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Psalms 16:1-11

Context
Psalm 16 1 

A prayer 2  of David.

16:1 Protect me, O God, for I have taken shelter in you. 3 

16:2 I say to the Lord, “You are the Lord,

my only source of well-being.” 4 

16:3 As for God’s chosen people who are in the land,

and the leading officials I admired so much 5 

16:4 their troubles multiply,

they desire other gods. 6 

I will not pour out drink offerings of blood to their gods, 7 

nor will I make vows in the name of their gods. 8 

16:5 Lord, you give me stability and prosperity; 9 

you make my future secure. 10 

16:6 It is as if I have been given fertile fields

or received a beautiful tract of land. 11 

16:7 I will praise 12  the Lord who 13  guides 14  me;

yes, during the night I reflect and learn. 15 

16:8 I constantly trust in the Lord; 16 

because he is at my right hand, I will not be upended.

16:9 So my heart rejoices

and I am happy; 17 

My life is safe. 18 

16:10 You will not abandon me 19  to Sheol; 20 

you will not allow your faithful follower 21  to see 22  the Pit. 23 

16:11 You lead me in 24  the path of life; 25 

I experience absolute joy in your presence; 26 

you always give me sheer delight. 27 

Psalms 56:1--58:11

Context
Psalm 56 28 

For the music director; according to the yonath-elem-rechovim style; 29  a prayer 30  of David, written when the Philistines captured him in Gath. 31 

56:1 Have mercy on me, O God, for men are attacking me! 32 

All day long hostile enemies 33  are tormenting me. 34 

56:2 Those who anticipate my defeat 35  attack me all day long.

Indeed, 36  many are fighting against me, O Exalted One. 37 

56:3 When 38  I am afraid,

I trust in you.

56:4 In God – I boast in his promise 39 

in God I trust, I am not afraid.

What can mere men 40  do to me? 41 

56:5 All day long they cause me trouble; 42 

they make a habit of plotting my demise. 43 

56:6 They stalk 44  and lurk; 45 

they watch my every step, 46 

as 47  they prepare to take my life. 48 

56:7 Because they are bent on violence, do not let them escape! 49 

In your anger 50  bring down the nations, 51  O God!

56:8 You keep track of my misery. 52 

Put my tears in your leather container! 53 

Are they not recorded in your scroll? 54 

56:9 My enemies will turn back when I cry out to you for help; 55 

I know that God is on my side. 56 

56:10 In God – I boast in his promise 57 

in the Lord – I boast in his promise 58 

56:11 in God I trust, I am not afraid.

What can mere men 59  do to me? 60 

56:12 I am obligated to fulfill the vows I made to you, O God; 61 

I will give you the thank-offerings you deserve, 62 

56:13 when you deliver 63  my life from death.

You keep my feet from stumbling, 64 

so that I might serve 65  God as I enjoy life. 66 

Psalm 57 67 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 68  a prayer 69  of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave. 70 

57:1 Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me!

For in you I have taken shelter. 71 

In the shadow of your wings 72  I take shelter

until trouble passes.

57:2 I cry out for help to the sovereign God, 73 

to the God who vindicates 74  me.

57:3 May he send help from heaven and deliver me 75 

from my enemies who hurl insults! 76  (Selah)

May God send his loyal love and faithfulness!

57:4 I am surrounded by lions;

I lie down 77  among those who want to devour me; 78 

men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

whose tongues are a sharp sword. 79 

57:5 Rise up 80  above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth! 81 

57:6 They have prepared a net to trap me; 82 

I am discouraged. 83 

They have dug a pit for me. 84 

They will fall 85  into it! (Selah)

57:7 I am determined, 86  O God! I am determined!

I will sing and praise you!

57:8 Awake, my soul! 87 

Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!

I will wake up at dawn! 88 

57:9 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Master!

I will sing praises to you before foreigners! 89 

57:10 For your loyal love extends beyond the sky, 90 

and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

57:11 Rise up 91  above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth! 92 

Psalm 58 93 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 94  a prayer 95  of David.

58:1 Do you rulers really pronounce just decisions? 96 

Do you judge people 97  fairly?

58:2 No! 98  You plan how to do what is unjust; 99 

you deal out violence in the earth. 100 

58:3 The wicked turn aside from birth; 101 

liars go astray as soon as they are born. 102 

58:4 Their venom is like that of a snake, 103 

like a deaf serpent 104  that does not hear, 105 

58:5 that does not respond to 106  the magicians,

or to a skilled snake-charmer.

