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Psalms 2:1-2

Context
Psalm 2 1 

2:1 Why 2  do the nations rebel? 3 

Why 4  are the countries 5  devising 6  plots that will fail? 7 

2:2 The kings of the earth 8  form a united front; 9 

the rulers collaborate 10 

against the Lord and his anointed king. 11 

Psalms 16:1-11

Context
Psalm 16 12 

A prayer 13  of David.

16:1 Protect me, O God, for I have taken shelter in you. 14 

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

my only source of well-being.” 15 

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

and the leading officials I admired so much 16 

16:4 their troubles multiply,

they desire other gods. 17 

I will not pour out drink offerings of blood to their gods, 18 

nor will I make vows in the name of their gods. 19 

16:5 Lord, you give me stability and prosperity; 20 

you make my future secure. 21 

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

or received a beautiful tract of land. 22 

16:7 I will praise 23  the Lord who 24  guides 25  me;

yes, during the night I reflect and learn. 26 

16:8 I constantly trust in the Lord; 27 

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

16:9 So my heart rejoices

and I am happy; 28 

My life is safe. 29 

16:10 You will not abandon me 30  to Sheol; 31 

you will not allow your faithful follower 32  to see 33  the Pit. 34 

16:11 You lead me in 35  the path of life; 36 

I experience absolute joy in your presence; 37 

you always give me sheer delight. 38 

Psalms 4:5

Context

4:5 Offer the prescribed sacrifices 39 

and trust in the Lord! 40 

Psalms 5:1-12

Context
Psalm 5 41 

For the music director, to be accompanied by wind instruments; 42  a psalm of David.

5:1 Listen to what I say, 43  Lord!

Carefully consider my complaint! 44 

5:2 Pay attention to my cry for help,

my king and my God,

for I am praying to you!

5:3 Lord, in the morning 45  you will hear 46  me; 47 

in the morning I will present my case to you 48  and then wait expectantly for an answer. 49 

5:4 Certainly 50  you are not a God who approves of evil; 51 

evil people 52  cannot dwell with you. 53 

5:5 Arrogant people cannot stand in your presence; 54 

you hate 55  all who behave wickedly. 56 

5:6 You destroy 57  liars; 58 

the Lord despises 59  violent and deceitful people. 60 

5:7 But as for me, 61  because of your great faithfulness I will enter your house; 62 

I will bow down toward your holy temple as I worship you. 63 

5:8 Lord, lead me in your righteousness 64 

because of those who wait to ambush me, 65 

remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me! 66 

5:9 For 67  they do not speak the truth; 68 

their stomachs are like the place of destruction, 69 

their throats like an open grave, 70 

their tongues like a steep slope leading into it. 71 

5:10 Condemn them, 72  O God!

May their own schemes be their downfall! 73 

Drive them away 74  because of their many acts of insurrection, 75 

for they have rebelled against you.

5:11 But may all who take shelter 76  in you be happy! 77 

May they continually 78  shout for joy! 79 

Shelter them 80  so that those who are loyal to you 81  may rejoice! 82 

5:12 Certainly 83  you reward 84  the godly, 85  Lord.

Like a shield you protect 86  them 87  in your good favor. 88 

1 sn Psalm 2. In this royal psalm the author asserts the special status of the divinely chosen Davidic king and warns the nations and their rulers to submit to the authority of God and his chosen vice-regent.

2 tn The question is rhetorical. Rather than seeking information, the psalmist expresses his outrage that the nations would have the audacity to rebel against God and his chosen king.

3 tn The Hebrew verb רָגַשׁ (ragash) occurs only here. In Dan 6:6, 11, 15 the Aramaic cognate verb describes several officials acting as a group. A Hebrew nominal derivative is used in Ps 55:14 of a crowd of people in the temple.

4 tn The interrogative לָמָּה (lamah, “why?”) is understood by ellipsis in the second line.

5 tn Or “peoples” (so many English versions).

6 tn The Hebrew imperfect form describes the rebellion as underway. The verb הָגָה (hagah), which means “to recite quietly, meditate,” here has the metonymic nuance “devise, plan, plot” (see Ps 38:12; Prov 24:2).

