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Psalms 42:6-8

Context

42:6 I am depressed, 1 

so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan, 2 

from Hermon, 3  from Mount Mizar. 4 

42:7 One deep stream calls out to another 5  at the sound of your waterfalls; 6 

all your billows and waves overwhelm me. 7 

42:8 By day the Lord decrees his loyal love, 8 

and by night he gives me a song, 9 

a prayer 10  to the living God.

1 tn Heb “my God, upon me my soul bows down.” As noted earlier, “my God” belongs with the end of v. 6.

2 tn Heb “therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan.” “Remember” is here used metonymically for prayer (see vv. 8-9). As the next line indicates, the region of the upper Jordan, where the river originates, is in view.

3 tc Heb “Hermons.” The plural form of the name occurs only here in the OT. Some suggest the plural refers to multiple mountain peaks (cf. NASB) or simply retain the plural in the translation (cf. NEB), but the final mem (ם) is probably dittographic (note that the next form in the text begins with the letter mem) or enclitic. At a later time it was misinterpreted as a plural marker and vocalized accordingly.

4 tn The Hebrew term מִצְעָר (mitsar) is probably a proper name (“Mizar”), designating a particular mountain in the Hermon region. The name appears only here in the OT.

5 tn Heb “deep calls to deep.” The Hebrew noun תְּהוֹם (tÿhom) often refers to the deep sea, but here, where it is associated with Hermon, it probably refers to mountain streams. The word can be used of streams and rivers (see Deut 8:7; Ezek 31:4).

6 tn The noun צִנּוֹר (tsinnor, “waterfall”) occurs only here and in 2 Sam 5:8, where it apparently refers to a water shaft. The psalmist alludes to the loud rushing sound of mountain streams and cascading waterfalls. Using the poetic device of personification, he imagines the streams calling out to each other as they hear the sound of the waterfalls.

7 tn Heb “pass over me” (see Jonah 2:3). As he hears the sound of the rushing water, the psalmist imagines himself engulfed in the current. By implication he likens his emotional distress to such an experience.

8 sn The psalmist believes that the Lord has not abandoned him, but continues to extend his loyal love. To this point in the psalm, the author has used the name “God,” but now, as he mentions the divine characteristic of loyal love, he switches to the more personal divine name Yahweh (rendered in the translation as “the Lord”).

9 tn Heb “his song [is] with me.”

10 tc A few medieval Hebrew mss read תְּהִלָּה (tÿhillah, “praise”) instead of תְּפִלָּה (tÿfillah, “prayer”).



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