58:6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths!

Smash the jawbones of the lions, O Lord!

58:7 Let them disappear 107  like water that flows away! 108 

Let them wither like grass! 109 

58:8 Let them be 110  like a snail that melts away as it moves along! 111 

Let them be like 112  stillborn babies 113  that never see the sun!

58:9 Before the kindling is even placed under your pots, 114 

he 115  will sweep it away along with both the raw and cooked meat. 116 

58:10 The godly 117  will rejoice when they see vengeance carried out;

they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.

58:11 Then 118  observers 119  will say,

“Yes indeed, the godly are rewarded! 120 

Yes indeed, there is a God who judges 121  in the earth!”

Psalms 60:1-12

Context
Psalm 60 122 

For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 123  a prayer 124  of David written to instruct others. 125  It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 126  12,000 Edomites 127  in the Valley of Salt. 128 

60:1 O God, you have rejected us. 129 

You suddenly turned on us in your anger. 130 

Please restore us! 131 

60:2 You made the earth quake; you split it open. 132 

Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall. 133 

60:3 You have made your people experience hard times; 134 

you have made us drink intoxicating wine. 135 

60:4 You have given your loyal followers 136  a rallying flag,

so that they might seek safety from the bow. 137  (Selah)

60:5 Deliver by your power 138  and answer me, 139 

so that the ones you love may be safe. 140 

60:6 God has spoken in his sanctuary: 141 

“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;

the Valley of Succoth I will measure off. 142 

60:7 Gilead belongs to me,

as does Manasseh! 143 

Ephraim is my helmet, 144 

Judah my royal scepter. 145 

60:8 Moab is my washbasin. 146 

I will make Edom serve me. 147 

I will shout in triumph over Philistia.” 148 

60:9 Who will lead me into the fortified city?

Who will bring me to Edom? 149 

60:10 Have you not rejected us, O God?

O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.

60:11 Give us help against the enemy,

for any help men might offer is futile. 150 

60:12 By God’s power we will conquer; 151 

he will trample down 152  our enemies.

1 sn Psalm 16. The psalmist seeks divine protection because he has remained loyal to God. He praises God for his rich blessings, and is confident God will vindicate him and deliver him from death.

2 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term מִכְתָּם (mikhtam) is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

3 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results (see 7:1; 11:1).

sn Taken shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).

4 tn Heb “my good [is] not beyond you.” For the use of the preposition עַל (’al) in the sense of “beyond,” see BDB 755 s.v. 2.

5 tn Heb “regarding the holy ones who [are] in the land, they; and the mighty [ones] in [whom is/was] all my desire.” The difficult syntax makes the meaning of the verse uncertain. The phrase “holy ones” sometimes refers to God’s angelic assembly (see Ps 89:5, 7), but the qualifying clause “who are in the land” suggests that here it refers to God’s people (Ps 34:9) or to their priestly leaders (2 Chr 35:3).

6 tn Heb “their troubles multiply, another, they pay a dowry.” The meaning of the text is unclear. The Hebrew term עַצְּבוֹתָם (’atsÿvotam, “troubles”) appears to be a plural form of עַצֶּבֶת (’atsÿvet, “pain, wound”; see Job 9:28; Ps 147:3). Because idolatry appears to be in view (see v. 4b), some prefer to emend the noun to עַצְּבִים (’atsÿvim, “idols”). “Troubles” may be a wordplay on “idols” or a later alteration designed to emphasize that idolatry leads to trouble. The singular form אחר (“another”) is syntactically problematic here. Perhaps the form should be emended to a plural אֲחֵרִים (’akherim, “others”). (The final mem [ם] could have been lost by haplography; note the mem [מ] at the beginning of the next word.) In this case it might be taken as an abbreviated form of the well-attested phrase אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים (’elohimakherim, “other gods”). (In Isa 42:8 the singular form אַחַר (’akher, “another”) is used of another god.) The verb מָהַר (mahar) appears in the Qal stem; the only other use of a Qal verbal form of a root מָהַר is in Exod 22:15, where the denominative verb מָהֹר (mahor, “purchase [a wife]”) appears; cf. the related noun מֹהַר (mohar, “bride money, purchase price for a wife”). If that verb is understood here, then the idolaters are pictured as eager bridegrooms paying the price to acquire the object of their desire. Another option is to emend the verb to a Piel and translate, “hurry (after).”

