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Psalms 5:1-12

Context
Psalm 5 1 

For the music director, to be accompanied by wind instruments; 2  a psalm of David.

5:1 Listen to what I say, 3  Lord!

Carefully consider my complaint! 4 

5:2 Pay attention to my cry for help,

my king and my God,

for I am praying to you!

5:3 Lord, in the morning 5  you will hear 6  me; 7 

in the morning I will present my case to you 8  and then wait expectantly for an answer. 9 

5:4 Certainly 10  you are not a God who approves of evil; 11 

evil people 12  cannot dwell with you. 13 

5:5 Arrogant people cannot stand in your presence; 14 

you hate 15  all who behave wickedly. 16 

5:6 You destroy 17  liars; 18 

the Lord despises 19  violent and deceitful people. 20 

5:7 But as for me, 21  because of your great faithfulness I will enter your house; 22 

I will bow down toward your holy temple as I worship you. 23 

5:8 Lord, lead me in your righteousness 24 

because of those who wait to ambush me, 25 

remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me! 26 

5:9 For 27  they do not speak the truth; 28 

their stomachs are like the place of destruction, 29 

their throats like an open grave, 30 

their tongues like a steep slope leading into it. 31 

5:10 Condemn them, 32  O God!

May their own schemes be their downfall! 33 

Drive them away 34  because of their many acts of insurrection, 35 

for they have rebelled against you.

5:11 But may all who take shelter 36  in you be happy! 37 

May they continually 38  shout for joy! 39 

Shelter them 40  so that those who are loyal to you 41  may rejoice! 42 

5:12 Certainly 43  you reward 44  the godly, 45  Lord.

Like a shield you protect 46  them 47  in your good favor. 48 

Psalms 7:1-17

Context
Psalm 7 49 

A musical composition 50  by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning 51  a Benjaminite named Cush. 52 

7:1 O Lord my God, in you I have taken shelter. 53 

Deliver me from all who chase me! Rescue me!

7:2 Otherwise they will rip 54  me 55  to shreds like a lion;

they will tear me to bits and no one will be able to rescue me. 56 

7:3 O Lord my God, if I have done what they say, 57 

or am guilty of unjust actions, 58 

7:4 or have wronged my ally, 59 

or helped his lawless enemy, 60 

7:5 may an enemy relentlessly chase 61  me 62  and catch me; 63 

may he trample me to death 64 

and leave me lying dishonored in the dust. 65  (Selah)

7:6 Stand up angrily, 66  Lord!

Rise up with raging fury against my enemies! 67 

Wake up for my sake and execute the judgment you have decreed for them! 68 

7:7 The countries are assembled all around you; 69 

take once more your rightful place over them! 70 

7:8 The Lord judges the nations. 71 

Vindicate me, Lord, because I am innocent, 72 

because I am blameless, 73  O Exalted One! 74 

7:9 May the evil deeds of the wicked 75  come to an end! 76 

But make the innocent 77  secure, 78 

O righteous God,

you who examine 79  inner thoughts and motives! 80 

7:10 The Exalted God is my shield, 81 

the one who delivers the morally upright. 82 

7:11 God is a just judge;

he is angry throughout the day. 83 

7:12 If a person 84  does not repent, God sharpens his sword 85 

and prepares to shoot his bow. 86 

7:13 He prepares to use deadly weapons against him; 87 

he gets ready to shoot flaming arrows. 88 

7:14 See the one who is pregnant with wickedness,

who conceives destructive plans,

and gives birth to harmful lies – 89 

7:15 he digs a pit 90 

and then falls into the hole he has made. 91 

7:16 He becomes the victim of his own destructive plans 92 

and the violence he intended for others falls on his own head. 93 

7:17 I will thank the Lord for 94  his justice;

I will sing praises to the sovereign Lord! 95 

Psalms 17:1-15

Context
Psalm 17 96 

A prayer of David.

17:1 Lord, consider my just cause! 97 

Pay attention to my cry for help!

Listen to the prayer

I sincerely offer! 98 

17:2 Make a just decision on my behalf! 99 

Decide what is right! 100 

17:3 You have scrutinized my inner motives; 101 

you have examined me during the night. 102 

You have carefully evaluated me, but you find no sin.

