you are angry with your chosen king. 2
you have thrown his crown to the ground. 5
you have made his strongholds a heap of ruins.
he has become an object of disdain to his neighbors.
and all his enemies to rejoice.
and have not sustained him in battle. 11
and have knocked 13 his throne to the ground.
and have covered him with shame. (Selah)
89:46 How long, O Lord, will this last?
Will you remain hidden forever? 15
Will your anger continue to burn like fire?
Why do you make all people so mortal? 17
89:48 No man can live on without experiencing death,
or deliver his life from the power of Sheol. 18 (Selah)
the ones performed in accordance with your reliable oath to David? 21
and of how I must bear so many insults from people! 24
89:51 Your enemies, O Lord, hurl insults;
they insult your chosen king as they dog his footsteps. 25
We agree! We agree! 28
1 tn The Hebrew construction (conjunction + pronoun, followed by the verb) draws attention to the contrast between what follows and what precedes.
4 tn Heb “the covenant of your servant.”
5 tn Heb “you dishonor [or “desecrate”] on the ground his crown.”
6 tn The king here represents the land and cities over which he rules.
7 tn Heb “all the passersby on the road.”
9 tn The perfect verbal form predominates in vv. 38-45. The use of the imperfect in this one instance may be for rhetorical effect. The psalmist briefly lapses into dramatic mode, describing the king’s military defeat as if it were happening before his very eyes.
10 tc Heb “you turn back, rocky summit, his sword.” The Hebrew term צוּר (tsur, “rocky summit”) makes no sense here, unless it is a divine title understood as vocative, “you turn back, O Rocky Summit, his sword.” Some emend the form to צֹר (tsor, “flint”) on the basis of Josh 5:2, which uses the phrase חַרְבוֹת צֻרִים (kharvot tsurim, “flint knives”). The noun צֹר (tsor, “flint”) can then be taken as “flint-like edge,” indicating the sharpness of the sword. Others emend the form to אָחוֹר (’akhor, “backward”) or to מִצַּר (mitsar, “from the adversary”). The present translation reflects the latter, assuming an original reading תָּשִׁיב מִצָּר חַרְבּוֹ (tashiv mitsar kharbo), which was corrupted to תָּשִׁיב צָר חַרְבּוֹ (tashiv tsar kharbo) by virtual haplography (confusion of bet/mem is well-attested) with צָר (tsar, “adversary”) then being misinterpreted as צוּר in the later tradition.
11 tn Heb “and you have not caused him to stand in the battle.”
12 tc The Hebrew text appears to read, “you have brought to an end from his splendor,” but the form מִטְּהָרוֹ (mittÿharo) should be slightly emended (the daghesh should be removed from the tet [ת]) and read simply “his splendor” (the initial mem [מ] is not the preposition, but a nominal prefix).
15 tn Heb “How long, O
16 tn Heb “remember me, what is [my] lifespan.” The Hebrew term חֶלֶד (kheled) is also used of one’s lifespan in Ps 39:5. Because the Hebrew text is so awkward here, some prefer to emend it to read מֶה חָדֵל אָנִי (meh khadel ’aniy, “[remember] how transient [that is, “short-lived”] I am”; see Ps 39:4).
18 tn Heb “Who [is] the man [who] can live and not see death, [who] can deliver his life from the hand of Sheol?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “No one!”
20 tc Many medieval Hebrew
21 tn Heb “[which] you swore on oath to David by your faithfulness.”
22 tc Many medieval Hebrew
23 tn Heb “remember, O Lord, the taunt against your servants.” Many medieval Hebrew
24 tn Heb “my lifting up in my arms [or “against my chest”] all of the many, peoples.” The term רַבִּים (rabbim, “many”) makes no apparent sense here. For this reason some emend the text to רִבֵי (rivey, “attacks by”), a defectively written plural construct form of רִיב (riv, “dispute; quarrel”).
25 tn Heb “[by] which your enemies, O
26 sn The final verse of Ps 89, v. 52, is a conclusion to this third “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the first, second and fourth “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 41:13; 72:18-19; 106:48, respectively).
28 tn Heb “surely and surely” (אָמֵן וְאָמֵן [’amen vÿ’amen], i.e., “Amen and amen”). This is probably a congregational response to the immediately preceding statement about the propriety of praising God; thus it has been translated “We agree! We agree!”