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Psalms 43:2-4

Context

43:2 For you are the God who shelters me. 1 

Why do you reject me? 2 

Why must I walk around 3  mourning 4 

because my enemies oppress me?

43:3 Reveal 5  your light 6  and your faithfulness!

They will lead me, 7 

they will escort 8  me back to your holy hill, 9 

and to the place where you live. 10 

43:4 Then I will go 11  to the altar of God,

to the God who gives me ecstatic joy, 12 

so that I express my thanks to you, 13  O God, my God, with a harp.

1 tn Heb “God of my place of refuge,” that is, “God who is my place of refuge.” See Ps 31:4.

2 tn The question is similar to that of Ps 42:9, but זָנַח (zanakh, “reject”) is a stronger verb than שָׁכַח (shakhakh, “forget”).

3 tn The language is similar to that of Ps 42:9, but the Hitpael form of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh; as opposed to the Qal form in 42:9) expresses more forcefully the continuing nature of the psalmist’s distress.

4 sn Walk around mourning. See Ps 38:6 for a similar statement.

5 tn Heb “send.”

6 sn God’s deliverance is compared here to a light which will lead the psalmist back home to the Lord’s temple. Divine deliverance will in turn demonstrate the Lord’s faithfulness to his people.

7 tn Or “may they lead me.” The prefixed verbal forms here and in the next line may be taken as jussives.

8 tn Heb “bring.”

9 sn In this context the Lord’s holy hill is Zion/Jerusalem. See Isa 66:20; Joel 2:1; 3:17; Zech 8:3; Pss 2:6; 15:1; 48:1; 87:1; Dan 9:16.

10 tn Or “to your dwelling place[s].” The plural form of the noun may indicate degree or quality; this is the Lord’s special dwelling place (see Pss 46:4; 84:1; 132:5, 7).

11 tn The cohortative expresses the psalmist’s resolve. Prefixed with the vav (ו) conjunctive it also expresses the result or outcome of the preceding verbs “lead” and “escort.”

12 tn Heb “to God, the joy of my happiness.” The phrase “joy of my happiness” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the degree of the psalmist’s joy. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81.

13 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive probably indicates purpose (“so that”) or intention.



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