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Psalms 102:6-8

Context

102:6 I am like an owl 1  in the wilderness;

I am like a screech owl 2  among the ruins. 3 

102:7 I stay awake; 4 

I am like a solitary bird on a roof.

102:8 All day long my enemies taunt me;

those who mock me use my name in their curses. 5 

1 tn The Hebrew term קָאַת (qaat) refers to some type of bird (see Lev 11:18; Deut 14:17) that was typically found near ruins (see Zeph 2:14). Modern translations have frequently rendered this as some type of owl (NIV, REB “desert owl”; NRSV “owl”).

2 tn The Hebrew term כוֹס (khos) refers to a bird (see Lev 11:17; Deut 14:16), probably a type of owl (cf. NIV, REB “owl”; NRSV “little owl”).

3 sn By comparing himself to a screech owl among the ruins, the psalmist may be highlighting his loneliness (see v. 7), though he may also be comparing his cries for help to the owl’s screech.

4 tn This probably refers to the psalmist’s inability to sleep. Another option is to translate, “I keep watch,” in which case it might refer to watching for a response from the Lord (see vv. 1-2).

5 tn Heb “by me they swear.” When the psalmist’s enemies call judgment down on others, they hold the psalmist up as a prime example of what they desire their enemies to become.



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