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Psalms 139:23-24

Context

139:23 Examine me, and probe my thoughts! 1 

Test me, and know my concerns! 2 

139:24 See if there is any idolatrous tendency 3  in me,

and lead me in the reliable ancient path! 4 

1 tn Heb “and know my heart.”

2 tn The Hebrew noun שַׂרְעַפַּי (sarapay, “concerns”) is used of “worries” in Ps 94:19.

3 tn Many understand the Hebrew term עֹצֶב (’otsev) as a noun meaning “pain,” and translate the phrase דֶּרֶךְ עֹצֶב (derekhotsev) as “of pain,” but this makes little sense here. (Some interpret it to refer to actions which bring pain to others.) It is preferable to take עֹצֶב as “idol” (see HALOT 865 s.v. I עֹצֶב) and understand “way of an idol” to refer to idolatrous actions or tendency. See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 253.

4 tn Heb “in the path of antiquity.” This probably refers to the moral path prescribed by the Lord at the beginning of Israel’s history. See Jer 6:16; 18:15, as well as L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 253.



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