7 tn Heb “I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood.” The third masculine plural suffix would appear to refer back to the people/leaders mentioned in v. 3. However, if we emend אֲחֵר (’akher, “another”) to the plural אֲחֵרִים (’akherim, “other [gods]”) in v. 4, the suffix can be understood as referring to these gods – “the drink offerings [made to] them.” The next line favors this interpretation. Perhaps this refers to some type of pagan cultic ritual. Elsewhere wine is the prescribed content of drink offerings.

8 tn Heb “and I will not lift up their names upon my lips.” The expression “lift up the name” probably refers here to swearing an oath in the name of deity (see Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11). If so, the third masculine plural suffix on “names” likely refers to the pagan gods, not the people/leaders. See the preceding note.

9 tn Heb “O Lord, the portion of my possession and my cup”; or “the Lord [is] the portion of my possession and my cup.” The psalmist compares the Lord to landed property, which was foundational to economic stability in ancient Israel, and to a cup of wine, which may symbolize a reward (in Ps 11:6 it symbolizes the judgment one deserves) or divine blessing (see Ps 23:5). The metaphor highlights the fact that God is the psalmist’s source of security and prosperity.

10 tc Heb “you take hold of my lot.” The form תּוֹמִיךְ (tomikh) should be emended to a participle, תוֹמֵךְ (tomekh). The psalmist pictures the Lord as casting his lot (a method used to allot landed property) for him, thus assuring that he will receive a fertile piece of land (see v. 6). As in the previous line, land represents security and economic stability, thus “you make my future secure.”

11 tn Heb “measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant [places]; yes, property [or “an inheritance”] is beautiful for me.” On the dative use of עַל, see BDB 758 s.v. II.8. Extending the metaphor used in v. 5, the psalmist compares the divine blessings he has received to a rich, beautiful tract of land that one might receive by allotment or inheritance.

12 tn Heb “bless,” that is, “proclaim as worthy of praise.”

13 tn Or “because.”

14 tn Or “counsels, advises.”

15 tn Heb “yes, [during] nights my kidneys instruct [or “correct”] me.” The “kidneys” are viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s moral character (see Ps 26:2). In the quiet darkness the Lord speaks to his inner being, as it were, and enables him to grow in moral understanding.

16 tn Heb “I set the Lord before me continually.” This may mean that the psalmist is aware of the Lord’s presence and sensitive to his moral guidance (see v. 7), or that he trusts in the Lord’s protection (see the following line).

17 tn Heb “my glory is happy.” Some view the Hebrew term כְּבוֹדִי (kÿvodiy, “my glory”) as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kÿvediy, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 30:12; 57:9; 108:1, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:90. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”

18 tn Heb “yes, my flesh dwells securely.” The psalmist’s “flesh” stands by metonymy for his body and, by extension, his physical life.

19 tn Or “my life.” The suffixed form of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being”) is often equivalent to a pronoun in poetic texts.

20 sn In ancient Israelite cosmology Sheol is the realm of the dead, viewed as being under the earth’s surface. See L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 165-76.

21 tn A “faithful follower” (חָסִיד [khasid], traditionally rendered “holy one”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10). The psalmist here refers to himself, as the parallel line (“You will not abandon me to Sheol”) indicates.

22 tn That is, “experience.” The psalmist is confident that the Lord will protect him in his present crisis (see v. 1) and prevent him from dying.

sn According to Peter, the words of Ps 16:8-11 are applicable to Jesus (Acts 2:25-29). Peter goes on to argue that David, being a prophet, foresaw future events and spoke of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:30-33). Paul seems to concur with Peter in this understanding (see Acts 13:35-37). For a discussion of the NT application of these verses to Jesus’ resurrection, see R. B. Chisholm, Jr., “A Theology of the Psalms,” A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, 292-95.

23 tn The Hebrew word שָׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 30:9; 49:9; 55:24; 103:4). Note the parallelism with the previous line.

24 tn Heb “cause me to know”; or “cause me to experience.”

25 tn This is a metaphorical way of saying, “you preserve my life.” The phrase “path of life” stands in contrast to death/Sheol in Prov 2:18-19; 5:5-6; 15:24.

26 tn Heb “abundance of joy [is] with your face.” The plural form of the noun שִׂמְחָה (simkhah, “joy”) occurs only here and in Ps 45:15. It may emphasize the degree of joy experienced.

27 tn Heb “delight [is] in your right hand forever.” The plural form of the adjective נָעִים (naim, “pleasant, delightful”) may here emphasize the degree of delight experienced (see Job 36:11).

