By David; a well-written song. 2
whose sin is pardoned! 5
in whose spirit there is no deceit. 8
my whole body wasted away, 10
while I groaned in pain all day long.
32:5 Then I confessed my sin;
I no longer covered up my wrongdoing.
I said, “I will confess 15 my rebellious acts to the Lord.”
And then you forgave my sins. 16 (Selah)
while there is a window of opportunity. 18
it will not reach them. 21
32:7 You are my hiding place;
you protect me from distress.
You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance. 22 (Selah)
I will advise you as I look you in the eye. 25
which will not obey you
unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit. 28
but the Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him. 30
32:11 Rejoice in the Lord and be happy, you who are godly!
Shout for joy, all you who are morally upright! 31
1 sn Psalm 32. The psalmist recalls the agony he experienced prior to confessing his sins and affirms that true happiness comes when one’s sins are forgiven. He then urges others not to be stubborn, but to turn to God while forgiveness is available, for God extends his mercy to the repentant, while the wicked experience nothing but sorrow.
2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.
3 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15). Here it refers to the relief that one experiences when one’s sins are forgiven.
4 tn Heb “lifted up.”
5 tn Heb “covered over.”
6 tn Heb “man.” The word choice reflects the perspective of the psalmist, who is male. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, the gender and age specific “man” has been translated with the more neutral “one.”
7 tn Heb “blessed [is] the man to whom the
8 sn In whose spirit there is no deceit. The point is not that the individual is sinless and pure. In this context, which focuses on confession and forgiveness of sin, the psalmist refers to one who refuses to deny or hide his sin, but instead honestly confesses it to God.
9 tn Heb “when I was silent.”
10 tn Heb “my bones became brittle.” The psalmist pictures himself as aging and growing physically weak. Trying to cover up his sin brought severe physical consequences.
11 tn Heb “your hand was heavy upon me.”
12 tc Heb “my [?] was turned.” The meaning of the Hebrew term לְשַׁד (lÿshad) is uncertain. A noun לָשָׁד (lashad, “cake”) is attested in Num 11:8, but it would make no sense to understand that word in this context. It is better to emend the form to לְשֻׁדִּי (lÿshuddiy, “to my destruction”) and understand “your hand” as the subject of the verb “was turned.” In this case the text reads, “[your hand] was turned to my destruction.” In Lam 3:3 the author laments that God’s “hand” was “turned” (הָפַךְ, hafakh) against him in a hostile sense.
sn You tried to destroy me. The psalmist’s statement reflects his perspective. As far as he was concerned, it seemed as if the Lord was trying to kill him.
13 tn The translation assumes that the plural form indicates degree. If one understands the form as a true plural, then one might translate, “in the times of drought.”
14 sn Summer. Perhaps the psalmist suffered during the hot season and perceived the very weather as being an instrument of divine judgment. Another option is that he compares his time of suffering to the uncomfortable and oppressive heat of summer.
16 tn Heb “the wrongdoing of my sin.” By joining synonyms for “sin” in this way, the psalmist may be emphasizing the degree of his wrongdoing.
18 tn Heb “at a time of finding.” This may mean, “while there is time to ‘find’ [the
19 tn The Hebrew term רַק (raq) occasionally has an asseverative force.
20 sn The surging water is here a metaphor for trouble that endangers one’s life.
22 tn Heb “[with] shouts of joy of deliverance you surround me.”
23 tn The second person pronominal forms in this verse are singular. The psalmist addresses each member of his audience individually (see also the note on the word “eye” in the next line). A less likely option (but one which is commonly understood) is that the
24 tn Heb “I will instruct you and I will teach you in the way [in] which you should walk.”
25 tn Heb “I will advise, upon you my eye,” that is, “I will offer advice [with] my eye upon you.” In 2 Chr 20:12 the statement “our eye is upon you” means that the speakers are looking to the
26 tn The verb form is plural (i.e., “do not all of you be”); the psalmist addresses the whole group.
27 tn Heb “like a horse, like a mule without understanding.”
28 tn Heb “with a bridle and bit, its [?] to hold, not to come near to you.” The meaning of the Hebrew noun עֲדִי (’adiy) is uncertain. Normally the word refers to “jewelry,” so some suggest the meaning “trappings” here (cf. NASB). Some emend the form to לְחֵיהֶם (lÿkhehem, “their jawbones”) but it is difficult to see how the present Hebrew text, even if corrupt, could have derived from this proposed original reading. P. C. Craigie (Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 265) takes the form from an Arabic root and translates “whose gallop.” Cf. also NRSV “whose temper must be curbed.”
29 tn Heb “many [are the] pains of evil [one].” The singular form is representative here; the typical evildoer, representative of the larger group of wicked people, is in view.
30 tn Heb “but the one who trusts in the
31 tn Heb “all [you] pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the