduces the reason why the wicked boasts (cf. this use of עַל with הָלַל (halal) in Ps 119:164 and Ezra 3:11). In this case, the “desire of his appetite” refers by metonymy to the object desired and acquired.
- Psalm 10:3 tn The translation assumes the active participle is substantival, referring to the wicked man mentioned in the preceding line. The substantival participle is then understood as the subject of the following verbs. For other examples of the participle of בָּצַע (batsaʿ) used of those who desire and/or acquire wealth through dishonest and/or violent means, see Prov 1:19; 15:27; Jer 6:13; 8:10; Hab 2:9.
- Psalm 10:3 tn The verb בָּרַךְ (barakh) normally means “to bless,” but in a few cases it exhibits the polarized meaning “to curse” (1 Kgs 21:10, 13; Job 1:5-11; 2:5-9). (Some regard this use of בָּרַךְ as a mere euphemism.) The verb refers to the act of pronouncing or calling down a formal curse upon the object of one’s anger.
- Psalm 10:3 tn The conjunction “and” is supplied in the translation; it does not appear in the Hebrew text.
- Psalm 10:3 tn Another option is to translate, “he blesses one who robs others, [but] he curses the Lord.” In this case the subject of the verbs is “the wicked man” mentioned in the previous line, and “the one who robs others” is the object of the verb בָּרַךְ (barakh), which is understood in its usual sense of “bless.”
- Psalm 10:4 tn Heb “the wicked [one], according to the height of his nose, he does not seek, there is no God, all his thoughts.” The phrase “height of his nose” probably refers to an arrogant or snooty attitude; it likely pictures one with his nose turned upward toward the sky in pride. One could take the “wicked” as the subject of the negated verb “seek,” in which case the point is that the wicked do not “seek” God. The translation assumes that this statement, along with “there is no God,” is what the wicked man thinks to himself. In this case God is the subject of the verb “seek,” and the point is that God will not hold the wicked man accountable for his actions. Verse 13 strongly favors this interpretation. The statement “there is no God” is not a philosophical assertion that God does not exist, but rather a confident affirmation that he is unconcerned about how men live morally and ethically (see v. 11).
- Psalm 10:5 tn Heb “they are firm, his ways, at every time.” The verb חַיִל (khayil, “be firm, be strong”) occurs only here and in Job 20:21, where it has the sense “endure.”
- Psalm 10:5 tc Heb “[on a] height, your judgments from before him.” If the MT is retained, then the idea may be that God’s “judgments” are high above (i.e., not recognized) by the wicked man. However, the syntax is awkward. The translation assumes an emendation of מָרוֹם (marom, “height”) to סָרוּ (saru, “[your judgments] are turned aside”), the final mem (ם) being dittographic (note the initial mem on the immediately following word [מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ, mishpatekha, “your judgments”). “Judgments” probably refers here to God’s laws or commands, rather than his judicial decisions or acts of judgment.
- Psalm 10:5 tn Heb “all his enemies, he snorts against them.” This may picture the wicked man defiantly challenging his enemies because he is confident of success. Another option is to take יָפִיחַ (yafiakh) from the root יָפַח (yafakh, “to testify”) and translate “he testifies against all his enemies,” implying that he gets the upper hand over them in legal battles. The noun יָפֵחַ (yafeakh, “witness”) is attested in biblical Hebrew (see Prov 6:19; 12:17; 14:5, 25; 19:5, 9, and Hab 2:3). The verb, however, is not clearly attested.
- Psalm 10:6 tn Heb “he says in his heart/mind.”
- Psalm 10:6 tn Heb “not . . . for a generation and a generation.” The traditional accentuation of the MT understands the words “for a generation and a generation” with the following line.
- Psalm 10:6 tn Heb “who, not in calamity.” If אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher) is taken as a relative pronoun here, then one could translate, “[I] who [am] not in calamity.” Some emend אֲשֶׁר to אֹשֶׁר (ʾosher, “happiness”; see HALOT 99 s.v. אֹשֶׁר); one might then translate, “[I live in] happiness, not in calamity.” The present translation assumes that אֲשֶׁר functions here as a causal conjunction, “because, for.” For this use of אֲשֶׁר, see BDB 83 s.v. אֲשֶׁר 8.c (where the present text is not cited).
- Psalm 10:7 tn Heb “[with] a curse his mouth is full, and lies and injury.”
- Psalm 10:7 tn Heb “under his tongue are destruction and wickedness.” The words translated “destruction and wickedness” are also paired in Ps 90:10. They also appear in proximity in Pss 7:14 and 55:10.
- Psalm 10:8 tn Heb “he sits in the ambush of the villages.”
- Psalm 10:8 tn Heb “his eyes for an unfortunate person lie hidden.” The language may picture a lion (see v. 9) peering out from its hiding place in anticipation that an unsuspecting victim will soon come strolling along.
- Psalm 10:9 tn Or “in its den.”
- Psalm 10:9 tn The verb, which also appears in the next line, occurs only here and in Judg 21:21.
- Psalm 10:9 tn The singular form is collective (see v. 10) or refers to the typical or representative oppressed individual.
- Psalm 10:9 tn Or “when he [i.e., the wicked man] pulls in his net.”sn The background of the imagery is hunting, where the hunter uses a net to entrap an unsuspecting bird or wild animal.
- Psalm 10:10 tn Heb “he crushes, he is bowed down, and he falls into his strong [ones], [the] unfortunate [ones].” This verse presents several lexical and syntactical difficulties. The first word (יִדְכֶּה, yidkeh) is an otherwise unattested Qal form of the verb דָּכָה (dakhah, “crush”). (The Qere [marginal] form is imperfect; the consonantal text [Kethib] has the perfect with a prefixed conjunction vav [ו].) If the wicked man’s victim is the subject, which seems to be the case (note the two verbs which follow), then the form should be emended to a Niphal (יִדָּכֶה, yiddakheh). The phrase בַּעֲצוּמָיו (baʿatsumayv, “into his strong [ones]”), poses interpretive problems. The preposition ב (bet) follows the verb נָפַל (nafal, “fall”), so it may very well carry the nuance “into” here, with “his strong [ones]” then referring to something into which the oppressed individual falls. Since a net is mentioned in the preceding verse as the instrument used to entrap the victim, it is possible that “strong [ones]” here refers metonymically to the wicked man’s nets or traps. Ps 35:8 refers to a man falling into a net (רֶשֶׁת, reshet), as does Ps 141:10 (where the plural of מִכְמָר [mikhmar, “net”] is used). A hunter’s net (רֶשֶׁת), is associated with snares (פַּח [pakh], מֹקְשִׁים, [moqeshim]) and ropes (חֲבָלִים, khavalim) in Ps 140:5. The final word in the verse (חֶלְכָּאִים (khelkaʾim, “unfortunate [ones]”) may be an alternate form of חֵלְכָח (khelekhakh, “unfortunate [one]”; see vv. 8, 14). The Qere (marginal reading) divides the form into two words, חֵיל כָּאִים (khel kaʾim, “army/host of disheartened [ones]”). The three verb forms in v. 10 are singular because the representative “oppressed” individual is the grammatical subject (see the singular עָנִי [ʿani] in v. 9).
- Psalm 10:11 tn Heb “he says in his heart.” See v. 6.
- Psalm 10:11 tn Heb “God forgets, he hides his face, he never sees.”
- Psalm 10:12 sn Rise up, O Lord! The psalmist’s mood changes from lament to petition and confidence.
- Psalm 10:12 tn Heb “lift up your hand.” Usually the expression “lifting the hand” refers to praying (Pss 28:2; 134:2) or making an oath (Ps 106:26), but here it probably refers to “striking a blow” (see 2 Sam 18:28; 20:21). Note v. 15, where the psalmist asks the Lord to “break the arm of the wicked.” A less likely option is that the psalmist is requesting that the Lord declare by oath his intention to intervene.
- Psalm 10:13 tn The rhetorical question expresses the psalmist’s outrage that the wicked would have the audacity to disdain God.
- Psalm 10:13 tn Heb “he says in his heart” (see vv. 6, 11). Another option is to understand an ellipsis of the interrogative particle here (cf. the preceding line), “Why does he say in his heart?”
- Psalm 10:13 tn Here the wicked man addresses God directly.
- Psalm 10:13 tn Heb “you will not seek.” The verb דָרַשׁ (darash, “seek”) is used here in the sense of “seek an accounting.” One could understand the imperfect as generalizing about what is typical and translate, “you do not hold [people] accountable.”
- Psalm 10:14 tn Heb “you see.” One could translate the perfect as generalizing, “you do take notice.”
- Psalm 10:14 tn If the preceding perfect is taken as generalizing, then one might understand כִּי (ki) as asseverative: “indeed, certainly.”
- Psalm 10:14 tn Here the imperfect emphasizes God’s typical behavior.
- Psalm 10:14 tn Heb “destruction and suffering,” which here refers metonymically to the wicked, who dish out pain and suffering to their victims.
- Psalm 10:14 tn Heb “to give into your hand, upon you, he abandons, [the] unfortunate [one].” The syntax is awkward and the meaning unclear. It is uncertain who or what is being given into God’s hand. Elsewhere the idiom “give into the hand” means to deliver into one’s possession. If “to give” goes with what precedes (as the accentuation of the Hebrew text suggests), then this may refer to the wicked man being delivered over to God for judgment. The present translation assumes that “to give” goes with what follows (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). The verb יַעֲזֹב (yaʿazov) here has the nuance “entrust” (see Gen 39:6; Job 39:11); the direct object (“[his] cause”) is implied.
- Psalm 10:14 tn Or “help.”
- Psalm 10:14 tn Heb “[for] one who is fatherless, you are a deliverer.” The noun יָתוֹם (yatom) refers to one who has lost his father (not necessarily his mother, see Ps 109:9).sn The fatherless. Because they were so vulnerable and were frequently exploited, fatherless children are often mentioned as epitomizing the oppressed (see Pss 68:5; 82:3; 94:6; 146:9; as well as Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12; 31:17, 21).
- Psalm 10:15 sn The arm symbolizes the strength of the wicked, which they use to oppress and exploit the weak.
- Psalm 10:15 tn Heb “you seek his wickedness.” As in v. 13, the verb דָּרַשׁ (darash, “seek”) is used here in the sense of “seek an accounting.” One could understand the imperfect as describing a fact, “you hold him accountable,” or as anticipating divine judgment, “you will hold him accountable.” However, since the verb is in apparent parallelism with the preceding imperative (“break”), it is better to understand the imperfect as expressing the psalmist’s desire or request.
- Psalm 10:15 tn Heb “you will not find.” It is uncertain how this statement relates to what precedes. Some take בַּל (bal), which is used as a negative particle in vv. 10:4, 6, 11, 18, as asseverative here, “Indeed find (i.e., judge his wickedness).” The translation assumes that the final words are an asyndetic relative clause which refers back to what the wicked man boasted in God’s face (“you will not find [i.e., my wickedness]”). See v. 13.
- Psalm 10:16 tn Heb “the Lord is king forever and ever.”
- Psalm 10:16 tn Or “the nations perish from his land.” The perfect verb form may express what is typical or it may express rhetorically the psalmist’s certitude that God’s deliverance is “as good as done.”sn The nations may be the underlying reality behind the psalmist’s references to the “wicked” in the earlier verses. This reference to the nations may have motivated the combining of Ps 10 with Ps 9 (see Ps 9:5, 15, 19).
- Psalm 10:17 sn You have heard. The psalmist is confident that God has responded positively to his earlier petitions for divine intervention. The psalmist apparently prayed the words of vv. 16-18 after the reception of an oracle of deliverance (given in response to the confident petition of vv. 12-15) or after the Lord actually delivered him from his enemies.
- Psalm 10:17 tn Heb “desire.”
- Psalm 10:17 tn Heb “you make firm their heart, you cause your ear to listen.”
- Psalm 10:18 tn Heb “to judge (on behalf of),” or “by judging (on behalf of).”
- Psalm 10:18 tn Heb “crushed.” See v. 10.
- Psalm 10:18 tn Heb “he will not add again [i.e., “he will no longer”] to terrify, man from the earth.” The Hebrew term אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh, “man”) refers here to the wicked nations (v. 16). By describing them as “from the earth,” the psalmist emphasizes their weakness before the sovereign, eternal king.
- Psalm 11:1 sn Psalm 11. The psalmist rejects the advice to flee from his dangerous enemies. Instead he affirms his confidence in God’s just character and calls down judgment on evildoers.
- Psalm 11:1 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.
- Psalm 11:1 tn The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.
- Psalm 11:1 tc The MT is uncertain here. The Kethib (consonantal text) reads: “flee [masculine plural!] to your [masculine plural!] mountain, bird.” The Qere (marginal reading) has “flee” in a feminine singular form, agreeing grammatically with the addressee, the feminine noun “bird.” Rather than being a second masculine plural pronominal suffix, the ending כֶם- (-khem) attached to “mountain” is better interpreted as a second feminine singular pronominal suffix followed by an enclitic mem (ם). “Bird” may be taken as vocative (“O bird”) or as an adverbial accusative of manner (“like a bird”). Either way, the psalmist’s advisers compare him to a helpless bird whose only option in the face of danger is to fly away to an inaccessible place.
- Psalm 11:2 tn In the psalms the “wicked” (רְשָׁעִים, reshaʿim) are typically proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and threaten his people (Ps 3:8).
- Psalm 11:2 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal form depicts the enemies’ hostile action as underway.
- Psalm 11:2 tn Heb “a bow.”
- Psalm 11:2 sn In the darkness. The enemies’ attack, the precise form of which is not indicated, is compared here to a night ambush by archers; the psalmist is defenseless against this deadly attack.
- Psalm 11:2 tn Heb “pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the Lord and, as a result, experience his deliverance (see Pss 7:10; 32:11; 36:10; 64:10; 94:15; 97:11).
- Psalm 11:3 tn The precise meaning of this rare word is uncertain. An Ugaritic cognate is used of the “bottom” or “base” of a cliff or mountain (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47, 159). The noun appears in postbiblical Hebrew with the meaning “foundation” (see Jastrow 1636 s.v. שָׁת).
- Psalm 11:3 tn The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense. Note the plural form “pure [of heart]” in the previous verse.
- Psalm 11:3 sn The quotation of the advisers’ words (which begins in 11:1c) ends at this point. They advise the psalmist to flee because the enemy is poised to launch a deadly attack. In such a lawless and chaotic situation godly people like the psalmist can accomplish nothing, so they might as well retreat to a safe place.
- Psalm 11:4 tn Because of the royal imagery involved here, one could translate “lofty palace.” The Lord’s heavenly temple is in view here (see Mic 1:2-4).
- Psalm 11:4 sn The Lord’s throne is in heaven. The psalmist is confident that the Lord reigns as sovereign king, “keeps an eye on” all people, and responds in a just manner to the godly and wicked.
- Psalm 11:4 sn His eyes. The anthropomorphic language draws attention to God’s awareness of and interest in the situation on earth. Though the enemies are hidden by the darkness (v. 2), the Lord sees all.
- Psalm 11:4 tn The two Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in this verse describe the Lord’s characteristic activity.
- Psalm 11:4 tn Heb “eyelids.”
- Psalm 11:4 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 7:9; 26:2; 139:23.
- Psalm 11:4 tn Heb “test the sons of men.”
- Psalm 11:5 tn Heb “examines,” the same verb used in v. 4b. But here it is used in a metonymic sense of “examine and approve” (see Jer 20:12).
- Psalm 11:5 tn The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense. Note the plural form “pure (of heart)” in v. 2.
- Psalm 11:5 tn Heb “his [very] being.” A נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being, soul”) is also attributed to the Lord in Isa 1:14, where a suffixed form of the noun appears as the subject of the verb “hate.” Both there and here the term is used of the seat of one’s emotions and passions.
- Psalm 11:5 sn He hates the wicked. The Lord “hates” the wicked in the sense that he despises their wicked character and deeds, and actively opposes and judges them for their wickedness. See Ps 5:5.
- Psalm 11:5 tn Heb “the wicked [one] and the lover of violence.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense. Note the plural form רְשָׁעִים (reshaʿim, “wicked [ones]”) in vv. 2 and 6.
- Psalm 11:6 tn The verb form is a jussive, indicating that the statement is imprecatory (“May the Lord rain down”), not indicative (“The Lord rains down”; see also Job 20:23). The psalmist appeals to God to destroy the wicked, rather than simply stating his confidence that God will do so. In this way the psalmist seeks to activate divine judgment by appealing to God’s just character. For an example of the power of such a curse, see Judg 9:7-57.
