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Psalms 119:17-24


ג (Gimel)

119:17 Be kind to your servant!

Then I will live 1  and keep 2  your instructions. 3 

119:18 Open 4  my eyes so I can truly see 5 

the marvelous things in your law!

119:19 I am like a foreigner in this land. 6 

Do not hide your commands from me!

119:20 I desperately long to know 7 

your regulations at all times.

119:21 You reprimand arrogant people.

Those who stray from your commands are doomed. 8 

119:22 Spare me 9  shame and humiliation,

for I observe your rules.

119:23 Though rulers plot and slander me, 10 

your servant meditates on your statutes.

119:24 Yes, I find delight in your rules;

they give me guidance. 11 

1 tn The prefixed verbal form is probably a cohortative indicating purpose/result after the preceding imperative.

2 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the imperative that begins the verse.

3 tn Heb “your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as several ancient versions read the plural here.

4 tn Heb “uncover.” The verb form גַּל (gal) is an apocopated Piel imperative from גָּלָה (galah, see GKC 214 §

5 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.

6 tn Heb “I am a resident alien in the land.” Resident aliens were especially vulnerable and in need of help. They needed to know the social and legal customs of the land to avoid getting into trouble. The translation (note the addition of “like”) assumes the psalmist is speaking metaphorically, not literally.

7 tn Heb “my soul languishes for longing for.”

8 tn Heb “accursed.” The traditional punctuation of the Hebrew text takes “accursed” with the previous line (“arrogant, accursed ones”), but it is preferable to take it with the second line as the predicate of the statement.

9 tn Heb “roll away from upon me.” Some derive the imperatival form גַּל (gal) from גָּלָה (galah, “uncover,” as in v. 18), but here the form is from גָּלַל (galal, “roll”; see Josh 5:9, where חֶרְפָּה [kherpah, “shame; reproach”] also appears as object of the verb). Some, following the lead of a Dead Sea scroll (11QPsa), emend the form to גֹּל (gol).

10 tn Heb “though rulers sit, about me they talk together.” (For another example of the Niphal of דָּבַר (davar) used with a suffixed form of the preposition ב, see Ezek 33:30.)

11 tn Heb “men of my counsel.” That is, God’s rules are like advisers to the psalmist, for they teach him how to live in a godly manner that refutes the accusations of his enemies.

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