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Psalms 144:5-7

Context

144:5 O Lord, make the sky sink 1  and come down! 2 

Touch the mountains and make them smolder! 3 

144:6 Hurl lightning bolts and scatter them!

Shoot your arrows and rout them! 4 

144:7 Reach down 5  from above!

Grab me and rescue me from the surging water, 6 

from the power of foreigners, 7 

1 tn The Hebrew verb נָטָה (natah) can carry the sense “to [cause to] bend; to [cause to] bow down.” For example, Gen 49:15 pictures Issachar as a donkey that “bends” its shoulder or back under a burden. Here the Lord causes the sky, pictured as a dome or vault, to sink down as he descends in the storm. See Ps 18:9.

2 tn Heb “so you might come down.” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose after the preceding imperative. The same type of construction is utilized in v. 6.

3 tn Heb “so they might smolder.” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose after the preceding imperative.

4 sn Arrows and lightning bolts are associated in other texts (see Pss 18:14; 77:17-18; Zech 9:14), as well as in ancient Near Eastern art (see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” [Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983], 187).

5 tn Heb “stretch out your hands.”

6 tn Heb “mighty waters.” The waters of the sea symbolize the psalmist’s powerful foreign enemies, as well as the realm of death they represent (see the next line and Ps 18:16-17).

7 tn Heb “from the hand of the sons of foreignness.”



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