I am determined I will say nothing sinful. 103 

17:4 As for the actions of people 104 

just as you have commanded,

I have not followed in the footsteps of violent men. 105 

17:5 I carefully obey your commands; 106 

I do not deviate from them. 107 

17:6 I call to you for you will answer me, O God.

Listen to me! 108 

Hear what I say! 109 

17:7 Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds, 110 

you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies. 111 

17:8 Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye! 112 

Hide me in the shadow of your wings! 113 

17:9 Protect me from 114  the wicked men who attack 115  me,

my enemies who crowd around me for the kill. 116 

17:10 They are calloused; 117 

they speak arrogantly. 118 

17:11 They attack me, now they surround me; 119 

they intend to throw me to the ground. 120 

17:12 He 121  is like a lion 122  that wants to tear its prey to bits, 123 

like a young lion crouching 124  in hidden places.

17:13 Rise up, Lord!

Confront him! 125  Knock him down! 126 

Use your sword to rescue me from the wicked man! 127 

17:14 Lord, use your power to deliver me from these murderers, 128 

from the murderers of this world! 129 

They enjoy prosperity; 130 

you overwhelm them with the riches they desire. 131 

They have many children,

and leave their wealth to their offspring. 132 

17:15 As for me, because I am innocent I will see your face; 133 

when I awake you will reveal yourself to me. 134 

Psalms 54:1-7

Context
Psalm 54 135 

For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song 136  by David. It was written when the Ziphites came and informed Saul: “David is hiding with us.” 137 

54:1 O God, deliver me by your name! 138 

Vindicate me 139  by your power!

54:2 O God, listen to my prayer!

Pay attention to what I say! 140 

54:3 For foreigners 141  attack me; 142 

ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. 143  (Selah)

54:4 Look, God is my deliverer! 144 

The Lord is among those who support me. 145 

54:5 May those who wait to ambush me 146  be repaid for their evil! 147 

As a demonstration of your faithfulness, 148  destroy them!

54:6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice 149  to you!

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good!

54:7 Surely 150  he rescues me from all trouble, 151 

and I triumph over my enemies. 152 

1 sn Psalm 5. Appealing to God’s justice and commitment to the godly, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and deliver him from evildoers.

2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word נְחִילוֹת (nÿkhilot), which occurs only here, is uncertain. Many relate the form to חָלִיל (khalil, “flute”).

3 tn Heb “my words.”

4 tn Or “sighing.” The word occurs only here and in Ps 39:3.

5 sn In the morning is here viewed as the time of prayer (Pss 59:16; 88:13) and/or of deliverance (Ps 30:5).

6 tn The imperfect is here understood in a specific future sense; the psalmist is expressing his confidence that God will be willing to hear his request. Another option is to understand the imperfect as expressing the psalmist’s wish or request. In this case one could translate, “Lord, in the morning hear me.”

7 tn Heb “my voice.”

8 tn Heb “I will arrange for you.” Some understand a sacrifice or offering as the implied object (cf. NEB “I set out my morning sacrifice”). The present translation assumes that the implied object is the psalmist’s case/request. See Isa 44:7.

9 tn Heb “and I will watch.”

10 tn Or “for.”

11 tn Heb “not a God [who] delights [in] wickedness [are] you.”

12 tn The Hebrew text has simply the singular form רע, which may be taken as an abstract noun “evil” (the reference to “wickedness” in the preceding line favors this; cf. NEB, NASB, NRSV) or as a substantival adjective “evil one” (the references to evil people in the next two verses favor this; cf. NIV “with you the wicked cannot dwell”).

13 tn Heb “cannot dwell as a resident alien [with] you.” The negated imperfect verbal form here indicates incapability or lack of permission. These people are morally incapable of dwelling in God’s presence and are not permitted to do so.

sn Only the godly are allowed to dwell with the Lord. Evil people are excluded. See Ps 15.

14 tn Heb “before your eyes.”

15 sn You hate. The Lord “hates” the wicked in the sense that he despises their wicked character and deeds and actively opposes and judges them for their wickedness. See Ps 11:5.