7 tn Heb “devising emptiness.” The noun רִיק (riq, “emptiness”) may characterize their behavior as “worthless, morally bankrupt” but more likely refers to the outcome of their plots (i.e., failure). As the rest of the psalm emphasizes, their rebellion will fail.

8 sn The expression kings of the earth refers somewhat hyperbolically to the kings who had been conquered by and were subject to the Davidic king.

9 tn Or “take their stand.” The Hebrew imperfect verbal form describes their action as underway.

10 tn Or “conspire together.” The verbal form is a Niphal from יָסַד (yasad). BDB 413-14 s.v. יָסַד defines the verb as “establish, found,” but HALOT 417 s.v. II יסד proposes a homonym meaning “get together, conspire” (an alternate form of סוּד, sud).

11 tn Heb “and against his anointed one.” The Davidic king is the referent (see vv. 6-7).

12 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.

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

14 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).

15 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.

16 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).

17 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).”

18 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.

19 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.

20 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.

21 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.”

22 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.

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

24 tn Or “because.”

25 tn Or “counsels, advises.”

26 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.

27 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).

28 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.”

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

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

31 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.

32 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.

33 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.

34 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.

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

36 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.

37 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.

38 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).

39 tn Or “proper, right.” The phrase also occurs in Deut 33:19 and Ps 51:19.

40 sn Trust in the Lord. The psalmist urges his enemies to make peace with God and become his followers.

41 sn Psalm 5. Appealing to God’s justice and commitment to the godly, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and deliver him from evildoers.

42 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word נְחִילוֹת (nÿkhilot), which occurs only here, is uncertain. Many relate the form to חָלִיל (khalil, “flute”).

43 tn Heb “my words.”

44 tn Or “sighing.” The word occurs only here and in Ps 39:3.

45 sn In the morning is here viewed as the time of prayer (Pss 59:16; 88:13) and/or of deliverance (Ps 30:5).

46 tn The imperfect is here understood in a specific future sense; the psalmist is expressing his confidence that God will be willing to hear his request. Another option is to understand the imperfect as expressing the psalmist’s wish or request. In this case one could translate, “Lord, in the morning hear me.”

47 tn Heb “my voice.”

48 tn Heb “I will arrange for you.” Some understand a sacrifice or offering as the implied object (cf. NEB “I set out my morning sacrifice”). The present translation assumes that the implied object is the psalmist’s case/request. See Isa 44:7.

49 tn Heb “and I will watch.”

50 tn Or “for.”

51 tn Heb “not a God [who] delights [in] wickedness [are] you.”

52 tn The Hebrew text has simply the singular form רע, which may be taken as an abstract noun “evil” (the reference to “wickedness” in the preceding line favors this; cf. NEB, NASB, NRSV) or as a substantival adjective “evil one” (the references to evil people in the next two verses favor this; cf. NIV “with you the wicked cannot dwell”).

53 tn Heb “cannot dwell as a resident alien [with] you.” The negated imperfect verbal form here indicates incapability or lack of permission. These people are morally incapable of dwelling in God’s presence and are not permitted to do so.

sn Only the godly are allowed to dwell with the Lord. Evil people are excluded. See Ps 15.

54 tn Heb “before your eyes.”

55 sn You hate. The Lord “hates” the wicked in the sense that he despises their wicked character and deeds and actively opposes and judges them for their wickedness. See Ps 11:5.

56 tn Heb “all the workers of wickedness.”

57 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates God’s typical response to such individuals. Another option is to translate the verb as future (“You will destroy”); the psalmist may be envisioning a time of judgment when God will remove the wicked from the scene.

58 tn Heb “those who speak a lie.” In the OT a “lie” does not refer in a general philosophical sense to any statement that fails to correspond to reality. Instead it refers more specifically to a slanderous and/or deceitful statement that promotes one’s own selfish, sinful interests and/or exploits or harms those who are innocent. Note the emphasis on violence and deceit in the following line.

59 tn The imperfect verbal form highlights the Lord’s characteristic attitude toward such individuals.

60 tn Heb “a man of bloodshed and deceit.” The singular אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) is used here in a collective or representative sense; thus the translation “people” is appropriate here. Note the plural forms in vv. 5-6a.