28 sn Psalm 56. Despite the threats of his enemies, the psalmist is confident the Lord will keep his promise to protect and deliver him.

29 tn The literal meaning of this phrase is “silent dove, distant ones.” Perhaps it refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a type of musical instrument.

30 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16 and 57-60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

31 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm when the Philistines seized him and took him to King Achish of Gath (see 1 Sam 21:11-15).

32 tn According to BDB 983 s.v. II שָׁאַף, the verb is derived from שָׁאַף (shaaf, “to trample, crush”) rather than the homonymic verb “pant after.”

33 tn Heb “a fighter.” The singular is collective for his enemies (see vv. 5-6). The Qal of לָחַם (lakham, “fight”) also occurs in Ps 35:1.

34 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the continuing nature of the enemies’ attacks.

35 tn Heb “to those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 27:11; 54:5; 59:10.

36 tn Or “for.”

37 tn Some take the Hebrew term מָרוֹם (marom, “on high; above”) as an adverb modifying the preceding participle and translate, “proudly” (cf. NASB; NIV “in their pride”). The present translation assumes the term is a divine title here. The Lord is pictured as enthroned “on high” in Ps 92:8. (Note the substantival use of the term in Isa 24:4 and see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs (Psalms [ICC], 2:34), who prefer to place the term at the beginning of the next verse.)

38 tn Heb “[in] a day.”

39 tn Heb “in God I boast, his word.” The syntax in the Hebrew text is difficult. (1) The line could be translated, “in God I boast, [in] his word.” Such a translation assumes that the prepositional phrase “in God” goes with the following verb “I boast” (see Ps 44:8) and that “his word” is appositional to “in God” and more specifically identifies the basis for the psalmist’s confidence. God’s “word” is here understood as an assuring promise of protection. Another option (2) is to translate, “in God I will boast [with] a word.” In this case, the “word” is a song of praise. (In this view the pronominal suffix “his” must be omitted as in v. 10.) The present translation reflects yet another option (3): In this case “I praise his word” is a parenthetical statement, with “his word” being the object of the verb. The sentence begun with the prepositional phrase “in God” is then completed in the next line, with the prepositional phrase being repeated after the parenthesis.

40 tn Heb “flesh,” which refers by metonymy to human beings (see v. 11, where “man” is used in this same question), envisioned here as mortal and powerless before God.

41 tn The rhetorical question assumes the answer, “Nothing!” The imperfect is used in a modal sense here, indicating capability or potential.

42 tn Heb “my affairs they disturb.” For other instances of דָּבָר (davar) meaning “affairs, business,” see BDB 183 s.v.. The Piel of עָצַב (’atsav, “to hurt”) occurs only here and in Isa 63:10, where it is used of “grieving” (or “offending”) the Lord’s holy Spirit. Here in Ps 56:5, the verb seems to carry the nuance “disturb, upset,” in the sense of “cause trouble.”

43 tn Heb “against me [are] all their thoughts for harm.”

44 tn The verb is from the root גּוּר (gur), which means “to challenge, attack” in Isa 54:15 and “to stalk” (with hostile intent) in Ps 59:3.

45 tn Or “hide.”

46 tn Heb “my heels.”

47 tn Heb “according to,” in the sense of “inasmuch as; since,” or “when; while.”

48 tn Heb “they wait [for] my life.”

49 tc Heb “because of wickedness, deliverance to them.” As it stands, the MT makes no sense. The negative particle אַיִן (’ayin, “there is not,” which is due to dittography of the immediately preceding אָוֶן, ’aven, “wickedness”), should probably be added before “deliverance” (see BHS, note a). The presence of an imperative in the next line (note “bring down”) suggests that this line should be translated as a prayer as well, “may there not be deliverance to them.”

50 tn Heb “in anger.” The pronoun “your” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

51 tn Or perhaps “people” in a general sense.

52 tn Heb “my wandering you count, you.” The Hebrew term נֹד (nod, “wandering,” derived from the verbal root נוֹד, nod, “to wander”; cf. NASB) here refers to the psalmist’s “changeable circumstances of life” and may be translated “misery.” The verb סָפַר (safar, “count”) probably carries the nuance “assess” here. Cf. NIV “my lament”; NRSV “my tossings.”

53 tn Traditionally “your bottle.” Elsewhere the Hebrew word נֹאד (nod, “leather container”) refers to a container made from animal skin which is used to hold wine or milk (see Josh 9:4, 13; Judg 4:19; 1 Sam 16:20). If such a container is metaphorically in view here, then the psalmist seems to be asking God to store up his tears as a reminder of his suffering.