16 tn Heb “all the workers of wickedness.”

17 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates God’s typical response to such individuals. Another option is to translate the verb as future (“You will destroy”); the psalmist may be envisioning a time of judgment when God will remove the wicked from the scene.

18 tn Heb “those who speak a lie.” In the OT a “lie” does not refer in a general philosophical sense to any statement that fails to correspond to reality. Instead it refers more specifically to a slanderous and/or deceitful statement that promotes one’s own selfish, sinful interests and/or exploits or harms those who are innocent. Note the emphasis on violence and deceit in the following line.

19 tn The imperfect verbal form highlights the Lord’s characteristic attitude toward such individuals.

20 tn Heb “a man of bloodshed and deceit.” The singular אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) is used here in a collective or representative sense; thus the translation “people” is appropriate here. Note the plural forms in vv. 5-6a.

21 sn But as for me. By placing the first person pronoun at the beginning of the verse, the psalmist highlights the contrast between the evildoers’ actions and destiny, outlined in the preceding verses, with his own.

22 sn I will enter your house. The psalmist is confident that God will accept him into his presence, in contrast to the evildoers (see v. 5).

23 tn Heb “in fear [of] you.” The Hebrew noun יִרְאָה (yirah, “fear”), when used of fearing God, is sometimes used metonymically for what it ideally produces: “worship, reverence, piety.”

24 tn God’s providential leading is in view. His צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “righteousness”) includes here the deliverance that originates in his righteousness; he protects and vindicates the one whose cause is just. For other examples of this use of the word, see BDB 842 s.v.

25 tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 27:11; 56:2.

26 tn Heb “make level before me your way.” The imperative “make level” is Hiphil in the Kethib (consonantal text); Piel in the Qere (marginal reading). God’s “way” is here the way in which he leads the psalmist providentially (see the preceding line, where the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him).

27 tn Or “certainly.”

28 tn Heb “for there is not in his mouth truthfulness.” The singular pronoun (“his”) probably refers back to the “man of bloodshed and deceit” mentioned in v. 6. The singular is collective or representative, as the plural in the next line indicates, and so has been translated “they.”

29 tn Heb “their inward part[s] [is] destruction.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse.

30 tn Heb “their throat is an open grave.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse. The metaphor is suggested by the physical resemblance of the human throat to a deeply dug grave; both are dark chasms.

31 tn Heb “they make smooth their tongue.” Flattering, deceitful words are in view. See Ps 12:2. The psalmist’s deceitful enemies are compared to the realm of death/Sheol in v. 9b. Sheol was envisioned as a dark region within the earth, the entrance to which was the grave with its steep slopes (cf. Ps 88:4-6). The enemies’ victims are pictured here as slipping down a steep slope (the enemies’ tongues) and falling into an open grave (their throat) that terminates in destruction in the inner recesses of Sheol (their stomach). The enemies’ קרב (“inward part”) refers here to their thoughts and motives, which are destructive in their intent. The throat is where these destructive thoughts are transformed into words, and their tongue is what they use to speak the deceitful words that lead their innocent victims to their demise.

sn As the psalmist walks down the path in which God leads him, he asks the Lord to guide his steps and remove danger from the path (v. 8), because he knows his enemies have “dug a grave” for him and are ready to use their deceitful words to “swallow him up” like the realm of death (i.e., Sheol) and bring him to ruin.

32 tn Heb “declare/regard them as guilty.” Declaring the psalmist’s adversaries guilty is here metonymic for judging them or paying them back for their wrongdoing.

33 tn Heb “may they fall from their plans.” The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation. The psalmist calls judgment down on the evildoers. Their plans will be their downfall in that God will judge them for their evil schemes.

34 tn Or “banish them.”

35 tn The Hebrew noun used here, פֶּשַׁע (pesha’), refers to rebellious actions. The psalmist pictures his enemies as rebels against God (see the next line).

36 sn Take shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).

37 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer. The psalmist calls on God to reward his faithful followers.

38 tn Or perhaps more hyperbolically, “forever.”

39 tn As in the preceding line, the prefixed verbal form is a jussive of wish or prayer.

