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Psalms 7:3

Context

7:3 O Lord my God, if I have done what they say, 1 

or am guilty of unjust actions, 2 

Psalms 7:8-9

Context

7:8 The Lord judges the nations. 3 

Vindicate me, Lord, because I am innocent, 4 

because I am blameless, 5  O Exalted One! 6 

7:9 May the evil deeds of the wicked 7  come to an end! 8 

But make the innocent 9  secure, 10 

O righteous God,

you who examine 11  inner thoughts and motives! 12 

1 tn Heb “if I have done this.”

2 tn Heb “if there is injustice in my hands.” The “hands” figuratively suggest deeds or actions.

3 sn The Lord judges the nations. In hyperbolic fashion the psalmist pictures the nations assembled around the divine throne (v. 7a). He urges God to take his rightful place on the throne (v. 7b) and then pictures him making judicial decisions that vindicate the innocent (see vv. 8-16).

4 tn Heb “judge me, O Lord, according to my innocence.”

5 tn Heb “according to my blamelessness.” The imperative verb translated “vindicate” governs the second line as well.

6 tn The Hebrew form עָלָי (’alay) has been traditionally understood as the preposition עַל (’al, “over”) with a first person suffix. But this is syntactically awkward and meaningless. The form is probably a divine title derived from the verbal root עָלָה (’alah, “ascend”). This relatively rare title appears elsewhere in the OT (see HALOT 824-25 s.v. I עַל, though this text is not listed) and in Ugaritic as an epithet for Baal (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 98). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:44-45, and P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 98.

7 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (rÿshaim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and his people.

8 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation here.

9 tn Or “the godly” (see Ps 5:12). The singular form is collective (see the plural “upright in heart” in v. 10), though it may reflect the personal focus of the psalmist in this context.

10 tn The prefixed verbal form expresses the psalmist’s prayer or wish.

11 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 11:4; 26:2; 139:23.

12 tn Heb “and [the one who] tests hearts and kidneys, just God.” The translation inverts the word order to improve the English style. The heart and kidneys were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.



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