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Psalms 105:10-23


105:10 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,

to Israel as a lasting promise, 1 

105:11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan

as the portion of your inheritance.”

105:12 When they were few in number,

just a very few, and resident aliens within it,

105:13 they wandered from nation to nation,

and from one kingdom to another. 2 

105:14 He let no one oppress them;

he disciplined kings for their sake,

105:15 saying, 3  “Don’t touch my chosen 4  ones!

Don’t harm my prophets!”

105:16 He called down a famine upon the earth;

he cut off all the food supply. 5 

105:17 He sent a man ahead of them 6 

Joseph was sold as a servant.

105:18 The shackles hurt his feet; 7 

his neck was placed in an iron collar, 8 

105:19 until the time when his prediction 9  came true.

The Lord’s word 10  proved him right. 11 

105:20 The king authorized his release; 12 

the ruler of nations set him free.

105:21 He put him in charge of his palace, 13 

and made him manager of all his property,

105:22 giving him authority to imprison his officials 14 

and to teach his advisers. 15 

105:23 Israel moved to 16  Egypt;

Jacob lived for a time 17  in the land of Ham.

1 tn Or “eternal covenant.”

2 tn Heb “and from a kingdom to another nation.”

3 tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “anointed.”

5 tn Heb “and every staff of food he broke.” The psalmist refers to the famine that occurred in Joseph’s time (see v. 17 and Gen 41:53-57).

6 tn After the reference to the famine in v. 16, v. 17 flashes back to events that preceded the famine (see Gen 37).

7 tn Heb “they afflicted his feet with shackles.”

8 tn Heb “his neck came [into] iron.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with the suffix could mean simply “he” or “his life.” But the nuance “neck” makes good sense here (note the reference to his “feet” in the preceding line). See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 38.

9 tn Heb “word,” probably referring to Joseph’s prediction about the fate of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (see Gen 41:9-14).

10 tn This line may refer to Joseph’s prediction of the famine in response to Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph emphasized to Pharaoh that the interpretation of the dream came from God (see Gen 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 39).

11 tn Heb “refined him.”

12 tn Heb “[the] king sent and set him free.”

13 tn Heb “he made him master of his house.”

14 tn Heb “to bind his officials by his will.”

15 tn Heb “and his elders he taught wisdom.”

16 tn Heb “entered.”

17 tn Heb “lived as a resident alien.”

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