40 tn Heb “put a cover over them.” The verb form is a Hiphil imperfect from סָכַךְ (sakhakh, “cover, shut off”). The imperfect expresses the psalmist’s wish or request.

41 tn Heb “the lovers of your name.” The phrase refers to those who are loyal to the Lord. See Pss 69:36; 119:132; Isa 56:6.

42 tn The vav (ו) with prefixed verbal form following the volitional “shelter them” indicates purpose or result (“so that those…may rejoice).

43 tn Or “For.”

44 tn Or “bless.” The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line highlight how God characteristically rewards and protects the godly.

45 tn Or “innocent.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense.

46 tn Heb “surround.” In 1 Sam 23:26 the verb describes how Saul and his men hemmed David in as they chased him.

47 tn Heb “him.” The singular form is used here in a collective or representative sense and is thus translated “them.”

48 tn Or “with favor” (cf. NRSV). There is no preposition before the noun in the Hebrew text, nor is there a pronoun attached. “Favor” here stands by metonymy for God’s defensive actions on behalf of the one whom he finds acceptable.

49 sn Psalm 7. The psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and deliver him from his enemies. He protests his innocence and declares his confidence in God’s justice.

50 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term שִׁגָּיוֹן (shiggayon; translated here “musical composition”) is uncertain. Some derive the noun from the verbal root שָׁגָה (shagah, “swerve, reel”) and understand it as referring to a “wild, passionate song, with rapid changes of rhythm” (see BDB 993 s.v. שִׁגָּיוֹן). But this proposal is purely speculative. The only other appearance of the noun is in Hab 3:1, where it occurs in the plural.

51 tn Or “on account of.”

52 sn Apparently this individual named Cush was one of David’s enemies.

53 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.

54 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew text, even though “all who chase me” in v. 1 refers to a whole group of enemies. The singular is also used in vv. 4-5, but the psalmist returns to the plural in v. 6. The singular is probably collective, emphasizing the united front that the psalmist’s enemies present. This same alternation between a collective singular and a plural referring to enemies appears in Pss 9:3, 6; 13:4; 31:4, 8; 41:6, 10-11; 42:9-10; 55:3; 64:1-2; 74:3-4; 89:22-23; 106:10-11; 143:3, 6, 9.

55 tn Heb “my life.” The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.

56 tn Heb “tearing and there is no one rescuing.” The verbal form translated “tearing” is a singular active participle.

57 tn Heb “if I have done this.”

58 tn Heb “if there is injustice in my hands.” The “hands” figuratively suggest deeds or actions.

59 tn Heb “if I have repaid the one at peace with me evil.” The form שׁוֹלְמִי (sholÿmi, “the one at peace with me”) probably refers to a close friend or ally, i.e., one with whom the psalmist has made a formal agreement. See BDB 1023 s.v. שָׁלוֹם 4.a.

60 tn Heb “or rescued my enemy in vain.” The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive (the verb form is pseudo-cohortative; see IBHS 576-77 §34.5.3) carries on the hypothetical nuance of the perfect in the preceding line. Some regard the statement as a parenthetical assertion that the psalmist is kind to his enemies. Others define חָלַץ (khalats) as “despoil” (cf. NASB, NRSV “plundered”; NIV “robbed”), an otherwise unattested nuance for this verb. Still others emend the verb to לָחַץ (lakhats, “oppress”). Most construe the adverb רֵיקָם (reqam, “emptily, vainly”) with “my enemy,” i.e., the one who is my enemy in vain.” The present translation (1) assumes an emendation of צוֹרְרִי (tsorÿriy, “my enemy”) to צוֹרְרוֹ (tsorÿro, “his [i.e., the psalmist’s ally’s] enemy”) following J. Tigay, “Psalm 7:5 and Ancient Near Eastern Treaties,” JBL 89 (1970): 178-86, (2) understands the final mem (ם) on רֵיקָם as enclitic, and (3) takes רִיק (riq) as an adjective modifying “his enemy.” (For other examples of a suffixed noun followed by an attributive adjective without the article, see Pss 18:17 (“my strong enemy”), 99:3 (“your great and awesome name”) and 143:10 (“your good spirit”). The adjective רִיק occurs with the sense “lawless” in Judg 9:4; 11:3; 2 Chr 13:7. In this case the psalmist affirms that he has not wronged his ally, nor has he given aid to his ally’s enemies. Ancient Near Eastern treaties typically included such clauses, with one or both parties agreeing not to lend aid to the treaty partner’s enemies.