- Psalm 11:6 tc The MT reads “traps, fire, and brimstone,” but the image of God raining traps, or snares, down from the sky is bizarre and does not fit the fire and storm imagery of this verse. The noun פַּחִים (pakhim, “traps, snares”) should be emended to פַּחֲמֵי (pakhame, “coals of [fire]”). The rare noun פֶּחָם (pekham, “coal”) occurs in Prov 26:21 and Isa 44:12; 54:16.
- Psalm 11:6 sn The image of God “raining down” brimstone on the objects of his judgment also appears in Gen 19:24 and Ezek 38:22.
- Psalm 11:6 tn Heb “[may] a wind of rage [be] the portion of their cup.” The precise meaning of the rare noun זִלְעָפוֹת (zilʿafot) is uncertain. It may mean “raging heat” (BDB 273 s.v. זַלְעָפָה) or simply “rage” (HALOT 272 s.v. זַלְעָפָה). If one understands the former sense, then one might translate “hot wind” (cf. NEB, NRSV). The present translation assumes the latter nuance, “a wind of rage” (the genitive is attributive) referring to a “whirlwind” symbolic of destructive judgment. In this mixed metaphor, judgment is also compared to an allotted portion of a beverage poured into one’s drinking cup (see Hab 2:15-16).
- Psalm 11:7 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 11:7 tn Or “righteous.”
- Psalm 11:7 tn Heb “he loves righteous deeds.” The “righteous deeds” are probably those done by godly people (see v. 5). The Lord “loves” such deeds in the sense that he rewards them. Another option is to take צְדָקוֹת (tsedaqot) as referring to God’s acts of justice (see Ps 103:6). In this case one could translate, “he loves to do just deeds.”
- Psalm 11:7 tn Heb “the upright will see his face.” The singular subject (“upright”) does not agree with the plural verb. However, collective singular nouns can be construed with a plural predicate (see GKC 462 §145.b). Another possibility is that the plural verb יֶחֱזוּ (yekhezu) should be emended to an original singular form. To “see” God’s “face” means to have access to his presence and to experience his favor (see Ps 17:15 and Job 33:26 [where רָאָה (raʾah), not חָזָה (khazah), is used]). On the form פָנֵימוֹ (fanemo, “his face”) see GKC 300-301 §103.b, n. 3.
- Psalm 12:1 sn Psalm 12. The psalmist asks the Lord to intervene, for society is overrun by deceitful, arrogant oppressors and godly individuals are a dying breed. When the Lord announces his intention to defend the oppressed, the psalmist affirms his confidence in the divine promise.
- Psalm 12:1 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term שְׁמִינִית (sheminit) is uncertain; perhaps it refers to a particular style of music. See 1 Chr 15:21.
- Psalm 12:1 tn The singular form is collective or representative. Note the plural form “faithful [ones]” in the following line. A “godly [one]” (חָסִיד, khasid) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).
- Psalm 12:1 tn Or “have come to an end.”
- Psalm 12:1 tn Heb “the faithful [ones] from the sons of man.”
- Psalm 12:1 tn The Hebrew verb פָּסַס (pasas) occurs only here. An Akkadian cognate means “efface, blot out.”
- Psalm 12:2 tn Heb “falsehood they speak, a man with his neighbor.” The imperfect verb forms in v. 2 describe what is typical in the psalmist’s experience.
- Psalm 12:2 tn Heb “[with] a lip of smoothness, with a heart and a heart they speak.” Speaking a “smooth” word refers to deceptive flattery (cf. Ps 5:9; 55:21; Prov 2:16; 5:3; 7:5, 21; 26:28; 28:23; Isa 30:10). “Heart” here refers to their mind, from which their motives and intentions originate. The repetition of the noun indicates diversity (see GKC 396 §123.f, IBHS 116 §7.2.3c, and Deut 25:13, where the phrase “weight and a weight” refers to two different measuring weights). These people have two different types of “hearts.” Their flattering words seem to express kind motives and intentions, but this outward display does not really reflect their true motives. Their real “heart” is filled with evil thoughts and destructive intentions. The “heart” that is seemingly displayed through their words is far different from the real “heart” they keep disguised. (For the idea see Ps 28:3.) In 1 Chr 12:33 the phrase “without a heart and a heart” means “undivided loyalty.”
- Psalm 12:3 tn The verb form is a jussive, indicating that the statement is imprecatory (“May the Lord cut off”), not indicative (“The Lord will cut off”; see also Ps 109:15 and Mal 2:12). The psalmist appeals to God to destroy the wicked, rather than simply stating his confidence that he will. In this way he seeks to activate divine judgment by appealing to God’s just character. For an example of the power of such a curse, see Judg 9:7-57.
- Psalm 12:3 tn Heb “a tongue speaking great [things].”
- Psalm 12:4 tn Heb “which say.” The plural verb after the relative pronoun indicates a plural antecedent for the pronoun, probably “lips” in v. 3.
- Psalm 12:4 tn Heb “to our tongue we make strong.” The Hiphil of גָבַר (gavar) occurs only here and in Dan 9:27, where it refers to making strong, or confirming, a covenant. Here in Ps 12 the evildoers “make their tongue strong” in the sense that they use their tongue to produce flattering and arrogant words to accomplish their purposes. The preposition ל (lamed) prefixed to “our tongue” may be dittographic.
- Psalm 12:4 tn Heb “our lips [are] with us.” This odd expression probably means, “our lips are in our power,” in the sense that they say what they want, whether it be flattery or boasting. For other cases where אֵת (ʾet, “with”) has the sense “in the power of,” see Ps 38:10 and other texts listed by BDB 86 s.v. 3.a.
- Psalm 12:4 sn The rhetorical question expresses the arrogant attitude of these people. As far as they are concerned, they are answerable to no one for how they speak.
- Psalm 12:5 tn The term translated “oppressed” is an objective genitive; the oppressed are the recipients/victims of violence.
- Psalm 12:5 tn Elsewhere in the psalms this noun is used of the painful groans of prisoners awaiting death (79:11; 102:20). The related verb is used of the painful groaning of those wounded in combat (Jer 51:52; Ezek 26:15) and of the mournful sighing of those in grief (Ezek 9:4; 24:17).
- Psalm 12:5 tn Heb “I will rise up.”
- Psalm 12:5 tn Heb “I will place in deliverance, he pants for it.” The final two words in Hebrew (יָפִיחַ לוֹ, yafiakh lo) comprise an asyndetic relative clause, “the one who pants for it.” “The one who pants” is the object of the verb “place” and the antecedent of the pronominal suffix (in the phrase “for it”) is “deliverance.” Another option is to translate, “I will place in deliverance the witness for him,” repointing יָפִיחַ (a Hiphil imperfect from פּוּחַ, puakh, “pant”) as יָפֵחַ (yafeakh), a noun meaning “witness.” In this case the Lord would be promising protection to those who have the courage to support the oppressed in the court of law. However, the first part of the verse focuses on the oppressed, not their advocates.
- Psalm 12:6 tn Heb “the words of the Lord are pure words,” i.e., untainted by falsehood or deception (in contrast to the flattery of the evildoers, v. 2).
- Psalm 12:6 tn Heb “[like] silver purified in a furnace of [i.e., “on”] the ground, refined seven times.” The singular participle מְזֻקָּק (mezuqqaq, “refined”) modifies “silver.” The number seven is used rhetorically to express the thorough nature of the action. For other rhetorical/figurative uses of שִׁבְעָתָיִם (shivʿatayim, “seven times”), see Gen 4:15, 24; Ps 79:12; Prov 6:31; Isa 30:26.
- Psalm 12:7 tn The third person plural pronominal suffix on the verb is masculine, referring back to the “oppressed” and “needy” in v. 5 (both of those nouns are plural in form), suggesting that the verb means “protect” here. The suffix does not refer to אִמֲרוֹת (ʾimarot, “words”) in v. 6, because that term is feminine gender.
- Psalm 12:7 tn Heb “you will protect him from this generation permanently.” The third masculine singular suffix on the verb “protect” is probably used in a distributive sense, referring to each one within the group mentioned previously (the oppressed/needy, referred to as “them” in the preceding line). On this grammatical point see GKC 396 §123.f (where the present text is not cited). (Some Hebrew mss and ancient textual witnesses read “us,” both here and in the preceding line.) The noun דוֹר (dor, “generation”) refers here to the psalmist’s contemporaries, who were characterized by deceit and arrogance (see vv. 1-2). See BDB 189-90 s.v. for other examples where “generation” refers to a class of people.
- Psalm 12:8 tn Heb “the wicked walk all around.” One could translate v. 8a as an independent clause, in which case it would be a concluding observation in proverbial style. The present translation assumes that v. 8a is a subordinate explanatory clause, or perhaps a subordinate temporal clause (“while the wicked walk all around”). The adverb סָבִיב (saviv, “around”), in combination with the Hitpael form of the verb “walk” (which indicates repeated action), pictures the wicked as ubiquitous. They have seemingly overrun society.
- Psalm 12:8 tn Heb “when evil is lifted up by the sons of man.” The abstract noun זֻלּוּת (zulut, “evil”) occurs only here. On the basis of evidence from the cognate languages (see HALOT 272 s.v.), one might propose the meaning “base character,” or “morally foolish behavior.”
- Psalm 13:1 sn Psalm 13. The psalmist, who is close to death, desperately pleads for God’s deliverance and affirms his trust in God’s faithfulness.
- Psalm 13:1 tn Heb “will you forget me continually.”
- Psalm 13:1 tn Heb “will you hide your face from me.”
- Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “How long will I put counsel in my being?”
- Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “[with] grief in my heart by day.”
- Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “be exalted over me.” Perhaps one could translate, “How long will my enemy defeat me?”
- Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “see.”
- Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “Give light [to] my eyes.” The Hiphil of אוּר (ʾur), when used elsewhere with “eyes” as object, refers to the law of God giving moral enlightenment (Ps 19:8), to God the creator giving literal eyesight to all people (Prov 29:13), and to God giving encouragement to his people (Ezra 9:8). Here the psalmist pictures himself as being on the verge of death. His eyes are falling shut and, if God does not intervene soon, he will “fall asleep” for good.
- Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “or else I will sleep [in?] the death.” Perhaps the statement is elliptical, “I will sleep [the sleep] of death,” or “I will sleep [with the sleepers in] death.”
- Psalm 13:4 tn Heb “or else.”
- Psalm 13:4 tn Heb “or else.”
- Psalm 13:5 tn The grammatical construction used here (conjunction with independent pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist’s defeated condition envisioned in v. 4 and confident attitude he displays in v. 5.
- Psalm 13:5 tn Heb “may my heart rejoice in your deliverance.” The verb form is jussive. Having expressed his trust in God’s faithful character and promises, the psalmist prays that his confidence will prove to be well-placed. “Heart” is used here of the seat of the emotions.
- Psalm 13:6 tn The verb form is cohortative, indicating the psalmist’s resolve (or vow) to praise the Lord when deliverance arrives.
- Psalm 13:6 tn Or “for he will have vindicated me.” The verb form indicates a future perfect here. The idiom גָמַל עַל (gamal ʿal) means “to repay,” here in a positive sense.
- Psalm 14:1 sn Psalm 14. The psalmist observes that the human race is morally corrupt. Evildoers oppress God’s people, but the psalmist is confident of God’s protection and anticipates a day when God will vindicate Israel.
- Psalm 14:1 tn Heb “a fool says in his heart.” The singular is used here in a collective or representative sense; the typical fool is envisioned.
- Psalm 14:1 sn “There is no God.” The statement is probably not a philosophical assertion that God does not exist, but rather a confident affirmation that God is unconcerned about how men live morally and ethically (see Ps 10:4, 11).
- Psalm 14:1 tn Heb “they act corruptly, they make a deed evil.” The verbs describe the typical behavior of the wicked. The subject of the plural verbs is “sons of man” (v. 2). The entire human race is characterized by sinful behavior. This practical atheism—living as if there is no God who will hold them accountable for their actions—makes them fools, for one of the earmarks of folly is to fail to anticipate the long range consequences of one’s behavior.
- Psalm 14:1 tn Heb “there is none that does good.”
- Psalm 14:2 sn The picture of the Lord looking down from heaven draws attention to his sovereignty over the world.
- Psalm 14:2 tn Heb “upon the sons of man.”
- Psalm 14:2 tn Or “acts wisely.” The Hiphil is exhibitive.
- Psalm 14:2 sn Anyone who is wise and seeks God refers to the person who seeks to have a relationship with God by obeying and worshiping him.
- Psalm 14:3 tn Heb “everyone turns aside.”
- Psalm 14:3 tn Heb “together they are corrupt.”
- Psalm 14:3 tn Heb “there is none that does good.”
- Psalm 14:4 tn Heb “all the workers of wickedness.” See Pss 5:5; 6:8.
- Psalm 14:4 tn Heb “Do they not understand?” The rhetorical question (rendered in the translation as a positive affirmation) expresses the psalmist’s amazement at their apparent lack of understanding. This may refer to their lack of moral understanding, but it more likely refers to their failure to anticipate God’s defense of his people (see vv. 5-7).
- Psalm 14:5 tn Heb “there they are afraid [with] fear.” The perfect verbal form is probably used in a rhetorical manner; the psalmist describes the future demise of the oppressors as if it were already occurring. The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is also used here for dramatic effect, as the psalmist envisions the wicked standing in fear at a spot that is this vivid in his imagination (BDB 1027 s.v.). The cognate accusative following the verb emphasizes the degree of their terror.
- Psalm 14:5 tn Heb “for God is with a godly generation.” The Hebrew noun דּוֹר (dor, “generation”) refers here to the general class of people who are characterized by godliness. See BDB 190 s.v. for other examples where “generation” refers to a class of people.
- Psalm 14:6 tn Heb “the counsel of the oppressed you put to shame.” Using a second person plural verb form, the psalmist addresses the wicked. Since the context indicates their attempt to harm the godly will be thwarted, the imperfect should be taken in a subjunctive (cf. NASB, NRSV) rather than an indicative manner (cf. NIV). Here it probably expresses their desire or intent (“want to humiliate”).
- Psalm 14:6 tn It is unlikely that כִּי (ki) has a causal force here. The translation assumes a concessive force; another option is to understand an asseverative use (“certainly, indeed”).
- Psalm 14:6 tn Heb “his.” The antecedent of the singular pronoun is the singular form עָנִי (ʿani, “oppressed”) in the preceding line. The singular is collective or representative here (and thus translated as plural, “they”).
- Psalm 14:7 sn The deliverance of Israel. This refers metonymically to God, the one who lives in Zion and provides deliverance for Israel.
- Psalm 14:7 tn Heb “turns with a turning [toward] his people.” The Hebrew term שְׁבוּת (shevut) is apparently a cognate accusative of שׁוּב (shuv).
- Psalm 14:7 tn The verb form is jussive.
- Psalm 14:7 tn Because the parallel verb is jussive, this verb, which is ambiguous in form, should be taken as a jussive as well.
- Psalm 15:1 sn Psalm 15. This psalm describes the character qualities that one must possess to be allowed access to the divine presence.
- Psalm 15:1 tn Heb “Who may live as a resident foreigner in your tent?”
- Psalm 15:1 sn In this context the Lord’s holy hill probably refers to Zion/Jerusalem. See Isa 66:20; Joel 2:1; 3:17; Zech 8:3; Pss 2:6; 43:3; 48:1; 87:1; Dan 9:16.
- Psalm 15:2 tn Heb “one who walks blamelessly.”
- Psalm 15:2 tn Heb “one who speaks truth in his heart”; or “one who speaks truth [that is] in his heart.” This apparently refers to formulating a truthful statement in one’s mind and then honestly revealing that statement in one’s speech.
- Psalm 15:3 sn Hebrew literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age.
- Psalm 15:3 tn Heb “he does not slander upon his tongue.” For another example of רָגַל (ragal, “slander”) see 2 Sam 19:28.
- Psalm 15:3 tn Or “his fellow.”
- Psalm 15:3 tn Heb “and he does not lift up an insult against one who is near to him.”
- Psalm 15:4 tn Heb “despised in his eyes [is] a rejected [one].” The Hebrew term נִמְאָס (nimʾas, “rejected [one]”) apparently refers here to one who has been rejected by God because of his godless behavior. It stands in contrast to “those who fear God” in the following line.
- Psalm 15:4 tn Heb “those who fear the Lord.” The one who fears the Lord respects his sovereignty and obeys his commandments. See Ps 128:1; Prov 14:2.
