A psalm – a song used at the dedication of the temple; 10 by David.
and did not allow my enemies to gloat 12 over me.
Written by David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, causing the king to send him away. 14
my mouth will continually praise him. 16
For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba. 18
God’s loyal love protects me all day long! 26
Vindicate me 31 by your power!
57:1 Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me!
For in you I have taken shelter. 43
In the shadow of your wings 44 I take shelter
until trouble passes.
59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God!
For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 52 a prayer 53 of David written to instruct others. 54 It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 55 12,000 Edomites 56 in the Valley of Salt. 57
You suddenly turned on us in your anger. 59
Please restore us! 60
A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness. 62
My soul thirsts 64 for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched 65 land where there is no water.
For 67 Solomon.
and your oppressed ones 72 equitably.
72:3 The mountains will bring news of peace to the people,
and the hills will announce justice. 73
and crush the oppressor.
for generation after generation. 79
peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky. 85
and from the Euphrates River 88 to the ends of the earth!
and his enemies will lick the dust. 90
72:11 All kings will bow down to him;
all nations will serve him.
and the oppressed 95 who have no defender.
the lives of the needy he will save.
he will value their lives. 98
May they continually pray for him!
May they pronounce blessings on him all day long! 101
May his dynasty last as long as the sun remains in the sky! 115
May they use his name when they formulate their blessings! 116
May all nations consider him to be favored by God! 117
He alone accomplishes amazing things! 119
May his majestic splendor 121 fill the whole earth!
We agree! We agree! 122
1 sn Psalm 18. In this long song of thanks, the psalmist (a Davidic king, traditionally understood as David himself) affirms that God is his faithful protector. He recalls in highly poetic fashion how God intervened in awesome power and delivered him from death. The psalmist’s experience demonstrates that God vindicates those who are blameless and remain loyal to him. True to his promises, God gives the king victory on the battlefield and enables him to subdue nations. A parallel version of the psalm appears in 2 Sam 22:1-51.
2 tn Heb “spoke.”
3 tn Heb “in the day,” or “at the time.”
4 tn Heb “hand.”
5 tn Heb “and from the hand of Saul.”
6 tn A number of translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV) assign the words “he said” to the superscription, in which case the entire psalm is in first person. Other translations (e.g., NAB) include the introductory “he said” at the beginning of v. 1.
7 tn The verb רָחַם (rakham) elsewhere appears in the Piel (or Pual) verbal stem with the basic meaning, “have compassion.” The verb occurs only here in the basic (Qal) stem. The basic stem of the verbal root also occurs in Aramaic with the meaning “love” (see DNWSI 2:1068-69; Jastrow 1467 s.v. רָחַם; G. Schmuttermayr, “rhm: eine lexikalische Studie,” Bib 51 : 515-21). Since this introductory statement does not appear in the parallel version in 2 Sam 22:1-51, it is possible that it is a later addition to the psalm, made when the poem was revised for use in worship.
8 tn Heb “my strength.” “Strength” is metonymic here, referring to the Lord as the one who bestows strength to the psalmist; thus the translation “my source of strength.”
9 sn Psalm 30. The author thanks the Lord for delivering him from death and urges others to join him in praise. The psalmist experienced divine discipline for a brief time, but when he cried out for help the Lord intervened and restored his favor.
10 tn Heb “a song of the dedication of the house.” The referent of “house” is unclear. It is possible that David wrote this psalm for the dedication ceremony of Solomon’s temple. Another possibility is that the psalm was used on the occasion of the dedication of the second temple following the return from exile, or on the occasion of the rededication of the temple in Maccabean times.
11 tn Elsewhere the verb דָּלָה (dalah) is used of drawing water from a well (Exod 2:16, 19; Prov 20:5). The psalmist was trapped in the pit leading to Sheol (see v. 3), but the
12 tn Or “rejoice.”