54 tn The word “recorded” is supplied in the translation for clarification. The rhetorical question assumes a positive response (see the first line of the verse).

55 tn Heb “then my enemies will turn back in the day I cry out.” The Hebrew particle אָז (’az, “then”) is probably used here to draw attention to the following statement.

56 tn Heb “this I know, that God is for me.”

57 tn Heb “in God I praise a word.” The syntax of the Hebrew text is difficult. The statement is similar to that of v. 4, except that the third person pronominal suffix is omitted here, where the text has simply “a word” instead of “his word.” (1) One could translate, “in God I will boast [with] a word.” In this case, the “word” refers to a song of praise. (2) If one assumes that God’s word is in view, as in v. 4, then one option is to translate, “in God I boast, [in] his word.” In this case the prepositional phrase “in God” goes with the following verb “I boast” (see Ps 44:8) and “[his] word” is appositional to “in God” and more specifically identifies the basis for the psalmist’s confidence. God’s “word” is here understood as an assuring promise of protection. (3) The present translation reflects another option: In this case “I praise [his] word” is a parenthetical statement, with “[his] word” being the object of the verb. The sentence begun with the prepositional phrase “in God” is then completed in v. 11, with the prepositional phrase being repeated after the parenthesis.

58 tn The phrase “in the Lord” parallels “in God” in the first line. Once again the psalmist parenthetically remarks “I boast in [his] word” before completing the sentence in v. 11.

59 tn The statement is similar to that of v. 4, except “flesh” is used there instead of “man.”

60 tn The rhetorical question assumes the answer, “Nothing!” The imperfect is used in a modal sense here, indicating capability or potential.

61 tn Heb “upon me, O God, [are] your vows.”

62 tn Heb “I will repay thank-offerings to you.”

63 tn The perfect verbal form is probably future perfect; the psalmist promises to make good on his vows once God has delivered him (see Pss 13:5; 52:9). (2) Another option is to understand the final two verses as being added later, after the Lord intervened on the psalmist’s behalf. In this case one may translate, “for you have delivered.” Other options include taking the perfect as (3) generalizing (“for you deliver”) or (4) rhetorical (“for you will”).

64 tn Heb “are not my feet [kept] from stumbling?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course they are!” The question has been translated as an affirmation for the sake of clarification of meaning.

65 tn Heb “walk before.” For a helpful discussion of the background and meaning of this Hebrew idiom, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 254; cf. the same idiom in 2 Kgs 20:3; Isa 38:3.

66 tn Heb “in the light of life.” The phrase is used here and in Job 33:30.

67 sn Psalm 57. The psalmist asks for God’s protection and expresses his confidence that his ferocious enemies will be destroyed by their own schemes.

68 tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the heading to Pss 58-59, 75.

69 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56, 58-60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

70 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when he fled from Saul and hid in “the cave.” This probably refers to either the incident recorded in 1 Sam 22:1 or to the one recorded in 1 Sam 24:3.

71 tn Heb “my life has taken shelter.” The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.

72 sn In the shadow of your wings. The metaphor likens God to a protective mother bird (see also Pss 17:8; 36:7).

73 tn Heb “to God Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.

74 tn Or “avenges in favor of.”

75 tn Heb “may he send from heaven and deliver me.” The prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives expressing the psalmist’s prayer. The second verb, which has a vav (ו) conjunctive prefixed to it, probably indicates purpose. Another option is to take the forms as imperfects expressing confidence, “he will send from heaven and deliver me” (cf. NRSV).

76 tn Heb “he hurls insults, one who crushes me.” The translation assumes that this line identifies those from whom the psalmist seeks deliverance. (The singular is representative; the psalmist is surrounded by enemies, see v. 4.) Another option is to understand God as the subject of the verb חָרַף (kharaf), which could then be taken as a homonym of the more common root חָרַף (“insult”) meaning “confuse.” In this case “one who crushes me” is the object of the verb. One might translate, “he [God] confuses my enemies.”

77 tn The cohortative form אֶשְׁכְּבָה (’eshkÿvah, “I lie down”) is problematic, for it does not seem to carry one of the normal functions of the cohortative (resolve or request). One possibility is that the form here is a “pseudo-cohortative” used here in a gnomic sense (IBHS 576-77 §34.5.3b).

