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Psalms 28:1-9

Context
Psalm 28 1 

By David.

28:1 To you, O Lord, I cry out!

My protector, 2  do not ignore me! 3 

If you do not respond to me, 4 

I will join 5  those who are descending into the grave. 6 

28:2 Hear my plea for mercy when I cry out to you for help,

when I lift my hands 7  toward your holy temple! 8 

28:3 Do not drag me away with evil men,

with those who behave wickedly, 9 

who talk so friendly to their neighbors, 10 

while they plan to harm them! 11 

28:4 Pay them back for their evil deeds!

Pay them back for what they do!

Punish them! 12 

28:5 For they do not understand the Lord’s actions,

or the way he carries out justice. 13 

The Lord 14  will permanently demolish them. 15 

28:6 The Lord deserves praise, 16 

for he has heard my plea for mercy! 17 

28:7 The Lord strengthens and protects me; 18 

I trust in him with all my heart. 19 

I am rescued 20  and my heart is full of joy; 21 

I will sing to him in gratitude. 22 

28:8 The Lord strengthens his people; 23 

he protects and delivers his chosen king. 24 

28:9 Deliver your people!

Empower 25  the nation that belongs to you! 26 

Care for them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms 27  at all times! 28 

1 sn Psalm 28. The author looks to the Lord for vindication, asks that the wicked be repaid in full for their evil deeds, and affirms his confidence that the Lord will protect his own.

2 tn Heb “my rocky summit.” The Lord is compared to a rocky summit where one can find protection from enemies. See Ps 18:2.

3 tn Heb “do not be deaf from me.”

4 tn Heb “lest [if] you are silent from me.”

5 tn Heb “I will be equal with.”

6 tn Heb “the pit.” The noun בּוֹר (bor, “pit, cistern”) is sometimes used of the grave and/or the realm of the dead.

7 sn I lift my hands. Lifting one’s hands toward God was a gesture of prayer.

8 tn The Hebrew term דְּבִיר (dÿvir, “temple”) actually refers to the most holy place within the sanctuary.

9 tn Heb “workers of wickedness.”

10 tn Heb “speakers of peace with their neighbors.”

11 tn Heb “and evil [is] in their heart[s].”

12 tn Heb “Give to them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds. According to the work of their hands give to them. Return their due to them.” The highly repetitive style reflects the psalmist’s agitated emotional state and draws attention to his yearning for justice.

13 tn Heb “or the work of his hands.” In this context “the Lord’s actions” and “the work of his hands” probably refer to the way he carries out justice by vindicating the godly and punishing the wicked. (Note the final line of the verse, which refers to divine judgment. See also Ps 92:4-7.) Evil men do not “understand” God’s just ways; they fail to realize he will protect the innocent. Consequently they seek to harm the godly, as if they believe they will never be held accountable for their actions.

14 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord, who is referred to in the two immediately preceding lines) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

15 tn Heb “will tear them down and not rebuild them.” The ungodly are compared to a structure that is permanently demolished.

16 tn Heb “blessed [be] the Lord.”

17 sn He has heard my plea for mercy. The psalmist’s mood abruptly changes at this point, because the Lord responded positively to his petition and assured him that he would deliver him.

18 tn Heb “The Lord [is] my strength and my shield.”

19 tn Heb “in him my heart trusts.”

20 tn Or “I am helped.”

21 tn Heb “and my heart exults.”

22 tn Heb “and from my song I will thank him.” As pointed in the Hebrew text, מִשִּׁירִי (mishiri) appears to be “from my song,” but the preposition “from” never occurs elsewhere with the verb “to thank” (Hiphil of יָדָה, yadah). Perhaps משׁיר is a noun form meaning “song.” If so, it can be taken as an adverbial accusative, “and [with] my song I will thank him.” See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 236.

23 tn Heb “the Lord [is] strength to them” (or perhaps, “to him”). The form לָמוֹ (lamo, “to them/him”) is probably a corruption of an original לְעַמוֹ (lÿamo, “to his people”; see P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 236), perhaps due to quiescence of the letter ayin (ע; see P. McCarter, Textual Criticism [GBS], 55). Note the reference to the Lord’s “people” in the next verse.

24 tn Heb “he [is] a refuge of help for his anointed one.” The noun מָשִׁיחַ (mashiakh, “anointed one”) refers to the Davidic king, who perhaps speaks as representative of the nation in this psalm. See Pss 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 84:9; 89:38, 51; 132:10, 17.

25 tn Or “bless.”

26 tn Heb “your inheritance.” The parallelism (note “your people”) indicates that Israel is in view.

27 tn Heb “shepherd them and lift them up.”

sn The shepherd metaphor is sometimes associated with royal responsibility. See 2 Sam 5:2; 7:7; Mic 5:2-4).

28 tn Or “forever.”



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