- Psalm 15:4 tn Heb “he takes an oath to do harm and does not change.” The phrase “to do harm” cannot mean “do harm to others,” for the preceding verse clearly characterizes this individual as one who does not harm others. In this context the phrase must refer to an oath to which a self-imprecation is attached. The godly individual takes his commitments to others so seriously he is willing to “swear to his own hurt.” For an example of such an oath, see Ruth 1:16-17.
- Psalm 15:5 sn He does not charge interest. Such an individual is truly generous, and not simply concerned with making a profit.
- Psalm 15:5 tn Heb “a bribe against the innocent he does not take.” For other texts condemning the practice of a judge or witness taking a bribe, see Exod 23:8; Deut 16:19; 27:25; 1 Sam 8:3; Ezek 22:12; Prov 17:23.
- Psalm 15:5 tn Heb “does these things.”
- Psalm 16:1 sn Psalm 16. The psalmist seeks divine protection because he has remained loyal to God. He praises God for his rich blessings, and is confident God will vindicate him and deliver him from death.
- Psalm 16:1 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term מִכְתָּם (mikhtam) is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”
- Psalm 16:1 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results (see 7:1; 11:1).sn Taken shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 16:2 tn Heb “my good [is] not beyond you.” For the use of the preposition עַל (ʿal) in the sense of “beyond,” see BDB 755 s.v. 2.
- Psalm 16:3 tn Heb “regarding the holy ones who [are] in the land, they; and the mighty [ones] in [whom is/was] all my desire.” The difficult syntax makes the meaning of the verse uncertain. The phrase “holy ones” sometimes refers to God’s angelic assembly (see Ps 89:5, 7), but the qualifying clause “who are in the land” suggests that here it refers to God’s people (Ps 34:9) or to their priestly leaders (2 Chr 35:3).
- Psalm 16:4 tn Heb “their troubles multiply, another, they pay a dowry.” The meaning of the text is unclear. The Hebrew term עַצְּבוֹתָם (ʿatsevotam, “troubles”) appears to be a plural form of עַצֶּבֶת (ʿatsevet, “pain, wound”; see Job 9:28; Ps 147:3). Because idolatry appears to be in view (see v. 4b), some prefer to emend the noun to עַצְּבִים (ʿatsevim, “idols”). “Troubles” may be a wordplay on “idols” or a later alteration designed to emphasize that idolatry leads to trouble. The singular form אחר (“another”) is syntactically problematic here. Perhaps the form should be emended to a plural אֲחֵרִים (ʾakherim, “others”). (The final mem [ם] could have been lost by haplography; note the mem [מ] at the beginning of the next word.) In this case it might be taken as an abbreviated form of the well-attested phrase אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים (ʾelohim ʾakherim, “other gods”). (In Isa 42:8 the singular form אַחַר (ʾakher, “another”) is used of another god.) The verb מָהַר (mahar) appears in the Qal stem; the only other use of a Qal verbal form of a root מָהַר is in Exod 22:15, where the denominative verb מָהֹר (mahor, “purchase [a wife]”) appears; cf. the related noun מֹהַר (mohar, “bride money, purchase price for a wife”). If that verb is understood here, then the idolaters are pictured as eager bridegrooms paying the price to acquire the object of their desire. Another option is to emend the verb to a Piel and translate, “hurry (after).”
- Psalm 16:4 tn Heb “I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood.” The third masculine plural suffix would appear to refer back to the people/leaders mentioned in v. 3. However, if we emend אֲחֵר (ʾakher, “another”) to the plural אֲחֵרִים (ʾakherim, “other [gods]”) in v. 4, the suffix can be understood as referring to these gods—“the drink offerings [made to] them.” The next line favors this interpretation. Perhaps this refers to some type of pagan cultic ritual. Elsewhere wine is the prescribed content of drink offerings.
- Psalm 16:4 tn Heb “and I will not lift up their names upon my lips.” The expression “lift up the name” probably refers here to swearing an oath in the name of deity (see Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11). If so, the third masculine plural suffix on “names” likely refers to the pagan gods, not the people/leaders. See the preceding note.
- Psalm 16:5 tn Heb “O Lord, the portion of my possession and my cup”; or “the Lord [is] the portion of my possession and my cup.” The psalmist compares the Lord to landed property, which was foundational to economic stability in ancient Israel, and to a cup of wine, which may symbolize a reward (in Ps 11:6 it symbolizes the judgment one deserves) or divine blessing (see Ps 23:5). The metaphor highlights the fact that God is the psalmist’s source of security and prosperity.
- Psalm 16:5 tc Heb “you take hold of my lot.” The form תּוֹמִיךְ (tomikh) should be emended to a participle, תוֹמֵךְ (tomekh). The psalmist pictures the Lord as casting his lot (a method used to allot landed property) for him, thus assuring that he will receive a fertile piece of land (see v. 6). As in the previous line, land represents security and economic stability, thus “you make my future secure.”
- Psalm 16:6 tn Heb “measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant [places]; yes, property [or “an inheritance”] is beautiful for me.” On the dative use of עַל (ʿal), see BDB 758 s.v. II.8. Extending the metaphor used in v. 5, the psalmist compares the divine blessings he has received to a rich, beautiful tract of land that one might receive by allotment or inheritance.
- Psalm 16:7 tn Heb “bless,” that is, “proclaim as worthy of praise.”
- Psalm 16:7 tn Or “because.”
- Psalm 16:7 tn Or “counsels, advises.”
- Psalm 16:7 tn Heb “yes, [during] nights my kidneys instruct [or “correct”] me.” The “kidneys” are viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s moral character (see Ps 26:2). In the quiet darkness the Lord speaks to his inner being, as it were, and enables him to grow in moral understanding.
- Psalm 16:8 tn Heb “I set the Lord before me continually.” This may mean that the psalmist is aware of the Lord’s presence and sensitive to his moral guidance (see v. 7), or that he trusts in the Lord’s protection (see the following line).
- Psalm 16:9 tn Heb “my glory is happy.” Some view the Hebrew term כְּבוֹדִי (kevodi, “my glory”) as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kevedi, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 30:12; 57:9; 108:1, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:90. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”
- Psalm 16:9 tn Heb “yes, my flesh dwells securely.” The psalmist’s “flesh” stands by metonymy for his body and, by extension, his physical life.
- Psalm 16:10 tn Or “my life.” The suffixed form of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often equivalent to a pronoun in poetic texts.
- Psalm 16:10 sn In ancient Israelite cosmology Sheol is the realm of the dead, viewed as being under the earth’s surface. See L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 165-76.
- Psalm 16:10 tn A “faithful follower” (חָסִיד [khasid], traditionally rendered “holy one”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10). The psalmist here refers to himself, as the parallel line (“You will not abandon me to Sheol”) indicates.
- Psalm 16:10 tn That is, “experience.” The psalmist is confident that the Lord will protect him in his present crisis (see v. 1) and prevent him from dying.sn According to Peter, the words of Ps 16:8-11 are applicable to Jesus (Acts 2:25-29). Peter goes on to argue that David, being a prophet, foresaw future events and spoke of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:30-33). Paul seems to concur with Peter in this understanding (see Acts 13:35-37). For a discussion of the NT application of these verses to Jesus’ resurrection, see R. B. Chisholm, Jr., “A Theology of the Psalms,” A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, 292-95.
- Psalm 16:10 tn The Hebrew word שָׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 30:9; 49:9; 55:24 HT [55:23 ET]; 103:4). Note the parallelism with the previous line.
- Psalm 16:11 tn Heb “cause me to know”; or “cause me to experience.”
- Psalm 16:11 tn This is a metaphorical way of saying, “you preserve my life.” The phrase “path of life” stands in contrast to death/Sheol in Prov 2:18-19; 5:5-6; 15:24.
- Psalm 16:11 tn Heb “abundance of joy [is] with your face.” The plural form of the noun שִׂמְחָה (simkhah, “joy”) occurs only here and in Ps 45:15. It may emphasize the degree of joy experienced.
- Psalm 16:11 tn Heb “delight [is] in your right hand forever.” The plural form of the adjective נָעִים (naʿim, “pleasant, delightful”) may here emphasize the degree of delight experienced (see Job 36:11).
- Psalm 17:1 sn Psalm 17. The psalmist asks God to intervene on his behalf because his life is threatened by dangerous enemies. He appeals to divine justice, for he is certain of his own innocence. Because he is innocent, he expects to encounter God and receive an assuring word.
- Psalm 17:1 tn Heb “hear, Lord, what is just.”
- Psalm 17:1 tn Heb “Listen to my prayer, [made] without lips of deceit.”
- Psalm 17:2 tn Heb “From before you may my justice come out.” The prefixed verbal form יָצָא (yatsaʾ) could be taken as an imperfect, but following the imperatives in v. 1, it is better understood as a jussive of prayer.
- Psalm 17:2 tn Heb “May your eyes look at what is right.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as jussive. (See also the preceding note on the word “behalf.”)
- Psalm 17:3 tn Heb “you tested my heart.”
- Psalm 17:3 tn Heb “you visited [at] night.”
- Psalm 17:3 tc Heb “you tested me, you do not find, I plan, my mouth will not cross over.” The Hebrew verbal form זַמֹּתִי (zammoti) is a Qal perfect, first person singular from the root זָמַם (zamam, “plan, plan evil”). Some emend the form to a suffixed form of the noun, זִמָּתִי (zimmati, “my plan/evil plan”), and take it as the object of the preceding verb “find.” However, the suffix seems odd, since the psalmist is denying that he has any wrong thoughts. If one takes the form with what precedes, it might make better sense to read זִמּוֹת (zimmot, “evil plans”). However, this emendation leaves an unclear connection with the next line. The present translation maintains the verbal form found in the MT and understands it in a neutral sense, “I have decided” (see Jer 4:28). The words “my mouth will not cross over” (i.e., “transgress, sin”) can then be taken as a noun clause functioning as the object of the verb.
- Psalm 17:4 tn Heb “with regard to the deeds of man[kind].”
- Psalm 17:4 tn Heb “by the word of your lips, I, I have watched the paths of the violent” (i.e., “watched” in the sense of “watched for the purpose of avoiding”).
- Psalm 17:5 tn Heb “my steps stay firm in your tracks.” The infinitive absolute functions here as a finite verb (see GKC 347 §113.gg). God’s “tracks” are his commands, i.e., the moral pathways he has prescribed for the psalmist.
- Psalm 17:5 tn Heb “my footsteps do not stagger.”
- Psalm 17:6 tn Heb “Turn your ear toward me.”
- Psalm 17:6 tn Heb “my word.”
- Psalm 17:7 tn Heb “Set apart faithful acts.”
- Psalm 17:7 tn Heb “[O] one who delivers those who seek shelter from the ones raising themselves up, by your right hand.” The Lord’s “right hand” here symbolizes his power to protect and deliver.sn Those who look to you for protection from their enemies. “Seeking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 17:8 tc Heb “Protect me like the pupil, a daughter of an eye.” The noun בַּת (bat, “daughter”) should probably be emended to בָּבַת (bavat, “pupil”). See Zech 2:12 HT (2:8 ET) and HALOT 107 s.v. *בָּבָה.
- Psalm 17:8 sn Your wings. The metaphor compares God to a protective mother bird.
- Psalm 17:9 tn Heb “from before”; or “because.” In the Hebrew text v. 9 is subordinated to v. 8. The words “protect me” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Psalm 17:9 tn Heb “destroy.” The psalmist uses the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of danger. He describes the wicked as being already in the process of destroying him.
- Psalm 17:9 tn Heb “my enemies, at the risk of life they surround me.” The Hebrew phrase בְּנֶפֶשׁ (benefesh) sometimes has the nuance “at the risk of [one’s] life” (see 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23; Lam 5:9).
- Psalm 17:10 tn Heb “their fat they close.” The Hebrew term חֵלֶב (khelev, “fat”) appears to stand by metonymy for their calloused hearts. They attack the psalmist without feeling any pity or remorse. Some propose emending the text to חֵלֶב לִבָּמוֹ (khelev libbamo, “fat of their heart[s]; cf. Ps 119:70, “their heart is insensitive like fat”). This assumes haplography of the לב (lamed-bet) consonantal sequence.
- Psalm 17:10 tn Heb “[with] their mouth they speak with arrogance.”
- Psalm 17:11 tc Heb “our steps, now they surround me.” The Kethib (consonantal text) has “surround me,” while the Qere (marginal reading) has “surround us,” harmonizing the pronoun to the preceding “our steps.” The first person plural pronoun does not fit the context, where the psalmist speaks as an individual. In the preceding verses the psalmist uses a first person singular verbal or pronominal form twenty times. For this reason it is preferable to emend “our steps” to אִשְּׁרוּנִי (ʾisheruni, “they attack me”) from the verbal root אָשַׁר (ʾashar, “march, stride, track”).
- Psalm 17:11 tn Heb “their eyes they set to bend down in the ground.”
- Psalm 17:12 tn Here the psalmist switches to the singular pronoun; he views his enemies collectively, or singles out a representative of the group, perhaps its leader.
- Psalm 17:12 tn Heb “his likeness [is] like a lion.”
- Psalm 17:12 tn Heb “[that] longs to tear.”
- Psalm 17:12 tn Heb “sitting.”
- Psalm 17:13 tn Heb “Be in front of his face.”
- Psalm 17:13 tn Or “bring him to his knees.”
- Psalm 17:13 tn Heb “rescue my life from the wicked [one] [by] your sword.”
- Psalm 17:14 tc Heb “from men [by] your hand, Lord.” The translation assumes an emendation (both here and in the following line) of מִמְתִים (mimetim, “from men”) to מִמְּמִתִים (mimmemitim, “from those who kill”). For other uses of the plural form of the Hiphil participle of מוּת (mut, “die”), see 2 Kgs 17:26 (used with lions as subject), Job 33:22 (apparently referring to the agents of death), and Jer 26:15 (used of those seeking Jeremiah’s life).
- Psalm 17:14 tn Heb “from men, from [the] world.” On the emendation of “men” to “murderers,” see the preceding note on the word “murderers.”
- Psalm 17:14 tn Heb “their portion, in life.”
- Psalm 17:14 tn Heb “and [with] your treasures you fill their belly.”sn You overwhelm them with the riches they desire. The psalmist is not accusing God of being unjust; he is simply observing that the wicked often prosper and that God is the ultimate source of all blessings that human beings enjoy (see Matt 5:45). When the wicked are ungrateful for God’s blessings, they become even more culpable and deserving of judgment. So this description of the wicked actually supports the psalmist’s appeal for deliverance. God should rescue him because he is innocent (see vv. 3-5) and because the wicked, though blessed abundantly by God, still have the audacity to attack God’s people.
- Psalm 17:14 tn Heb “they are satisfied [with] sons and leave their abundance to their children.”
- Psalm 17:15 tn Heb “I, in innocence, I will see your face.” To “see” God’s “face” means to have access to his presence and to experience his favor (see Ps 11:7; see also Job 33:26 [where רָאָה (ra’ah), not חָזַה (khazah), is used]). Here, however, the psalmist may be anticipating a mystical experience. See the following note on the word “me.”
- Psalm 17:15 tn Heb “I will be satisfied, when I awake, [with] your form.” The noun תְּמוּנָה (temunah) normally carries the nuance “likeness” or “form.” In Job 4:16 it refers to a ghostlike spiritual entity (see Job 4:15) that revealed itself to Eliphaz during the night. The psalmist may anticipate a mystical encounter with God in which he expects to see a manifestation of God’s presence (i.e., a theophany), perhaps in conjunction with an oracle of deliverance. During the quiet darkness of the night, God examines the psalmist’s inner motives and finds them to be pure (see v. 3). The psalmist is confident that when he awakens, perhaps sometime during the night or in the morning, he will be visited by God and assured of vindication.sn When I awake you will reveal yourself to me. Some see in this verse an allusion to resurrection. According to this view, when the psalmist awakens from the sleep of death, he will see God. It is unlikely that the psalmist had such a highly developed personal eschatology. As noted above, it is more likely that he is anticipating a divine visitation and mystical encounter as a prelude to his deliverance from his enemies.
- Psalm 18:1 sn Psalm 18. In this long song of thanks, the psalmist (a Davidic king, traditionally understood as David himself) affirms that God is his faithful protector. He recalls in highly poetic fashion how God intervened in awesome power and delivered him from death. The psalmist’s experience demonstrates that God vindicates those who are blameless and remain loyal to him. True to his promises, God gives the king victory on the battlefield and enables him to subdue nations. A parallel version of the psalm appears in 2 Sam 22:1-51.
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “spoke.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “in the day,” or “at the time.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “hand.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “and from the hand of Saul.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn A number of translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV) assign the words “he said” to the superscription, in which case the entire psalm is in first person. Other translations (e.g., NAB) include the introductory “he said” at the beginning of v. 1.