61 sn But as for me. By placing the first person pronoun at the beginning of the verse, the psalmist highlights the contrast between the evildoers’ actions and destiny, outlined in the preceding verses, with his own.

62 sn I will enter your house. The psalmist is confident that God will accept him into his presence, in contrast to the evildoers (see v. 5).

63 tn Heb “in fear [of] you.” The Hebrew noun יִרְאָה (yirah, “fear”), when used of fearing God, is sometimes used metonymically for what it ideally produces: “worship, reverence, piety.”

64 tn God’s providential leading is in view. His צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “righteousness”) includes here the deliverance that originates in his righteousness; he protects and vindicates the one whose cause is just. For other examples of this use of the word, see BDB 842 s.v.

65 tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 27:11; 56:2.

66 tn Heb “make level before me your way.” The imperative “make level” is Hiphil in the Kethib (consonantal text); Piel in the Qere (marginal reading). God’s “way” is here the way in which he leads the psalmist providentially (see the preceding line, where the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him).

67 tn Or “certainly.”

68 tn Heb “for there is not in his mouth truthfulness.” The singular pronoun (“his”) probably refers back to the “man of bloodshed and deceit” mentioned in v. 6. The singular is collective or representative, as the plural in the next line indicates, and so has been translated “they.”

69 tn Heb “their inward part[s] [is] destruction.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse.

70 tn Heb “their throat is an open grave.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse. The metaphor is suggested by the physical resemblance of the human throat to a deeply dug grave; both are dark chasms.

71 tn Heb “they make smooth their tongue.” Flattering, deceitful words are in view. See Ps 12:2. The psalmist’s deceitful enemies are compared to the realm of death/Sheol in v. 9b. Sheol was envisioned as a dark region within the earth, the entrance to which was the grave with its steep slopes (cf. Ps 88:4-6). The enemies’ victims are pictured here as slipping down a steep slope (the enemies’ tongues) and falling into an open grave (their throat) that terminates in destruction in the inner recesses of Sheol (their stomach). The enemies’ קרב (“inward part”) refers here to their thoughts and motives, which are destructive in their intent. The throat is where these destructive thoughts are transformed into words, and their tongue is what they use to speak the deceitful words that lead their innocent victims to their demise.

sn As the psalmist walks down the path in which God leads him, he asks the Lord to guide his steps and remove danger from the path (v. 8), because he knows his enemies have “dug a grave” for him and are ready to use their deceitful words to “swallow him up” like the realm of death (i.e., Sheol) and bring him to ruin.

72 tn Heb “declare/regard them as guilty.” Declaring the psalmist’s adversaries guilty is here metonymic for judging them or paying them back for their wrongdoing.

73 tn Heb “may they fall from their plans.” The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation. The psalmist calls judgment down on the evildoers. Their plans will be their downfall in that God will judge them for their evil schemes.

74 tn Or “banish them.”

75 tn The Hebrew noun used here, פֶּשַׁע (pesha’), refers to rebellious actions. The psalmist pictures his enemies as rebels against God (see the next line).

76 sn Take 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).

77 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer. The psalmist calls on God to reward his faithful followers.

78 tn Or perhaps more hyperbolically, “forever.”

79 tn As in the preceding line, the prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer.

80 tn Heb “put a cover over them.” The verb form is a Hiphil imperfect from סָכַךְ (sakhakh, “cover, shut off”). The imperfect expresses the psalmist’s wish or request.

81 tn Heb “the lovers of your name.” The phrase refers to those who are loyal to the Lord. See Pss 69:36; 119:132; Isa 56:6.

82 tn The vav (ו) with prefixed verbal form following the volitional “shelter them” indicates purpose or result (“so that those…may rejoice).

83 tn Or “For.”

84 tn Or “bless.” The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line highlight how God characteristically rewards and protects the godly.

85 tn Or “innocent.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense.

86 tn Heb “surround.” In 1 Sam 23:26 the verb describes how Saul and his men hemmed David in as they chased him.

87 tn Heb “him.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense and is thus translated “them.”

88 tn Or “with favor” (cf. NRSV). There is no preposition before the noun in the Hebrew text, nor is there a pronoun attached. “Favor” here stands by metonymy for God’s defensive actions on behalf of the one whom he finds acceptable.



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