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Psalms 137:5-6

Context

137:5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

may my right hand be crippled! 1 

137:6 May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

and do not give Jerusalem priority

over whatever gives me the most joy. 2 

1 tn Heb “may my right hand forget.” In this case one must supply an object, such as “how to move.” The elliptical nature of the text has prompted emendations (see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 236). The translation assumes an emendation to תִּכְשַׁח (tikhshakh), from an otherwise unattested root כשׁח, meaning “to be crippled; to be lame.” See HALOT 502 s.v. כשׁח, which cites Arabic cognate evidence in support of the proposal. The corruption of the MT can be explained as an error of transposition facilitated by the use of שָׁכַח (shakhakh, “forget”) just before this.

2 tn Heb “if I do not lift up Jerusalem over the top of my joy.”



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