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Psalms 43:1-2

Psalm 43 1 

43:1 Vindicate me, O God!

Fight for me 2  against an ungodly nation!

Deliver me 3  from deceitful and evil men! 4 

43:2 For you are the God who shelters me. 5 

Why do you reject me? 6 

Why must I walk around 7  mourning 8 

because my enemies oppress me?

Psalms 43:5


43:5 Why are you depressed, 9  O my soul? 10 

Why are you upset? 11 

Wait for God!

For I will again give thanks

to my God for his saving intervention. 12 

1 sn Psalm 43. Many medieval Hebrew mss combine Psalm 43 and Psalm 42 into one psalm. Psalm 43 is the only psalm in Book 2 of the Psalter (Psalms 42-72) that does not have a heading, suggesting that it was originally the third and concluding section of Psalm 42. Ps 43:5 is identical to the refrain in Ps 42:11 and almost identical to the refrain in Ps 42:5.

2 tn Or “argue my case.”

3 tn The imperfect here expresses a request or wish. Note the imperatives in the first half of the verse. See also v. 3.

4 tn Heb “from the deceitful and evil man.” The Hebrew text uses the singular form “man” in a collective sense, as the reference to a “nation” in the parallel line indicates.

5 tn Heb “God of my place of refuge,” that is, “God who is my place of refuge.” See Ps 31:4.

6 tn The question is similar to that of Ps 42:9, but זָנַח (zanakh, “reject”) is a stronger verb than שָׁכַח (shakhakh, “forget”).

7 tn The language is similar to that of Ps 42:9, but the Hitpael form of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh; as opposed to the Qal form in 42:9) expresses more forcefully the continuing nature of the psalmist’s distress.

8 sn Walk around mourning. See Ps 38:6 for a similar statement.

9 tn Heb “Why do you bow down?”

10 sn For poetic effect the psalmist addresses his soul, or inner self.

11 tn Heb “and why are you in turmoil upon me?”

12 tc Heb “for again I will give him thanks, the saving acts of my face and my God.” The last line should be emended to read יְשׁוּעֹת פְנֵי אֱלֹהָי (yÿshuot fÿneyelohay, “[for] the saving acts of the face of my God,” that is, the saving acts associated with God’s presence/intervention. This refrain is identical to the one in Ps 42:11. See also 42:5, which differs only slightly.

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