- Psalm 18:1 tn The verb רָחַם (rakham) elsewhere appears in the Piel (or Pual) verbal stem with the basic meaning, “have compassion.” The verb occurs only here in the basic (Qal) stem. The basic stem of the verbal root also occurs in Aramaic with the meaning “love” (see DNWSI 2:1068-69; Jastrow 1467 s.v. רָחַם; G. Schmuttermayr, “rhm: eine lexikalische Studie,” Bib 51 : 515-21). Since this introductory statement does not appear in the parallel version in 2 Sam 22:1-51, it is possible that it is a later addition to the psalm, made when the poem was revised for use in worship.
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “my strength.” “Strength” is metonymic here, referring to the Lord as the one who bestows strength to the psalmist; thus the translation “my source of strength.”
- Psalm 18:2 sn My high ridge. This metaphor pictures God as a rocky, relatively inaccessible summit, where one would be able to find protection from enemies. See 1 Sam 23:25, 28.
- Psalm 18:2 sn My stronghold. David often found safety in such strongholds. See 1 Sam 22:4-5; 24:22; 2 Sam 5:9, 17; 23:14.
- Psalm 18:2 tn Or “in whom.”
- Psalm 18:2 sn Take shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 18:2 tn Heb “the horn of my salvation”; or “my saving horn.”sn Though some see “horn” as referring to a horn-shaped peak of a hill, or to the “horns” of an altar where one could find refuge, it is more likely that the horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (cf. Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). In the ancient Near East powerful warrior-kings would sometimes compare themselves to a goring bull that uses its horns to kill its enemies. For examples, see P. Miller, “El the Warrior,” HTR 60 (1967): 422-25, and R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 135-36. Ps 18:2 uses the metaphor of the horn in a slightly different manner. Here the Lord himself is compared to a horn. He is to the psalmist what the horn is to the ox, a source of defense and victory.
- Psalm 18:2 tn Or “my elevated place.” The parallel version of this psalm in 2 Sam 22:3 adds at this point, “my refuge, my savior, [you who] save me from violence.”
- Psalm 18:3 tn In this song of thanksgiving, where the psalmist recalls how the Lord delivered him, the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect.
- Psalm 18:3 tn Heb “worthy of praise, I cried out [to] the Lord.” Some take מְהֻלָּל (mehullal, “worthy of praise”) with what precedes and translate, “the praiseworthy one,” or “praiseworthy.” However, the various epithets in vv. 1-2 have the first person pronominal suffix, unlike מְהֻלָּל. If one follows the traditional verse division and takes מְהֻלָּל with what follows, it is best understood as substantival and as appositional to יְהוָה (yehvah): “[to the] praiseworthy one I cried out, [to the] Lord.”
- Psalm 18:4 tc Ps 18:4 reads “ropes,” while 2 Sam 22:5 reads “waves.” The reading of the psalm has been influenced by the next verse (note “ropes of Sheol”) and perhaps also by Ps 116:3 (where “ropes of death” appears, as here, with the verb אָפַף, ʾafaf). However, the parallelism of v. 4 (note “currents” in the next line) favors the reading “waves.” While the verb אָפַף is used with “ropes” as subject in Ps 116:3, it can also be used with engulfing “waters” as subject (see Jonah 2:5). Death is compared to surging waters in v. 4 and to a hunter in v. 5.
- Psalm 18:4 tn The Hebrew noun נַחַל (nakhal) usually refers to a river or stream, but in this context the plural form likely refers to the currents of the sea (see vv. 15-16).
- Psalm 18:4 tn The noun בְלִיַּעַל (veliyyaʿal) is used here as an epithet for death. Elsewhere it is a common noun meaning “wickedness, uselessness.” It is often associated with rebellion against authority and other crimes that result in societal disorder and anarchy. The phrase “man/son of wickedness” refers to one who opposes God and the order he has established. The term becomes an appropriate title for death, which, through human forces, launches an attack against God’s chosen servant.
- Psalm 18:4 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. (Note the perfect verbal form in the parallel/preceding line.) The verb בָּעַת (baʿat) sometimes by metonymy carries the nuance “frighten,” but the parallelism (see “engulfed”) favors the meaning “overwhelm” here.
- Psalm 18:5 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
- Psalm 18:5 tn Heb “confronted me.”
- Psalm 18:6 tn In this poetic narrative context the four prefixed verbal forms in v. 6 are best understood as preterites indicating past tense, not imperfects.
- Psalm 18:6 tn Heb “from his temple.” Verse 10, which pictures God descending from the sky, indicates that the heavenly temple is in view, not the earthly one.
- Psalm 18:6 tc Heb “and my cry for help before him came into his ears.” 2 Sam 22:7 has a shorter reading, “my cry for help, in his ears.” It is likely that Ps 18:6 MT as it now stands represents a conflation of two readings: (1) “my cry for help came before him,” (2) “my cry for help came into his ears.” See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (SBLDS), 144, n. 13.
- Psalm 18:7 sn The earth heaved and shook. The imagery pictures an earthquake in which the earth’s surface rises and falls. The earthquake motif is common in OT theophanies of God as warrior and in ancient Near Eastern literary descriptions of warring gods and kings. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 160-62.
- Psalm 18:7 tn 2 Sam 22:8 has “heavens” which forms a merism with “earth” in the preceding line. The “foundations of the heavens” would be the mountains. However, the reading “foundations of the mountains” has a parallel in Deut 32:22.
- Psalm 18:7 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the three prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) consecutive in the verse.
- Psalm 18:8 tn Heb “within”; or “[from] within.” For a discussion of the use of the preposition ב (bet) here, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 163-64.
- Psalm 18:8 tn Or “in his anger.” The noun אַף (ʾaf) can carry the abstract meaning “anger,” but the parallelism (note “from his mouth”) suggests the more concrete meaning “nose” here. See also v. 15, “the powerful breath of your nose.”
- Psalm 18:8 tn Heb “fire from his mouth devoured.” In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the two perfect verbal forms in the verse.sn Fire devoured as it came from his mouth. For other examples of fire as a weapon in OT theophanies and ancient Near Eastern portrayals of warring gods and kings, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 165-67.
- Psalm 18:8 tn Heb “coals burned from him.” Perhaps the psalmist pictures God’s fiery breath igniting coals (cf. Job 41:21), which he then hurls as weapons (cf. Ps 120:4).
- Psalm 18:9 tn The Hebrew verb נָטָה (natah) can carry the sense “[cause to] bend, bow down.” For example, Gen 49:15 pictures Issachar as a donkey that “bends” its shoulder or back under a burden. Here the Lord causes the sky, pictured as a dome or vault, to sink down as he descends in the storm.
- Psalm 18:10 tn Or “rode upon.”
- Psalm 18:10 tn Heb “a cherub.” Because of the typical associations of the word “cherub” in English with chubby winged babies, the term has been rendered “winged angel” in the translation.sn Winged angel (Heb “cherub”). Cherubim, as depicted in the OT, possess both human and animal (lion, ox, and eagle) characteristics (see Ezek 1:10; 10:14, 21; 41:18). They are pictured as winged creatures (Exod 25:20; 37:9; 1 Kgs 6:24-27; Ezek 10:8, 19) and serve as the very throne of God when the ark of the covenant is in view (Pss 80:1; 99:1; see Num 7:89; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2; 2 Kgs 19:15). The picture of the Lord seated on the cherubim suggests they might be used by him as a vehicle, a function they carry out in Ezek 1:22-28 (the “living creatures” mentioned here are identified as cherubim in Ezek 10:20). In Ps 18:10 the image of a cherub serves to personify the wind (see the next line of the psalm).
- Psalm 18:10 tc 2 Sam 22:11 reads “appeared” (from רָאָה, raʾah); the relatively rare verb דָאָה (daʾah, “glide”) is more difficult and probably the original reading here in Ps 18.
- Psalm 18:10 sn The wings of the wind. Verse 10 may depict (1) the Lord riding a cherub, which is in turn propelled by the wind current. Another option (2) is that two different vehicles (a cherub and the wind) are envisioned. Yet another option (3) is that the wind is personified as a cherub. For a discussion of ancient Near Eastern parallels to the imagery in v. 10, see M. Weinfeld, “‘Rider of the Clouds’ and ‘Gatherer of the Clouds’,” JANESCU 5 (1973): 422-24.
- Psalm 18:11 tc Heb “he made darkness his hiding place around him, his covering.” 2 Sam 22:12 reads, “he made darkness around him coverings,” omitting “his hiding place” and pluralizing “covering.” Ps 18:11 may include a conflation of synonyms (“his hiding place” and “his covering”) or 2 Sam 22:12 may be the result of haplography/homoioarcton. Note that three successive words in Ps 18:11 begin with the Hebrew letter samek: סִתְרוֹ סְבִיבוֹתָיו סֻכָּתוֹ (sitro sevivotayv sukkato).
- Psalm 18:11 tc Heb “darkness of water, clouds of clouds.” The noun “darkness” (חֶשְׁכַת, kheshekhat) may need to be emended to an original reading חַשְׁרַת (khashrat), a form that is preserved in 2 Sam 22:12. The latter is a construct form of חַשְׁרָה (khashrah, “sieve”) which occurs only here in the OT. A cognate Ugaritic noun means “sieve,” and the related verb חָשַׁר (khashar, “to sift”) is attested in postbiblical Hebrew and Aramaic. The phrase חַשְׁרַת מַיִם (khashrat mayim) means literally “a sieve of water.” It pictures the rain clouds as a sieve through which the rain falls to the ground (see F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry [SBLDS], 146, n. 33).
- Psalm 18:12 tc Heb “from the brightness in front of him his clouds came, hail and coals of fire.” 2 Sam 22:13 reads, “from the brightness in front of him burned coals of fire.” The Lucianic family of texts within the Greek tradition of 2 Sam 22:13 seems to assume the underlying Hebrew text: מנגה נגדו עברו ברד וגחלי אשׁ, “from the brightness in front of him came hail and coals of fire” (the basis for the present translation). The textual situation is perplexing and the identity of the original text uncertain. The verbs עָבָרוּ (ʿavaru; Ps 18:12) and בָּעֲרוּ (baʿaru; 2 Sam 22:13) appear to be variants involving a transposition of the first two letters. The noun עָבָיו (ʿavayv, “his clouds,” Ps 18:12) may be virtually dittographic (note the following עָבְרוּ, ʿaveru), or it could have accidentally dropped out from the text of 2 Sam 22:13 by virtual haplography (note the preceding בָּעֲרוּ, which might have originally read עָבְרוּ). The noun בָּרָד (barad, “hail,” Ps 18:12) may be virtually dittographic (note the preceding עָבְרוּ), or it could have dropped out from 2 Sam 22:13 by virtual haplography (note the preceding בָּעֲרוּ, which might have originally read עָבְרוּ). For a fuller discussion of the text and its problems, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 74-76.
- Psalm 18:13 sn Thunder is a common motif in OT theophanies and in ancient Near Eastern portrayals of the storm god and warring kings. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 179-83.
- Psalm 18:13 tn 2 Sam 22:14 has “from.”
- Psalm 18:13 sn This divine title (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.
- Psalm 18:13 tc The text of Ps 18:13 adds at this point, “hail and coals of fire.” These words are probably accidentally added from v. 12b; they do not appear in 2 Sam 22:14.tn Heb “offered his voice.” In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive in the preceding line.
- Psalm 18:14 tn 2 Sam 22:15 omits the pronominal suffix (“his”).
- Psalm 18:14 tn The pronominal suffixes on the verbs “scattered” and “routed” (see the next line) refer to the psalmist’s enemies. Some argue that the suffixes refer to the arrows, in which case one might translate “shot them far and wide” and “made them move noisily,” respectively. They argue that the enemies have not been mentioned since v. 4 and are not again mentioned until v. 17. However, usage of the verbs פוּץ (puts, “scatter”) and הָמַם (hamam, “rout”) elsewhere in Holy War accounts suggests the suffixes refer to enemies. Enemies are frequently pictured in such texts as scattered and/or routed (see Exod 14:24; 23:27; Num 10:35; Josh 10:10; Judg 4:15; 1 Sam 7:10; 11:11; Ps 68:1).
- Psalm 18:14 sn Lightning is a common motif in in OT theophanies and in ancient Near Eastern portrayals of the storm god and warring kings. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 190-92.
- Psalm 18:14 tn Heb “lightning bolts, many.” 2 Sam 22:15 has simply “lightning” (בָּרָק, baraq). The identity of the word רָב (rav) in Ps 18:14 is problematic. (1) It may be a form of a rare verb רָבַב (ravav, “to shoot”), perhaps attested in Gen 49:23 as well. In this case one might translate, “he shot lightning bolts and routed them.” Other options include (2) understanding רָב (rav) as an adverbial use of the adjective, “lightning bolts in abundance,” or (3) emending the form to רַבּוּ (rabbu), from רָבַב (ravav, “be many”) or to רָבוּ (ravu), from רָבָה (ravah, “be many”)—both a haplography of the vav (ו); note the initial vav on the immediately following form—and translating “lightning bolts were in abundance.”sn Arrows and lightning bolts are associated in other texts (see Pss 77:17-18; 144:6; Zech 9:14), as well as in ancient Near Eastern art (see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” [Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983], 187).
- Psalm 18:15 tn Or “channels.”
- Psalm 18:15 tc Ps 18:15 reads “water” (cf. Ps 42:1); “sea” is the reading of 2 Sam 22:16.
- Psalm 18:15 tn Or “foundations.”
- Psalm 18:15 tn Heb “from.” The preposition has a causal sense here.
- Psalm 18:15 tn The noun is derived from the verb גָּעַר (gaʿar), which is often understood to mean “rebuke.” In some cases it is apparent that scolding or threatening is in view (see Gen 37:10; Ruth 2:16; Zech 3:2). However, in militaristic contexts this translation is inadequate, for the verb refers in this setting to the warrior’s battle cry, which terrifies and paralyzes the enemy. See A. Caquot, TDOT 3:53, and note the use of the verb in Pss 68:30; 106:9; and Nah 1:4, as well as the related noun in Job 26:11; Pss 9:5; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
- Psalm 18:15 tn 2 Sam 22:16 reads “by the battle cry of the Lord, by the blast of the breath of his nose.” The phrase “blast of the breath” (Heb “breath of breath”) employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81.
- Psalm 18:16 tn Heb “stretched.” Perhaps “his hand” should be supplied by ellipsis (see Ps 144:7). In this poetic narrative context the three prefixed verbal forms in this verse are best understood as preterites indicating past tense, not imperfects.
- Psalm 18:16 tn Heb “mighty waters.” The waters of the sea symbolize the psalmist’s powerful enemies, as well as the realm of death they represent (see v. 4 and Ps 144:7).
- Psalm 18:17 tn The singular refers either to personified death or collectively to the psalmist’s enemies. The following line, which refers to “those [plural] who hate me,” favors the latter.
- Psalm 18:18 tn The same verb is translated “trapped” in v. 5. In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not imperfect.
- Psalm 18:18 tn Heb “became my support.”
- Psalm 18:19 tn Or “delighted in me.”
- Psalm 18:20 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not imperfect.
- Psalm 18:20 tn Heb “according to my righteousness.” As vv. 22-24 make clear, the psalmist refers here to his unwavering obedience to God’s commands. In these verses the psalmist explains that the Lord was pleased with him and willing to deliver him because he had been loyal to God and obedient to his commandments. Ancient Near Eastern literature contains numerous parallels. A superior (a god or king) would typically reward a subject (a king or the servant of a king, respectively) for loyalty and obedience. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 211-13.
- Psalm 18:20 tn The unreduced Hiphil prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, in which case the psalmist would be generalizing. However, both the preceding and following contexts (see especially v. 24) suggest he is narrating his experience. Despite its unreduced form, the verb is better taken as a preterite. For other examples of unreduced Hiphil preterites, see Pss 55:14a; 68:9a, 10b; 80:8a; 89:43a; 107:38b; 116:6b.
- Psalm 18:20 tn Heb “according to the purity of my hands he repaid to me.” “Hands” suggest activity and behavior.
- Psalm 18:21 tn Heb “for I have kept the ways of the Lord.” The phrase “ways of the Lord” refers here to the “conduct required” by the Lord. In Ps 25 the Lord’s “ways” are associated with his covenantal demands (see vv. 4, 9-10). See also Ps 119:3 (cf. vv. 1, 4), as well as Deut 8:6; 10:12; 11:22; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9; 30:16.
- Psalm 18:21 tn Heb “I have not acted wickedly from my God.” The statement is elliptical; the idea is, “I have not acted wickedly and, in so doing, departed from my God.”
