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Psalms 45:3-5

Context

45:3 Strap your sword to your thigh, O warrior! 1 

Appear in your majestic splendor! 2 

45:4 Appear in your majesty and be victorious! 3 

Ride forth for the sake of what is right, 4 

on behalf of justice! 5 

Then your right hand will accomplish mighty acts! 6 

45:5 Your arrows are sharp

and penetrate the hearts of the king’s enemies.

Nations fall at your feet. 7 

1 tn Or “mighty one.”

2 tn The Hebrew text has simply, “your majesty and your splendor,” which probably refers to the king’s majestic splendor when he appears in full royal battle regalia.

3 tn Heb “and your majesty, be successful.” The syntax is awkward. The phrase “and your majesty” at the beginning of the verse may be accidentally repeated (dittography); it appears at the end of v. 3.

4 tn Or “for the sake of truth.”

5 tc The precise meaning of the MT is uncertain. The form עַנְוָה (’anvah) occurs only here. One could emend the text to עֲנָוָה וְצֶדֶק (’anavah vÿtsedeq, “[for the sake of truth], humility, and justice”). In this case “humility” would perhaps allude to the king’s responsibility to “serve” his people by promoting justice (cf. NIV “in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness”). The present translation assumes an emendation to יַעַן (yaan, “because; on account of”) which would form a suitable parallel to עַל־דְּבַר (’al-dÿvar, “because; for the sake of”) in the preceding line.

6 tn Heb “and your right hand will teach you mighty acts”; or “and may your right hand teach you mighty acts.” After the imperatives in the first half of the verse, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive likely indicates purpose (“so that your right hand might teach you mighty acts”) or result (see the present translation). The “right hand” here symbolizes the king’s military strength. His right hand will “teach” him mighty acts by performing them and thereby causing him to experience their magnificence.

7 tn Heb “your arrows are sharp – peoples beneath you fall – in the heart of the enemies of the king.” The choppy style reflects the poet’s excitement.



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