61 tn The vocalization of the verb form seems to be a mixture of Qal and Piel (see GKC 168 §63.n). The translation assumes the Piel, which would emphasize the repetitive nature of the action. The translation assumes the prefixed verbal form is a jussive. The psalmist is so certain that he is innocent of the sins mentioned in vv. 3-4, he pronounces an imprecation on himself for rhetorical effect.

62 tn Heb “my life.” The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.

63 tn Heb “and may he overtake.” The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive. The object “me,” though unexpressed, is understood from the preceding statement.

64 tn Heb “and may he trample down to the earth my life.”

65 tn Heb “and my honor in the dust may he cause to dwell.” The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive. Some emend כְבוֹדִי (khÿvodiy, “my honor”) to כְבֵדִי (khÿvediy, “my liver” as the seat of life), but the term כְבוֹדִי (khÿvodiy) is to be retained since it probably refers to the psalmist’s dignity or honor.

66 tn Heb “in your anger.”

67 tn Heb “Lift yourself up in the angry outbursts of my enemies.” Many understand the preposition prefixed to עַבְרוֹת (’avrot, “angry outbursts”) as adversative, “against,” and the following genitive “enemies” as subjective. In this case one could translate, “rise up against my furious enemies” (cf. NIV, NRSV). The present translation, however, takes the preposition as indicating manner (cf. “in your anger” in the previous line) and understands the plural form of the noun as indicating an abstract quality (“fury”) or excessive degree (“raging fury”). Cf. Job 21:30.

68 tc Heb “Wake up to me [with the] judgment [which] you have commanded.” The LXX understands אֵלִי (’eliy, “my God”) instead of אֵלַי (’elay, “to me”; the LXX reading is followed by NEB, NIV, NRSV.) If the reading of the MT is retained, the preposition probably has the sense of “on account of, for the sake of.” The noun מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat, “judgment”) is probably an adverbial accusative, modifying the initial imperative, “wake up.” In this case צִוִּיתָ (tsivvita, “[which] you have commanded”) is an asyndetic relative clause. Some take the perfect as precative. In this case one could translate the final line, “Wake up for my sake! Decree judgment!” (cf. NIV). However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.

69 tn Heb “and the assembly of the peoples surrounds you.” Some understand the prefixed verbal form as a jussive, “may the assembly of the peoples surround you.”

70 tn Heb “over it (the feminine suffix refers back to the feminine noun “assembly” in the preceding line) on high return.” Some emend שׁוּבָה (shuvah, “return”) to שֵׁבָה (shevah, “sit [in judgment]”) because they find the implication of “return” problematic. But the psalmist does not mean to imply that God has abandoned his royal throne and needs to regain it. Rather he simply urges God, as sovereign king of the world, to once more occupy his royal seat of judgment and execute judgment, as the OT pictures God doing periodically.

71 sn The Lord judges the nations. In hyperbolic fashion the psalmist pictures the nations assembled around the divine throne (v. 7a). He urges God to take his rightful place on the throne (v. 7b) and then pictures him making judicial decisions that vindicate the innocent (see vv. 8-16).

72 tn Heb “judge me, O Lord, according to my innocence.”

73 tn Heb “according to my blamelessness.” The imperative verb translated “vindicate” governs the second line as well.

74 tn The Hebrew form עָלָי (’alay) has been traditionally understood as the preposition עַל (’al, “over”) with a first person suffix. But this is syntactically awkward and meaningless. The form is probably a divine title derived from the verbal root עָלָה (’alah, “ascend”). This relatively rare title appears elsewhere in the OT (see HALOT 824-25 s.v. I עַל, though this text is not listed) and in Ugaritic as an epithet for Baal (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 98). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:44-45, and P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 98.

75 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (rÿshaim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and his people.

