For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.
61:1 O God, hear my cry for help!
Pay attention to my prayer!
I call out to you in my despair. 3
a strong tower that protects me from the enemy. 8
I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. 10 (Selah)
61:5 For you, O God, hear my vows;
you grant me the reward that belongs to your loyal followers. 11
61:6 Give the king long life!
Make his lifetime span several generations! 12
Decree that your loyal love and faithfulness should protect him. 14
as I fulfill 16 my vows day after day.
[61:2] 2 tn Heb “from the end of the earth.” This may indicate (1) the psalmist is exiled in a distant land, or (2) it may be hyperbolic (the psalmist feels alienated from God’s presence, as if he were in a distant land).
[61:4] 9 tn Heb “I will live as a resident alien in your tent permanently.” The cohortative is understood here as indicating resolve. Another option is to take it as expressing a request, “please let me live” (cf. NASB, NRSV).
[61:5] 11 tn Heb “you grant the inheritance of those who fear your name.” “Inheritance” is normally used of land which is granted as an inheritance; here it refers metaphorically to the blessings granted God’s loyal followers. To “fear” God’s name means to have a healthy respect for his revealed reputation which in turn motivates one to obey God’s commands (see Ps 86:11).
[61:6] sn It is not certain if the (royal) psalmist is referring to himself in the third person in this verse, or if an exile is praying on behalf of the king.