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Psalms 44:3-4

Context

44:3 For they did not conquer 1  the land by their swords,

and they did not prevail by their strength, 2 

but rather by your power, 3  strength 4  and good favor, 5 

for you were partial to 6  them.

44:4 You are my 7  king, O God!

Decree 8  Jacob’s 9  deliverance!

1 tn Or “take possession of.”

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

3 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).

4 tn Heb “your arm.”

5 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).

6 tn Or “favorable toward.”

7 sn The speaker changes here to an individual, perhaps the worship leader or the king. The oscillation between singular (vv. 4, 6) and plural (vv. 1-3, 5, 7-8) in vv. 1-8 may reflect an antiphonal ceremony.

8 tc The LXX assumes a participle here (מְצַוֶּה [mÿtsavveh], “the one who commands/decrees”) which would stand in apposition to “my God.” It is possible that the MT, which has the imperative (צַוֵּה, tsavveh) form, has suffered haplography of the letter mem (ם). Note that the preceding word (אֱלֹהִים, ’elohim) ends in mem. Another option is that the MT is divided in the wrong place; perhaps one could move the final mem from אֱלֹהִים to the beginning of the next word and read מְצַוֶּה אֱלֹהָי (’elohay mÿtsavveh, “[You are my king,] my God, the one who decrees”).

tn Or “command.” This may be the Israelites’ petition prior to the battle. See the introductory note to the psalm.

9 tn That is, Israel. See Pss 14:7; 22:23.



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