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Psalms 90:1-2

Context

Book 4
(Psalms 90-106)

Psalm 90 1 

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

90:1 O Lord, you have been our protector 2  through all generations!

90:2 Even before the mountains came into existence, 3 

or you brought the world into being, 4 

you were the eternal God. 5 

1 sn Psalm 90. In this communal lament the worship leader affirms that the eternal God and creator of the world has always been Israel’s protector. But God also causes men, who are as transient as grass, to die, and in his fierce anger he decimates his covenant community, whose brief lives are filled with suffering and end in weakness. The community asks for wisdom, the restoration of God’s favor, a fresh revelation of his power, and his blessing upon their labors.

2 tn Or “place of safety.” See Ps 71:3.

3 tn Heb “were born.”

4 tn Heb “and you gave birth to the earth and world.” The Polel verbal form in the Hebrew text pictures God giving birth to the world. The LXX and some other ancient textual witnesses assume a polal (passive) verbal form here. In this case the earth becomes the subject of the verb and the verb is understood as third feminine singular rather than second masculine singular.

5 tn Heb “and from everlasting to everlasting you [are] God.” Instead of אֵל (’el, “God”) the LXX reads אַל (’al, “not”) and joins the negative particle to the following verse, making the verb תָּשֵׁב (tashev) a jussive. In this case v. 3a reads as a prayer, “do not turn man back to a low place.” However, taking תָּשֵׁב as a jussive is problematic in light of the following following wayyiqtol form וַתֹּאמֶר (vatomer, “and you said/say”).



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