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Psalms 74:3-7


74:3 Hurry and look 1  at the permanent ruins,

and all the damage the enemy has done to the temple! 2 

74:4 Your enemies roar 3  in the middle of your sanctuary; 4 

they set up their battle flags. 5 

74:5 They invade like lumberjacks

swinging their axes in a thick forest. 6 

74:6 And now 7  they are tearing down 8  all its engravings 9 

with axes 10  and crowbars. 11 

74:7 They set your sanctuary on fire;

they desecrate your dwelling place by knocking it to the ground. 12 

1 tn Heb “lift up your steps to,” which may mean “run, hurry.”

2 tn Heb “everything [the] enemy has damaged in the holy place.”

3 tn This verb is often used of a lion’s roar, so the psalmist may be comparing the enemy to a raging, devouring lion.

4 tn Heb “your meeting place.”

5 tn Heb “they set up their banners [as] banners.” The Hebrew noun אוֹת (’ot, “sign”) here refers to the enemy army’s battle flags and banners (see Num 2:12).

6 tn Heb “it is known like one bringing upwards, in a thicket of wood, axes.” The Babylonian invaders destroyed the woodwork in the temple.

7 tn This is the reading of the Qere (marginal reading). The Kethib (consonantal text) has “and a time.”

8 tn The imperfect verbal form vividly describes the act as underway.

9 tn Heb “its engravings together.”

10 tn This Hebrew noun occurs only here in the OT (see H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena [SBLDS], 49-50).

11 tn This Hebrew noun occurs only here in the OT. An Akkadian cognate refers to a “pickaxe” (cf. NEB “hatchet and pick”; NIV “axes and hatchets”; NRSV “hatchets and hammers”).

12 tn Heb “to the ground they desecrate the dwelling place of your name.”

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