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Psalms 143:6-8

Context

143:6 I spread my hands out to you in prayer; 1 

my soul thirsts for you in a parched 2  land. 3 

143:7 Answer me quickly, Lord!

My strength is fading. 4 

Do not reject me, 5 

or I will join 6  those descending into the grave. 7 

143:8 May I hear about your loyal love in the morning, 8 

for I trust in you.

Show me the way I should go, 9 

because I long for you. 10 

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

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

3 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).

4 tn Heb “my spirit is failing.”

5 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).

6 tn Heb “I will be equal with.”

7 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.

8 tn Heb “cause me to hear in the morning your loyal love.” Here “loyal love” probably stands metonymically for an oracle of assurance promising God’s intervention as an expression of his loyal love.

sn The morning is sometimes viewed as the time of divine intervention (see Pss 30:5; 59:16; 90:14).

9 sn The way probably refers here to God’s moral and ethical standards and requirements (see v. 10).

10 tn Heb “for to you I lift up my life.” The Hebrew expression נָאָשׂ נֶפֶשׁ (naas nefesh, “to lift up [one’s] life”) means “to desire; to long for” (see Deut 24:15; Prov 19:18; Jer 22:27; 44:14; Hos 4:8, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 16).



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