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Psalms 105:17-22


105:17 He sent a man ahead of them 1 

Joseph was sold as a servant.

105:18 The shackles hurt his feet; 2 

his neck was placed in an iron collar, 3 

105:19 until the time when his prediction 4  came true.

The Lord’s word 5  proved him right. 6 

105:20 The king authorized his release; 7 

the ruler of nations set him free.

105:21 He put him in charge of his palace, 8 

and made him manager of all his property,

105:22 giving him authority to imprison his officials 9 

and to teach his advisers. 10 

1 tn After the reference to the famine in v. 16, v. 17 flashes back to events that preceded the famine (see Gen 37).

2 tn Heb “they afflicted his feet with shackles.”

3 tn Heb “his neck came [into] iron.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with the suffix could mean simply “he” or “his life.” But the nuance “neck” makes good sense here (note the reference to his “feet” in the preceding line). See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 38.

4 tn Heb “word,” probably referring to Joseph’s prediction about the fate of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (see Gen 41:9-14).

5 tn This line may refer to Joseph’s prediction of the famine in response to Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph emphasized to Pharaoh that the interpretation of the dream came from God (see Gen 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 39).

6 tn Heb “refined him.”

7 tn Heb “[the] king sent and set him free.”

8 tn Heb “he made him master of his house.”

9 tn Heb “to bind his officials by his will.”

10 tn Heb “and his elders he taught wisdom.”

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