13 sn Psalm 34. In this song of thanksgiving the psalmist praises God for delivering him from distress. He encourages others to be loyal to the Lord, tells them how to please God, and assures them that the Lord protects his servants. The psalm is an acrostic; vv. 1-21 begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Verse 6 begins with the letter he (ה) and v. 7 with the letter zayin (ז). The letter vav (ו), which comes between ה and ז, seems to be omitted, although it does appear at the beginning of v. 6b. The final verse of the psalm, which begins with the letter pe (פ), is outside the acrostic scheme.
14 tn Heb “By David, when he changed his sense before Abimelech and he drove him away and he went.”
sn Pretended to be insane. The psalm heading appears to refer to the account in 1 Sam 21:10-15 which tells how David, fearful that King Achish of Gath might kill him, pretended to be insane in hopes that the king would simply send him away. The psalm heading names the king Abimelech, not Achish, suggesting that the tradition is confused on this point. However, perhaps “Abimelech” was a royal title, rather than a proper name. See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 278.
15 tn Heb “bless.”
16 tn Heb “continually [will] his praise [be] in my mouth.”
17 sn Psalm 51. The psalmist confesses his sinfulness to God and begs for forgiveness and a transformation of his inner character. According to the psalm superscription, David offered this prayer when Nathan confronted him with his sin following the king’s affair with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam 11-12). However, the final two verses of the psalm hardly fit this situation, for they assume the walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed and that the sacrificial system has been temporarily suspended. These verses are probably an addition to the psalm made during the period of exile following the fall of Jerusalem in 586
18 tn Heb “a psalm by David, when Nathan the prophet came to him when he had gone to Bathsheba.”
19 tn Or “according to.”
20 tn Or “according to.”
21 tn Traditionally “blot out my transgressions.” Because of the reference to washing and cleansing in the following verse, it is likely that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to wiping an object clean (note the use of the verb מָחָה (makhah) in the sense of “wipe clean; dry” in 2 Kgs 21:13; Prov 30:20; Isa 25:8). Another option is that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to erasing or blotting out names from a register (see Exod 32:32-33). In this case one might translate, “erase all record of my rebellious acts.”
23 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.
24 tn Heb “when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, ‘David has come to the house of Ahimelech.’”
sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s head shepherd (1 Sam 21:7), informed Saul of David’s whereabouts (see 1 Sam 21-22).
25 tn Heb “Why do you boast in evil?”
26 tn Heb “the loyal love of God [is] all the day.” In this context, where the psalmist is threatened by his enemy, the point seems to be that the psalmist is protected by God’s loyal love at all times.
29 tn Heb “Is not David hiding with us?”
sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion the Ziphites informed Saul that David was hiding in their territory (see 1 Sam 23:19-20).
30 tn God’s “name” refers here to his reputation and revealed character, which would instill fear in the psalmist’s enemies (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:17).
31 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
33 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.
36 tn According to BDB 983 s.v. II שָׁאַף, the verb is derived from שָׁאַף (sha’af, “to trample, crush”) rather than the homonymic verb “pant after.”
38 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the continuing nature of the enemies’ attacks.
42 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.
43 tn Heb “my life has taken shelter.” The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.
48 tn Heb “when Saul sent and they watched his house in order to kill him.”
sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when Saul sent assassins to surround David’s house and kill him in the morning (see 1 Sam 19:11). However, the psalm itself mentions foreign enemies (vv. 5, 8). Perhaps these references reflect a later adaptation of an original Davidic psalm.
49 tn Or “make me secure”; Heb “set me on high.”
50 tn Heb “from those who raise themselves up [against] me.”
52 tn The Hebrew expression means “lily of the testimony.” It may refer to a particular music style or to a tune title.
54 tn Heb “to teach.”
56 tn Heb “12,000 of Edom.” Perhaps one should read אֲרַם (’aram, “Aram”) here rather than אֱדוֹם (’edom, “Edom”).
59 tn Heb “you broke out upon us, you were angry.”
60 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s wish or prayer.
