Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) June 22
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Psalms 85:1--87:7

Context
Psalm 85 1 

For the music director; written by the Korahites, a psalm.

85:1 O Lord, you showed favor to your land;

you restored the well-being of Jacob. 2 

85:2 You pardoned 3  the wrongdoing of your people;

you forgave 4  all their sin. (Selah)

85:3 You withdrew all your fury;

you turned back from your raging anger. 5 

85:4 Restore us, O God our deliverer!

Do not be displeased with us! 6 

85:5 Will you stay mad at us forever?

Will you remain angry throughout future generations? 7 

85:6 Will you not revive us once more?

Then your people will rejoice in you!

85:7 O Lord, show us your loyal love!

Bestow on us your deliverance!

85:8 I will listen to what God the Lord says. 8 

For he will make 9  peace with his people, his faithful followers. 10 

Yet they must not 11  return to their foolish ways.

85:9 Certainly his loyal followers will soon experience his deliverance; 12 

then his splendor will again appear in our land. 13 

85:10 Loyal love and faithfulness meet; 14 

deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. 15 

85:11 Faithfulness grows from the ground,

and deliverance looks down from the sky. 16 

85:12 Yes, the Lord will bestow his good blessings, 17 

and our land will yield 18  its crops.

85:13 Deliverance goes 19  before him,

and prepares 20  a pathway for him. 21 

Psalm 86 22 

A prayer of David.

86:1 Listen 23  O Lord! Answer me!

For I am oppressed and needy.

86:2 Protect me, 24  for I am loyal!

O my God, deliver your servant, who trusts in you!

86:3 Have mercy on me, 25  O Lord,

for I cry out to you all day long!

86:4 Make your servant 26  glad,

for to you, O Lord, I pray! 27 

86:5 Certainly 28  O Lord, you are kind 29  and forgiving,

and show great faithfulness to all who cry out to you.

86:6 O Lord, hear my prayer!

Pay attention to my plea for mercy!

86:7 In my time of trouble I cry out to you,

for you will answer me.

86:8 None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord!

Your exploits are incomparable! 30 

86:9 All the nations, whom you created,

will come and worship you, 31  O Lord.

They will honor your name.

86:10 For you are great and do amazing things.

You alone are God.

86:11 O Lord, teach me how you want me to live! 32 

Then I will obey your commands. 33 

Make me wholeheartedly committed to you! 34 

86:12 O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart!

I will honor your name continually! 35 

86:13 For you will extend your great loyal love to me, 36 

and will deliver my life 37  from the depths of Sheol. 38 

86:14 O God, arrogant men attack me; 39 

a gang 40  of ruthless men, who do not respect you, seek my life. 41 

86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God.

You are patient 42  and demonstrate great loyal love and faithfulness. 43 

86:16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me!

Give your servant your strength!

Deliver your slave! 44 

86:17 Show me evidence of your favor! 45 

Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, 46 

for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me. 47 

Psalm 87 48 

Written by the Korahites; a psalm, a song.

87:1 The Lord’s city is in the holy hills. 49 

87:2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion

more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.

87:3 People say wonderful things about you, 50 

O city of God. (Selah)

87:4 I mention Rahab 51  and Babylon to my followers. 52 

Here are 53  Philistia and Tyre, 54  along with Ethiopia. 55 

It is said of them, “This one was born there.” 56 

87:5 But it is said of Zion’s residents, 57 

“Each one of these 58  was born in her,

and the sovereign One 59  makes her secure.” 60 

87:6 The Lord writes in the census book of the nations, 61 

“This one was born there.” 62  (Selah)

87:7 As for the singers, as well as the pipers –

all of them sing within your walls. 63 

1 sn Psalm 85. God’s people recall how he forgave their sins in the past, pray that he might now restore them to his favor, and anticipate renewed blessings.

2 tn Heb “you turned with a turning [toward] Jacob.” The Hebrew term שְׁבוּת (shÿvut) is apparently a cognate accusative of שׁוּב (shuv). See Pss 14:7; 53:6.

3 tn Heb “lifted up.”

4 tn Heb “covered over.”

5 tn Heb “the rage of your anger.” The phrase “rage of your anger” 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. See Pss 69:24; 78:49.

