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Psalms 18:1

Context
Psalm 18 1 

For the music director; by the Lord’s servant David, who sang 2  to the Lord the words of this song when 3  the Lord rescued him from the power 4  of all his enemies, including Saul. 5 

18:1 He said: 6 

“I love 7  you, Lord, my source of strength! 8 

Psalms 30:1

Context
Psalm 30 9 

A psalm – a song used at the dedication of the temple; 10  by David.

30:1 I will praise you, O Lord, for you lifted me up, 11 

and did not allow my enemies to gloat 12  over me.

Psalms 34:1

Context
Psalm 34 13 

Written by David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, causing the king to send him away. 14 

34:1 I will praise 15  the Lord at all times;

my mouth will continually praise him. 16 

Psalms 51:1

Context
Psalm 51 17 

For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba. 18 

51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of 19  your loyal love!

Because of 20  your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts! 21 

Psalms 52:1

Context
Psalm 52 22 

For the music director; a well-written song 23  by David. It was written when Doeg the Edomite went and informed Saul: “David has arrived at the home of Ahimelech.” 24 

52:1 Why do you boast about your evil plans, 25  O powerful man?

God’s loyal love protects me all day long! 26 

Psalms 54:1

Context
Psalm 54 27 

For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song 28  by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.” 29 

54:1 O God, deliver me by your name! 30 

Vindicate me 31  by your power!

Psalms 56:1

Context
Psalm 56 32 

For the music director; according to the yonath-elem-rechovim style; 33  a prayer 34  of David, written when the Philistines captured him in Gath. 35 

56:1 Have mercy on me, O God, for men are attacking me! 36 

All day long hostile enemies 37  are tormenting me. 38 

Psalms 57:1

Context
Psalm 57 39 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 40  a prayer 41  of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave. 42 

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.

Psalms 59:1

Context
Psalm 59 45 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 46  a prayer 47  of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him. 48 

59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God!

Protect me 49  from those who attack me! 50 

Psalms 60:1

Context
Psalm 60 51 

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 

60:1 O God, you have rejected us. 58 

You suddenly turned on us in your anger. 59 

Please restore us! 60 

Psalms 63:1

Context
Psalm 63 61 

A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness. 62 

63:1 O God, you are my God! I long for you! 63 

My soul thirsts 64  for you,

my flesh yearns for you,

in a dry and parched 65  land where there is no water.

Psalms 72:1-20

Context
Psalm 72 66 

For 67  Solomon.

72:1 O God, grant the king the ability to make just decisions! 68 

Grant the king’s son 69  the ability to make fair decisions! 70 

72:2 Then he will judge 71  your people fairly,

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 

72:4 He will defend 74  the oppressed among the people;

he will deliver 75  the children 76  of the poor

and crush the oppressor.

72:5 People will fear 77  you 78  as long as the sun and moon remain in the sky,

for generation after generation. 79 

72:6 He 80  will descend like rain on the mown grass, 81 

like showers that drench 82  the earth. 83 

72:7 During his days the godly will flourish; 84 

peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky. 85 

72:8 May he rule 86  from sea to sea, 87 

and from the Euphrates River 88  to the ends of the earth!

72:9 Before him the coastlands 89  will bow down,

and his enemies will lick the dust. 90 

72:10 The kings of Tarshish 91  and the coastlands will offer gifts;

the kings of Sheba 92  and Seba 93  will bring tribute.

72:11 All kings will bow down to him;

all nations will serve him.

72:12 For he will rescue the needy 94  when they cry out for help,

and the oppressed 95  who have no defender.

72:13 He will take pity 96  on the poor and needy;

the lives of the needy he will save.

72:14 From harm and violence he will defend them; 97 

he will value their lives. 98 

72:15 May he live! 99  May they offer him gold from Sheba! 100 

May they continually pray for him!

May they pronounce blessings on him all day long! 101 

72:16 May there be 102  an abundance 103  of grain in the earth;

on the tops 104  of the mountains may it 105  sway! 106 

May its 107  fruit trees 108  flourish 109  like the forests of Lebanon! 110 

May its crops 111  be as abundant 112  as the grass of the earth! 113 

72:17 May his fame endure! 114 

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 

72:18 The Lord God, the God of Israel, deserves praise! 118 

He alone accomplishes amazing things! 119 

72:19 His glorious name deserves praise 120  forevermore!

