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Psalms 107:23-30

Context

107:23 1 Some traveled on 2  the sea in ships,

and carried cargo over the vast waters. 3 

107:24 They witnessed the acts of the Lord,

his amazing feats on the deep water.

107:25 He gave the order for a windstorm, 4 

and it stirred up the waves of the sea. 5 

107:26 They 6  reached up to the sky,

then dropped into the depths.

The sailors’ strength 7  left them 8  because the danger was so great. 9 

107:27 They swayed 10  and staggered like a drunk,

and all their skill proved ineffective. 11 

107:28 They cried out to the Lord in their distress;

he delivered them from their troubles.

107:29 He calmed the storm, 12 

and the waves 13  grew silent.

107:30 The sailors 14  rejoiced because the waves 15  grew quiet,

and he led them to the harbor 16  they desired.

1 sn Verses 23-30, which depict the Lord rescuing sailors from a storm at sea, do not seem to describe the exiles’ situation, unless the word picture is metaphorical. Perhaps the psalmist here broadens his scope and offers an example of God’s kindness to the needy beyond the covenant community.

2 tn Heb “those going down [into].”

3 tn Heb “doers of work on the mighty waters.”

4 tn Heb “he spoke and caused to stand a stormy wind.”

5 tn Heb “and it stirred up its [i.e., the sea’s, see v. 23] waves.”

6 tn That is, the waves (see v. 25).

7 tn Heb “their being”; traditionally “their soul” (referring to that of the sailors). This is sometimes translated “courage” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

8 tn Or “melted.”

9 tn Heb “from danger.”

10 tn Only here does the Hebrew verb חָגַג (khagag; normally meaning “to celebrate”) carry the nuance “to sway.”

11 tn The Hitpael of בָלַע (vala’) occurs only here in the OT. Traditionally the form is derived from the verbal root בלע (“to swallow”), but HALOT 135 s.v. III בלע understands a homonym here with the meaning “to be confused.”

12 tn Heb “he raised [the] storm to calm.”

13 tn Heb “their waves.” The antecedent of the third masculine plural pronominal suffix is not readily apparent, unless it refers back to “waters” in v. 23.

14 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the sailors) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

15 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the waves) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn The Hebrew noun occurs only here in the OT.



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