23:2 The Lord’s spirit spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
23:3 The God of Israel spoke,
the protector 1 of Israel spoke to me.
The one who rules fairly among men,
the one who rules in the fear of God,
23:4 is like the light of morning when the sun comes up,
a morning in which there are no clouds.
He is like the brightness after rain
that produces grass from the earth.
for he has made a perpetual covenant with me,
arranged in all its particulars and secured.
He always delivers me,
and brings all I desire to fruition. 3
23:6 But evil people are like thorns –
all of them are tossed away,
for they cannot be held in the hand.
23:7 The one who touches them
must use an iron instrument
or the wooden shaft of a spear.
They are completely burned up right where they lie!” 4
1 tn Heb “rock,” used as a metaphor of divine protection.
2 tn Heb “For not thus [is] my house with God?”
3 tn Heb “for all my deliverance and every desire, surely does he not make [it] grow?”
4 tn Heb “and with fire they are completely burned up in [the place where they] remain.” The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb to emphasize that they are completely consumed by the fire.