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Psalms 109:21-27


109:21 O sovereign Lord,

intervene on my behalf for the sake of your reputation! 1 

Because your loyal love is good, deliver me!

109:22 For I am oppressed and needy,

and my heart beats violently within me. 2 

109:23 I am fading away like a shadow at the end of the day; 3 

I am shaken off like a locust.

109:24 I am so starved my knees shake; 4 

I have turned into skin and bones. 5 

109:25 I am disdained by them. 6 

When they see me, they shake their heads. 7 

109:26 Help me, O Lord my God!

Because you are faithful to me, deliver me! 8 

109:27 Then they will realize 9  this is your work, 10 

and that you, Lord, have accomplished it.

1 tn Heb “but you, Lord, Master, do with me for the sake of your name.” Here “name” stands metonymically for God’s reputation.

2 tc The verb in the Hebrew text (חָלַל, khalal) appears to be a Qal form from the root חלל meaning “pierced; wounded.” However, the Qal of this root is otherwise unattested. The translation assumes an emendation to יָחִיל (yakhil), a Qal imperfect from חוּל (khul, “tremble”) or to חֹלַל (kholal), a polal perfect from חוּל (khul). See Ps 55:4, which reads לִבִּי יָחִיל בְּקִרְבִּי (libbiy yakhil bÿqirbbiy, “my heart trembles [i.e., “beats violently”] within me”).

3 tn Heb “like a shadow when it is extended I go.” He is like a late afternoon shadow made by the descending sun that will soon be swallowed up by complete darkness. See Ps 102:11.

4 tn Heb “my knees stagger from fasting.”

5 tn Heb “and my flesh is lean away from fatness [i.e., “lean so as not to be fat”].”

6 tn Heb “as for me, I am a reproach to them.”

7 sn They shake their heads. Apparently shaking the head was a taunting gesture. See also Job 16:4; Ps 22:7; Lam 2:15.

8 tn Heb “deliver me according to your faithfulness.”

9 tn After the preceding imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose or result.

10 tn Heb “that your hand [is] this.”

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