116:1 I love the Lord
because he heard my plea for mercy, 2
116:2 and listened to me. 3
As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help. 4
116:3 The ropes of death tightened around me, 5
the snares 6 of Sheol confronted me.
I was confronted 7 with trouble and sorrow.
116:4 I called on the name of the Lord,
“Please Lord, rescue my life!”
1 sn Psalm 116. The psalmist thanks the Lord for delivering him from a life threatening crisis and promises to tell the entire covenant community what God has done for him.
2 tn Heb “I love because the
3 tn Heb “because he turned his ear to me.”
4 tn Heb “and in my days I will cry out.”
5 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
6 tn The Hebrew noun מצר (“straits; distress”) occurs only here, Ps 118:5 and Lam 1:3. If retained, it refers to Sheol as a place where one is confined or severely restricted (cf. BDB 865 s.v. מֵצַר, “the straits of Sheol”; NIV “the anguish of the grave”; NRSV “the pangs of Sheol”). However, HALOT 624 s.v. מֵצַר suggests an emendation to מְצָדֵי (mÿtsadey, “snares of”), a rare noun attested in Job 19:6 and Eccl 7:26. This proposal, which is reflected in the translation, produces better parallelism with “ropes” in the preceding line.
7 tn The translation assumes the prefixed verbal form is a preterite. The psalmist recalls the crisis from which the Lord delivered him.