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Psalms 22:19-21

Context

22:19 But you, O Lord, do not remain far away!

You are my source of strength! 1  Hurry and help me! 2 

22:20 Deliver me 3  from the sword!

Save 4  my life 5  from the claws 6  of the wild dogs!

22:21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion, 7 

and from the horns of the wild oxen! 8 

You have answered me! 9 

1 tn Heb “O my strength.”

2 tn Heb “hurry to my help.”

3 tn Or “my life.”

4 tn The verb “save” is supplied in the translation; it is understood by ellipsis (see “deliver” in the preceding line).

5 tn Heb “my only one.” The psalmist may mean that his life is precious, or that he feels isolated and alone.

6 tn Heb “from the hand.” Here “hand” is understood by metonymy as a reference to the “paw” and thus the “claws” of the wild dogs.

7 sn The psalmist again compares his enemies to vicious dogs and ferocious lions (see vv. 13, 16).

8 tn The Hebrew term רֵמִים (remim) appears to be an alternate spelling of רְאֵמִים (rÿemim, “wild oxen”; see BDB 910 s.v. רְאֵם).

9 tn Heb “and from the horns of the wild oxen you answer me.” Most take the final verb with the preceding prepositional phrase. Some understand the verb form as a relatively rare precative perfect, expressing a wish or request (see IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d). However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew. (See the discussion at Ps 3:7.) Others prefer to take the perfect in its usual indicative sense. The psalmist, perhaps in response to an oracle of salvation, affirms confidently that God has answered him, assuring him that deliverance is on the way. The present translation takes the prepositional phrase as parallel to the preceding “from the mouth of the lion” and as collocated with the verb “rescue” at the beginning of the verse. “You have answered me” is understood as a triumphant shout which marks a sudden shift in tone and introduces the next major section of the psalm. By isolating the statement syntactically, the psalmist highlights the declaration.



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