62 sn According to the psalm superscription David wrote the psalm while in the “wilderness of Judah.” Perhaps this refers to the period described in 1 Sam 23-24 or to the incident mentioned in 2 Sam 15:23.
63 tn Or “I will seek you.”
64 tn Or “I thirst.”
65 tn Heb “faint” or “weary.” This may picture the land as “faint” or “weary,” or it may allude to the effect this dry desert has on those who are forced to live in it.
66 sn Psalm 72. This royal psalm contains a prayer for the Davidic king (note the imperatival form in v. 1 and the jussive forms in vv. 16-17). It is not entirely clear if vv. 2-15 express a prayer or anticipate a future reign. The translation assumes a blend of petition and vision: (I) opening prayer (v. 1), followed by anticipated results if prayer is answered (vv. 2-7); (II) prayer (v. 8), followed by anticipated results if prayer is answered (vv. 9-14); (III) closing prayer (vv. 15-17). Whether a prayer, vision, or combination of the two, the psalm depicts the king’s universal rule of peace and prosperity. As such it is indirectly messianic, for the ideal it expresses will only be fully realized during the Messiah’s earthly reign. Verses 18-19 are a conclusion for Book 2 of the Psalter (Pss 42-72; cf. Ps 41:13, which contains a similar conclusion for Book 1), while v. 20 appears to be a remnant of an earlier collection of psalms or an earlier edition of the Psalter.
67 tn The preposition could be understood as indicating authorship (“Of Solomon”), but since the psalm is a prayer for a king, it may be that the superscription reflects a tradition that understood this as a prayer for Solomon.
68 tn Heb “O God, your judgments to [the] king give.”
69 sn Grant the king…Grant the king’s son. It is not entirely clear whether v. 1 envisions one individual or two. The phrase “the king’s son” in the second line may simply refer to “the king” of the first line, drawing attention to the fact that he has inherited his dynastic rule. Another option is that v. 1 envisions a co-regency between father and son (a common phenomenon in ancient Israel) or simply expresses a hope for a dynasty that champions justice.
70 tn Heb “and your justice to [the] son of [the] king.”
71 tn The prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, not a jussive.
73 tn Heb “[the] mountains will bear peace to the people, and [the] hills with justice.” The personified mountains and hills probably represent messengers who will sweep over the land announcing the king’s just decrees and policies. See Isa 52:7 and C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms (ICC), 2:133.
74 tn Heb “judge [for].”
75 tn The prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, not a jussive.
76 tn Heb “sons.”
77 tn In this context “fear” probably means “to demonstrate respect for the
79 tn Heb “with [the] sun, and before [the] moon [for] a generation, generations.” The rare expression דּוֹר דּוֹרִים (dor dorim, “generation, generations”) occurs only here, in Ps 102:24, and in Isa 51:8.
82 tc The form in the Hebrew text appears to be an otherwise unattested noun. Many prefer to emend the form to a verb from the root זָרַף (zaraf). BHS in textual note b on this verse suggests a Hiphil imperfect, third masculine plural יַזְרִיפוּ (yazrifu), while HALOT 283 s.v. *זרף prefers a Pilpel perfect, third masculine plural זִרְזְפוּ (zirzÿfu). The translation assumes the latter.
83 sn The imagery of this verse compares the blessings produced by the king’s reign to fructifying rains that cause the crops to grow.
85 tn Heb “and [there will be an] abundance of peace until there is no more moon.”
86 tn The prefixed verbal form is a (shortened) jussive form, indicating this is a prayer of blessing.
88 tn Heb “the river,” a reference to the Euphrates.
89 tn Or “islands.” The term here refers metonymically to those people who dwell in these regions.
90 sn As they bow down before him, it will appear that his enemies are licking the dust.
91 sn Tarshish was a distant western port, the precise location of which is uncertain.
92 sn Sheba was located in Arabia.
93 sn Seba was located in Africa.
94 tn The singular is representative. The typical needy individual here represents the entire group.
