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Psalms 50:4-6

Context

50:4 He summons the heavens above,

as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people. 1 

50:5 He says: 2 

“Assemble my covenant people before me, 3 

those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice!” 4 

50:6 The heavens declare his fairness, 5 

for God is judge. 6  (Selah)

1 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).

2 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation for clarification. God’s summons to the defendant follows.

3 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.

4 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).

5 tn Or “justice.”

6 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).



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