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Psalms 72:9-15

Context

72:9 Before him the coastlands 1  will bow down,

and his enemies will lick the dust. 2 

72:10 The kings of Tarshish 3  and the coastlands will offer gifts;

the kings of Sheba 4  and Seba 5  will bring tribute.

72:11 All kings will bow down to him;

all nations will serve him.

72:12 For he will rescue the needy 6  when they cry out for help,

and the oppressed 7  who have no defender.

72:13 He will take pity 8  on the poor and needy;

the lives of the needy he will save.

72:14 From harm and violence he will defend them; 9 

he will value their lives. 10 

72:15 May he live! 11  May they offer him gold from Sheba! 12 

May they continually pray for him!

May they pronounce blessings on him all day long! 13 

1 tn Or “islands.” The term here refers metonymically to those people who dwell in these regions.

2 sn As they bow down before him, it will appear that his enemies are licking the dust.

3 sn Tarshish was a distant western port, the precise location of which is uncertain.

4 sn Sheba was located in Arabia.

5 sn Seba was located in Africa.

6 tn The singular is representative. The typical needy individual here represents the entire group.

7 tn The singular is representative. The typical oppressed individual here represents the entire group.

8 tn The prefixed verb form is best understood as a defectively written imperfect (see Deut 7:16).

9 tn Or “redeem their lives.” The verb “redeem” casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis (see Pss 19:14; 69:18).

10 tn Heb “their blood will be precious in his eyes.”

11 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive, not imperfect. Because the form has the prefixed vav (ו), some subordinate it to what precedes as a purpose/result clause. In this case the representative poor individual might be the subject of this and the following verb, “so that he may live and give to him gold of Sheba.” But the idea of the poor offering gold is incongruous. It is better to take the jussive as a prayer with the king as subject of the verb. (Perhaps the initial vav is dittographic; note the vav at the end of the last form in v. 14.) The statement is probably an abbreviated version of the formula יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ (yÿkhiy hammelekh, “may the king live”; see 1 Sam 10:24; 2 Sam 16:16; 1 Kgs 1:25, 34, 39; 2 Kgs 11:12).

12 tn Heb “and he will give to him some gold of Sheba.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive with a grammatically indefinite subject (“and may one give”). Of course, the king’s subjects, mentioned in the preceding context, are the tribute bearers in view here.

13 tn As in the preceding line, the prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives with a grammatically indefinite subject (“and may one pray…and may one bless”). Of course, the king’s subjects, mentioned in the preceding context, are in view here.



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