6 tn Heb “break your displeasure with us.” Some prefer to emend הָפֵר (hafer, “break”) to הָסֵר (haser, “turn aside”).

7 tn Heb “Will your anger stretch to a generation and a generation?”

8 sn I will listen. Having asked for the Lord’s favor, the psalmist (who here represents the nation) anticipates a divine word of assurance.

9 tn Heb “speak.” The idiom “speak peace” refers to establishing or maintaining peaceful relations with someone (see Gen 37:4; Zech 9:10; cf. Ps 122:8).

10 tn Heb “to his people and to his faithful followers.” The translation assumes that “his people” and “his faithful followers” are viewed as identical here.

11 tn Or “yet let them not.” After the negative particle אֵל (’el), the prefixed verbal form is jussive, indicating the speaker’s desire or wish.

12 tn Heb “certainly his deliverance [is] near to those who fear him.”

13 tn Heb “to dwell, glory, in our land.” “Glory” is the subject of the infinitive. The infinitive with -לְ (lÿ), “to dwell,” probably indicates result here (“then”). When God delivers his people and renews his relationship with them, he will once more reveal his royal splendor in the land.

14 tn The psalmist probably uses the perfect verbal forms in v. 10 in a dramatic or rhetorical manner, describing what he anticipates as if it were already occurring or had already occurred.

15 sn Deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. The psalmist personifies these abstract qualities to emphasize that God’s loyal love and faithfulness will yield deliverance and peace for his people.

16 sn The psalmist already sees undeniable signs of God’s faithfulness and expects deliverance to arrive soon.

17 tn Heb “what is good.”

18 tn Both “bestow” and “yield” translate the same Hebrew verb (נָתַן, natan). The repetition of the word emphasizes that agricultural prosperity is the direct result of divine blessing.

19 tn Or “will go.”

20 tn Or “will prepare.”

21 tn Heb “and it prepares for a way his footsteps.” Some suggest emending וְיָשֵׂם (vÿyasem, “and prepares”) to וְשָׁלוֹם (vÿshalom, “and peace”) since “deliverance” and “peace” are closely related earlier in v. 13. This could be translated, “and peace [goes ahead, making] a pathway for his footsteps” (cf. NEB).

22 sn Psalm 86. The psalmist appeals to God’s mercy as he asks for deliverance from his enemies.

23 tn Heb “turn your ear.”

24 tn Heb “my life.”

25 tn Or “show me favor.”

26 tn Heb “the soul of your servant.”

27 tn Heb “I lift up my soul.”

28 tn Or “for.”

29 tn Heb “good.”

30 tn Heb “and there are none like your acts.”

31 tn Or “bow down before you.”

32 tn Heb “teach me your way.” The Lord’s “way” refers here to the moral principles he expects the psalmist to follow. See Pss 25:4; 27:11.

33 tn Heb “I will walk in your truth.” The Lord’s commandments are referred to as “truth” here because they are a trustworthy and accurate expression of the divine will. See Ps 25:5.

34 tn Heb “Bind my heart to the fearing of your name.” The verb translated “bind” occurs only here in the Piel stem. It appears twice in the Qal, meaning “be joined” in both cases (Gen 49:6; Isa 14:20). To “fear” God’s name means to have a healthy respect for him which in turn motivates one to obey his commands (see Pss 61:5; 102:15).

35 tn Or “forever.”

36 tn Heb “for your loyal love [is] great over me.”

37 tn Or “for he will have delivered my life.” The verb form indicates a future perfect here.

38 tn Or “lower Sheol.”

39 tn Heb “rise up against me.”

40 tn Or “assembly.”

41 tn Heb “seek my life and do not set you before them.” See Ps 54:3.

42 tn Heb “slow to anger.”

43 tn Heb “and great of loyal love and faithfulness.”

sn The psalmist’s confession of faith in this verse echoes Exod 34:6.

44 tn Heb “the son of your female servant.” The phrase “son of a female servant” (see also Ps 116:16) is used of a son born to a secondary wife or concubine (Exod 23:12). In some cases the child’s father is the master of the house (see Gen 21:10, 13; Judg 9:18). The use of the expression here certainly does not imply that the Lord has such a secondary wife or concubine! It is used metaphorically and idiomatically to emphasize the psalmist’s humility before the Lord and his status as the Lord’s servant.

