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Psalms 71:14-24

Context

71:14 As for me, I will wait continually,

and will continue to praise you. 1 

71:15 I will tell about your justice,

and all day long proclaim your salvation, 2 

though I cannot fathom its full extent. 3 

71:16 I will come and tell about 4  the mighty acts of the sovereign Lord.

I will proclaim your justice – yours alone.

71:17 O God, you have taught me since I was young,

and I am still declaring 5  your amazing deeds.

71:18 Even when I am old and gray, 6 

O God, do not abandon me,

until I tell the next generation about your strength,

and those coming after me about your power. 7 

71:19 Your justice, O God, extends to the skies above; 8 

you have done great things. 9 

O God, who can compare to you? 10 

71:20 Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, 11 

revive me once again! 12 

Bring me up once again 13  from the depths of the earth!

71:21 Raise me to a position of great honor! 14 

Turn and comfort me! 15 

71:22 I will express my thanks to you with a stringed instrument,

praising 16  your faithfulness, O my God!

I will sing praises to you accompanied by a harp,

O Holy One of Israel! 17 

71:23 My lips will shout for joy! Yes, 18  I will sing your praises!

I will praise you when you rescue me! 19 

71:24 All day long my tongue will also tell about your justice,

for those who want to harm me 20  will be embarrassed and ashamed. 21 

1 tn Heb “and I add to all your praise.”

2 tn Heb “my mouth declares your vindication, all the day your deliverance.”

3 tn Heb “though I do not know [the] numbers,” that is, the tally of God’s just and saving acts. HALOT 768 s.v. סְפֹרוֹת understands the plural noun to mean “the art of writing.”

4 tn Heb “I will come with.”

5 tn Heb “and until now I am declaring.”

6 tn Heb “and even unto old age and gray hair.”

7 tn Heb “until I declare your arm to a generation, to everyone who comes your power.” God’s “arm” here is an anthropomorphism that symbolizes his great strength.

8 tn Heb “your justice, O God, [is] unto the height.” The Hebrew term מָרוֹם (marom, “height”) is here a title for the sky/heavens.

sn Extends to the skies above. Similar statements are made in Pss 36:5 and 57:10.

9 tn Heb “you who have done great things.”

10 tn Or “Who is like you?”

11 tn Heb “you who have caused me to see many harmful distresses.”

12 tn Heb “you return, you give me life.” The Hebrew term שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) is used here in an adverbial sense, indicating repetition of the action described by the following verb. The imperfects are understood here as expressing the psalmist’s prayer or wish. (Note the use of a distinctly jussive form at the beginning of v. 21.) Another option is to understand this as a statement of confidence, “you will revive me once again” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

13 tn Heb “you return, you bring me up.” The Hebrew term שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) is used here in an adverbial sense, indicating repetition of the action described by the following verb. The imperfects are understood here as expressing the psalmist’s prayer or wish. (Note the use of a distinctly jussive form at the beginning of v. 21.) Another option is to understand this as a statement of confidence, “you will bring me up once again” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

14 tn Heb “increase my greatness.” The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive, indicating this is a prayer or wish. The psalmist’s request for “greatness” (or “honor”) is not a boastful, self-serving prayer for prominence, but, rather, a request that God would vindicate by elevating him over those who are trying to humiliate him.

15 tn The imperfects are understood here as expressing the psalmist’s prayer or wish. (Note the use of a distinctly jussive form at the beginning of v. 21.)

16 tn The word “praising” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

17 sn The basic sense of the word “holy” is “set apart from that which is commonplace, special, unique.” The Lord’s holiness is first and foremost his transcendent sovereignty as the ruler of the world. He is “set apart” from the world over which he rules. At the same time his holiness encompasses his moral authority, which derives from his royal position. As king he has the right to dictate to his subjects how they are to live; indeed his very own character sets the standard for proper behavior.

18 tn Or “when.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) has an emphasizing (asseverative) function here.

19 tn Heb “and my life [or “soul”] which you will have redeemed.” The perfect verbal form functions here as a future perfect. The psalmist anticipates praising God, for God will have rescued him by that time.

20 tn Heb “those who seek my harm.”

21 tn Heb “will have become embarrassed and ashamed.” The perfect verbal forms function here as future perfects, indicating future actions which will precede chronologically the action expressed by the main verb in the preceding line.



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