76 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation here.

77 tn Or “the godly” (see Ps 5:12). The singular form is collective (see the plural “upright in heart” in v. 10), though it may reflect the personal focus of the psalmist in this context.

78 tn The prefixed verbal form expresses the psalmist’s prayer or wish.

79 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 11:4; 26:2; 139:23.

80 tn Heb “and [the one who] tests hearts and kidneys, just God.” The translation inverts the word order to improve the English style. The heart and kidneys were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.

81 tn Traditionally, “my shield is upon God” (cf. NASB). As in v. 8, עַל (’al) should be understood as a divine title, here compounded with “God” (cf. NIV, “God Most High”). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:45-46. The shield metaphor pictures God as a protector against deadly attacks.

82 tn Heb “pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the Lord and, as a result, experience his deliverance (see Pss 11:2; 32:11; 36:10; 64:10; 94:15; 97:11).

83 tn Heb “God (the divine name אֵל [’el] is used) is angry during all the day.” The verb זֹעֵם (zoem) means “be indignant, be angry, curse.” Here God’s angry response to wrongdoing and injustice leads him to prepare to execute judgment as described in the following verses.

84 tn Heb “If he”; the referent (a person who is a sinner) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The subject of the first verb is understood as the sinner who fails to repent of his ways and becomes the target of God’s judgment (vv. 9, 14-16).

85 tn Heb “if he does not return, his sword he sharpens.” The referent (God) of the pronominal subject of the second verb (“sharpens”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

86 tn Heb “his bow he treads and prepares it.” “Treading the bow” involved stepping on one end of it in order to string it and thus prepare it for battle.

87 tn Heb “and for him he prepares the weapons of death.”

88 tn Heb “his arrows into flaming [things] he makes.”

89 tn Heb “and he conceives harm and gives birth to a lie.”

sn Pregnant with wickedness…gives birth to harmful lies. The psalmist metaphorically pictures the typical sinner as a pregnant woman, who is ready to give birth to wicked, destructive schemes and actions.

90 tn Heb “a pit he digs and he excavates it.” Apparently the imagery of hunting is employed; the wicked sinner digs this pit to entrap and destroy his intended victim. The redundancy in the Hebrew text has been simplified in the translation.

91 tn The verb forms in vv. 15-16 describe the typical behavior and destiny of those who attempt to destroy others. The image of the evildoer falling into the very trap he set for his intended victim emphasizes the appropriate nature of God’s judgment.

92 tn Heb “his harm [i.e., the harm he conceived for others, see v. 14] returns on his head.”

93 tn Heb “and on his forehead his violence [i.e., the violence he intended to do to others] comes down.”

94 tn Heb “according to.”

95 tn Heb “[to] the name of the Lord Most High.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his divine characteristics as suggested by his name, in this case the compound “Lord Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.

96 sn Psalm 17. The psalmist asks God to intervene on his behalf because his life is threatened by dangerous enemies. He appeals to divine justice, for he is certain of his own innocence. Because he is innocent, he expects to encounter God and receive an assuring word.

97 tn Heb “hear, Lord, what is just.”

98 tn Heb “Listen to my prayer, [made] without lips of deceit.”

99 tn Heb “From before you may my justice come out.” The prefixed verbal form יָצָא (yatsa’) could be taken as an imperfect, but following the imperatives in v. 1, it is better understood as a jussive of prayer.

100 tn Heb “May your eyes look at what is right.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as jussive. (See also the preceding note on the word “behalf.”)

101 tn Heb “you tested my heart.”

102 tn Heb “you visited [at] night.”

103 tc Heb “you tested me, you do not find, I plan, my mouth will not cross over.” The Hebrew verbal form זַמֹּתִי (zammotiy) is a Qal perfect, first person singular from the root זָמַם (zamam, “plan, plan evil”). Some emend the form to a suffixed form of the noun, זִמָּתִי (zimmatiy, “my plan/evil plan”), and take it as the object of the preceding verb “find.” However, the suffix seems odd, since the psalmist is denying that he has any wrong thoughts. If one takes the form with what precedes, it might make better sense to read זִמּוֹת (zimmot, “evil plans”). However, this emendation leaves an unclear connection with the next line. The present translation maintains the verbal form found in the MT and understands it in a neutral sense, “I have decided” (see Jer 4:28). The words “my mouth will not cross over” (i.e., “transgress, sin”) can then be taken as a noun clause functioning as the object of the verb.

