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Psalms 32:3-5

Context

32:3 When I refused to confess my sin, 1 

my whole body wasted away, 2 

while I groaned in pain all day long.

32:4 For day and night you tormented me; 3 

you tried to destroy me 4  in the intense heat 5  of summer. 6  (Selah)

32:5 Then I confessed my sin;

I no longer covered up my wrongdoing.

I said, “I will confess 7  my rebellious acts to the Lord.”

And then you forgave my sins. 8  (Selah)

1 tn Heb “when I was silent.”

2 tn Heb “my bones became brittle.” The psalmist pictures himself as aging and growing physically weak. Trying to cover up his sin brought severe physical consequences.

3 tn Heb “your hand was heavy upon me.”

4 tc Heb “my [?] was turned.” The meaning of the Hebrew term לְשַׁד (lÿshad) is uncertain. A noun לָשָׁד (lashad, “cake”) is attested in Num 11:8, but it would make no sense to understand that word in this context. It is better to emend the form to לְשֻׁדִּי (lÿshuddiy, “to my destruction”) and understand “your hand” as the subject of the verb “was turned.” In this case the text reads, “[your hand] was turned to my destruction.” In Lam 3:3 the author laments that God’s “hand” was “turned” (הָפַךְ, hafakh) against him in a hostile sense.

sn You tried to destroy me. The psalmist’s statement reflects his perspective. As far as he was concerned, it seemed as if the Lord was trying to kill him.

5 tn The translation assumes that the plural form indicates degree. If one understands the form as a true plural, then one might translate, “in the times of drought.”

6 sn Summer. Perhaps the psalmist suffered during the hot season and perceived the very weather as being an instrument of divine judgment. Another option is that he compares his time of suffering to the uncomfortable and oppressive heat of summer.

7 tn The Hiphil of ידה normally means “give thanks, praise,” but here, as in Prov 28:13, it means “confess.”

8 tn Heb “the wrongdoing of my sin.” By joining synonyms for “sin” in this way, the psalmist may be emphasizing the degree of his wrongdoing.



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