50:2 From Zion, the most beautiful of all places, 1
God comes in splendor. 2
50:3 Our God approaches and is not silent; 3
consuming fire goes ahead of him
and all around him a storm rages. 4
50:4 He summons the heavens above,
as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people. 5
50:5 He says: 6
“Assemble my covenant people before me, 7
those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice!” 8
50:6 The heavens declare his fairness, 9
for God is judge. 10 (Selah)
1 tn Heb “the perfection of beauty.”
2 tn Or “shines forth.”
sn Comes in splendor. The psalmist may allude ironically to Deut 33:2, where God “shines forth” from Sinai and comes to superintend Moses’ blessing of the tribes.
3 tn According to GKC 322 §109.e, the jussive (note the negative particle אַל, ’al) is used rhetorically here “to express the conviction that something cannot or should not happen.”
4 tn Heb “fire before him devours, and around him it is very stormy.”
5 tn Or perhaps “to testify against his people.”
sn The personified heavens and earth (see v. 1 as well) are summoned to God’s courtroom as witnesses against God’s covenant people (see Isa 1:2). Long before this Moses warned the people that the heavens and earth would be watching their actions (see Deut 4:26; 30:19; 31:28; 32:1).
6 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. God’s summons to the defendant follows.
7 tn Or “Gather to me my covenant people.” The Hebrew term חָסִיד (khasid, “covenant people”) elsewhere in the psalms is used in a positive sense of God’s loyal followers (see the note at Ps 4:3), but here, as the following line makes clear, the term has a neutral sense and simply refers to those who have outwardly sworn allegiance to God, not necessarily to those whose loyalty is genuine.
8 tn Heb “the cutters of my covenant according to sacrifice.” A sacrifice accompanied the covenant-making ceremony and formally ratified the agreement (see Exod 24:3-8).
9 tn Or “justice.”
10 tn Or “for God, he is about to judge.” The participle may be taken as substantival (as in the translation above) or as a predicate (indicating imminent future action in this context).