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Psalms 43:3-5

Context

43:3 Reveal 1  your light 2  and your faithfulness!

They will lead me, 3 

they will escort 4  me back to your holy hill, 5 

and to the place where you live. 6 

43:4 Then I will go 7  to the altar of God,

to the God who gives me ecstatic joy, 8 

so that I express my thanks to you, 9  O God, my God, with a harp.

43:5 Why are you depressed, 10  O my soul? 11 

Why are you upset? 12 

Wait for God!

For I will again give thanks

to my God for his saving intervention. 13 

1 tn Heb “send.”

2 sn God’s deliverance is compared here to a light which will lead the psalmist back home to the Lord’s temple. Divine deliverance will in turn demonstrate the Lord’s faithfulness to his people.

3 tn Or “may they lead me.” The prefixed verbal forms here and in the next line may be taken as jussives.

4 tn Heb “bring.”

5 sn In this context the Lord’s holy hill is Zion/Jerusalem. See Isa 66:20; Joel 2:1; 3:17; Zech 8:3; Pss 2:6; 15:1; 48:1; 87:1; Dan 9:16.

6 tn Or “to your dwelling place[s].” The plural form of the noun may indicate degree or quality; this is the Lord’s special dwelling place (see Pss 46:4; 84:1; 132:5, 7).

7 tn The cohortative expresses the psalmist’s resolve. Prefixed with the vav (ו) conjunctive it also expresses the result or outcome of the preceding verbs “lead” and “escort.”

8 tn Heb “to God, the joy of my happiness.” The phrase “joy of my happiness” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the degree of the psalmist’s joy. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81.

9 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive probably indicates purpose (“so that”) or intention.

10 tn Heb “Why do you bow down?”

11 sn For poetic effect the psalmist addresses his soul, or inner self.

12 tn Heb “and why are you in turmoil upon me?”

13 tc Heb “for again I will give him thanks, the saving acts of my face and my God.” The last line should be emended to read יְשׁוּעֹת פְנֵי אֱלֹהָי (yÿshuot fÿneyelohay, “[for] the saving acts of the face of my God,” that is, the saving acts associated with God’s presence/intervention. This refrain is identical to the one in Ps 42:11. See also 42:5, which differs only slightly.



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