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Psalms 62:1-12

Context
Psalm 62 1 

For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.

62:1 For God alone I patiently wait; 2 

he is the one who delivers me. 3 

62:2 He alone is my protector 4  and deliverer.

He is my refuge; 5  I will not be upended. 6 

62:3 How long will you threaten 7  a man?

All of you are murderers, 8 

as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence. 9 

62:4 They 10  spend all their time planning how to bring him 11  down. 12 

They love to use deceit; 13 

they pronounce blessings with their mouths,

but inwardly they utter curses. 14  (Selah)

62:5 Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! 15 

For he is the one who gives me confidence. 16 

62:6 He alone is my protector 17  and deliverer.

He is my refuge; 18  I will not be upended. 19 

62:7 God delivers me and exalts me;

God is my strong protector and my shelter. 20 

62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people!

Pour out your hearts before him! 21 

God is our shelter! (Selah)

62:9 Men are nothing but a mere breath;

human beings are unreliable. 22 

When they are weighed in the scales,

all of them together are lighter than air. 23 

62:10 Do not trust in what you can gain by oppression! 24 

Do not put false confidence in what you can gain by robbery! 25 

If wealth increases, do not become attached to it! 26 

62:11 God has declared one principle;

two principles I have heard: 27 

God is strong, 28 

62:12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love. 29 

For you repay men for what they do. 30 

1 sn Psalm 62. The psalmist expresses his unwavering confidence in God’s justice and in his ability to protect his people.

2 tn Heb “only for God [is] there silence [to] my soul.”

3 tn Heb “from him [is] my deliverance.”

4 tn Heb “my high rocky summit.”

5 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

6 tn The Hebrew text adds רַבָּה (rabbah, “greatly”) at the end of the line. It is unusual for this adverb to follow a negated verb. Some see this as qualifying the assertion to some degree, but this would water down the affirmation too much (see v. 6b, where the adverb is omitted). If the adverb has a qualifying function, it would suggest that the psalmist might be upended, though not severely. This is inconsistent with the confident mood of the psalm. The adverb probably has an emphatic force here, “I will not be greatly upended” meaning “I will not be annihilated.”

7 tn The verb form is plural; the psalmist addresses his enemies. The verb הוּת occurs only here in the OT. An Arabic cognate means “shout at.”

8 tn The Hebrew text has a Pual (passive) form, but the verb form should be vocalized as a Piel (active) form. See BDB 953-54 s.v. רָצַח.

9 tn Heb “like a bent wall and a broken fence.” The point of the comparison is not entirely clear. Perhaps the enemies are depicted as dangerous, like a leaning wall or broken fence that is in danger of falling on someone (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:69).

10 tn That is, the psalmist’s enemies addressed in the previous verse.

11 tn That is, the generic “man” referred to in the previous verse.

12 tn Heb “only from his lofty place [or perhaps, “dignity”] they plan to drive [him] away.”

13 tn Heb “they delight [in] a lie.”

14 sn The enemies use deceit to bring down their victim. They make him think they are his friends by pronouncing blessings upon him, but inwardly they desire his demise.

15 tn Heb “only for God be silent, my soul.” The wording is similar to that of v. 1a. Here an imperatival form, דּוֹמִּי (dommiy, “be silent”), appears instead of the noun דּוּמִיָּה (dumiyyah, “silence”). The psalmist is encouraging himself to maintain his trust in God.

16 tn Heb “for from him [is] my hope.”

17 tn Heb “my high rocky summit.”

18 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

19 sn The wording is identical to that of v. 2, except that רַבָּה (rabbah, “greatly”) does not appear in v. 6.

20 tn Heb “upon God [is] my deliverance and my glory, the high rocky summit of my strength, my shelter [is] in God.”

21 tn To “pour out one’s heart” means to offer up to God intense, emotional lamentation and petitionary prayers (see Lam 2:19).

22 tn Heb “only a breath [are] the sons of mankind, a lie [are] the sons of man.” The phrases “sons of mankind” and “sons of man” also appear together in Ps 49:2. Because of the parallel line there, where “rich and poor” are mentioned, a number of interpreters and translators treat these expressions as polar opposites, בְּנֵי אָדָם (bÿneyadam) referring to the lower classes and בְּנֵי אִישׁ (bÿneyish) to higher classes. But usage does not support such a view. The rare phrase בְּנֵי אִישׁ (“sons of man”) appears to refer to human beings in general in its other uses (see Pss 4:2; Lam 3:33). It is better to understand the phrases as synonymous expressions.

23 tn The noun הֶבֶל (hevel), translated “a breath” earlier in the verse, appears again here.

24 tn Heb “do not trust in oppression.” Here “oppression” stands by metonymy for the riches that can be gained by oppressive measures, as the final line of the verse indicates.

25 tn Heb “and in robbery do not place vain hope.” Here “robbery” stands by metonymy for the riches that can be gained by theft, as the next line of the verse indicates.

26 tn Heb “[as for] wealth, when it bears fruit, do not set [your] heart [on it].”

27 tn Heb “one God spoke, two which I heard.” This is a numerical saying utilizing the “x” followed by “x + 1” pattern to facilitate poetic parallelism. (See W. M. W. Roth, Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament [VTSup], 55-56.) As is typical in such sayings, a list corresponding to the second number (in this case “two”) follows. Another option is to translate, “God has spoken once, twice [he has spoken] that which I have heard.” The terms אַחַת (’akhat, “one; once”) and שְׁתַּיִם (shÿtayim, “two; twice”) are also juxtaposed in 2 Kgs 6:10 (where they refer to an action that was done more than “once or twice”) and in Job 33:14 (where they refer to God speaking “one way” and then in “another manner”).

28 tn Heb “that strength [belongs] to God.”

29 tn Heb “and to you, O Master, [is] loyal love.”

30 tn Heb “for you pay back to a man according to his deed.” Another option is to understand vv. 11b and 12a as the first principle and v. 12b as the second. In this case one might translate, “God has declared one principle, two principles I have heard, namely, that God is strong, and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love, and that you repay men for what they do.”

sn You repay men for what they do. The psalmist views God’s justice as a demonstration of both his power (see v. 11c) and his loyal love (see v. 12a). When God judges evildoers, he demonstrates loyal love to his people.



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