- Psalm 18:22 tn Heb “for all his regulations [are] before me.” The Hebrew term מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim, “regulations”) refers to God’s covenantal requirements, especially those which the king is responsible to follow (cf. Deut 17:18-20). See also Pss 19:9 (cf. vv. 7-8); 89:30; 147:20 (cf. v. 19), as well as the numerous uses of the term in Ps 119.
- Psalm 18:22 tn Heb “and his rules I do not turn aside from me.” 2 Sam 22:23 reads, “and his rules, I do not turn aside from it.” The prefixed verbal form is probably an imperfect; the psalmist here generalizes about his loyalty to God’s commands. The Lord’s “rules” are the stipulations of the covenant which the king was responsible to obey (see Ps 89:31; cf. v. 30 and Deut 17:18-20).
- Psalm 18:23 tn Heb “from my sin,” that is, from making it my own in any way.sn Kept myself from sinning. Leading a blameless life meant that the king would be loyal to God’s covenant, purge the government and society of evil and unjust officials, and reward loyalty to the Lord (see Ps 101).
- Psalm 18:24 tn Heb “according to my righteousness.”
- Psalm 18:24 tn Heb “according to the purity of my hands before his eyes.” 2 Sam 22:25 reads “according to my purity before his eyes.” The verbal repetition (compare vv. 20 and 24) sets off vv. 20-24 as a distinct sub-unit within the psalm.
- Psalm 18:25 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 25-29 draw attention to God’s characteristic actions. Based on his experience, the psalmist generalizes about God’s just dealings with people (vv. 25-27) and about the way in which God typically empowers him on the battlefield (vv. 28-29). The Hitpael stem is used in vv. 26-27 in a reflexive resultative (or causative) sense. God makes himself loyal, etc. in the sense that he conducts or reveals himself as such. On this use of the Hitpael stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e.
- Psalm 18:25 tn Or “to a faithful follower.” A “faithful follower” (חָסִיד, khasid) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 16:10; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).
- Psalm 18:25 tn Or “innocent.”
- Psalm 18:25 tn Heb “a man of innocence.”
- Psalm 18:26 tn Or “blameless.”
- Psalm 18:26 tn The Hebrew verb פָּתַל (patal) is used in only three other texts. In Gen 30:8 it means literally “to wrestle,” or “to twist.” In Job 5:13 it refers to devious individuals, and in Prov 8:8 to deceptive words.
- Psalm 18:26 tn The adjective עִקֵּשׁ (ʿiqqesh) has the basic nuance “twisted, crooked,” and by extension refers to someone or something that is morally perverse. It appears frequently in Proverbs, where it is used of evil people (22:5), speech (8:8; 19:1), thoughts (11:20; 17:20), and life styles (2:15; 28:6). A righteous king opposes such people (Ps 101:4).sn Verses 25-26 affirm God’s justice. He responds to people in accordance with their moral character. His response mirrors their actions. The faithful and blameless find God to be loyal and reliable in his dealings with them. But deceivers discover he is able and willing to use deceit to destroy them. For a more extensive discussion of the theme of divine deception in the OT, see R. B. Chisholm, “Does God Deceive?” BSac 155 (1998): 11-28.
- Psalm 18:27 tn Or perhaps, “humble” (note the contrast with those who are proud).
- Psalm 18:27 tn Heb “but proud eyes you bring low.” 2 Sam 22:28 reads, “your eyes [are] upon the proud, [whom] you bring low.”
- Psalm 18:28 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.
- Psalm 18:28 tn Ps 18:28 reads: “you light my lamp, Lord,” while 2 Sam 22:29 has, “you are my lamp, Lord.” The Ps 18 reading may preserve two variants, נֵרִי (neri, “my lamp”) and אוֹרִי (ʾori, “my light”), cf. Ps 27:1. The verb תָּאִיר (taʾir, “you light”) in Ps 18:28 could be a corruption of the latter. See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (SBLDS), 150, n. 64. The metaphor, which likens the Lord to a lamp or light, pictures him as the psalmist’s source of life. For other examples of “lamp” used in this way, see Job 18:6; 21:17; Prov 13:9; 20:20; 24:20. For other examples of “light” as a symbol for life, see Job 3:20; 33:30; Ps 56:13.
- Psalm 18:28 tn 2 Sam 22:29 repeats the name “Lord.”
- Psalm 18:28 tn Heb “my darkness.”
- Psalm 18:29 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.
- Psalm 18:29 tn Heb “by you.”
- Psalm 18:29 tn Heb “I will run.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 29 indicate the subject’s potential or capacity to perform an action. Though one might expect a preposition to follow the verb here, this need not be the case with the verb רוּץ (ruts; see 1 Sam 17:22). Some emend the Qal to a Hiphil form of the verb and translate, “I put to flight [Heb “cause to run”] an army.”
- Psalm 18:29 tn More specifically, the noun גְּדוּד (gedud) refers to a raiding party or to a contingent of troops.sn I can charge against an army. The picture of a divinely empowered warrior charging against an army in almost superhuman fashion appears elsewhere in ancient Near Eastern literature. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 228.
- Psalm 18:29 tn Heb “and by my God.”
- Psalm 18:29 sn I can jump over a wall. The psalmist uses hyperbole to emphasize his God-given military superiority.
- Psalm 18:30 tn Heb “[As for] the God, his way is blameless.” The term הָאֵל (haʾel, “the God”) stands as a nominative (or genitive) absolute in apposition to the resumptive pronominal suffix on “way.” The prefixed article emphasizes his distinctiveness as the one true God (cf. Deut 33:26). God’s “way” in this context refers to his protective and salvific acts in fulfillment of his promise (see also Deut 32:4; Pss 67:2; 77:13 [note vv. 11-12, 14]; 103:7; 138:5; 145:17).
- Psalm 18:30 sn The Lord’s promise. In the ancient Near East kings would typically seek and receive oracles from their god(s) prior to battle. For examples, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 241-42.
- Psalm 18:30 tn Heb “the word of the Lord is purified.” The Lord’s “word” probably refers here to his oracle(s) of victory delivered to the psalmist before the battle(s) described in the following context. See also Pss 12:5-7 and 138:2-3. David frequently received such oracles before going into battle (see 1 Sam 23:2, 4-5, 10-12; 30:8; 2 Sam 5:19). The Lord’s word of promise is absolutely reliable; it is compared to metal that has been refined in fire and cleansed of impurities. See Ps 12:6.
- Psalm 18:30 sn Take shelter. See the note on the word “shelter” in v. 2.
- Psalm 18:31 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 18:31 tn Heb “rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor of divine protection. See v. 2, where the Hebrew term צוּר (tsur) is translated “rocky summit.”
- Psalm 18:31 tn The rhetorical questions anticipate the answer, “No one.” In this way the psalmist indicates that the Lord is the only true God and reliable source of protection. See also Deut 32:39, where the Lord affirms that he is the only true God. Note as well the emphasis on his role as protector (Heb “rocky cliff,” צוּר, tsur) in Deut 32:4, 15, 17-18, 30.
- Psalm 18:32 tn Heb “the God.” The prefixed article emphasizes the Lord’s distinctiveness as the one true God (cf. Deut 33:26). See v. 30.
- Psalm 18:32 tn Heb “is the one who clothes.” For similar language see 1 Sam 2:4; Pss 65:6; 93:1. The psalmist employs a generalizing hymnic style in vv. 32-34; he uses participles in vv. 32a, 33a, and 34a to describe what God characteristically does on his behalf.
- Psalm 18:32 tn 2 Sam 22:33 reads, “the God is my strong refuge.”sn Gives me strength. As the following context makes clear, this refers to physical and emotional strength for battle (see especially v. 39).
- Psalm 18:32 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries along the generalizing force of the preceding participle.
- Psalm 18:32 tn Heb “he made my path smooth.” The Hebrew term תָּמִים (tamim, “smooth”) usually carries a moral or ethical connotation, “blameless, innocent.” However, in Ps 18:33 it refers to a pathway free of obstacles. The reality underlying the metaphor is the psalmist’s ability to charge into battle without tripping (see vv. 33, 36).
- Psalm 18:33 tn Heb “[the one who] makes my feet like [those of ] a deer.”
- Psalm 18:33 tn Heb “and on my high places he makes me walk.” The imperfect verbal form emphasizes God’s characteristic provision. The psalmist compares his agility in battle to the ability of a deer to negotiate rugged, high terrain without falling or being injured.sn Habakkuk uses similar language to describe his faith during difficult times. See Hab 3:19.
- Psalm 18:34 sn He trains my hands. The psalmist attributes his skill with weapons to divine enablement. Egyptian reliefs picture gods teaching the king how to shoot a bow. See O. Keel, The Symbolism of the Biblical World, 265.
- Psalm 18:34 tn Heb “and a bow of bronze is bent by my arms”; or “my arms bend a bow of bronze.” The verb נָחַת (nakhat) apparently means “pull back, bend” here (see HALOT 692 s.v. נחת). The third feminine singular verbal form appears to agree with the feminine singular noun קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”). In this case the verb must be taken as Niphal (passive). However, it is possible that “my arms” is the subject of the verb and “bow” the object. In this case the verb is Piel (active). For other examples of a feminine singular verb being construed with a plural noun, see GKC 464 §145.k.sn The strongest bow (Heb “bow of bronze”) probably refers to a bow laminated with bronze strips, or to a purely ceremonial or decorative bow made entirely from bronze. In the latter case the language is hyperbolic, for such a weapon would not be functional in battle.
- Psalm 18:35 tn Heb “and you give to me the shield of your deliverance.”sn You give me your protective shield. Ancient Near Eastern literature often refers to a god giving a king special weapons. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 260-61.
- Psalm 18:35 tc 2 Sam 22:36 omits this line, perhaps due to homoioarcton. A scribe’s eye may have jumped from the vav (ו) prefixed to “your right hand” to the vav prefixed to the following “and your answer,” causing the copyist to omit by accident the intervening words (“your right hand supports me and”).
- Psalm 18:35 tn The MT of Ps 18:35 appears to read, “your condescension,” apparently referring to God’s willingness to intervene (cf. NIV “you stoop down”). However, the noun עֲנָוָה (ʿanavah) elsewhere means “humility” and is used only here of God. The form עַנְוַתְךָ (ʿanvatekha) may be a fully written form of the suffixed infinitive construct of עָנָה (ʿanah, “to answer”; a defectively written form of the infinitive appears in 2 Sam 22:36). In this case the psalmist refers to God’s willingness to answer his prayer; one might translate, “your favorable response.”
- Psalm 18:35 tn Heb “makes me great.”
- Psalm 18:36 tn Heb “you make wide my step under me.” “Step” probably refers metonymically to the path upon which the psalmist walks. Another option is to translate, “you widen my stride.” This would suggest that God gives the psalmist the capacity to run quickly.
- Psalm 18:36 tn Heb “lower legs.” On the meaning of the Hebrew noun, which occurs only here, see H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 112. A cognate Akkadian noun means “lower leg.”
- Psalm 18:37 tn 2 Sam 22:38 reads “destroy.”
- Psalm 18:38 tn Or “smash them.” 2 Sam 22:39 reads, “and I wiped them out and smashed them.”
- Psalm 18:38 tn Heb “until they are unable to rise.” 2 Sam 22:39 reads, “until they do not rise.”
- Psalm 18:38 sn They fall at my feet. For ancient Near Eastern parallels, see O. Keel, The Symbolism of the Biblical World, 294-97.
- Psalm 18:39 tn Heb “clothed me.” See v. 32.
- Psalm 18:39 tn Heb “you make those who rise against me kneel beneath me.”sn My foes kneel before me. For ancient Near Eastern parallels, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 268.
- Psalm 18:40 tn Heb “and [as for] my enemies, you give to me [the] back [or “neck”].” The idiom “give [the] back” means “to cause [one] to turn the back and run away.” Cf. Exod 23:27.
- Psalm 18:40 sn Those who hate me. See v. 17, where it is the Lord who delivered the psalmist from those who hated him.
- Psalm 18:41 tn Heb “but there is no deliverer.”
- Psalm 18:41 tn Heb “to the Lord.” The words “they cry out” are supplied in the translation because they are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).sn They cry out. This reference to the psalmist’s enemies crying out for help to the Lord suggests that the psalmist refers here to enemies within the covenant community, rather than foreigners. However, the militaristic context suggests foreign enemies are in view. Ancient Near Eastern literature indicates that defeated enemies would sometimes cry out for mercy to the god(s) of their conqueror. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 271.
- Psalm 18:42 tn Heb “I pulverize them like dust upon the face of the wind.” The phrase “upon the face of” here means “before.” 2 Sam 22:43 reads, “like dust of the earth.”
- Psalm 18:42 tc Ps 18:42 reads, “I empty them out” (Hiphil of ריק), while 2 Sam 22:43 reads, “I crush them, I stomp on them” (juxtaposing the synonyms דקק and רקע). It is likely that the latter is a conflation of variants. One, but not both, of the verbs in 2 Sam 22:43 is probably original; “empty out” does not form as good a parallel with “grind, pulverize” in the parallel line.
- Psalm 18:42 tn Or “mud.”
- Psalm 18:43 tn Heb “from the strivings of a people.” In this context the Hebrew term רִיב (riv, “striving”) probably has a militaristic sense (as in Judg 12:2; Isa 41:11), and עָם (ʿam, “people”) probably refers more specifically to an army (for other examples, see the verses listed in BDB 766 s.v. I עַם, עָם 2.d). Some understand the phrase as referring to attacks by the psalmist’s own countrymen, the “nation” being Israel. However, foreign enemies appear to be in view; note the reference to “nations” in the following line.
- Psalm 18:43 tn 2 Sam 22:44 reads, “you keep me.”
- Psalm 18:43 tn Heb “a people whom I did not know serve me.” In this context “know” (יָדַע, yadaʿ) probably refers to formal recognition by treaty. People who were once not under the psalmist’s authority now willingly submit to his rulership to avoid being conquered militarily (see vv. 44-45). The language may recall the events recorded in 2 Sam 8:9-10 and 10:19.
- Psalm 18:44 tn Heb “at a report of an ear they submit to me.” The report of the psalmist’s exploits is so impressive that those who hear it submit to his rulership without putting up a fight.
- Psalm 18:44 tn For the meaning “be weak, powerless” for כָּחַשׁ (kakhash), see Ps 109:24. The next line (see v. 45a), in which “foreigners” are also mentioned, favors this interpretation. Another option is to translate “cower in fear” (see Deut 33:29; Pss 66:3; 81:15; cf. NIV “cringe”; NRSV “came cringing”).
- Psalm 18:45 tn Heb “wither, wear out.”
- Psalm 18:45 tn The meaning of חָרַג (kharag, “shake”) is established on the basis of cognates in Arabic and Aramaic. 2 Sam 22:46 reads חָגַר (khagar), which might mean here, “[they] come limping” (on the basis of a cognate in postbiblical Hebrew). The normal meaning for חָגַר (“gird”) makes little sense here.
- Psalm 18:45 tn Heb “from.”
- Psalm 18:45 tn Heb “their prisons.” The besieged cities of the foreigners are compared to prisons.
- Psalm 18:46 tn Elsewhere the construction חַי־יְהוָה (khay yehvah) is used exclusively as an oath formula, “as surely as the Lord lives,” but this is not the case here, for no oath follows. Here the statement is an affirmation of the Lord’s active presence and intervention. In contrast to pagan deities, he demonstrates he is the living God by rescuing and empowering the psalmist.
- Psalm 18:46 tn Heb “my rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor for protection. See similar phrases in vv. 2, 31.
- Psalm 18:46 tn Or “blessed [i.e., praised] be.”
- Psalm 18:46 tn Heb “the God of my deliverance.” 2 Sam 22:48 reads, “the God of the rocky cliff of my deliverance.”
- Psalm 18:46 tn The words “as king” are supplied in the translation for clarification. Elsewhere in the psalms the verb רוּם (rum, “be exalted”), when used of God, refers to his exalted position as king (Pss 99:2; 113:4; 138:6) and/or his self-revelation as king through his mighty deeds of deliverance (Pss 21:13; 46:10; 57:5, 11).
- Psalm 18:47 tn Heb “the God.” See v. 32.
- Psalm 18:47 tn Heb “is the one who grants vengeance to me.” The plural form of the noun indicates degree here, suggesting complete vengeance or vindication.sn Completely vindicates me. In the ancient Near East military victory was sometimes viewed as a sign that one’s God had judged in favor of the victor, avenging and/or vindicating him. See, for example, Judg 11:27, 32-33, 36.
