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Psalms 77:1-2

Context
Psalm 77 1 

For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of Asaph.

77:1 I will cry out to God 2  and call for help!

I will cry out to God and he will pay attention 3  to me.

77:2 In my time of trouble I sought 4  the Lord.

I kept my hand raised in prayer throughout the night. 5 

I 6  refused to be comforted.

1 sn Psalm 77. The psalmist recalls how he suffered through a time of doubt, but tells how he found encouragement and hope as he recalled the way in which God delivered Israel at the Red Sea.

2 tn Heb “my voice to God.” The Hebrew verb קָרָא (qara’, “to call out; to cry out”) should probably be understood by ellipsis (see Ps 3:4) both here and in the following (parallel) line.

3 tn The perfect with vav (ו) consecutive is best taken as future here (although some translations render this as a past tense; cf. NEB, NIV). The psalmist expresses his confidence that God will respond to his prayer. This mood of confidence seems premature (see vv. 3-4), but v. 1 probably reflects the psalmist’s attitude at the end of the prayer (see vv. 13-20). Having opened with an affirmation of confidence, he then retraces how he gained confidence during his trial (see vv. 2-12).

4 tn Here the psalmist refers back to the very recent past, when he began to pray for divine help.

5 tn Heb “my hand [at] night was extended and was not growing numb.” The verb נָגַר (nagar), which can mean “flow” in certain contexts, here has the nuance “be extended.” The imperfect form (תָפוּג, tafug, “to be numb”) is used here to describe continuous action in the past.

6 tn Or “my soul.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).



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