104 tn Heb “with regard to the deeds of man[kind].”

105 tn Heb “by the word of your lips, I, I have watched the paths of the violent” (i.e., “watched” in the sense of “watched for the purpose of avoiding”).

106 tn Heb “my steps stay firm in your tracks.” The infinitive absolute functions here as a finite verb (see GKC 347 §113.gg). God’s “tracks” are his commands, i.e., the moral pathways he has prescribed for the psalmist.

107 tn Heb “my footsteps do not stagger.”

108 tn Heb “Turn your ear toward me.”

109 tn Heb “my word.”

110 tn Heb “Set apart faithful acts.”

111 tn Heb “[O] one who delivers those who seek shelter from the ones raising themselves up, by your right hand.” The Lord’s “right hand” here symbolizes his power to protect and deliver.

sn Those who look to you for protection from their enemies. “Seeking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).

112 tc Heb “Protect me like the pupil, a daughter of an eye.” The noun בַּת (bat, “daughter”) should probably be emended to בָּבַת (bavat, “pupil”). See Zech 2:12 HT (2:8 ET) and HALOT 107 s.v. *בָּבָה.

113 sn Your wings. The metaphor compares God to a protective mother bird.

114 tn Heb “from before”; or “because.” In the Hebrew text v. 9 is subordinated to v. 8. The words “protect me” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

115 tn Heb “destroy.” The psalmist uses the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of danger. He describes the wicked as being already in the process of destroying him.

116 tn Heb “my enemies, at the risk of life they surround me.” The Hebrew phrase בְּנֶפֶשׁ (bÿnefesh) sometimes has the nuance “at the risk of [one’s] life” (see 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23; Lam 5:9).

117 tn Heb “their fat they close.” The Hebrew term חֵלֶב (khelev, “fat”) appears to stand by metonymy for their calloused hearts. They attack the psalmist without feeling any pity or remorse. Some propose emending the text to חֵלֶב לִבָּמוֹ (khelev libbamo, “fat of their heart[s]; cf. Ps 119:70, “their heart is insensitive like fat”). This assumes haplography of the לב (lamed-bet) consonantal sequence.

118 tn Heb “[with] their mouth they speak with arrogance.”

119 tc Heb “our steps, now they surround me.” The Kethib (consonantal text) has “surround me,” while the Qere (marginal reading) has “surround us,” harmonizing the pronoun to the preceding “our steps.” The first person plural pronoun does not fit the context, where the psalmist speaks as an individual. In the preceding verses the psalmist uses a first person singular verbal or pronominal form twenty times. For this reason it is preferable to emend “our steps” to אִשְּׁרוּנִי (’ishÿruni, “they attack me”) from the verbal root אָשֻׁר (’ashur, “march, stride, track”).

120 tn Heb “their eyes they set to bend down in the ground.”

121 tn Here the psalmist switches to the singular pronoun; he views his enemies collectively, or singles out a representative of the group, perhaps its leader.

122 tn Heb “his likeness [is] like a lion.”

123 tn Heb “[that] longs to tear.”

124 tn Heb “sitting.”

125 tn Heb “Be in front of his face.”

126 tn Or “bring him to his knees.”

127 tn Heb “rescue my life from the wicked [one] [by] your sword.”

128 tc Heb “from men [by] your hand, Lord.” The translation assumes an emendation (both here and in the following line) of מִמְתִים (mimtim, “from men”) to מִמְמִתִים (mimmitim, “from those who kill”). For other uses of the plural form of the Hiphil participle of מוּת (mut, “die”), see 2 Kgs 17:26 (used with lions as subject), Job 33:22 (apparently referring to the agents of death), and Jer 26:15 (used of those seeking Jeremiah’s life).

129 tn Heb “from men, from [the] world.” On the emendation of “men” to “murderers,” see the preceding note on the word “murderers.”

130 tn Heb “their portion, in life.”

