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Psalms 90:5-6

Context

90:5 You bring their lives to an end and they “fall asleep.” 1 

In the morning they are like the grass that sprouts up;

90:6 in the morning it glistens 2  and sprouts up;

at evening time it withers 3  and dries up.

1 tn Heb “you bring them to an end [with] sleep.” The Hebrew verb זָרַם (zaram) has traditionally been taken to mean “flood” or “overwhelm” (note the Polel form of a root זרם in Ps 77:17, where the verb is used of the clouds pouring down rain). However, the verb form here is Qal, not Polel, and is better understood as a homonym meaning “to make an end [of life].” The term שֵׁנָה (shenah, “sleep”) can be taken as an adverbial accusative; it is a euphemism here for death (see Ps 76:5-6).

2 tn Or “flourishes.” The verb is used of a crown shining in Ps 132:18. Perhaps here in Ps 90:6 it refers to the glistening of the grass in the morning dew.

3 tn The Polel form of this verb occurs only here. Perhaps the form should be emended to a Qal (which necessitates eliminating the final lamed [ל] as dittographic). See Ps 37:2.



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