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Psalms 44:2-3

Context

44:2 You, by your power, 1  defeated nations and settled our fathers on their land; 2 

you crushed 3  the people living there 4  and enabled our ancestors to occupy it. 5 

44:3 For they did not conquer 6  the land by their swords,

and they did not prevail by their strength, 7 

but rather by your power, 8  strength 9  and good favor, 10 

for you were partial to 11  them.

1 tn Heb “you, your hand.”

2 tn Heb “dispossessed nations and planted them.” The third masculine plural pronoun “them” refers to the fathers (v. 1). See Ps 80:8, 15.

3 tn The verb form in the Hebrew text is a Hiphil preterite (without vav [ו] consecutive) from רָעַע (raa’, “be evil; be bad”). If retained it apparently means, “you injured; harmed.” Some prefer to derive the verb from רָעַע (“break”; cf. NEB “breaking up the peoples”), in which case the form must be revocalized as Qal (since this verb is unattested in the Hiphil).

4 tn Or “peoples.”

5 tn Heb “and you sent them out.” The translation assumes that the third masculine plural pronoun “them” refers to the fathers (v. 1), as in the preceding parallel line. See Ps 80:11, where Israel, likened to a vine, “spreads out” its tendrils to the west and east. Another option is to take the “peoples” as the referent of the pronoun and translate, “and you sent them away,” though this does not provide as tight a parallel with the corresponding line.

6 tn Or “take possession of.”

7 tn Heb “and their arm did not save them.” The “arm” here symbolizes military strength.

8 tn Heb “your right hand.” The Lord’s “right hand” here symbolizes his power to protect and deliver (see Pss 17:7; 20:6; 21:8).

9 tn Heb “your arm.”

10 tn Heb “light of your face.” The idiom “light of your face” probably refers to a smile (see Eccl 8:1), which in turn suggests favor and blessing (see Num 6:25; Pss 4:6; 31:16; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19; 89:15; Dan 9:17).

11 tn Or “favorable toward.”



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