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  Discovery Box

Psalms 89:46-51

Context

89:46 How long, O Lord, will this last?

Will you remain hidden forever? 1 

Will your anger continue to burn like fire?

89:47 Take note of my brief lifespan! 2 

Why do you make all people so mortal? 3 

89:48 No man can live on without experiencing death,

or deliver his life from the power of Sheol. 4  (Selah)

89:49 Where are your earlier faithful deeds, 5  O Lord, 6 

the ones performed in accordance with your reliable oath to David? 7 

89:50 Take note, O Lord, 8  of the way your servants are taunted, 9 

and of how I must bear so many insults from people! 10 

89:51 Your enemies, O Lord, hurl insults;

they insult your chosen king as they dog his footsteps. 11 

1 tn Heb “How long, O Lord, will hide yourself forever?”

2 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 khadelaniy, “[remember] how transient [that is, “short-lived”] I am”; see Ps 39:4).

3 tn Heb “For what emptiness do you create all the sons of mankind?” In this context the term שָׁוְא (shavah) refers to mankind’s mortal nature and the brevity of life (see vv. 45, 48).

4 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!”

5 sn The Lord’s faithful deeds are also mentioned in Pss 17:7 and 25:6.

6 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss read here יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”).

7 tn Heb “[which] you swore on oath to David by your faithfulness.”

8 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss read here יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”).

9 tn Heb “remember, O Lord, the taunt against your servants.” Many medieval Hebrew mss read the singular here, “your servant” (that is, the psalmist).

10 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”).

11 tn Heb “[by] which your enemies, O Lord, taunt, [by] which they taunt [at] the heels of your anointed one.”



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