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Psalms 102:9-14


102:9 For I eat ashes as if they were bread, 1 

and mix my drink with my tears, 2 

102:10 because of your anger and raging fury.

Indeed, 3  you pick me up and throw me away.

102:11 My days are coming to an end, 4 

and I am withered like grass.

102:12 But you, O Lord, rule forever, 5 

and your reputation endures. 6 

102:13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion. 7 

For it is time to have mercy on her,

for the appointed time has come.

102:14 Indeed, 8  your servants take delight in her stones,

and feel compassion for 9  the dust of her ruins. 10 

1 sn Mourners would sometimes put ashes on their head or roll in ashes as a sign of mourning (see 2 Sam 13:19; Job 2:8; Isa 58:5).

2 tn Heb “weeping.”

3 tn Or “for.”

4 tn Heb “my days [are] like an extended [or “lengthening”] shadow,” that is, like a late afternoon shadow made by the descending sun that will soon be swallowed up by complete darkness.

5 tn Heb “sit” (i.e., sit enthroned, see Ps 9:7). The imperfect verbal form highlights the generalization.

6 tn Heb “and your remembrance [is] for a generation and a generation.”

7 tn The imperfect verbal forms are understood as expressing the psalmist’s confidence in God’s intervention. Another option is to take them as expressing the psalmist’s request or wish, “You, rise up and have compassion!”

8 tn Or “for.”

9 tn The Poel of חָנַן (khanan) occurs only here and in Prov 14:21, where it refers to having compassion on the poor.

10 tn Heb “her dust,” probably referring to the dust of the city’s rubble.

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