May his majestic splendor 121  fill the whole earth!

We agree! We agree! 122 

72:20 This collection of the prayers of David son of Jesse ends here. 123 

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 [1970]: 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 Lord hoisted him up. The Piel stem is used here, perhaps suggesting special exertion on the Lord’s part.

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 b.c. The exiles could relate to David’s experience, for they, like him, and had been forced to confront their sin. They appropriated David’s ancient prayer and applied it to their own circumstances.

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.”

22 sn Psalm 52. The psalmist confidently confronts his enemy and affirms that God will destroy evildoers and vindicate the godly.

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.

27 sn Psalm 54. The psalmist asks God for protection against his enemies, confidently affirms that God will vindicate him, and promises to give thanks to God for his saving intervention.

28 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. See the note on the phrase “well-written song” in the superscription of Ps 52.

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.

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

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.

34 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.”

35 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).

36 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.”

37 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.

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

39 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.

40 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.

41 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.”

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.

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

45 sn Psalm 59. The psalmist calls down judgment on his foreign enemies, whom he compares to ravenous wild dogs.

46 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 superscription to Pss 57-58, 75.

47 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.”

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.”

51 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.

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

53 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.”

54 tn Heb “to teach.”

55 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.

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

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

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

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.

61 sn Psalm 63. The psalmist expresses his intense desire to be in God’s presence and confidently affirms that God will judge his enemies.

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.

72 sn These people are called God’s oppressed ones because he is their defender (see Pss 9:12, 18; 10:12; 12:5).

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 Lord’s power and authority by worshiping him and obeying his commandments.” See Ps 33:8. Some interpreters, with the support of the LXX, prefer to read וְיַאֲרִיךְ (vÿaarikh, “and he [the king in this case] will prolong [days]”), that is, “will live a long time” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

78 tn God is the addressee (see vv. 1-2).

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.

80 tn That is, the king (see vv. 2, 4).

81 tn The rare term zg refers to a sheep’s fleece in Deut 18:4 and Job 31:20, but to “mown” grass or crops here and in Amos 7:1.

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.

84 tn Heb “sprout up,” like crops. This verse continues the metaphor of rain utilized in v. 6.

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.

87 sn From sea to sea. This may mean from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Dead Sea in the east. See Amos 8:12. The language of this and the following line also appears in Zech 9:10.

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.

96 tn The prefixed verb form is best understood as a defectively written imperfect (see Deut 7:16).

97 tn Or “redeem their lives.” The verb “redeem” casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis (see Pss 19:14; 69:18).

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 (rosh, “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 (vaamir, “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 Lord lives,’ with truth, integrity, and honesty, then the nations will pronounce blessings by him and boast in him.” A passive nuance might work (“the nations will be blessed”), but the context refers to verbal pronouncements (swearing an oath, boasting), suggesting that the Hitpael of בָּרַךְ refers here to invoking a blessing. The logic of the verse seems to be as follows: If Israel conducts its affairs with integrity, the nation will be favored by the Lord, which will in turn attract the surrounding nations to Israel’s God. To summarize, while the evidence might leave the door open for a passive interpretation, there is no clear cut passive use. Usage favors a reflexive or reciprocal understanding of the Hitpael of בָּרַךְ. In Ps 72:17 the Hitpael of בָּרַךְ is followed by the prepositional phrase בוֹ (vo, “by him”). The verb could theoretically be taken as passive, “may all the nations be blessed through him” (cf. NIV, NRSV), because the preceding context describes the positive effects of this king’s rule on the inhabitants of the earth. But the parallel line, which employs the Piel of אָשַׁר (’ashar) in a factitive/declarative sense, “regard as happy, fortunate,” suggests a reflexive or reciprocal nuance for the Hitpael of בָּרַךְ here. If the nations regard the ideal king as a prime example of one who is fortunate or blessed, it is understandable that they would use his name in their pronouncements of blessing.

117 tn Heb “all the nations, may they regard him as happy.” The Piel is used here in a delocutive sense (“regard as”).

118 tn Heb “[be] blessed.” See Pss 18:46; 28:6; 31:21; 41:13.

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 vÿamen], 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).



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