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Psalms 61:1-8

Context
Psalm 61 1 

For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.

61:1 O God, hear my cry for help!

Pay attention to my prayer!

61:2 From the most remote place on earth 2 

I call out to you in my despair. 3 

Lead me 4  up to an inaccessible rocky summit! 5 

61:3 Indeed, 6  you are 7  my shelter,

a strong tower that protects me from the enemy. 8 

61:4 I will be a permanent guest in your home; 9 

I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. 10  (Selah)

61:5 For you, O God, hear my vows;

you grant me the reward that belongs to your loyal followers. 11 

61:6 Give the king long life!

Make his lifetime span several generations! 12 

61:7 May he reign 13  forever before God!

Decree that your loyal love and faithfulness should protect him. 14 

61:8 Then I will sing praises to your name continually, 15 

as I fulfill 16  my vows day after day.

1 sn Psalm 61. The psalmist cries out for help and expresses his confidence that God will protect him.

2 tn Heb “from the end of the earth.” This may indicate (1) the psalmist is exiled in a distant land, or (2) it may be hyperbolic (the psalmist feels alienated from God’s presence, as if he were in a distant land).

3 tn Heb “while my heart faints.”

4 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s wish or prayer.

5 tn Heb “on to a rocky summit [that] is higher than I.”

6 tn Or “for.”

7 tn Or “have been.”

8 tn Heb “a strong tower from the face of an enemy.”

9 tn Heb “I will live as a resident alien in your tent permanently.” The cohortative is understood here as indicating resolve. Another option is to take it as expressing a request, “please let me live” (cf. NASB, NRSV).

10 sn I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. The metaphor compares God to a protective mother bird.

11 tn Heb “you grant the inheritance of those who fear your name.” “Inheritance” is normally used of land which is granted as an inheritance; here it refers metaphorically to the blessings granted God’s loyal followers. To “fear” God’s name means to have a healthy respect for his revealed reputation which in turn motivates one to obey God’s commands (see Ps 86:11).

12 tn Heb “days upon days of the king add, his years like generation and generation.”

sn It is not certain if the (royal) psalmist is referring to himself in the third person in this verse, or if an exile is praying on behalf of the king.

13 tn Heb “sit [enthroned].” The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive here, expressing the psalmist’s prayer.

14 tn Heb “loyal love and faithfulness appoint, let them protect him.”

15 tn Or “forever.”

16 tn Or perhaps, “and thereby fulfill.” The preposition with the infinitive construct here indicates an accompanying circumstance.



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