- Psalm 18:47 tn Heb “he subdues nations beneath me.” On the meaning of the verb דָּבַר (davar, “subdue,” a homonym of דָּבַר, davar, “speak”), see HALOT 209-10 s.v. I דבר. See also Ps 47:3 and 2 Chr 22:10. 2 Sam 22:48 reads “and [is the one who] brings down nations beneath me.”
- Psalm 18:48 tn Heb “[the one who] delivers me.” 2 Sam 22:49 reads “and [the one who] brings me out.”
- Psalm 18:48 tn Heb “lifts me up.” In light of the preceding and following references to deliverance, the verb רום probably here refers to being rescued from danger (see Ps 9:13). However, it could mean “exalt, elevate” here, indicating that the Lord has given the psalmist victory over his enemies and forced them to acknowledge the psalmist’s superiority (cf. NIV, NRSV).
- Psalm 18:48 tn Heb “from those who rise against me.”
- Psalm 18:49 sn I will give you thanks before the nations. This probably alludes to the fact that the psalmist will praise the Lord in the presence of the defeated nations when they, as his subjects, bring their tribute payments. Ideally the Davidic king was to testify to the nations of God’s greatness. See J. H. Eaton, Kingship and the Psalms (SBT), 182-85.
- Psalm 18:49 tn Heb “to your name.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his divine characteristics as suggested by his name, in this case “Lord,” the primary name of Israel’s covenant God which suggests his active presence with his people (see Exod 3:12-15).
- Psalm 18:50 tn Or “the one who.”
- Psalm 18:50 tn Heb “magnifies the victories of his king.” “His king” refers to the psalmist, the Davidic king whom God has chosen to rule Israel.
- Psalm 18:50 tn Heb “[the one who] does loyalty.”
- Psalm 18:50 tn Heb “his anointed [one],” i.e., the psalmist/Davidic king. See Ps 2:2.
- Psalm 18:50 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”
- Psalm 18:50 sn If David is the author of the psalm (see the superscription), then he here anticipates that God will continue to demonstrate loyalty to his descendants who succeed him. If the author is a later Davidic king, then he views the divine favor he has experienced as the outworking of God’s faithful promises to David his ancestor.
- Psalm 19:1 sn Psalm 19. The psalmist praises God for his self-revelation in the heavens and in the Mosaic law. The psalmist concludes with a prayer, asking the Lord to keep him from sinning and to approve of his thoughts and words.
- Psalm 19:1 sn God’s glory refers here to his royal majesty and power.
- Psalm 19:1 tn Heb “and the work of his hands the sky declares.” The participles emphasize the ongoing testimony of the heavens/sky.
- Psalm 19:2 tn Heb “it gushes forth a word.” The “sky” (see v. 1b) is the subject of the verb. Though not literally speaking (see v. 3), it clearly reveals God’s royal majesty. The sun’s splendor and its movement across the sky is in view (see vv. 4-6).
- Psalm 19:2 tn Heb “it [i.e., the sky] declares knowledge,” i.e., knowledge about God’s royal majesty and power (see v. 1). This apparently refers to the splendor and movements of the stars. The imperfect verbal forms in v. 2, like the participles in the preceding verse, combine with the temporal phrases (“day after day” and “night after night”) to emphasize the ongoing testimony of the sky.
- Psalm 19:3 tn Heb “their.” The antecedent of the plural pronoun is “heavens” (v. 1).
- Psalm 19:4 tc The MT reads, “their measuring line” (קוּם, qum). The noun קַו (qav, “measuring line”) makes no sense in this context. The reading קוֹלָם (qolam, “their voice”) which is supported by the LXX, is preferable.
- Psalm 19:4 tn Heb “goes out,” or “proceeds forth.”
- Psalm 19:4 tn Heb “their” (see the note on the word “its” in v. 3).
- Psalm 19:4 tn The verb is supplied in the translation. The Hebrew text has no verb; יָצָא (yatsaʾ, “goes out”) is understood by ellipsis.
- Psalm 19:4 tn Heb “to the end of the world.”
- Psalm 19:4 tn Heb “in them” (i.e., the heavens).
- Psalm 19:4 sn He has pitched a tent for the sun. The personified sun emerges from this “tent” in order to make its daytime journey across the sky. So the “tent” must refer metaphorically to the place where the sun goes to rest during the night.
- Psalm 19:5 tn The participle expresses the repeated or regular nature of the action.
- Psalm 19:5 tn The Hebrew noun חֻפָּה (khufah, “chamber”) occurs elsewhere only in Isa 4:5 and Joel 2:16 (where it refers to the bedroom of a bride and groom).sn Like a bridegroom. The metaphor likens the sun to a bridegroom who rejoices on his wedding night.
- Psalm 19:5 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the regularity of the action.
- Psalm 19:5 tn Heb “[on] a path.”sn Like a strong man. The metaphorical language reflects the brilliance of the sunrise, which attests to the sun’s vigor.
- Psalm 19:6 tn Heb “from the end of the heavens [is] its going forth.”
- Psalm 19:6 tn Heb “and its circuit [is] to their ends.”
- Psalm 19:6 tn Heb “is hidden from.”
- Psalm 19:7 tn Heb “[it] restores life.” Elsewhere the Hiphil of שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) when used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “life”) as object, means to “rescue or preserve one’s life” (Job 33:30; Ps 35:17) or to “revive one’s strength” (emotionally or physically; cf. Ruth 4:15; Lam 1:11, 16, 19). Here the point seems to be that the law preserves the life of the one who studies it by making known God’s will. Those who know God’s will know how to please him and can avoid offending him. See v. 11a.
- Psalm 19:7 tn Traditionally, “the testimony of the Lord.” The noun עֵדוּת (ʿedut) refers here to the demands of God’s covenant law.
- Psalm 19:7 tn God’s covenant contains a clear, reliable witness to his moral character and demands.
- Psalm 19:7 tn Or “the [morally] naive,” that is, the one who is young and still in the process of learning right from wrong and distinguishing wisdom from folly.
- Psalm 19:8 tn Or “just.” Perhaps the idea is that they impart a knowledge of what is just and right.
- Psalm 19:8 tn Heb “[they] make happy [the] heart.” Perhaps the point is that they bring a sense of joyful satisfaction to the one who knows and keeps them, for those who obey God’s law are richly rewarded. See v. 11b.
- Psalm 19:8 tn Heb “command.” The singular here refers to the law as a whole.
- Psalm 19:8 tn Because they reflect God’s character, his commands provide a code of moral and ethical purity.
- Psalm 19:8 tn Heb [they] enlighten [the] eyes.
- Psalm 19:9 tn Heb “the fear of the Lord is clean.” The phrase “fear of the Lord” probably refers here to the law, which teaches one how to demonstrate proper reverence for the Lord. See Ps 111:10 for another possible use of the phrase in this sense.
- Psalm 19:9 tn Heb “[it] stands permanently.”
- Psalm 19:9 sn Trustworthy and absolutely just. The Lord’s commands accurately reflect God’s moral will for his people and are an expression of his just character.
- Psalm 19:10 tn Heb “more desirable.”
- Psalm 19:10 tn Heb “are sweeter.” God’s law is “sweet’ in the sense that, when obeyed, it brings a great reward (see v. 11b).
- Psalm 19:11 tn Heb “moreover your servant is warned by them.”
- Psalm 19:11 tn Heb “in the keeping of them [there is] a great reward.”
- Psalm 19:12 tn Heb “Errors who can discern?” This rhetorical question makes the point that perfect moral discernment is impossible to achieve. Consequently it is inevitable that even those with good intentions will sin on occasion.
- Psalm 19:12 tn Heb “declare me innocent from hidden [things],” i.e., sins. In this context (see the preceding line) “hidden” sins are not sins committed in secret, but sins which are not recognized as such by the psalmist.
- Psalm 19:13 tn Or “presumptuous sins.”
- Psalm 19:13 tn Heb “let them not rule over me.”
- Psalm 19:13 tn Heb “great.”
- Psalm 19:14 tn Heb “may the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart be acceptable before you.” The prefixed verbal form at the beginning of the verse is understood as a jussive of prayer. Another option is to translate the form as an imperfect continuing the thought of v. 14b: “[Then] the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart will be acceptable before you.”
- Psalm 19:14 tn Heb “my rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor for protection; thus the translation “sheltering rock.”
- Psalm 19:14 tn Heb “and the one who redeems me.” The metaphor casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis.
- Psalm 20:1 sn Psalm 20. The people pray for the king’s success in battle. When the king declares his assurance that the Lord will answer the people’s prayer, they affirm their confidence in God’s enablement.
- Psalm 20:1 tn The prefixed verbal forms here and in vv. 1b-5 are interpreted as jussives of prayer (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). Another option is to understand them as imperfects, “the Lord will answer,” etc. In this case the people declare their confidence that the Lord will intervene on behalf of the king and extend to him his favor.
- Psalm 20:1 sn May the Lord answer you. The people address the king as they pray to the Lord.
- Psalm 20:1 tn Heb “in a day of trouble.”
- Psalm 20:1 tn Heb “the name of the God of Jacob.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his very person and to the divine characteristics suggested by his name, in this case “God of Jacob,” which highlights his relationship to Israel.
- Psalm 20:2 tc Heb “from [the] temple.” The third masculine singular pronominal suffix (וֹ, holem vav) has probably been accidentally omitted by haplography. Note that the following word begins with a prefixed vav (ו). See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 184.
- Psalm 20:3 tn Or “remember.” For other examples of the verb זָכַר (zakhar) carrying the nuance “take notice of,” see Pss 8:4 and 9:12.
- Psalm 20:3 tc Heb “consider as fat.” The verbal form should probably be emended to יְדַשְּׁנֶהָ (yedasheneha), the final he (ה) being understood as a third feminine singular pronominal suffix referring back to the feminine noun “burnt sacrifice.”
- Psalm 20:4 tn Heb “may he give to you according to your heart.” This probably refers to the king’s prayer for protection and victory in battle. See vv. 5-6.
- Psalm 20:4 sn May he bring all your plans to pass. This probably refers to the king’s strategy for battle.
- Psalm 20:5 sn Your victory. Here the king is addressed (see v. 1).
- Psalm 20:5 tc The Hebrew verb דָּגַל (dagal) occurs only here in the Qal. If accepted as original, it may carry the nuance “raise a banner,” but it is preferable to emend the form to נָגִיל (nagil, “we will rejoice”) which provides better parallelism with “shout for joy” and fits well with the prepositional phrase “in the name of our God” (see Ps 89:16).
- Psalm 20:6 tn Or “know.”sn Now I am sure. The speaker is not identified. It is likely that the king, referring to himself in the third person (note “his chosen king”), responds to the people’s prayer. Perhaps his confidence is due to the reception of a divine oracle of salvation.
- Psalm 20:6 tn The perfect verbal form is probably used rhetorically to state that the deliverance is as good as done. In this way the speaker emphasizes the certainty of the deliverance. Another option is to take the statement as generalizing; the psalmist affirms that the Lord typically delivers the king.
- Psalm 20:6 tn Heb “his anointed one.” This title refers to the Davidic king. See Pss 2:2 and 18:50.
- Psalm 20:6 tn Heb “he will answer him.”
- Psalm 20:6 tn Heb “from his holy heavens.”
- Psalm 20:6 tn Heb “with mighty acts of deliverance of his right hand.” The Lord’s “right hand” here symbolizes his power to protect and deliver (see Ps 17:7).
- Psalm 20:7 tn Heb “these in chariots and these in horses.” No verb appears; the verb “invoke” is to be supplied from the following line. The convention of backward ellipsis can apply to the final word of the 2nd line, as in this verse. In this case the idea would be that some “invoke” (i.e., trust in) their military might for victory (cf. NEB “boast”; NIV “trust”; NRSV “take pride”). Verse 8 suggests that the “some/others” mentioned here are the nation’s enemies.
- Psalm 20:7 tn The grammatical construction (conjunction + pronominal subject) highlights the contrast between God’s faithful people and the others mentioned in the previous line.
- Psalm 20:7 tc The LXX translates the verb as μεγαλυνθησόμεθα (megalunthēsometha) “we will boast.” This may reflect another verb, the Hiphil of גָּבַר (gavar), and depends on two letter confusions, ג (gimel) for ז (zayin) and ב (bet) for כ (kaf).tn Heb “we invoke the name of.” The Hiphil of זָכַר (zakhar), when combined with the phrase “in the name,” means “to invoke” (see Josh 23:7; Isa 48:1; Amos 6:10). By invoking the Lord’s name in prayer, the people demonstrate their trust in him.
- Psalm 20:8 tn Or “stumble and fall down.”
- Psalm 20:8 tn The grammatical construction (conjunction + pronominal subject) highlights the contrast between God’s victorious people and the defeated enemies mentioned in the previous line. The perfect verbal forms either generalize or, more likely, state rhetorically the people’s confidence as they face the approaching battle. They describe the demise of the enemy as being as good as done.
- Psalm 20:8 tn Or “rise up and remain upright.” On the meaning of the Hitpolel of עוּד (ʿud), see HALOT 795 s.v. I עוד. The verbal forms (a perfect followed by a prefixed form with vav [ו] consecutive) either generalize or, more likely, state rhetorically the people’s confidence as they face the approaching battle.
- Psalm 20:9 tc This translation assumes an emendation of the verbal form הוֹשִׁיעָה (hoshiʿah). As it stands, the form is an imperative. In this case the people return to the petitionary mood with which the psalm begins (“O Lord, deliver”). But the immediate context is one of confidence (vv. 6-8), not petition (vv. 1-5). If one takes the final he on the verb “deliver” as dittographic (note the initial he (ה) on the following phrase, “the king”), one can repoint the verbal form as a perfect and understand it as expressing the people’s confidence, “the Lord will deliver the king” (see v. 6). The Hebrew scribal tradition takes “the king” with the following line, in which case it would be best interpreted as a divine title, “may the King answer us” or “the king will answer us” (see Pss 98:6; 145:1). However, the poetic parallelism is better balanced if “the king” is taken with the first line. In this case the referent is the Davidic king, who is earlier called the Lord’s “anointed one” (cf. note on “chosen king” in v. 6; see Pss 21:7; 45:5, 11; 63:11).
- Psalm 20:9 tn If the imperative is retained in the preceding line, then the prefixed verbal form is best taken as a jussive of prayer, “may he answer us.” However, if the imperative in the previous line is emended to a perfect, the prefixed form is best taken as imperfect, “he will answer us” (see the note on the word “king” at the end of the previous line).
- Psalm 20:9 tn Heb “in the day we call.”
- Psalm 21:1 sn Psalm 21. The psalmist praises the Lord for the way he protects and blesses the Davidic king.
- Psalm 21:1 tn Heb “in your strength.” The translation interprets the pronominal suffix as subjective, rather than merely descriptive (or attributive).
- Psalm 21:1 tn Heb “and in your deliverance, how greatly he rejoices.”
- Psalm 21:2 tn The translation assumes the perfect verbal forms in v. 2 are generalizing, stating factually what God typically does for the king. Another option is to take them as present perfects, “you have granted…you have not refused.” See v. 4, which mentions a specific request for a long reign.
- Psalm 21:2 tn Heb “and the request of his lips you do not refuse.”
- Psalm 21:3 tn Or “meet him [with].”
- Psalm 21:3 tn Heb “good.”
- Psalm 21:3 sn You bring him rich blessings. The following context indicates that God’s “blessings” include deliverance/protection, vindication, sustained life, and a long, stable reign (see also Pss 3:8; 24:5).
- Psalm 21:4 tn Heb “life he asked from you.” Another option is to translate the perfect verbal forms in v. 4 with the present tense, “he asks…you grant.”
- Psalm 21:4 tn Heb “you have granted him length of days forever and ever.” The phrase “length of days,” when used of human beings, usually refers to a lengthy period of time (such as one’s lifetime). See, for example, Deut 30:20; Job 12:12; Ps 91:16; Prov 3:2, 16; Lam 5:20. The additional phrase “forever and ever” is hyperbolic. While it seems to attribute eternal life to the king (see Pss 61:6-7; 72:5 as well), the underlying reality is the king’s enduring dynasty. He will live on, as it were, through his descendants, who will continue to rule over his kingdom long after he has passed off the scene.
- Psalm 21:5 tn Or “great glory.”
- Psalm 21:5 tn Heb “majesty and splendor you place upon him.” For other uses of the phrase הוֹד וְהָדָר (hod vehadar, “majesty and splendor”) see 1 Chr 16:27; Job 40:10; Pss 96:6; 104:1; 111:3.