95 tn The singular is representative. The typical oppressed individual here represents the entire group.
98 tn Heb “their blood will be precious in his eyes.”
99 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive, not imperfect. Because the form has the prefixed vav (ו), some subordinate it to what precedes as a purpose/result clause. In this case the representative poor individual might be the subject of this and the following verb, “so that he may live and give to him gold of Sheba.” But the idea of the poor offering gold is incongruous. It is better to take the jussive as a prayer with the king as subject of the verb. (Perhaps the initial vav is dittographic; note the vav at the end of the last form in v. 14.) The statement is probably an abbreviated version of the formula יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ (yÿkhiy hammelekh, “may the king live”; see 1 Sam 10:24; 2 Sam 16:16; 1 Kgs 1:25, 34, 39; 2 Kgs 11:12).
100 tn Heb “and he will give to him some gold of Sheba.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive with a grammatically indefinite subject (“and may one give”). Of course, the king’s subjects, mentioned in the preceding context, are the tribute bearers in view here.
101 tn As in the preceding line, the prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives with a grammatically indefinite subject (“and may one pray…and may one bless”). Of course, the king’s subjects, mentioned in the preceding context, are in view here.
102 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive, not imperfect. The translation assumes the subject is impersonal (rather than the king).
103 tn The Hebrew noun פִסַּה (pissah; which appears here in the construct form) occurs only here in the OT. Perhaps the noun is related to the verbal root פָּשָׂה (pasah, “to spread,” see BDB 832 s.v.; the root appears as פָּסָה [pasah] in postbiblical Hebrew), which is used in postbiblical Hebrew of the rising sun’s rays spreading over the horizon and a tree’s branches spreading out (see Jastrow 1194 s.v. פסי, פָּסָה, פָּשָׂה). In Ps 72:16 a “spreading of grain” would refer to grain fields extending out over the land. C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs (Psalms [ICC], 2:139) emend the form to סְפִיחַ (sÿfiakh, “second growth”).
104 tn Heb “top” (singular).
105 tn That is, the grain.
106 tn According to the traditional accentuation of the MT, this verb belongs with what follows. See the translator’s note at the end of the verse for a discussion of the poetic parallelism and interpretation of the verse.
107 tn The antecedent of the third masculine singular pronominal suffix is unclear. It is unlikely that the antecedent is אֶרֶץ (’erets, “earth”) because this noun is normally grammatically feminine. Perhaps רֹאשׁ (ro’sh, “top [of the mountains]”) is the antecedent. Another option is to understand the pronoun as referring to the king, who would then be viewed as an instrument of divine agricultural blessing (see v. 6).
108 tn Heb “fruit.”
109 tc According to the traditional accentuation of the MT, this verb belongs with what follows. See the note on the word “earth” at the end of the verse for a discussion of the poetic parallelism and interpretation of the verse. The present translation takes it with the preceding words, “like Lebanon its fruit” and emends the verb form from וְיָצִיצוּ (vÿyatsitsu; Qal imperfect third masculine plural with prefixed vav, [ו]) to יָצִיץ (yatsits; Qal imperfect third masculine singular). The initial vav is eliminated as dittographic (note the vav on the ending of the preceding form פִּרְיוֹ, piryo, “its/his fruit”) and the vav at the end of the form is placed on the following emended form (see the note on the word “crops”), yielding וַעֲמִיר (va’amir, “and [its] crops”).
110 tn Heb “like Lebanon.”
111 tc The MT has “from the city.” The translation assumes an emendation to עֲמִיר (’amir, “crops”).
