New English Translation
35 Once and for all I have vowed by my own holiness,
I will never deceive[a] David.
36 His dynasty will last forever.[b]
His throne will endure before me, like the sun;[c]
37 it will remain stable, like the moon.[d]
His throne will endure like the skies.”[e] (Selah)
- Psalm 89:35 tn Or “lie to.”
- Psalm 89:36 tn Heb “his offspring forever will be.”
- Psalm 89:36 tn Heb “and his throne like the sun before me.”
- Psalm 89:37 tn Heb “like the moon it will be established forever.”
- Psalm 89:37 tn Heb “and a witness in the sky, secure.” Scholars have offered a variety of opinions as to the identity of the “witness” referred to here, none of which is very convincing. It is preferable to join וְעֵד (veʿed) to עוֹלָם (ʿolam) in the preceding line and translate the commonly attested phrase עוֹלָם וְעֵד (“forever”). In this case one may translate the second line, “[it] will be secure like the skies.” Another option (the one reflected in the present translation) is to take עד as a rare noun meaning “throne” or “dais.” This noun is attested in Ugaritic; see, for example, CTA 16 vi 22-23, where ksi (= כִּסֵּא, kisseʾ, “throne”) and ʿd (= עד, “dais”) appear as synonyms in the poetic parallelism (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 91). Emending בַּשַּׁחַק (bashakhaq, “in the heavens”) to כַּשַׁחַק (kashakhaq, “like the heavens”)—bet/kaf (כ/ב) confusion is widely attested—one can then read “[his] throne like the heavens [is] firm/stable.” Verse 29 refers to the enduring nature of the heavens, while Job 37:18 speaks of God spreading out the heavens (שְׁחָקִים, shekhaqim) and compares their strength to a bronze mirror. Ps 89:29 uses the term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim, “skies”) which frequently appears in parallelism to שְׁחָקִים.