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Psalms 118:22-27

Context

118:22 The stone which the builders discarded 1 

has become the cornerstone. 2 

118:23 This is the Lord’s work.

We consider it amazing! 3 

118:24 This is the day the Lord has brought about. 4 

We will be happy and rejoice in it.

118:25 Please Lord, deliver!

Please Lord, grant us success! 5 

118:26 May the one who comes in the name of the Lord 6  be blessed!

We will pronounce blessings on you 7  in the Lord’s temple. 8 

118:27 The Lord is God and he has delivered us. 9 

Tie the offering 10  with ropes

to the horns of the altar! 11 

1 tn Or “rejected.”

2 tn Heb “the head of the corner.”

sn The metaphor of the stone…the builders discarded describes the way in which God’s deliverance reversed the psalmist’s circumstances. When he was in distress, he was like a stone which was discarded by builders as useless, but now that he has been vindicated by God, all can see that he is of special importance to God, like the cornerstone of the building.

3 tn Heb “it is amazing in our eyes.” The use of the plural pronoun here and in vv. 24-27 suggests that the psalmist may be speaking for the entire nation. However, it is more likely that vv. 22-27 are the people’s response to the psalmist’s thanksgiving song (see especially v. 26). They rejoice with him because his deliverance on the battlefield (see vv. 10-12) had national repercussions.

4 tn Heb “this is the day the Lord has made.” Though sometimes applied in a general way, this statement in its context refers to the day of deliverance which the psalmist and people celebrate.

5 sn A petition for deliverance and success seems odd in a psalm thanking God for deliverance, but it is not unique (see Ps 9:19-20). The people ask God to continue to intervene for them as he has for the psalmist.

6 sn The people refer here to the psalmist, who enters the Lord’s temple to thank him publicly (see vv. 19-21), as the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

7 tn The pronominal suffix is second masculine plural, but the final mem (ם) is probably dittographic (note the mem [מ] at the beginning of the following form) or enclitic, in which case the suffix may be taken as second masculine singular, referring to the psalmist.

8 tn Heb “from the house of the Lord.”

9 tn Heb “and he has given us light.” This may be an elliptical expression, with “his face” being implied as the object (see Num 6:25; Pss 31:16; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19). In this case, “his face has given us light” = “he has smiled on us,” or “he has shown us his favor.” Another option (the one reflected in the translation) is that “light” here symbolizes divine blessing in the form of deliverance. “Light” is often used as a metaphor for deliverance and the life/blessings it brings. See Pss 37:6; 97:11; 112:4; Isa 49:6; 51:4; Mic 7:8. Some prefer to repoint the form וְיָאֵר (vÿyaer; vav [ו] conjunctive + jussive) and translate the statement as a prayer, “may he give us light.”

10 tn The Hebrew noun חַג (khag) normally means “festival,” but here it apparently refers metonymically to an offering made at the festival. BDB 291 s.v. חַג 2 interprets the word in this way here, citing as comparable the use of later Hebrew חֲגִיגָה, which can refer to both a festival and a festival offering (see Jastrow 424 s.v. חֲגִיגָה).

11 tn The second half of v. 27 has been translated and interpreted in a variety of ways. For a survey of major views, see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 122.



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