78 tn The Hebrew verb לָהַט (lahat) is here understood as a hapax legomenon meaning “devour” (see HALOT 521 s.v. II להט), a homonym of the more common verb meaning “to burn.” A more traditional interpretation takes the verb from this latter root and translates, “those who are aflame” (see BDB 529 s.v.; cf. NASB “those who breathe forth fire”).

79 tn Heb “my life, in the midst of lions, I lie down, devouring ones, sons of mankind, their teeth a spear and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword.” The syntax of the verse is difficult. Another option is to take “my life” with the preceding verse. For this to make sense, one must add a verb, perhaps “and may he deliver” (cf. the LXX), before the phrase. One might then translate, “May God send his loyal love and faithfulness and deliver my life.” If one does take “my life” with v. 4, then the parallelism of v. 5 is altered and one might translate: “in the midst of lions I lie down, [among] men who want to devour me, whose teeth….”

80 tn Or “be exalted.”

81 tn Heb “over all the earth [be] your splendor.” Though no verb appears, the tone of the statement is a prayer or wish. (Note the imperative form in the preceding line.)

82 tn Heb “for my feet.”

83 tn Heb “my life bends low.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).

84 tn Heb “before me.”

85 tn The perfect form is used rhetorically here to express the psalmist’s certitude. The demise of the enemies is so certain that he can speak of it as already accomplished.

86 tn Or perhaps “confident”; Heb “my heart is steadfast.” The “heart” is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s volition and/or emotions.

87 tn Heb “glory,” but that makes little sense in the context. Some view כָּבוֹד (kavod, “glory”) here as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kÿvediy, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 16:9; 30:12; 108:1, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:90. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”

88 tn BDB 1007 s.v. שַׁחַר takes “dawn” as an adverbial accusative, though others understand it as a personified direct object. “Dawn” is used metaphorically for the time of deliverance and vindication the psalmist anticipates. When salvation “dawns,” the psalmist will “wake up” in praise.

89 tn Or “the peoples.”

90 tn Heb “for great upon the sky [or “heavens”] [is] your loyal love.”

91 tn Or “be exalted.”

92 tn Heb “over all the earth [be] your splendor.” Though no verb appears, the tone of the statement is a prayer or wish. (Note the imperative form in the preceding line.)

93 sn Psalm 58. The psalmist calls on God to punish corrupt judges because a vivid display of divine judgment will convince observers that God is the just judge of the world who vindicates the godly.

94 tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the heading to Pss 57, 59, and 75.

95 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam) which also appears in the heading to Pss 16 and 56-57, 59-60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

96 tn Heb “Really [in] silence, what is right do you speak?” The Hebrew noun אֵלֶם (’elem, “silence”) makes little, if any, sense in this context. Some feel that this is an indictment of the addressees’ failure to promote justice; they are silent when they should make just decisions. The present translation assumes an emendation to אֵלִם (’elim), which in turn is understood as a defectively written form of אֵילִים (’elim, “rulers,” a metaphorical use of אַיִל, ’ayil, “ram”; see Exod 15:15; Ezek 17:13). The rhetorical question is sarcastic, challenging their claim to be just. Elsewhere the collocation of דָּבַר (davar, “speak”) with צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “what is right”) as object means “to speak the truth” (see Ps 52:3; Isa 45:19). Here it refers specifically to declaring what is right in a legal setting, as the next line indicates.

97 tn Heb “the sons of mankind.” The translation assumes the phrase is the object of the verb “to judge.” Some take it as a vocative, “Do you judge fairly, O sons of mankind?” (Cf. NASB; see Ezek 20:4; 22:2; 23:36.)

98 tn The particle אַף (’af, “no”) is used here as a strong adversative emphasizing the following statement, which contrasts reality with the rulers’ claim alluded to in the rhetorical questions (see Ps 44:9).

99 tn Heb “in the heart unjust deeds you do.” The phrase “in the heart” (i.e., “mind”) seems to refer to their plans and motives. The Hebrew noun עַוְלָה (’avlah, “injustice”) is collocated with פָּעַל (paal, “do”) here and in Job 36:23 and Ps 119:3. Some emend the plural form עוֹלֹת (’olot, “unjust deeds”; see Ps 64:6) to the singular עָוֶל (’avel, “injustice”; see Job 34:32), taking the final tav (ת) as dittographic (note that the following verbal form begins with tav). Some then understand עָוֶל (’avel, “injustice”) as a genitive modifying “heart” and translate, “with a heart of injustice you act.”

100 tn Heb “in the earth the violence of your hands you weigh out.” The imagery is from the economic realm. The addressees measure out violence, rather than justice, and distribute it like a commodity. This may be ironic, since justice was sometimes viewed as a measuring scale (see Job 31:6).

