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Psalms 46:4

Context

46:4 The river’s channels bring joy to the city of God, 1 

the special, holy dwelling place of 2  the sovereign One. 3 

Psalms 84:2

Context

84:2 I desperately want to be 4 

in the courts of the Lord’s temple. 5 

My heart and my entire being 6  shout for joy

to the living God.

Psalms 132:5

Context

132:5 until I find a place for the Lord,

a fine dwelling place 7  for the powerful ruler of Jacob.” 8 

1 tn Heb “A river, its channels cause the city of God to be glad.”

sn The city of God is Jerusalem (see Pss 48:1-2; 87:2-3). The river’s “channels” are probably irrigation ditches vital to growing crops. Some relate the imagery to the “waters of Shiloah” (see Isa 8:6), which flowed from the Gihon spring to the pool of Siloam. In Isa 8:6-8 these waters are contrasted with the flood waters symbolizing Assyria. Even if this is the reality behind the imagery, the picture of a river flowing through Jerusalem is idealized and exaggerated. The river and irrigation ditches symbolize the peace and prosperity that the Lord provides for Jerusalem, in contrast to the havoc produced by the turbulent waters (symbolic of the nations) outside the city. Some see here an adaptation of Canaanite (or, more specifically, Jebusite) mythical traditions of rivers/springs flowing from the high god El’s dwelling place. The Songs of Zion do utilize such imagery at times (see Ps 48:2). The image of a river flowing through Zion may have inspired prophetic visions of an eschatological river flowing from the temple (see Ezek 47:1-12; Joel 3:18).

2 tn Heb “the holy [place] of the dwelling places of.” The adjective “holy” is used here in a substantival manner and placed in construct with the following noun (see GKC 428 §132.c). Origen’s transliterated text assumes the reading קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh, “holiness; holy place”), while the LXX assumes a Piel verbal form קִדֵּשׁ (qidesh, “makes holy”) and takes the following form as “his dwelling place.” The plural form מִשְׁכְּנֵי (mishkÿney, “dwelling places of”) is probably a plural of degree, emphasizing the special character of this dwelling place. See GKC 397 §124.b. The form stands as an appositional genitive in relation to the preceding construct noun.

3 tn Heb “Most High.” This divine title (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Pss 7:17; 9:2; 18:13; 21:7; 47:2.

4 tn Heb “my soul longs, it even pines for.”

5 tn Heb “the courts of the Lord” (see Ps 65:4).

6 tn Heb “my flesh,” which stands for his whole person and being.

7 tn The plural form of the noun may indicate degree or quality; David envisions a special dwelling place (see Pss 43:3; 46:4; 84:1).

8 tn Heb “the powerful [one] of Jacob.”



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