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Psalms 51:8

Context

51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven! 1 

May the bones 2  you crushed rejoice! 3 

Psalms 51:12

Context

51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!

Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey! 4 

1 tn Heb “cause me to hear happiness and joy.” The language is metonymic: the effect of forgiveness (joy) has been substituted for its cause. The psalmist probably alludes here to an assuring word from God announcing that his sins are forgiven (a so-called oracle of forgiveness). The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request. The synonyms “happiness” and “joy” are joined together as a hendiadys to emphasize the degree of joy he anticipates.

2 sn May the bones you crushed rejoice. The psalmist compares his sinful condition to that of a person who has been physically battered and crushed. Within this metaphorical framework, his “bones” are the seat of his emotional strength.

3 tn In this context of petitionary prayer, the prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive, expressing the psalmist’s wish or request.

4 tn Heb “and [with] a willing spirit sustain me.” The psalmist asks that God make him the kind of person who willingly obeys the divine commandments. The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.



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