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Psalms 77:3-9

Context

77:3 I said, “I will remember God while I groan;

I will think about him while my strength leaves me.” 1  (Selah)

77:4 You held my eyelids open; 2 

I was troubled and could not speak. 3 

77:5 I thought about the days of old,

about ancient times. 4 

77:6 I said, “During the night I will remember the song I once sang;

I will think very carefully.”

I tried to make sense of what was happening. 5 

77:7 I asked, 6  “Will the Lord reject me forever?

Will he never again show me his favor?

77:8 Has his loyal love disappeared forever?

Has his promise 7  failed forever?

77:9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?

Has his anger stifled his compassion?”

1 tn Heb “I will remember God and I will groan, I will reflect and my spirit will grow faint.” The first three verbs are cohortatives, the last a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. The psalmist’s statement in v. 4 could be understood as concurrent with v. 1, or, more likely, as a quotation of what he had said earlier as he prayed to God (see v. 2). The words “I said” are supplied in the translation at the beginning of the verse to reflect this interpretation (see v. 10).

2 tn Heb “you held fast the guards of my eyes.” The “guards of the eyes” apparently refers to his eyelids. The psalmist seems to be saying that God would not bring him relief, which would have allowed him to shut his eyes and get some sleep (see v. 2).

3 tn The imperfect is used in the second clause to emphasize that this was an ongoing condition in the past.

4 tn Heb “the years of antiquity.”

5 tn Heb “I will remember my song in the night, with my heart I will reflect. And my spirit searched.” As in v. 4, the words of v. 6a are understood as what the psalmist said earlier. Consequently the words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification (see v. 10). The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive at the beginning of the final line is taken as sequential to the perfect “I thought” in v. 6.

6 tn As in vv. 4 and 6a, the words of vv. 7-9 are understood as a quotation of what the psalmist said earlier. Therefore the words “I asked” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

7 tn Heb “word,” which may refer here to God’s word of promise (note the reference to “loyal love” in the preceding line).



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