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Psalms 89:20-23

Context

89:20 I have discovered David, my servant.

With my holy oil I have anointed him as king. 1 

89:21 My hand will support him, 2 

and my arm will strengthen him.

89:22 No enemy will be able to exact tribute 3  from him; 4 

a violent oppressor will not be able to humiliate him. 5 

89:23 I will crush his enemies before him;

I will strike down those who hate him.

1 tn The words “as king” are supplied in the translation for clarification, indicating that a royal anointing is in view.

2 tn Heb “with whom my hand will be firm.”

3 tn Heb “an enemy will not exact tribute.” The imperfect is understood in a modal sense, indicating capability or potential.

4 tn The translation understands the Hiphil of נָשַׁא (nasha’) in the sense of “act as a creditor.” This may allude to the practice of a conqueror forcing his subjects to pay tribute in exchange for “protection.” Another option is to take the verb from a homonymic verbal root meaning “to deceive,” “to trick.” Still another option is to emend the form to יִשָּׂא (yisa’), a Qal imperfect from נָאַשׂ (naas, “rise up”) and to translate “an enemy will not rise up against him” (see M. Dahood, Psalms [AB], 2:317).

5 tn Heb “and a son of violence will not oppress him.” The imperfect is understood in a modal sense, indicating capability or potential. The reference to a “son of violence” echoes the language of God’s promise to David in 2 Sam 7:10 (see also 1 Chr 17:9).



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