112 tn The translation assumes that the verb צוץ (“flourish”) goes with the preceding line. The words “be as abundant” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
113 tc The traditional accentuation and vocalization of the MT differ from the text assumed by the present translation. The MT reads as follows: “May there be an abundance of grain in the earth, / and on the tops of the mountains! / May its [or “his”?] fruit [trees?] rustle like [the trees of] Lebanon! / May they flourish from the city, like the grass of the earth!” If one follows the MT, then it would appear that the “fruit” of the third line is a metaphorical reference to the king’s people, who flow out from the cities to populate the land (see line 4). Elsewhere in the OT people are sometimes compared to grass that sprouts up from the land (see v. 7, as well as Isa 27:6; Pss 92:7; 103:15). The translation understands a different poetic structural arrangement and, assuming the emendations mentioned in earlier notes, interprets each line of the verse to be a prayer for agricultural abundance.
114 tn Heb “may his name [be] permanent.” The prefixed verbal form is jussive, not imperfect.
115 tn Heb “before the sun may his name increase.” The Kethib (consonantal text) assumes יָנִין (yanin; a Hiphil of the verbal root נִין, nin) or יְנַיֵן (yÿnayen; a Piel form), while the Qere (marginal reading) assumes יִנּוֹן (yinnon; a Niphal form). The verb נִין occurs only here, though a derived noun, meaning “offspring,” appears elsewhere (see Isa 14:22). The verb appears to mean “propagate, increase” (BDB 630 s.v. נוּן, נִין) or “produce shoots, get descendants” (HALOT 696 s.v. נין). In this context this appears to be a prayer for a lasting dynasty that will keep the king’s name and memory alive.
116 tn Heb “may they bless one another by him,” that is, use the king’s name in their blessing formulae because he is a prime example of one blessed by God (for examples of such blessing formulae, see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11). There is some debate on whether the Hitpael form of בָּרַךְ (barakh, “bless”) is reflexive-reciprocal (as assumed in the present translation) or passive. The Hitpael of בָּרַךְ occurs in five other passages, including the hotly debated Gen 22:18 and 26:4. In these two texts one could understand the verb form as passive and translate, “all the nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring,” or one could take the Hitpael as reflexive or reciprocal and translate, “all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings [i.e., on themselves or one another] by your offspring.” In the first instance Abraham’s (or Isaac’s) offspring are viewed as a channel of divine blessing. In the second instance they are viewed as a prime example of blessing that will appear as part of the nations’ blessing formulae, but not necessarily as a channel of blessing to the nations. In Deut 29:18 one reads: “When one hears the words of this covenant [or “oath”] and invokes a blessing on himself (Hitpael of בָּרַךְ) in his heart, saying: ‘I will have peace, even though I walk with a rebellious heart.’” In this case the Hitpael is clearly reflexive, as the phrases “in his heart” and “I will have peace” indicate. The Hitpael of בָּרַךְ appears twice in Isaiah 65:16: “The one who invokes a blessing on himself (see Deut 9:18) in the land will invoke that blessing by the God of truth; and the one who makes an oath in the land will make that oath by the God of truth.” A passive nuance does not fit here. The parallel line, which mentions making an oath, suggests that the Hitpael of בָּרַךְ refers here to invoking a blessing. Both pronouncements of blessing and oaths will appeal to God as the one who rewards and judges, respectively. Jer 4:2 states: “If you swear, ‘As surely as the
117 tn Heb “all the nations, may they regard him as happy.” The Piel is used here in a delocutive sense (“regard as”).
119 tn Heb “[the] one who does amazing things by himself.”
120 tn Heb “[be] blessed.”
121 tn Or “glory.”
122 tn Heb “surely and surely” (אָמֵן וְאָמֵן [’amen vÿ’amen], i.e., “Amen and amen”). This is probably a congregational response of agreement to the immediately preceding statement about the propriety of praising God.
123 tn Heb “the prayers of David, son of Jesse, are concluded.” As noted earlier, v. 20 appears to be a remnant of an earlier collection of psalms or an earlier edition of the Psalter. In the present arrangement of the Book of Psalms, not all psalms prior to this are attributed to David (see Pss 1-2, 10, 33, 42-50, 66-67, 71-72) and several psalms attributed to David appear after this (see Pss 86, 101, 103, 108-110, 122, 124, 131, 138-145).