131 tn Heb “and [with] your treasures you fill their belly.”

sn You overwhelm them with the riches they desire. The psalmist is not accusing God of being unjust; he is simply observing that the wicked often prosper and that God is the ultimate source of all blessings that human beings enjoy (see Matt 5:45). When the wicked are ungrateful for God’s blessings, they become even more culpable and deserving of judgment. So this description of the wicked actually supports the psalmist’s appeal for deliverance. God should rescue him because he is innocent (see vv. 3-5) and because the wicked, though blessed abundantly by God, still have the audacity to attack God’s people.

132 tn Heb “they are satisfied [with] sons and leave their abundance to their children.”

133 tn Heb “I, in innocence, I will see your face.” To “see” God’s “face” means to have access to his presence and to experience his favor (see Ps 11:7; see also Job 33:26 [where רָאָה (raah), not חָזַה (khazah), is used]). Here, however, the psalmist may be anticipating a mystical experience. See the following note on the word “me.”

134 tn Heb “I will be satisfied, when I awake, [with] your form.” The noun תְּמוּנָה (tÿmunah) normally carries the nuance “likeness” or “form.” In Job 4:16 it refers to a ghostlike spiritual entity (see v. 15) that revealed itself to Eliphaz during the night. The psalmist may anticipate a mystical encounter with God in which he expects to see a manifestation of God’s presence (i.e., a theophany), perhaps in conjunction with an oracle of deliverance. During the quiet darkness of the night, God examines the psalmist’s inner motives and finds them to be pure (see v. 3). The psalmist is confident that when he awakens, perhaps sometime during the night or in the morning, he will be visited by God and assured of vindication.

sn When I awake you will reveal yourself to me. Some see in this verse an allusion to resurrection. According to this view, when the psalmist awakens from the sleep of death, he will see God. It is unlikely that the psalmist had such a highly developed personal eschatology. As noted above, it is more likely that he is anticipating a divine visitation and mystical encounter as a prelude to his deliverance from his enemies.

135 sn Psalm 54. The psalmist asks God for protection against his enemies, confidently affirms that God will vindicate him, and promises to give thanks to God for his saving intervention.

136 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. See the note on the phrase “well-written song” in the superscription of Ps 52.

137 tn Heb “Is not David hiding with us?”

sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion the Ziphites informed Saul that David was hiding in their territory (see 1 Sam 23:19-20).

138 tn God’s “name” refers here to his reputation and revealed character, which would instill fear in the psalmist’s enemies (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:17).

139 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

140 tn Heb “to the words of my mouth.”

141 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss read זֵדִים (zedim, “proud ones”) rather than זָרִים (zarim, “foreigners”). (No matter which reading one chooses as original, dalet-resh confusion accounts for the existence of the variant.) The term זֵדִים (“proud ones”) occurs in parallelism with עָרִיצִים (’aritsim, “violent ones”) in Ps 86:14 and Isa 13:11. However, זָרִים (zarim, “foreigners”) is parallel to עָרִיצִים (’aritsim, “violent ones”) in Isa 25:5; 29:5; Ezek 28:7; 31:12.

142 tn Heb “rise against me.”

143 tn Heb “and ruthless ones seek my life, they do not set God in front of them.”

144 tn Or “my helper.”

145 tn Or “sustain my life.”

146 tn Heb “to those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 27:11; 56:2.

147 tn The Kethib (consonantal text) reads a Qal imperfect, “the evil will return,” while the Qere (marginal reading) has a Hiphil imperfect, “he will repay.” The parallel line has an imperative (indicating a prayer/request), so it is best to read a jussive form יָשֹׁב (yashov, “let it [the evil] return”) here.

148 tn Heb “in [or “by”] your faithfulness.”

149 tn The cohortative verbal form expresses the psalmist’s resolve/vow to praise.

150 tn Or “for,” indicating a more specific reason why he will praise the Lord’s name (cf. v. 6).

151 tn The perfects in v. 7 are probably rhetorical, indicating the psalmist’s certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s deliverance and his own vindication as if they were occurring or had already occurred.

152 tn Heb “and on my enemies my eyes look.”



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