101 tn Heb “from the womb.”

102 tn Heb “speakers of a lie go astray from the womb.”

103 tn Heb “[there is] venom to them according to the likeness of venom of a snake.”

104 tn Or perhaps “cobra” (cf. NASB, NIV). Other suggested species of snakes are “asp” (NEB) and “adder” (NRSV).

105 tn Heb “[that] stops up its ear.” The apparent Hiphil jussive verbal form should be understood as a Qal imperfect with “i” theme vowel (see GKC 168 §63.n).

106 tn Heb “does not listen to the voice of.”

107 tn Following the imperatival forms in v. 6, the prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive expressing the psalmist’s wish. Another option is to take the form as an imperfect (indicative) and translate, “they will scatter” (see v. 9). The verb מָאַס (maas; which is a homonym of the more common מָאַס, “to refuse, reject”) appears only here and in Job 7:5, where it is used of a festering wound from which fluid runs or flows.

108 tn Heb “like water, they go about for themselves.” The translation assumes that the phrase “they go about for themselves” is an implied relative clause modifying “water.” Another option is to take the clause as independent and parallel to what precedes. In this case the enemies would be the subject and the verb could be taken as jussive, “let them wander about.”

109 tc The syntax of the Hebrew text is difficult and the meaning uncertain. The text reads literally, “he treads his arrows (following the Qere; Kethib has “his arrow”), like they are cut off/dry up.” It is not clear if the verbal root is מָלַל (malal, “circumcise”; BDB 576 s.v. IV מָלַל) or the homonymic מָלַל (“wither”; HALOT 593-94 s.v. I מלל). Since the verb מָלַל (“to wither”) is used of vegetation, it is possible that the noun חָצִיר (khatsir, “grass,” which is visually similar to חִצָּיו, khitsayv, “his arrows”) originally appeared in the text. The translation above assumes that the text originally was כְּמוֹ חָצִיר יִתְמֹלָלוּ(kÿmo khatsir yitmolalu, “like grass let them wither”). If original, it could have been accidentally corrupted to חִצָּיר כְּמוֹ יִתְמֹלָלוּ (“his arrow(s) like they dry up”) with דָּרַךְ (darakh, “to tread”) being added later in an effort to make sense of “his arrow(s).”

110 tn There is no “to be” verb in the Hebrew text at this point, but a jussive tone can be assumed based on vv. 6-7.

111 tn Heb “like a melting snail [that] moves along.” A. Cohen (Psalms [SoBB], 184) explains that the text here alludes “to the popular belief that the slimy trail which the snail leaves in its track is the dissolution of its substance.”

112 tn The words “let them be like” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. The jussive mood is implied from the preceding context, and “like” is understood by ellipsis (see the previous line).

113 tn This rare word also appears in Job 3:16 and Eccles 6:3.

114 tn Heb “before your pots perceive thorns.”

115 tn Apparently God (v. 6) is the subject of the verb here.

116 tn Heb “like living, like burning anger he will sweep it away.” The meaning of the text is unclear. The translation assumes that within the cooking metaphor (see the previous line) חַי (khay, “living”) refers here to raw meat (as in 1 Sam 2:15, where it modifies בָּשָׂר, basar, “flesh”) and that חָרוּן (kharun; which always refers to God’s “burning anger” elsewhere) here refers to food that is cooked. The pronominal suffix on the verb “sweep away” apparently refers back to the “thorns” of the preceding line. The image depicts swift and sudden judgment. Before the fire has been adequately kindled and all the meat cooked, the winds of judgment will sweep away everything in their path.

117 tn The singular is representative here, as is the singular from “wicked” in the next line.

118 tn Following the imperfects of v. 10, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive probably indicates a result or consequence of what precedes.

119 tn Heb “man.” The singular is representative here.

120 tn Heb “surely [there] is fruit for the godly.”

121 tn The plural participle is unusual here if the preceding אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is here a plural of majesty, referring to the one true God. Occasionally the plural of majesty does take a plural attributive (see GKC 428-29 §132.h). It is possible that the final mem (ם) on the participle is enclitic, and that it was later misunderstood as a plural ending. Another option is to translate, “Yes indeed, there are gods who judge in the earth.” In this case, the statement reflects the polytheistic mindset of pagan observers who, despite their theological ignorance, nevertheless recognize divine retribution when they see it.

