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Psalms 30:8-11

Context

30:8 To you, O Lord, I cried out;

I begged the Lord for mercy: 1 

30:9 “What 2  profit is there in taking my life, 3 

in my descending into the Pit? 4 

Can the dust of the grave 5  praise you?

Can it declare your loyalty? 6 

30:10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me!

O Lord, deliver me!” 7 

30:11 Then you turned my lament into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy. 8 

1 tn The prefixed verbal forms in v. 8 are probably preterites; the psalmist recalls that he prayed in his time of crisis.

2 sn The following two verses (vv. 9-10) contain the prayer (or an excerpt of the prayer) that the psalmist offered to the Lord during his crisis.

3 tn Heb “What profit [is there] in my blood?” “Blood” here represents his life.

4 tn The Hebrew term שָׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 16:10; 49:9; 55:24; 103:4).

5 tn Heb “dust.” The words “of the grave” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

6 tn The rhetorical questions anticipate the answer, “Of course not!”

sn According to the OT, those who descend into the realm of death/Sheol are cut off from God’s mighty deeds and from the worshiping covenant community that experiences divine intervention (Pss 6:5; 88:10-12; Isa 38:18). In his effort to elicit a positive divine response, the psalmist reminds God that he will receive no praise or glory if he allows the psalmist to die. Dead men do not praise God!

7 tn Heb “be a helper to me.”

8 sn Covered me with joy. “Joy” probably stands metonymically for festive attire here.



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