A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness. 2
My soul thirsts 4 for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched 5 land where there is no water.
and witnessed 8 your power and splendor.
my lips will praise you.
in your name I will lift up my hands. 12
My mouth joyfully praises you, 15
and think about you during the nighttime hours.
under your wings 18 I rejoice.
your right hand upholds me.
but they will descend into the depths of the earth. 22
their corpses will be eaten by jackals. 24
everyone who takes oaths in his name 26 will boast,
for the mouths of those who speak lies will be shut up. 27
2 sn According to the psalm superscription David wrote the psalm while in the “wilderness of Judah.” Perhaps this refers to the period described in 1 Sam 23-24 or to the incident mentioned in 2 Sam 15:23.
3 tn Or “I will seek you.”
4 tn Or “I thirst.”
5 tn Heb “faint” or “weary.” This may picture the land as “faint” or “weary,” or it may allude to the effect this dry desert has on those who are forced to live in it.
7 tn The perfect verbal form is understood here as referring to a past experience which the psalmist desires to be repeated. Another option is to take the perfect as indicating the psalmist’s certitude that he will again stand in God’s presence in the sanctuary. In this case one can translate, “I will see you.”
8 tn Heb “seeing.” The preposition with the infinitive construct here indicates an accompanying circumstance.
9 tn This line is understood as giving the basis for the praise promised in the following line. Another option is to take the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) as asseverative/emphasizing, “Indeed, your loyal love is better” (cf. NEB, which leaves the particle untranslated).
10 tn The word “experiencing” is supplied in the translation for clarification. The psalmist does not speak here of divine loyal love in some abstract sense, but of loyal love revealed and experienced.
11 tn Or perhaps “then.”
13 tn Heb “like fat and fatness.”
14 tn Or “me.”
15 tn Heb “and [with] lips of joy my mouth praises.”
17 tn Or “[source of] help.”
18 tn Heb “in the shadow of your wings.”
19 tn Or “I.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).
21 tn Heb “but they for destruction seek my life.” The pronoun “they” must refer here to the psalmist’s enemies, referred to at this point for the first time in the psalm.
23 tn Heb “they will deliver him over to the sword.” The third masculine plural subject must be indefinite (see GKC 460 §144.f) and the singular pronominal suffix either representative or distributive (emphasizing that each one will be so treated). Active verbs with indefinite subjects may be translated as passives with the object (in the Hebrew text) as subject (in the translation).
24 tn Heb “they will be [the] portion of jackals”; traditionally, “of foxes.”
25 sn The psalmist probably refers to himself in the third person here.
26 tn Heb “who swears [an oath] by him.”