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Psalms 11:4-5


11:4 The Lord is in his holy temple; 1 

the Lord’s throne is in heaven. 2 

His eyes 3  watch; 4 

his eyes 5  examine 6  all people. 7 

11:5 The Lord approves of 8  the godly, 9 

but he 10  hates 11  the wicked and those who love to do violence. 12 

1 tn Because of the royal imagery involved here, one could translate “lofty palace.” The Lord’s heavenly temple is in view here (see Mic 1:2-4).

2 sn The Lords throne is in heaven. The psalmist is confident that the Lord reigns as sovereign king, “keeps an eye on” all people, and responds in a just manner to the godly and wicked.

3 sn His eyes. The anthropomorphic language draws attention to God’s awareness of and interest in the situation on earth. Though the enemies are hidden by the darkness (v. 2), the Lord sees all.

4 tn The two Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in this verse describe the Lord’s characteristic activity.

5 tn Heb “eyelids.”

6 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 7:9; 26:2; 139:23.

7 tn Heb “test the sons of men.”

8 tn Heb “examines,” the same verb used in v. 4b. But here it is used in a metonymic sense of “examine and approve” (see Jer 20:12).

9 tn The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense. Note the plural form “pure (of heart)” in v. 2.

10 tn Heb “his [very] being.” A נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being, soul”) is also attributed to the Lord in Isa 1:14, where a suffixed form of the noun appears as the subject of the verb “hate.” Both there and here the term is used of the seat of one’s emotions and passions.

11 sn He hates the wicked. The Lord “hates” the wicked in the sense that he despises their wicked character and deeds, and actively opposes and judges them for their wickedness. See Ps 5:5.

12 tn Heb “the wicked [one] and the lover of violence.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense. Note the plural form רְשָׁעִים (rÿshaim, “wicked [ones]”) in vv. 2 and 6.

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