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2 Samuel 22:26-28


22:26 You prove to be loyal 1  to one who is faithful; 2 

you prove to be trustworthy 3  to one who is innocent. 4 

22:27 You prove to be reliable 5  to one who is blameless,

but you prove to be deceptive 6  to one who is perverse. 7 

22:28 You deliver oppressed 8  people,

but you watch the proud and bring them down. 9 

1 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 26-30 draw attention to God’s characteristic actions. Based on his experience, the psalmist generalizes about God’s just dealings with people (vv. 26-28) and about the way in which God typically empowers him on the battlefield (vv. 29-30). The Hitpael stem is used in vv. 26-27 in a reflexive resultative (or causative) sense. God makes himself loyal, etc. in the sense that he conducts or reveals himself as such. On this use of the Hitpael stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e.

2 tn Or “to a faithful follower.” A חָסִיד (khasid, “faithful follower”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 16:10; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).

3 tn Or “innocent.”

4 tc Heb “a warrior of innocence.” The parallel text in Ps 18:25 reads, probably correctly, גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”) instead of גִּבּוֹר (gibor, “warrior”).

5 tn Or “blameless.”

6 tc The translation follows two medieval Hebrew mss in reading תִּתְפַּתָּל (titpattal, from the root פתל, “to twist”) rather than the MT תִּתַּפָּל (tittappal, from the root תפל, “to be tasteless,” “behave silly”; cf. KJV “unsavoury”). See as well the parallel passage in Ps 18:26. The verb פָתַל (patal) is used in only three other texts. In Gen 30:8 it means literally “to wrestle,” or “to twist.” In Job 5:13 it refers to devious individuals, and in Prov 8:8 to deceptive words. Cf. NAB, NASB “astute”; NIV “shrewd”; NRSV “perverse”; TEV, NLT “hostile.”

7 tn The adjective עִקֵּשׁ (’iqqesh) has the basic nuance “twisted; crooked,” and by extension refers to someone or something that is morally perverse. It appears frequently in Proverbs, where it is used of evil people (22:5), speech (8:8; 19:1), thoughts (11:20; 17:20) and life styles (2:15; 28:6). A righteous king opposes such people (Ps 101:4). Verses 26-27 affirm God’s justice. He responds to people in accordance with their moral character. His response mirrors their actions. The faithful and blameless find God to be loyal and reliable in his dealings with them. But deceivers discover he is able and willing to use deceit to destroy them. For a more extensive discussion of the theme of divine deception in the OT, see R. B. Chisholm, “Does God Deceive?” BSac 155 (1998): 11-28.

8 tn Or perhaps “humble” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT; note the contrast with those who are proud).

9 tc Heb “but your eyes are upon the proud, you bring low.” Ps 18:27 reads “but proud eyes you bring low.”

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