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Psalms 19:1-6

Context
Psalm 19 1 

For the music director; a psalm of David.

19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; 2 

the sky displays his handiwork. 3 

19:2 Day after day it speaks out; 4 

night after night it reveals his greatness. 5 

19:3 There is no actual speech or word,

nor is its 6  voice literally heard.

19:4 Yet its voice 7  echoes 8  throughout the earth;

its 9  words carry 10  to the distant horizon. 11 

In the sky 12  he has pitched a tent for the sun. 13 

19:5 Like a bridegroom it emerges 14  from its chamber; 15 

like a strong man it enjoys 16  running its course. 17 

19:6 It emerges from the distant horizon, 18 

and goes from one end of the sky to the other; 19 

nothing can escape 20  its heat.

1 sn Psalm 19. The psalmist praises God for his self-revelation in the heavens and in the Mosaic law. The psalmist concludes with a prayer, asking the Lord to keep him from sinning and to approve of his thoughts and words.

2 sn God’s glory refers here to his royal majesty and power.

3 tn Heb “and the work of his hands the sky declares.” The participles emphasize the ongoing testimony of the heavens/sky.

4 tn Heb “it gushes forth a word.” The “sky” (see v. 1b) is the subject of the verb. Though not literally speaking (see v. 3), it clearly reveals God’s royal majesty. The sun’s splendor and its movement across the sky is in view (see vv. 4-6).

5 tn Heb “it [i.e., the sky] declares knowledge,” i.e., knowledge about God’s royal majesty and power (see v. 1). This apparently refers to the splendor and movements of the stars. The imperfect verbal forms in v. 2, like the participles in the preceding verse, combine with the temporal phrases (“day after day” and “night after night”) to emphasize the ongoing testimony of the sky.

6 tn Heb “their.” The antecedent of the plural pronoun is “heavens” (v. 1).

7 tc The MT reads, “their measuring line” (קוּם, qum). The noun קַו (qav, “measuring line”) makes no sense in this context. The reading קוֹלָם (qolam, “their voice”) which is supported by the LXX, is preferable.

8 tn Heb “goes out,” or “proceeds forth.”

9 tn Heb “their” (see the note on the word “its” in v. 3).

10 tn The verb is supplied in the translation. The Hebrew text has no verb; יָצָא (yatsa’, “goes out”) is understood by ellipsis.

11 tn Heb “to the end of the world.”

12 tn Heb “in them” (i.e., the heavens).

13 sn He has pitched a tent for the sun. The personified sun emerges from this “tent” in order to make its daytime journey across the sky. So the “tent” must refer metaphorically to the place where the sun goes to rest during the night.

14 tn The participle expresses the repeated or regular nature of the action.

15 tn The Hebrew noun חֻפָּה (khufah, “chamber”) occurs elsewhere only in Isa 4:5 and Joel 2:16 (where it refers to the bedroom of a bride and groom).

sn Like a bridegroom. The metaphor likens the sun to a bridegroom who rejoices on his wedding night.

16 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the regularity of the action.

17 tn Heb “[on] a path.”

sn Like a strong man. The metaphorical language reflects the brilliance of the sunrise, which attests to the sun’s vigor.

18 tn Heb “from the end of the heavens [is] its going forth.”

19 tn Heb “and its circuit [is] to their ends.”

20 tn Heb “is hidden from.”



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