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Psalms 32:8-9

Context

32:8 I will instruct and teach you 1  about how you should live. 2 

I will advise you as I look you in the eye. 3 

32:9 Do not be 4  like an unintelligent horse or mule, 5 

which will not obey you

unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit. 6 

1 tn The second person pronominal forms in this verse are singular. The psalmist addresses each member of his audience individually (see also the note on the word “eye” in the next line). A less likely option (but one which is commonly understood) is that the Lord addresses the psalmist in vv. 8-9 (cf. NASB “I will instruct you and teach you…I will counsel you with My eye upon you”).

2 tn Heb “I will instruct you and I will teach you in the way [in] which you should walk.”

3 tn Heb “I will advise, upon you my eye,” that is, “I will offer advice [with] my eye upon you.” In 2 Chr 20:12 the statement “our eye is upon you” means that the speakers are looking to the Lord for intervention. Here the expression “my eye upon you” may simply mean that the psalmist will teach his pupils directly and personally.

4 tn The verb form is plural (i.e., “do not all of you be”); the psalmist addresses the whole group.

5 tn Heb “like a horse, like a mule without understanding.”

6 tn Heb “with a bridle and bit, its [?] to hold, not to come near to you.” The meaning of the Hebrew noun עֲדִי (’adiy) is uncertain. Normally the word refers to “jewelry,” so some suggest the meaning “trappings” here (cf. NASB). Some emend the form to לְחֵיהֶם (lÿkhehem, “their jawbones”) but it is difficult to see how the present Hebrew text, even if corrupt, could have derived from this proposed original reading. P. C. Craigie (Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 265) takes the form from an Arabic root and translates “whose gallop.” Cf. also NRSV “whose temper must be curbed.”



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