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Psalms 79:10-12

Context

79:10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

Before our very eyes may the shed blood of your servants

be avenged among the nations! 1 

79:11 Listen to the painful cries of the prisoners! 2 

Use your great strength to set free those condemned to die! 3 

79:12 Pay back our neighbors in full! 4 

May they be insulted the same way they insulted you, O Lord! 5 

1 tn Heb “may it be known among the nations, to our eyes, the vengeance of the shed blood of your servants.”

2 tn Heb “may the painful cry of the prisoner come before you.”

3 tn Heb “according to the greatness of your arm leave the sons of death.” God’s “arm” here symbolizes his strength to deliver. The verbal form הוֹתֵר (hoter) is a Hiphil imperative from יָתַר (yatar, “to remain; to be left over”). Here it must mean “to leave over; to preserve.” However, it is preferable to emend the form to הַתֵּר (hatter), a Hiphil imperative from נָתַר (natar, “be free”). The Hiphil form is used in Ps 105:20 of Pharaoh freeing Joseph from prison. The phrase “sons of death” (see also Ps 102:21) is idiomatic for those condemned to die.

4 tn Heb “Return to our neighbors sevenfold into their lap.” The number seven is used rhetorically to express the thorough nature of the action. For other rhetorical/figurative uses of the Hebrew phrase שִׁבְעָתַיִם (shivatayim, “seven times”) see Gen 4:15, 24; Ps 12:6; Prov 6:31; Isa 30:26.

5 tn Heb “their reproach with which they reproached you, O Lord.”



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