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Psalms 32:3-6

Context

32:3 When I refused to confess my sin, 1 

my whole body wasted away, 2 

while I groaned in pain all day long.

32:4 For day and night you tormented me; 3 

you tried to destroy me 4  in the intense heat 5  of summer. 6  (Selah)

32:5 Then I confessed my sin;

I no longer covered up my wrongdoing.

I said, “I will confess 7  my rebellious acts to the Lord.”

And then you forgave my sins. 8  (Selah)

32:6 For this reason every one of your faithful followers 9  should pray to you

while there is a window of opportunity. 10 

Certainly 11  when the surging water 12  rises,

it will not reach them. 13 

1 tn Heb “when I was silent.”

2 tn Heb “my bones became brittle.” The psalmist pictures himself as aging and growing physically weak. Trying to cover up his sin brought severe physical consequences.

3 tn Heb “your hand was heavy upon me.”

4 tc Heb “my [?] was turned.” The meaning of the Hebrew term לְשַׁד (lÿshad) is uncertain. A noun לָשָׁד (lashad, “cake”) is attested in Num 11:8, but it would make no sense to understand that word in this context. It is better to emend the form to לְשֻׁדִּי (lÿshuddiy, “to my destruction”) and understand “your hand” as the subject of the verb “was turned.” In this case the text reads, “[your hand] was turned to my destruction.” In Lam 3:3 the author laments that God’s “hand” was “turned” (הָפַךְ, hafakh) against him in a hostile sense.

sn You tried to destroy me. The psalmist’s statement reflects his perspective. As far as he was concerned, it seemed as if the Lord was trying to kill him.

5 tn The translation assumes that the plural form indicates degree. If one understands the form as a true plural, then one might translate, “in the times of drought.”

6 sn Summer. Perhaps the psalmist suffered during the hot season and perceived the very weather as being an instrument of divine judgment. Another option is that he compares his time of suffering to the uncomfortable and oppressive heat of summer.

7 tn The Hiphil of ידה normally means “give thanks, praise,” but here, as in Prov 28:13, it means “confess.”

8 tn Heb “the wrongdoing of my sin.” By joining synonyms for “sin” in this way, the psalmist may be emphasizing the degree of his wrongdoing.

9 tn A “faithful follower” (חָסִיד, khasid) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).

10 tn Heb “at a time of finding.” This may mean, “while there is time to ‘find’ [the Lord]” and seek his forgiveness (cf. NIV). Some emend the text by combining מְצֹא (mÿtso’, “finding”) with the following term רַק (raq, “only, surely”) and read either ר[וֹ]מָצ (matsor, “distress”; see Ps 31:22) or ק[וֹ]מָצ (matsoq, “hardship”; see Ps 119:143). In this case, one may translate “in a time of distress/hardship” (cf. NEB, NRSV).

11 tn The Hebrew term רַק (raq) occasionally has an asseverative force.

12 sn The surging water is here a metaphor for trouble that endangers one’s life.

13 tn Heb “him.” The translation uses the plural “them” to agree with the plural “every one of your faithful followers” in the first line of v. 6.



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