For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.
and make sure I do not sin with my tongue. 3
I will put a muzzle over my mouth
while in the presence of an evil man.” 4
I held back the urge to speak. 6
My frustration grew; 7
As I thought about it, I became impatient. 9
Finally I spoke these words: 10
39:4 “O Lord, help me understand my mortality
and the brevity of life! 11
Let me realize how quickly my life will pass! 12
2 tn Heb “I said.”
3 tn Heb “I will watch my ways, from sinning with my tongue.”
4 sn The psalmist wanted to voice a lament to the
5 tn Heb “I was mute [with] silence.”
6 tn Heb “I was quiet from good.” He kept quiet, resisting the urge to find emotional release and satisfaction by voicing his lament.
sn I held back the urge to speak. For a helpful discussion of the relationship (and tension) between silence and complaint in ancient Israelite lamentation, see E. S. Gerstenberger, Psalms, Part I (FOTL), 166-67.
7 tn Heb “and my pain was stirred up.” Emotional pain is in view here.
8 tn Heb “my heart was hot within me.”
9 tn Heb “In my reflection fire burned.” The prefixed verbal form is either a preterite (past tense) or an imperfect being used in a past progressive or customary sense (“fire was burning”).
10 tn Heb “I spoke with my tongue.” The phrase “these words” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
11 tn Heb “Cause me to know, O
12 tn Heb “Let me know how transient I am!”