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Psalms 143:4-7

Context

143:4 My strength leaves me; 1 

I am absolutely shocked. 2 

143:5 I recall the old days; 3 

I meditate on all you have done;

I reflect on your accomplishments. 4 

143:6 I spread my hands out to you in prayer; 5 

my soul thirsts for you in a parched 6  land. 7 

143:7 Answer me quickly, Lord!

My strength is fading. 8 

Do not reject me, 9 

or I will join 10  those descending into the grave. 11 

1 tn Heb “my spirit grows faint.”

2 tn Heb “in my midst my heart is shocked.” For a similar use of the Hitpolel of שָׁמֵם (shamem), see Isa 59:16; 63:5.

3 tn Or “ancient times”; Heb “days from before.”

4 tn Heb “the work of your hands.”

5 tn The words “in prayer” are supplied in the translation to clarify that the psalmist is referring to a posture of prayer.

6 tn Heb “faint” or “weary.” See Ps 63:1.

7 tc Heb “my soul like a faint land for you.” A verb (perhaps “thirsts”) is implied (see Ps 63:1). The translation assumes an emendation of the preposition -כְּ (kÿ, “like”) to -בְּ (bÿ, “in,” see Ps 63:1; cf. NEB “athirst for thee in a thirsty land”). If the MT is retained, one might translate, “my soul thirsts for you, as a parched land does for water/rain” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

8 tn Heb “my spirit is failing.”

9 tn Heb “do not hide your face from me.” The idiom “hide the face” (1) can mean “ignore” (see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9) or (2) can carry the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 30:7; 88:14).

10 tn Heb “I will be equal with.”

11 tn Heb “the pit.” The Hebrew noun בּוֹר (bor, “pit; cistern”) is sometimes used of the grave and/or the realm of the dead. See Ps 28:1.



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