For the music director; a psalm of David.
31:1 In you, O Lord, I have taken shelter!
Never let me be humiliated!
Vindicate me by rescuing me! 2
Quickly deliver me!
Be my protector and refuge, 4
a stronghold where I can be safe! 5
for you are my place of refuge.
you will rescue 11 me, O Lord, the faithful God.
but I trust in the Lord.
31:7 I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness,
because you notice my pain
and you are aware of how distressed I am. 13
31:8 You do not deliver me over to the power of the enemy;
you enable me to stand 14 in a wide open place.
31:9 Have mercy on me, for I am in distress!
I have lost my strength. 17
31:10 For my life nears its end in pain;
my years draw to a close as I groan. 18
My strength fails me because of 19 my sin,
and my bones become brittle. 20
my neighbors are appalled by my suffering 22 –
those who know me are horrified by my condition; 23
those who see me in the street run away from me.
I am regarded as worthless, like a broken jar. 25
the terrifying news that comes from every direction. 27
When they plot together against me,
they figure out how they can take my life.
31:14 But I trust in you, O Lord!
I declare, “You are my God!”
Rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me.
Deliver me because of your faithfulness!
31:17 O Lord, do not let me be humiliated,
for I call out to you!
May evil men be humiliated!
May they go wailing to the grave! 30
31:18 May lying lips be silenced –
with arrogance and contempt!
1 sn Psalm 31. The psalmist confidently asks the Lord to protect him. Enemies threaten him and even his friends have abandoned him, but he looks to the Lord for vindication. In vv. 19-24, which were apparently written after the Lord answered the prayer of vv. 1-18, the psalmist thanks the Lord for delivering him.
2 tn Heb “in your vindication rescue me.”
3 tn Heb “turn toward me your ear.”
4 tn Heb “become for me a rocky summit of refuge.”
5 tn Heb “a house of strongholds to deliver me.”
7 tn Heb “name.” The Hebrew term שֵׁם (shem, “name”) refers here to the
8 tn The present translation assumes that the imperfect verbal forms are generalizing, “you lead me and guide me.” Other options are to take them as an expression of confidence about the future, “you will lead me and guide me” (cf. NASB), or as expressing a prayer, “lead me and guide me” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV).
9 tn Heb “bring me out.” The translation assumes that the imperfect verbal form expresses the psalmist’s confidence about the future. Another option is to take the form as expressing a prayer, “free me.”
10 tn Heb “my spirit.” The noun רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) here refers to the animating spirit that gives the psalmist life.
11 tn Or “redeem.” The perfect verbal form is understood here as anticipatory, indicating rhetorically the psalmist’s certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer that he can describe his deliverance as if it had already happened. Another option is to take the perfect as precative, expressing a wish or request (“rescue me”; cf. NIV). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
13 tn Heb “you know the distresses of my life.”
14 tn Heb “you cause my feet to stand.”
15 tn Or perhaps, “are swollen.”
17 tn Heb “my breath and my stomach [grow weak].” Apparently the verb in the previous line (“grow dim, be weakened”) is to be understood here. The Hebrew term נפשׁ can mean “life,” or, more specifically, “throat, breath.” The psalmist seems to be lamenting that his breathing is impaired because of the physical and emotional suffering he is forced to endure.
18 tn Heb “and my years in groaning.”
19 tn Heb “stumbles in.”
20 tn Heb “grow weak.”
21 tn Heb “because of all my enemies I am a reproach.”
22 tc Heb “and to my neighbors, exceedingly.” If the MT is retained, then these words probably go with what precedes. However the syntactical awkwardness of the text suggests it is textually corrupt. P. C. Craigie (Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 258) suggests that the initial mem (מ) on מְאֹד (me’od, “exceedingly”) be understood as an enclitic mem (ם) which was originally suffixed to the preceding form and then later misinterpreted. The resulting form אֵד (’ed) can then be taken as a defectively written form of אֵיד (’ed, “calamity”). If one follows this emendation, then the text reads literally, “and to my neighbors [I am one who experiences] calamity.” The noun פַחַד (fakhad, “[object of] horror”) occurs in the next line; אֵיד and פַחַד appear in parallelism elsewhere (see Prov 1:26-27).
23 tn Heb “and [an object of ] horror to those known by me.”
24 tn Heb “I am forgotten, like a dead man, from [the] heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the center of one’s thoughts.
25 tn Heb “I am like a broken jar.” One throws away a broken jar without a second thought because it is considered worthless and useless.
26 tn Heb “the report of many.”
27 tn Heb “the terror from all around.”
28 tn Heb “in your hand [are] my times.”
29 tn Heb “cause your face to shine.”
30 tn The verb יִדְּמוּ (yiddÿmu) is understood as a form of דָּמַם (damam, “wail, lament”). Another option is to take the verb from דָּמַם (“be quiet”; see BDB 198-99 s.v. I דָּמַם), in which case one might translate, “May they lie silent in the grave.”
31 tn Heb “the [ones which].”
32 tn Or “godly.”