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Psalms 63:1-5

Context
Psalm 63 1 

A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness. 2 

63:1 O God, you are my God! I long for you! 3 

My soul thirsts 4  for you,

my flesh yearns for you,

in a dry and parched 5  land where there is no water.

63:2 Yes, 6  in the sanctuary I have seen you, 7 

and witnessed 8  your power and splendor.

63:3 Because 9  experiencing 10  your loyal love is better than life itself,

my lips will praise you.

63:4 For this reason 11  I will praise you while I live;

in your name I will lift up my hands. 12 

63:5 As if with choice meat 13  you satisfy my soul. 14 

My mouth joyfully praises you, 15 

1 sn Psalm 63. The psalmist expresses his intense desire to be in God’s presence and confidently affirms that God will judge his enemies.

2 sn According to the psalm superscription David wrote the psalm while in the “wilderness of Judah.” Perhaps this refers to the period described in 1 Sam 23-24 or to the incident mentioned in 2 Sam 15:23.

3 tn Or “I will seek you.”

4 tn Or “I thirst.”

5 tn Heb “faint” or “weary.” This may picture the land as “faint” or “weary,” or it may allude to the effect this dry desert has on those who are forced to live in it.

6 tn The Hebrew particle כֵּן (ken) is used here to stress the following affirmation (see Josh 2:4).

7 tn The perfect verbal form is understood here as referring to a past experience which the psalmist desires to be repeated. Another option is to take the perfect as indicating the psalmist’s certitude that he will again stand in God’s presence in the sanctuary. In this case one can translate, “I will see you.”

8 tn Heb “seeing.” The preposition with the infinitive construct here indicates an accompanying circumstance.

9 tn This line is understood as giving the basis for the praise promised in the following line. Another option is to take the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) as asseverative/emphasizing, “Indeed, your loyal love is better” (cf. NEB, which leaves the particle untranslated).

10 tn The word “experiencing” is supplied in the translation for clarification. The psalmist does not speak here of divine loyal love in some abstract sense, but of loyal love revealed and experienced.

11 tn Or perhaps “then.”

12 sn I will lift up my hands. Lifting up one’s hands toward God was a gesture of prayer (see Ps 28:2; Lam 2:19) or respect (Ps 119:48).

13 tn Heb “like fat and fatness.”

14 tn Or “me.”

15 tn Heb “and [with] lips of joy my mouth praises.”



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