45 tn Heb “Work with me a sign for good.” The expression “work a sign” also occurs in Judg 6:17.

46 tn After the imperative in the preceding line (“work”), the prefixed verb forms with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicate purpose or result.

47 tn The perfect verbal forms are understood here as dramatic/rhetorical, expressing the psalmist’s certitude that such a sign from the Lord will be followed by his intervention. Another option is to understand the forms as future perfects (“for you, O Lord, will have helped me and comforted me”).

48 sn Psalm 87. The psalmist celebrates the Lord’s presence in Zion and the special status of its citizens.

49 tn Heb “his foundation [is] in the hills of holiness.” The expression “his foundation” refers here by metonymy to the Lord’s dwelling place in Zion. The “hills” are the ones surrounding Zion (see Pss 125:2; 133:3).

50 tn Heb “glorious things are spoken about you.” The translation assumes this is a general reference to compliments paid to Zion by those who live within her walls and by those who live in the surrounding areas and lands. Another option is that this refers to a prophetic oracle about the city’s glorious future. In this case one could translate, “wonderful things are announced concerning you.”

51 snRahab,” which means “proud one,” is used here as a title for Egypt (see Isa 30:7).

52 tn Heb “to those who know me” (see Ps 36:10). Apparently the Lord speaks here. The verbal construction (the Hiphil of זָכַר, zakhar, “remember” followed by the preposition -לְ [le] with a substantive) is rare, but the prepositional phrase is best understood as indicating the recipient of the announcement (see Jer 4:16). Some take the preposition in the sense of “among” and translate, “among those who know me” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). In this case these foreigners are viewed as the Lord’s people and the psalm is interpreted as anticipating a time when all nations will worship the Lord (see Ps 86:9) and be considered citizens of Zion.

53 tn Heb “Look.”

54 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

55 tn Heb “Cush.”

56 tn Heb “and this one was born there.” The words “It is said of them” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarification and stylistic purposes (see v. 5). Those advocating the universalistic interpretation understand “there” as referring to Zion, but it seems more likely that the adverb refers to the nations just mentioned. The foreigners are identified by their native lands.

57 tn Heb “and of Zion it is said.” Another option is to translate, “and to Zion it is said.” In collocation with the Niphal of אָמַר (’amar), the preposition lamed (-לְ) can introduce the recipient of the statement (see Josh 2:2; Jer 4:11; Hos 1:10; Zeph 3:16), carry the nuance “concerning, of” (see Num 23:23), or mean “be named” (see Isa 4:3; 62:4).

58 tn Heb “a man and a man.” The idiom also appears in Esth 1:8. The translation assumes that the phrase refers to each of Zion’s residents, in contrast to the foreigners mentioned in v. 4. Those advocating the universalistic interpretation understand this as a reference to each of the nations, including those mentioned in v. 4.

59 tn Traditionally “Most High.”

60 tn Heb “and he makes her secure, the Most High.”

61 tn Heb “the Lord records in the writing of the nations.”

62 tn As noted in v. 4, the translation assumes a contrast between “there” (the various foreign lands) and “in her” (Zion). In contrast to foreigners, the citizens of Zion have special status because of their birthplace (v. 5). In this case vv. 4 and 6 form a structural frame around v. 5.

63 tc Heb “and singers, like pipers, all my springs [are] in you.” The participial form חֹלְלִים (kholÿlim) appears to be from a denominative verb meaning “play the pipe,” though some derive the form from חוּל (khul, “dance”). In this case the duplicated lamed (ל) requires an emendation to מְחֹלְלִים (mÿkholÿlim, “a Polel form). The words are addressed to Zion. As it stands, the Hebrew text makes little, if any, sense. “Springs” are often taken here as a symbol of divine blessing and life”), but this reading does not relate to the preceding line in any apparent way. The present translation assumes an emendation of כָּל־מַעְיָנַי (kol-mayanay, “all my springs”) to כֻּלָּם עָנוּ (kullamanu, “all of them sing,” with the form עָנוּ being derived from עָנָה, ’anah, “sing”).



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