- Psalm 21:6 tn Heb “you make him happy with joy with [i.e., “close by” or “in”] your face.” On the idiom “with your face” (i.e., “in your presence”) see Ps 16:11 and BDB 816 s.v. פָּנֻה II.2.a.
- Psalm 21:7 tn The active participle draws attention to the ongoing nature of the action.
- Psalm 21:7 sn The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. Note the focus of vv. 8-12 and see Ps 47:2.
- Psalm 21:7 tn Another option is to translate the imperfect verbal form as future, “he will not be shaken” (cf. NRSV “he shall not be moved”). Even if one chooses this option, the future tense must be understood in a generalizing sense.
- Psalm 21:8 tn The king is now addressed. One could argue that the Lord is still being addressed, but v. 9 militates against this proposal, for there the Lord is mentioned in the third person and appears to be distinct from the addressee (unless, of course, one takes “Lord” in v. 9 as vocative; see the note on “them” in v. 9b). Verse 7 begins this transition to a new addressee by referring to both the king and the Lord in the third person (in vv. 1-6 the Lord is addressed and only the king referred to in the third person).
- Psalm 21:8 tn Heb “your hand finds.” The idiom pictures the king grabbing hold of his enemies and defeating them (see 1 Sam 23:17). The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 8-12 may be translated with the future tense, as long as the future is understood as generalizing.
- Psalm 21:8 tn Heb “your right hand finds those who hate you.”
- Psalm 21:9 tn Heb “you make them like a furnace of fire.” Although many modern translations retain the literal Hebrew, the statement is elliptical. The point is not that he makes them like a furnace, but like an object burned in a furnace (cf. NEB, “at your coming you shall plunge them into a fiery furnace”).
- Psalm 21:9 tn Heb “at the time of your face.” The “face” of the king here refers to his angry presence. See Lam 4:16.
- Psalm 21:9 tn Heb “the Lord, in his anger he swallows them, and fire devours them.” Some take “the Lord” as a vocative, in which case he is addressed in vv. 8-9a. But this makes the use of the third person in v. 9b rather awkward, though the king could be the subject (see vv. 1-7).
- Psalm 21:10 tn Heb “fruit.” The next line makes it clear that offspring is in view.
- Psalm 21:10 tn Heb “seed.”
- Psalm 21:10 tn Heb “sons of man.”
- Psalm 21:11 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 21:11 tn Heb “they extend against you harm.” The perfect verbal forms in v. 11 are taken as generalizing, stating factually what the king’s enemies typically do. Another option is to translate with the past tense (“they intended…planned”).
- Psalm 21:11 sn See Ps 10:2.
- Psalm 21:11 tn Heb “they lack ability.”
- Psalm 21:12 tn Heb “you make them a shoulder,” i.e., “you make them turn and run, showing the back of their neck and shoulders.”
- Psalm 21:12 tn Heb “with your bowstrings you fix against their faces,” i.e., “you fix your arrows on the bowstrings to shoot at them.”
- Psalm 21:13 tn Heb “in your strength,” but English idiom does not require the pronoun.sn The psalm concludes with a petition to the Lord, asking him to continue to intervene in strength for the king and nation.
- Psalm 21:13 tn Heb “sing praise.”
- Psalm 22:1 sn Psalm 22. The psalmist cries out to the Lord for deliverance from his dangerous enemies, who have surrounded him and threaten his life. Confident that the Lord will intervene, he then vows to thank the Lord publicly for his help and anticipates a time when all people will recognize the Lord’s greatness and worship him.
- Psalm 22:1 tn Heb “according to the doe of the dawn.” Apparently this refers to a particular musical tune or style.
- Psalm 22:1 sn From the psalmist’s perspective it seems that God has abandoned him, for he fails to answer his cry for help (vv. 1b-2).
- Psalm 22:1 tn Heb “far from my deliverance [are] the words of my groaning.” The Hebrew noun שְׁאָגָה (sheʾagah) and its related verb שָׁאַג (shaʾag) are sometimes used of a lion’s roar, but they can also describe human groaning (see Job 3:24 and Pss 32:3 and 38:8.
- Psalm 22:2 tn Heb “there is no silence to me.”
- Psalm 22:3 tn Heb “[O] one who sits [on] the praises of Israel.” The verb “receiving” is supplied in the translation for clarity. The metaphorical language pictures the Lord as sitting enthroned as king in his temple, receiving the praises that his people Israel offer up to him.
- Psalm 22:4 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Psalm 22:4 tn The words “in you” are supplied in the translation. They are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).
- Psalm 22:5 tn Or “were not ashamed.”
- Psalm 22:6 tn The grammatical construction (conjunction + pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist’s experience and that of his ancestors. When he considers God’s past reliability, it only heightens his despair and confusion, for God’s present silence stands in stark contrast to his past saving acts.
- Psalm 22:6 tn The metaphor expresses the psalmist’s self-perception, which is based on how others treat him (see the following line).
- Psalm 22:6 tn Or “not a human being.” The psalmist perceives himself as less than human.
- Psalm 22:6 tn Heb “a reproach of man and despised by people.”
- Psalm 22:7 tn Or “scoff at, deride, mock.”
- Psalm 22:7 tn Heb “they separate with a lip.” Apparently this refers to their verbal taunting.
- Psalm 22:7 sn Shake their heads. Apparently this refers to a taunting gesture. See also Job 16:4; Ps 109:25; Lam 2:15.
- Psalm 22:8 tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons. The psalmist here quotes the sarcastic taunts of his enemies.
- Psalm 22:8 tn Heb “roll [yourself].” The Hebrew verb גָּלַל (galal) here has the sense of “commit” (see Prov 16:3). The imperatival form in the Hebrew text indicates the enemies here address the psalmist. Since they refer to him in the third person in the rest of the verse, some prefer to emend the verb to a perfect, “he commits himself to the Lord.”
- Psalm 22:8 tn Heb “Let him”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Psalm 22:8 tn Heb “Let him”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Psalm 22:8 tn That is, “for he [the Lord] delights in him [the psalmist].” For other cases where the expression “delight in” refers to God’s delight in a person, see Num 14:8; 1 Kgs 10:9; Pss 18:19; 40:8.sn This statement does not necessarily reflect the enemies’ actual belief, but it does reflect the psalmist’s confession. The psalmist’s enemies sarcastically appeal to God to help him, because he claims to be an object of divine favor. However, they probably doubted the reality of his claim.
- Psalm 22:9 tn Or “the one who pulled me.” The verb is derived from either גָּחָה (gakhah; see HALOT 187 s.v. גחה) or גִּיחַ (giakh; see BDB 161 s.v. גִּיחַ) and seems to carry the nuance “burst forth” or “pull out.”
- Psalm 22:10 tn Heb “upon you I was cast from [the] womb.”
- Psalm 22:10 tn Heb “from the womb of my mother you [have been] my God.”sn Despite the enemies’ taunts, the psalmist is certain of his relationship with God, which began from the time of his birth (from the time I came out of my mother’s womb).
- Psalm 22:11 tn Heb “and there is no helper.”
- Psalm 22:12 sn The psalmist figuratively compares his enemies to dangerous bulls.
- Psalm 22:12 sn Bashan, located east of the Jordan River, was well-known for its cattle. See Ezek 39:18; Amos 4:1.
- Psalm 22:13 tn “They” refers to the psalmist’s enemies, who in the previous verse are described as “powerful bulls.”
- Psalm 22:13 tn Heb “they open against me their mouth[s].” To “open the mouth against” is a Hebrew idiom associated with eating and swallowing (see Ezek 2:8; Lam 2:16).
- Psalm 22:13 tn Heb “a lion ripping and roaring.”
- Psalm 22:14 tn Heb “like water I am poured out.”
- Psalm 22:14 sn The heart is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s strength and courage.
- Psalm 22:15 tc Heb “my strength” (כֹּחִי, kokhi), but many prefer to emend the text to חִכִּי (khiki, “my palate”; cf. NEB, NRSV “my mouth”) assuming that an error of transposition has occurred in the traditional Hebrew text.
- Psalm 22:15 tn Cf. NEB “my jaw”; NASB, NRSV “my jaws”; NIV “the roof of my mouth.”
- Psalm 22:15 sn Here the psalmist addresses God and suggests that God is ultimately responsible for what is happening because of his failure to intervene (see vv. 1-2, 11).
- Psalm 22:15 sn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the progressive nature of the action. The psalmist is in the process of dying.
- Psalm 22:16 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 22:16 tc The Masoretic text reads “like a lion, my hands and my feet.” The reading is difficult and the ancient versions vary, so the textual difficulty is probably very early. Without a verb, the syntax appears broken and the role of “hands and feet” unclear. One option is to understand the verb of the previous line to apply again, a poetic technique called ellipsis and double duty. But “my hands and feet” would be an odd object for a verb meaning “they encircled.” Otherwise, the broken syntax may represent the emotional outcry of the Psalmist, first mentioning the lion as part of the third person description, but suddenly shifting to the first person perspective and crying out as the lion attacks, pinning down his hands and feet (a scene depicted in ancient Near Eastern art). But this development seems late textually. All the other witnesses have a verb instead of “like a lion.” The LXX says “they dug my hands and feet; the verb ὀρύσσω (orussō) means “to burrow in the ground, to dig.” A Qumran witness seems to read similarly, “they dug.” Instead of the MT’s כארי (kᵉʾariy; like a lion”), the scroll from Nahal Hever has a verb form כארו (kaʾaru) ending with vav instead of yod. Supposing that the א (ʾaleph) is a superfluous spelling variant, the form would be understood as כרו (karu) from the root כרה (karah), meaning “they dug.” In that case, the Qumran scroll and the LXX agree because כרה is one of the two verbs translated in the LXX by ὀρύσσω. But as both these verbs mean “to dig [in the dirt]” this has not helped us understand the context. Assuming that the enemies are still the subject, we might expect “they dug a pit for my hands and feet.” In fact the Hebrew words behind “they dug a pit” look similar (כרו בור) so it is not hard to imagine that one of these two would be overlooked by a scribed and dropped from the text. Some suppose that “to dig [in the ground]” means “to pierce” in reference to hands and feet (possibly from the root כור). Other variants and suggestions include “they bound,” or “they picked clean” (from אָרָה, ʾarah, “to pluck”) my hands and feet. Or “my hands and feet are consumed,” or “worn out.” The latter two assume a copying error of resh for lamed, making the verb come from כלה. P. Craigie (Psalms [WBC], 1:196) opts for this last but also cites Syriac and Akkadian for additional root K-R-H meaning “to be shrunken, shriveled.” The Akkadian verb (karu) is said of body parts and can refer to paralysis, which is the kind of metaphor which occurs in battle contexts elsewhere (e.g. Ps 76:5). It would be very natural to read “my hands and my feet” as the subject of the verb because verb-subject is typical word order. There is no decisive answer to the problem and the NET translation includes the lion imagery (cf. v. 13) and supposes a verb that conveys an attack.
- Psalm 22:17 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 17-18 draw attention to the progressive nature of the action.
- Psalm 22:17 tn Heb “they.” The masculine form indicates the enemies are in view. The referent (the psalmist’s enemies) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Psalm 22:17 tn Heb “they gaze, they look upon me.”
- Psalm 22:18 tn Heb “casting lots.” The precise way in which this would have been done is not certain.
- Psalm 22:19 tn Heb “O my strength.”
- Psalm 22:19 tn Heb “hurry to my help.”
- Psalm 22:20 tn Or “my life.”
- Psalm 22:20 tn The verb “save” is supplied in the translation; it is understood by ellipsis (see “deliver” in the preceding line).
- Psalm 22:20 tn Heb “my only one.” The psalmist may mean that his life is precious, or that he feels isolated and alone.
- Psalm 22:20 tn Heb “from the hand.” Here “hand” is understood by metonymy as a reference to the “paw” and thus the “claws” of the wild dogs.
- Psalm 22:21 sn The psalmist again compares his enemies to vicious dogs and ferocious lions (see vv. 13, 16).
- Psalm 22:21 tn The Hebrew term רֵמִים (remim) appears to be an alternate spelling of רְאֵמִים (reʾemim, “wild oxen”; see BDB 910 s.v. רְאֵם).
- Psalm 22:21 tn Heb “and from the horns of the wild oxen you answer me.” Most take the final verb with the preceding prepositional phrase. Some understand the verb form as a relatively rare precative perfect, expressing a wish or request (see IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d). However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew. (See the discussion at Ps 3:7.) Others prefer to take the perfect in its usual indicative sense. The psalmist, perhaps in response to an oracle of salvation, affirms confidently that God has answered him, assuring him that deliverance is on the way. The present translation takes the prepositional phrase as parallel to the preceding “from the mouth of the lion” and as collocated with the verb “rescue” at the beginning of the verse. “You have answered me” is understood as a triumphant shout which marks a sudden shift in tone and introduces the next major section of the psalm. By isolating the statement syntactically, the psalmist highlights the declaration.
- Psalm 22:22 tn Or “brothers,” but here the term does not carry a literal familial sense. It refers to the psalmist’s fellow members of the Israelite covenant community (see v. 23).
- Psalm 22:23 tn Heb “[you] fearers of the Lord.” See Ps 15:4.
- Psalm 22:23 tn Heb “fear him.”
- Psalm 22:24 tn Or “affliction”; or “need.”
- Psalm 22:24 sn In this verse the psalmist refers to himself in the third person and characterizes himself as oppressed.
- Psalm 22:24 tn Heb “he did not hide his face from him.” For other uses of the idiom “hide the face” meaning “ignore,” see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9. Sometimes the idiom carries the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 27:9; 88:14).
- Psalm 22:24 tn Heb “heard.”
- Psalm 22:25 tn Heb “from with you [is] my praise.”
- Psalm 22:25 tn Heb “my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.” When asking the Lord for help, the psalmists would typically promise to praise the Lord publicly if he intervened and delivered them.
- Psalm 22:26 sn Eat and be filled. In addition to praising the Lord, the psalmist also offers a thank offering to the Lord and invites others to share in a communal meal.
- Psalm 22:26 tn Heb “may your heart[s].”
- Psalm 22:27 tn Heb “may all the ends of the earth remember and turn to the Lord.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 27 are understood as jussives (cf. NEB). Another option (cf. NIV, NRSV) is to take the forms as imperfects and translate, “all the people of the earth will acknowledge and turn…and worship.” See vv. 29-32.
- Psalm 22:27 tn Heb “families of the nations.”
- Psalm 22:27 tn Heb “before you.”
- Psalm 22:28 tn Heb “for to the Lord [is] dominion.”
- Psalm 22:29 tn Heb “fat [ones].” This apparently refers to those who are healthy and robust, i.e., thriving. In light of the parallelism, some prefer to emend the form to יְשֵׁנֵי (yeshene, “those who sleep [in the earth]”; cf. NAB, NRSV), but דִּשְׁנֵי (dishne, “fat [ones]”) seems to form a merism with “all who descend into the grave” in the following line. The psalmist envisions all people, whether healthy or dying, joining in worship of the Lord.
- Psalm 22:29 tn Heb “eat and worship.” The verb forms (a perfect followed by a prefixed form with vav [ו] consecutive) are normally used in narrative to relate completed actions. Here the psalmist uses the forms rhetorically as he envisions a time when the Lord will receive universal worship. The mood is one of wishful thinking and anticipation; this is not prophecy in the strict sense.
- Psalm 22:29 tn Heb “all of the ones going down [into] the dust.” This group stands in contrast to those mentioned in the previous line. Together the two form a merism encompassing all human beings—the healthy, the dying, and everyone in between.
- Psalm 22:29 tn Heb “and his life he does not revive.”
- Psalm 22:30 tn Heb “offspring.”
- Psalm 22:30 tn Heb “it will be told concerning the Lord to the generation.” The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
- Psalm 22:31 tn Heb “his righteousness.” Here the noun צִדָקָה (tsidaqah) refers to the Lord’s saving deeds whereby he vindicates the oppressed.
- Psalm 22:31 tn Heb “to a people [to be] born that he has acted.” The words “they will tell” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Psalm 23:1 sn Psalm 23. In vv. 1-4 the psalmist pictures the Lord as a shepherd who provides for his needs and protects him from danger. The psalmist declares, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and then extends and develops that metaphor, speaking as if he were a sheep. In vv. 5-6 the metaphor changes as the psalmist depicts a great royal banquet hosted by the Lord. The psalmist is a guest of honor and recipient of divine favor, who enjoys unlimited access to the divine palace and the divine presence.
