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
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!
Yet they must not 11 return to their foolish ways.
then his splendor will again appear in our land. 13
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
and our land will yield 18 its crops.
A prayer of David.
For I am oppressed and needy.
O my God, deliver your servant, who trusts in you!
for I cry out to you all day long!
for to you, O Lord, I pray! 27
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.
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
86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God.
86:16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me!
Give your servant your strength!
Deliver your slave! 44
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, 46
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me. 47
Written by the Korahites; a psalm, a song.
87:2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
O city of God. (Selah)
It is said of them, “This one was born there.” 56
“Each one of these 58 was born in her,
“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
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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.”
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
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
49 tn Heb “his foundation [is] in the hills of holiness.” The expression “his foundation” refers here by metonymy to the
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.”
52 tn Heb “to those who know me” (see Ps 36:10). Apparently the
53 tn Heb “Look.”
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
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-ma’yanay, “all my springs”) to כֻּלָּם עָנוּ (kullam ’anu, “all of them sing,” with the form עָנוּ being derived from עָנָה, ’anah, “sing”).