For the music director; according to the gittith style; 2 by Asaph.
81:1 Shout for joy to God, our source of strength!
Shout out to the God of Jacob!
the pleasant sounding harp, and the ten-stringed instrument!
and on the day of the full moon when our festival begins. 5
it is an ordinance given by the God of Jacob.
81:5 He decreed it as a regulation in Joseph,
when he attacked the land of Egypt. 7
I heard a voice I did not recognize. 8
his hands were released from holding the basket. 10
81:7 In your distress you called out and I rescued you.
I answered you from a dark thundercloud. 11
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 12 (Selah)
I will warn 14 you!
O Israel, if only you would obey me! 15
You must not worship a foreign god.
81:10 I am the Lord, your God,
the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it!’
Israel did not submit to me. 19
they did what seemed right to them. 21
If only Israel would keep my commands! 23
81:14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and attack 24 their adversaries.”
May they be permanently humiliated!) 27
A psalm of Asaph.
and show favoritism to the wicked? 37 (Selah)
Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!
82:4 Rescue the poor and needy!
Deliver them from the power 39 of the wicked!
They stumble 41 around in the dark,
while all the foundations of the earth crumble. 42
all of you are sons of the Most High.’ 44
you will fall like all the other rulers.” 46
82:8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth!
For you own 47 all the nations.
A song, a psalm of Asaph.
83:1 O God, do not be silent!
Do not ignore us! 49 Do not be inactive, O God!
83:2 For look, your enemies are making a commotion;
those who hate you are hostile. 50
Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
they form an alliance 57 against you.
Moab and the Hagrites, 59
Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre. 61
83:8 Even Assyria has allied with them,
lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. 62 (Selah)
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River! 64
their corpses were like manure 66 on the ground.
and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna, 68
like dead weeds blown away by 72 the wind!
83:14 Like the fire that burns down the forest,
or the flames that consume the mountainsides, 73
83:15 chase them with your gale winds,
and terrify 74 them with your windstorm.
May they die in shame! 79
the sovereign king 82 over all the earth.
For the music director; according to the gittith style; 84 written by the Korahites, a psalm.
O Lord who rules over all! 86
in the courts of the Lord’s temple. 88
My heart and my entire being 89 shout for joy
to the living God.
84:3 Even the birds find a home there,
and the swallow 90 builds a nest,
where she can protect her young 91
near your altars, O Lord who rules over all,
my king and my God.
and praise you continually! (Selah)
and long to travel the roads that lead to your temple! 94
he provides a spring for them. 96
each one appears 100 before God in Zion.
hear my prayer!
Listen, O God of Jacob! (Selah)
Show concern for your chosen king! 103
than spending a thousand elsewhere. 105
I would rather stand at the entrance 106 to the temple of my God
than live 107 in the tents of the wicked.
The Lord bestows favor 109 and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity. 110
how blessed are those who trust in you! 112
For the music director; written by the Korahites, a psalm.
85:1 O Lord, you showed favor to your land;
you restored the well-being of Jacob. 114
you forgave 116 all their sin. (Selah)
85:3 You withdrew all your fury;
you turned back from your raging anger. 117
85:4 Restore us, O God our deliverer!
Do not be displeased with us! 118
85:5 Will you stay mad at us forever?
Will you remain angry throughout future generations? 119
85:6 Will you not revive us once more?
Then your people will rejoice in you!
85:7 O Lord, show us your loyal love!
Bestow on us your deliverance!
Yet they must not 123 return to their foolish ways.
then his splendor will again appear in our land. 125
deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. 127
85:11 Faithfulness grows from the ground,
and deliverance looks down from the sky. 128
and our land will yield 130 its crops.
A prayer of David.
For I am oppressed and needy.
O my God, deliver your servant, who trusts in you!
for I cry out to you all day long!
for to you, O Lord, I pray! 139
and show great faithfulness to all who cry out to you.
86:6 O Lord, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my plea for mercy!
86:7 In my time of trouble I cry out to you,
for you will answer me.
86:8 None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord!
