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Psalms 80:8-19

Context

80:8 You uprooted a vine 1  from Egypt;

you drove out nations and transplanted it.

80:9 You cleared the ground for it; 2 

it took root, 3 

and filled the land.

80:10 The mountains were covered by its shadow,

the highest cedars 4  by its branches.

80:11 Its branches reached the Mediterranean Sea, 5 

and its shoots the Euphrates River. 6 

80:12 Why did you break down its walls, 7 

so that all who pass by pluck its fruit? 8 

80:13 The wild boars of the forest ruin it; 9 

the insects 10  of the field feed on it.

80:14 O God, invincible warrior, 11  come back!

Look down from heaven and take notice!

Take care of this vine,

80:15 the root 12  your right hand planted,

the shoot you made to grow! 13 

80:16 It is burned 14  and cut down.

They die because you are displeased with them. 15 

80:17 May you give support to the one you have chosen, 16 

to the one whom you raised up for yourself! 17 

80:18 Then we will not turn away from you.

Revive us and we will pray to you! 18 

80:19 O Lord God, invincible warrior, 19  restore us!

Smile on us! 20  Then we will be delivered! 21 

1 sn The vine is here a metaphor for Israel (see Ezek 17:6-10; Hos 10:1).

2 tn Heb “you cleared away before it.”

3 tn Heb “and it took root [with] its roots.”

4 tn Heb “cedars of God.” The divine name אֵל (’al, “God”) is here used in an idiomatic manner to indicate the superlative.

5 tn Heb “to [the] sea.” The “sea” refers here to the Mediterranean Sea.

6 tn Heb “to [the] river.” The “river” is the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia. Israel expanded both to the west and to the east.

7 sn The protective walls of the metaphorical vineyard are in view here (see Isa 5:5).

8 tn Heb “pluck it.”

9 tn The Hebrew verb כִּרְסֵם (kirsem, “to eat away; to ruin”) occurs only here in the OT.

10 tn The precise referent of the Hebrew word translated “insects,” which occurs only here and in Ps 50:11, is uncertain. Aramaic, Arabic, and Akkadian cognates refer to insects, such as locusts or crickets.

11 tn Heb “O God, hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי before צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot, “hosts”; see Ps 89:9), but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (yehvahelohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot) in Pss 59:5 and 84:8 as well. See also vv. 4, 7 for a similar construction.

12 tn The Hebrew noun occurs only here in the OT. HALOT 483 s.v. III כֵּן emends the form to כַּנָּהּ (kannah, “its shoot”).

13 tn Heb “and upon a son you strengthened for yourself.” In this context, where the extended metaphor of the vine dominates, בֵּן (ben, “son”) probably refers to the shoots that grow from the vine. Cf. Gen 49:22.

14 tn Heb “burned with fire.”

15 tn Heb “because of the rebuke of your face they perish.”

16 tn Heb “may your hand be upon the man of your right hand.” The referent of the otherwise unattested phrase “man of your right hand,” is unclear. It may refer to the nation collectively as a man. (See the note on the word “yourself” in v. 17b.)

17 tn Heb “upon the son of man you strengthened for yourself.” In its only other use in the Book of Psalms, the phrase “son of man” refers to the human race in general (see Ps 8:4). Here the phrase may refer to the nation collectively as a man. Note the use of the statement “you strengthened for yourself” both here and in v. 15, where the “son” (i.e., the branch of the vine) refers to Israel.

18 tn Heb “and in your name we will call.”

19 tn Heb “O Lord, God, hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי before צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot, “hosts”; see Ps 89:9), but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (yehvahelohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot) in Pss 59:5 and 84:8 as well. See also vv. 4, 7, 14 for a similar construction.

20 tn The idiom “cause your face to shine” probably refers to a smile (see Eccl 8:1), which in turn suggests favor and blessing (see Num 6:25; Pss 4:6; 31:16; 44:3; 67:1; 89:15; Dan 9:17).

21 tn Heb “cause your face to shine in order that we may be delivered.” After the imperative, the cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose/result.



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