- Psalm 23:1 sn The Lord is my shepherd. The opening metaphor suggests the psalmist is assuming the role of a sheep. In vv. 1b-4 the psalmist extends the metaphor and explains exactly how the Lord is like a shepherd to him. At the surface level the language can be understood in terms of a shepherd’s relationship to his sheep. The translation of vv. 1-4 reflects this level. But, of course, each statement also points to an underlying reality.
- Psalm 23:1 tn The imperfect verbal form is best understood as generalizing; the psalmist highlights his typical or ongoing experience as a result of having the Lord as his shepherd (habitual present use). The next verse explains more specifically what he means by this statement.
- Psalm 23:2 tn Heb “he makes me lie down in lush pastures.” The Hiphil verb יַרְבִּיצֵנִי (yarbitseni) has a causative-modal nuance here (see IBHS 445-46 §27.5 on this use of the Hiphil), meaning “allows me to lie down” (see also Jer 33:12). The point is that the shepherd takes the sheep to lush pastures and lets them eat and rest there. Both imperfect verbal forms in v. 2 are generalizing and highlight the psalmist’s typical experience.
- Psalm 23:2 tn Both genitives in v. 2 indicate an attribute of the noun they modify: דֶּשֶׁא (desheʾ) characterizes the pastures as “lush” (i.e., rich with vegetation), while מְנֻחוֹת (menukhot) probably characterizes the water as refreshing. In this case the plural indicates an abstract quality. Some take מְנֻחוֹת in the sense of “still, calm” (i.e., as describing calm pools in contrast to dangerous torrents), but it is unlikely that such a pastoral scene is in view. Shepherds usually watered their sheep at wells (see Gen 29:2-3; Exod 2:16-19). Another option is to take מְנֻחוֹת as “resting places” and to translate, “water of/at the resting places” (i.e., a genitive of location; see IBHS 147-48 §9.5.2e).sn Within the framework of the metaphor, the psalmist/sheep is declaring in v. 2 that his shepherd provides the essentials for physical life. At a deeper level the psalmist may be referring to more than just physical provision, though that would certainly be included.
- Psalm 23:3 tn The appearance of the Hebrew term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi), traditionally translated “my soul,” might suggest a spiritualized interpretation for the first line of v. 3. However, at the surface level of the shepherd/sheep metaphor, this is unlikely. When it occurs with a pronominal suffix נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v.נֶפֶשׁ 4.a). In this context, where the statement most naturally refers to the physical provision just described, the form is best translated simply “me.” The accompanying verb (a Polel form [factitive use] of שׁוּב [shuv]), if referring to the physical provision just described, carries the nuance “refresh, restore strength.”
- Psalm 23:3 tn The imperfect verbal forms in v. 3 (יְשׁוֹבֵב [yeshovev] and יַנְחֵנִי [yankheni]), like those in vv. 1-2, highlight what is typical of the shepherd/sheep relationship.
- Psalm 23:3 tn The attributive genitive צֶדֶק (tsedeq) is traditionally translated “righteousness” here, as if designating a moral or ethical quality. But this seems unlikely, for it modifies מַעְגְּלֵי (maʿgele, “paths”). Within the shepherd/sheep metaphor, the phrase likely refers to “right” or “correct” paths, i.e., ones that lead to pastures, wells, or the fold. While צֶדֶק usually does carry a moral or ethical nuance, it can occasionally refer to less abstract things, such as weights and offerings. In this context, which emphasizes divine provision and protection, the underlying reality is probably God’s providential guidance. The psalmist is confident that God takes him down paths that will ultimately lead to something beneficial, not destructive.
- Psalm 23:3 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁם (shem, “name”) refers here to the shepherd’s reputation. (The English term “name” is often used the same way.) The statement לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ (lemaʿan shemo, “for the sake of his name”) makes excellent sense within the framework of the shepherd/sheep metaphor. Shepherds, who sometimes hired out their services, were undoubtedly concerned about their vocational reputation. To maintain their reputation as competent shepherds, they had to know the “lay of the land” and make sure they led the sheep down the right paths to the proper destinations. The underlying reality is a profound theological truth: God must look out for the best interests of the one he has promised to protect, because if he fails to do so, his faithfulness could legitimately be called into question and his reputation damaged.
- Psalm 23:4 tn The Hebrew term צַלְמָוֶת (tsalmavet) has traditionally been understood as a compound noun meaning “shadow of death” (צֵל [tsel] + מָוֶת [mavet]; see BDB 853 s.v. צַלְמָוֶת). Other scholars prefer to vocalize the form צָלְמוּת (tsalmut) and understand it as an abstract noun (from the root צָלַם, tsalam) meaning “darkness.” An examination of the word’s usage favors the latter derivation. It is frequently associated with darkness/night and contrasted with light/morning (see Job 3:5; 10:21-22; 12:22; 24:17; 28:3; 34:22; Ps 107:10, 14; Isa 9:1; Jer 13:16; Amos 5:8). In some cases the darkness described is associated with the realm of death (Job 10:21-22; 38:17), but this is a metaphorical application of the word and does not reflect its inherent meaning. If the word does indeed mean “darkness,” it modifies גַיְא (gayʾ, “valley, ravine”) quite naturally. At the metaphorical level, v. 4 pictures the shepherd taking his sheep through a dark ravine where predators might lurk. The life-threatening situations faced by the psalmist are the underlying reality behind the imagery.
- Psalm 23:4 tn The imperfect verbal forms in v. 4, as in vv. 1-3, highlight what is typical in the psalmist’s experience.
- Psalm 23:4 tn The Hebrew term רָע (raʿ) is traditionally translated “evil” here, perhaps suggesting a moral or ethical nuance. But at the level of the metaphor, the word means “danger, injury, harm,” as a sheep might experience from a predator. The life-threatening dangers faced by the psalmist, especially the enemies mentioned in v. 5, are the underlying reality.
- Psalm 23:4 tn The Piel of נָחַם (nakham), when used with a human object, means “comfort, console.” But here, within the metaphorical framework, it refers to the way in which a shepherd uses his implements to assure the sheep of his presence and calm their nerves. The underlying reality is the emotional stability God provides the psalmist during life threatening situations.
- Psalm 23:5 sn In v. 5 the metaphor switches. (It would be very odd for a sheep to have its head anointed and be served wine.) The background for the imagery is probably the royal banquet. Ancient Near Eastern texts describe such banquets in similar terms to those employed by the psalmist. (See M. L. Barre and J. S. Kselman, “New Exodus, Covenant, and Restoration in Psalm 23, ” The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth, 97-127.) The reality behind the imagery is the Lord’s favor. Through his blessings and protection he demonstrates to everyone, including dangerous enemies, that the psalmist has a special relationship with him.
- Psalm 23:5 tn The imperfect verbal form in v. 5a carries on the generalizing mood of vv. 1-4. However, in v. 5b the psalmist switches to a perfect (דִּשַּׁנְתָּ, dishanta), which may have a generalizing force as well. But then again the perfect is conspicuous here and may be present perfect in sense, indicating that the divine host typically pours oil on his head prior to seating him at the banquet table. The verb דָשַׁן (dashan; the Piel is factitive) is often translated “anoint,” but this is misleading, for it might suggest a symbolic act of initiation into royal status. One would expect the verb מָשָׁח (mashan) in this case; דָשַׁן here describes an act of hospitality extended to guests and carries the nuance “refresh.” In Prov 15:30 it stands parallel to “make happy” and refers to the effect that good news has on the inner being of its recipient.
- Psalm 23:5 tn The rare noun רְוָיָה (revayah) is derived from the well-attested verb רָוָה (ravah, “be saturated, drink one’s fill”). In this context, where it describes a cup, it must mean “filled up,” but not necessarily to overflowing.
- Psalm 23:6 tn The noun חֶסֶד (khesed; v. 6) has been the subject of several monographs. G. R. Clark concludes that חֶסֶד “is not merely an attitude or an emotion; it is an emotion that leads to an activity beneficial to the recipient.” He explains that an act of חֶסֶד is “a beneficent action performed, in the context of a deep and enduring commitment between two persons or parties, by one who is able to render assistance to the needy party who in the circumstances is unable to help him- or herself.” (See G. R. Clark, The Word Hesed in the Hebrew Bible [JSOTSup], 267.) HALOT 336-37 s.v. defines the word as “loyalty,” or “faithfulness.” Other appropriate meanings might be “commitment” and “devotion.”
- Psalm 23:6 tn The use of רָדַף (radaf, “pursue, chase”) with טוֹב וָחֶסֶד (tov vakhesed, “goodness and faithfulness”) as subject is ironic. This is the only place in the entire OT where either of these nouns appears as the subject of this verb רָדַף (radaf, “pursue”). This verb is often used to describe the hostile actions of enemies. One might expect the psalmist’s enemies (see v. 5) to chase him, but ironically God’s “goodness and faithfulness” (which are personified and stand by metonymy for God himself) pursue him instead. The word “pursue” is used outside of its normal context in an ironic manner and creates a unique, but pleasant word picture of God’s favor (or a kind God) “chasing down” the one whom he loves.
- Psalm 23:6 tn Heb “all the days of my life.”
- Psalm 23:6 tn The verb form וְשַׁבְתִּי (veshavti) is a Qal perfect (with vav [ו] consecutive), first common singular, from שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) and should be translated, “and I will return.” But this makes no sense when construed with the following phrase, “in the house of the Lord.” The term שׁוּב (shuv) appears only here with the following phrase בְּבֵית (bevet). The form should be emended to וְשִׁבְתִּי (veshivti; an infinitive construct from יָשַׁב [yashav, “live”] with pronominal suffix) or to וְיָשַׁבְתִּי (veyashavti; a Qal perfect with vav [ו] consecutive, first common singular, from ישׁב [see BHS, note c]). In either case one could then translate, “and I will live [in the house of the Lord].” The phrase “in the house” frequently follows the verb יָשַׁב in the OT.
- Psalm 23:6 tn Heb “the house of the Lord.” The phrase may be purely metaphorical here, referring to the royal palace where the royal host of v. 5 holds his banquet and lives. If one takes the phrase more literally, it would refer to the earthly tabernacle (if one accepts Davidic authorship) or the later temple (see Judg 19:18; 1 Sam 1:7, 24; 2 Sam 12:20; 1 Kgs 7:12, 40, 45, 51).
- Psalm 23:6 tn The phrase אֹרֶךְ יָמִים (ʾorekh yamim, “length of days”) is traditionally translated “forever.” However, this phrase, when used elsewhere of people, usually refers to a lengthy period of time, such as one’s lifetime, and does not mean “forever” in the sense of eternity. (Cf. Deut 30:20; Job 12:12; Ps 91:16; Prov 3:2, 16; Lam 5:20.) Furthermore, the parallel phrase “all the days of my life” suggests this more limited meaning. Psalm 21:4, where the phrase is followed by “forever and ever,” may be an exception, though the juxtaposition of the phrases may be an example of intensification, where the second phrase goes beyond the limits of the first, rather than synonymity. Even if one takes both expressions as referring to eternal life, the language is part of the king’s hyperbolic description of the Lord’s blessings and should not be taken literally.
- Psalm 24:1 sn Psalm 24. The psalmist affirms the universal kingship of the sovereign creator, reminds his people that only the morally pure are qualified to worship him, and celebrates his splendor as a mighty warrior king.
- Psalm 24:2 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a preterite, referring to the creation of the world.
- Psalm 24:2 sn He…established it upon the ocean currents. The description reflects ancient Israelite prescientific cosmology, which is based on outward appearances. The language also suggests that God’s creative work involved the subjugation of chaos, symbolized by the sea.
- Psalm 24:3 tn The imperfects in v. 3 are modal, expressing potential or permission.
- Psalm 24:3 sn In this context the Lord’s mountain probably refers to Zion/Jerusalem (see Isa 2:2-3).
- Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “the innocent of hands and the pure of heart.” The “hands” allude to one’s actions, the “heart” to one’s thought life and motives.
- Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “who does not lift up for emptiness my life.” The first person pronoun on נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my life”) makes little sense here; many medieval Hebrew mss support the ancient versions in reading a third person pronoun “his.” The idiom “lift the life” here means to “long for” or “desire strongly.” In this context (note the reference to an oath in the following line) “emptiness” probably refers to speech (see Ps 12:2).
- Psalm 24:4 tn Heb “and does not swear an oath deceitfully.”
- Psalm 24:5 tn Heb “he (the righteous individual described in v. 4) lifts up a blessing from the Lord.” The singular subject is representative here, as v. 6 makes clear. The referent (godly people like the individual in v. 4) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The imperfect verbal form is generalizing; such people are typically rewarded for their deeds.
- Psalm 24:5 tn “and vindication from the God of his deliverance.”
- Psalm 24:6 tn Heb “this [is the] generation of the ones seeking him, the ones seeking your face, Jacob.” To “seek the Lord’s face” means to seek his favor through prayer (see 2 Sam 21:1; Pss 27:8; 105:4).sn This verse presents a somewhat idealized view of Jacob’s descendants as devoted worshipers of the Lord.
- Psalm 24:7 tn Heb “lift up your heads.” The gates of the Lord’s dwelling place are here personified. The idiom “lift up the head” often means “be confident, bold” (see Judg 8:28; Job 10:15; Ps 83:2; Zech 1:21).
- Psalm 24:7 tn Heb “lift yourselves up.”
- Psalm 24:7 tn Or “king of glory.”
- Psalm 24:7 tn Following the imperatives of the preceding lines, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose or result.
- Psalm 24:8 sn Who is this majestic king? Perhaps the personified gates/doors ask this question, in response to the command given in v. 7.
- Psalm 24:10 tn Traditionally, “the Lord of hosts,” a title which here pictures the Lord as a mighty warrior-king who leads armies into battle.
- Psalm 25:1 sn Psalm 25. The psalmist asks for divine protection, guidance and forgiveness as he affirms his loyalty to and trust in the Lord. This psalm is an acrostic; every verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for v. 18, which, like v. 19, begins with ר (resh) instead of the expected ק (qof). The final verse, which begins with פ (pe), stands outside the acrostic scheme.
- Psalm 25:1 tn Heb “to you, O Lord, my life I lift up.” To “lift up” one’s “life” to the Lord means to express one’s trust in him through prayer. See Pss 86:4; 143:8.
- Psalm 25:3 tn Heb “those who deal in treachery in vain.” The adverb רֵיקָם (reqam, “in vain”) probably refers to the failure (or futility) of their efforts. Another option is to understand it as meaning “without cause” (cf. NIV “without excuse”; NRSV “wantonly treacherous”).
- Psalm 25:4 sn Teach me your paths. In this context the Lord’s “ways” and “paths” refer to the moral principles which the Lord prescribes for his followers. See vv. 8-10.
- Psalm 25:5 sn The Lord’s commandments are referred to as truth here because they are a trustworthy and accurate expression of the divine will.
- Psalm 25:6 tn That is, “remember” with the intention of repeating.
- Psalm 25:6 tn Heb “for from antiquity [are] they.”
- Psalm 25:7 tn Heb “do not remember,” with the intention of punishing.
- Psalm 25:7 sn That is, the sins characteristic of youths, who lack moral discretion and wisdom.
- Psalm 25:7 tn Heb “according to your faithfulness, remember me, you, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.”
- Psalm 25:8 tn Heb “good and just.”
- Psalm 25:8 tn Heb “teaches sinners in the way.”
- Psalm 25:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive; the psalmist expresses his prayer.
- Psalm 25:9 tn Heb “may he guide the humble into justice.” The Hebrew term עֲנָוִים (ʿanavim, “humble”) usually refers to the oppressed, but in this context, where the psalmist confesses his sin and asks for moral guidance, it apparently refers to sinners who humble themselves before God and seek deliverance from their sinful condition.
- Psalm 25:9 tn The prefixed verbal form is interpreted as a jussive (it stands parallel to the jussive form, “may he guide”).
- Psalm 25:10 tn Heb “all the paths of the Lord are faithful and trustworthy.” The Lord’s “paths” refer here to his characteristic actions.
- Psalm 25:10 tn Heb “to the ones who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
- Psalm 25:11 tn Heb “name.” By forgiving the sinful psalmist, the Lord’s reputation as a merciful God will be enhanced.
- Psalm 25:11 sn Forgive my sin, because it is great. The psalmist readily admits his desperate need for forgiveness.
- Psalm 25:12 tn Heb “Who is this man, the one who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” The singular (note “man”) is representative here (see v. 14, where the plural is used), and has thus been translated as a plural (“followers…they”).
- Psalm 25:13 tn Heb “his life in goodness dwells.” The singular is representative (see v. 14).
- Psalm 25:13 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”
- Psalm 25:13 tn Or “earth.”
- Psalm 25:14 tn Heb “the advice of the Lord belongs to those who fear him.”
- Psalm 25:14