122 sn Psalm 60. The psalmist grieves over Israel’s humiliation, but in response to God’s assuring word, he asks for divine help in battle and expresses his confidence in victory.

123 tn The Hebrew expression means “lily of the testimony.” It may refer to a particular music style or to a tune title.

124 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56-59, is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

125 tn Heb “to teach.”

126 tn In Josh 8:21 and Judg 20:48 the two verbs “turn back” and “strike down” are also juxtaposed. There they refer to a military counter-attack.

127 tn Heb “12,000 of Edom.” Perhaps one should read אֲרַם (’aram, “Aram”) here rather than אֱדוֹם (’edom, “Edom”).

128 sn The heading apparently refers to the military campaign recorded in 2 Sam 10 and 1 Chr 19.

129 sn You have rejected us. See Pss 43:2; 44:9, 23.

130 tn Heb “you broke out upon us, you were angry.”

131 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s wish or prayer.

132 tn The verb פָּצַם (patsam, “split open”) occurs only here in the OT. An Arabic cognate means “crack,” and an Aramaic cognate is used in Tg. Jer 22:14 with the meaning “break open, frame.” See BDB 822 s.v. and Jastrow 1205 s.v. פְּצַם.

sn You made the earth quake; you split it open. The psalmist uses the imagery of an earthquake to describe the nation’s defeat.

133 sn It is ready to fall. The earth is compared to a wall that has been broken by the force of the earthquake (note the preceding line) and is ready to collapse.

134 tn Heb “you have caused your people to see [what is] hard.”

135 tn Heb “wine of staggering,” that is, intoxicating wine that makes one stagger in drunkenness. Intoxicating wine is here an image of divine judgment that makes its victims stagger like drunkards. See Isa 51:17-23.

136 tn Heb “those who fear you.”

137 tn There is a ray of hope in that God has allowed his loyal followers to rally under a battle flag. The translation assumes the verb is from the root נוּס (nus, “flee”) used here in the Hitpolel in the sense of “find safety for oneself” (HALOT 681 s.v. נוס) or “take flight for oneself” (BDB 630-31 s.v. נוּס). Another option is to take the verb as a denominative from נֵס (nes, “flag”) and translate “that it may be displayed” (BDB 651 s.v. II נסס) or “that they may assemble under the banner” (HALOT 704 s.v. II נסס). Here קֹשֶׁט (qoshet) is taken as an Aramaized form of קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”; BDB 905-6 s.v. קֶשֶׁת), though some understand the homonymic קֹשְׁטְ (qosht, “truth”) here (see Prov 22:21; cf. NASB). If one follows the latter interpretation, the line may be translated, “so that they might assemble under the banner for the sake of truth.”

138 tn Heb “right hand.”

139 tn The Qere (marginal reading) has “me,” while the Kethib (consonantal text) has “us.”

140 tn Or “may be rescued.” The lines are actually reversed in the Hebrew text, “So that the ones you love may be rescued, deliver by your power and answer me.”

141 tn Heb “in his holy place.”

142 sn Shechem stands for the territory west of the Jordan, the Valley of Succoth for the region east of the Jordan.

143 sn Gilead was located east of the Jordan. Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan in the region of Bashan.

144 tn Heb “the protection of my head.”

sn Ephraim, named after one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.

145 sn Judah, like Ephraim, was the other major tribe west of the Jordan. The Davidic king, symbolized here by the royal scepter, came from this tribe.

146 sn The metaphor of the washbasin, used to rinse one’s hands and feet, suggests that Moab, in contrast to Israel’s elevated position (vv. 6-7), would be reduced to the status of a servant.

147 tn Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of,” i.e., “I will take possession of Edom.” Others translate עַל (’al) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.

148 tc Heb “over me, O Philistia, shout in triumph.” The translation follows the text of Ps 108:9. When the initial עֲלֵיוֹ (’aleyo, “over”) was misread as עָלַי (’alay, “over me”), the first person verb form was probably altered to an imperative to provide better sense to the line.

149 sn In v. 9 the psalmist speaks again and acknowledges his need for help in battle. He hopes God will volunteer, based on the affirmation of sovereignty over Edom in v. 8, but he is also aware that God has seemingly rejected the nation (v. 10, see also v. 1).

150 tn Heb “and futile [is] the deliverance of man.”

151 tn Heb “in God we will accomplish strength.” The statement refers here to military success (see Num 24:18; 1 Sam 14:48; Pss 108:13; 118:15-16).

152 sn Trample down. On this expression see Ps 44:5.



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