Your exploits are incomparable! 142
86:9 All the nations, whom you created,
will come and worship you, 143 O Lord.
They will honor your name.
86:10 For you are great and do amazing things.
You alone are God.
Then I will obey your commands. 145
Make me wholeheartedly committed to you! 146
86:12 O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart!
I will honor your name continually! 147
86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God.
86:16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me!
Give your servant your strength!
Deliver your slave! 156
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, 158
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me. 159
Written by the Korahites; a psalm, a song.
87:2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
O city of God. (Selah)
It is said of them, “This one was born there.” 168
“Each one of these 170 was born in her,
“This one was born there.” 174 (Selah)
87:7 As for the singers, as well as the pipers –
all of them sing within your walls. 175
[81:1] 1 sn Psalm 81. The psalmist calls God’s people to assemble for a festival and then proclaims God’s message to them. The divine speech (vv. 6-16) recalls how God delivered the people from Egypt, reminds Israel of their rebellious past, expresses God’s desire for his people to obey him, and promises divine protection in exchange for obedience.
[81:3] sn New moon festivals were a monthly ritual in Israel (see R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 469-70). In this context the New Moon festival of the seventh month, when the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated (note the reference to a “festival” in the next line), may be in view.
[81:5] 7 tn Heb “in his going out against the land of Egypt.” This apparently refers to the general time period of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. The LXX reads, “from Egypt,” in which case “Joseph” (see the preceding line) would be the subject of the verb, “when he [Joseph = Israel] left Egypt.”
[81:5] 8 tn Heb “a lip I did not know, I heard.” Here the term “lip” probably stands for speech or a voice. Apparently the psalmist speaks here and refers to God’s voice, whose speech is recorded in the following verses.
[81:6] 10 sn I removed the burden. The Lord speaks metaphorically of how he delivered his people from Egyptian bondage. The reference to a basket/burden probably alludes to the hard labor of the Israelites in Egypt, where they had to carry loads of bricks (see Exod 1:14).
[81:7] 12 sn The name Meribah means “strife.” Two separate but similar incidents at the place called Meribah are recorded in the Pentateuch (Exod 17:1-7; Num 20:1-13). In both cases the Israelites complained about lack of water and the Lord miraculously provided for them.
[81:8] 13 tn The words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification. Verses 8-10 appear to recall what the
[81:8] 15 tn The Hebrew particle אִם (“if”) and following prefixed verbal form here express a wish (GKC 321 §109.b). Note that the apodosis (the “then” clause of the conditional sentence) is suppressed.
[81:15] 26 tn See Deut 33:29; Ps 66:3 for other uses of the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) in the sense “cower in fear.” In Ps 18:44 the verb seems to carry the nuance “to be weak; to be powerless” (see also Ps 109:24). The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive, parallel to the jussive form in the next line.
[81:15] 27 tc Heb “and may their time be forever.” The Hebrew term עִתָּם (’ittam, “their time”) must refer here to the “time” of the demise and humiliation of those who hate the
[81:15] tn The verb form at the beginning of the line is jussive, indicating that this is a prayer. The translation assumes that v. 15 is a parenthetical “curse” offered by the psalmist. Having heard the reference to Israel’s enemies (v. 14), the psalmist inserts this prayer, reminding the Lord that they are God’s enemies as well.
[81:16] 28 tn Heb “and he fed him from the best of the wheat.” The Hebrew text has a third person form of the preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive attached. However, it is preferable, in light of the use of the first person in v. 14 and in the next line, to emend the verb to a first person form and understand the vav as conjunctive, continuing the apodosis of the conditional sentence of vv. 13-14. The third masculine singular pronominal suffix refers to Israel, as in v. 6.
[82:1] 31 sn Psalm 82. The psalmist pictures God standing in the “assembly of El” where he accuses the “gods” of failing to promote justice on earth. God pronounces sentence upon them, announcing that they will die like men. Having witnessed the scene, the psalmist then asks God to establish his just rule over the earth.
[82:1] 33 tn The phrase עֲדַת אֵל (’adat ’el, “assembly of El”) appears only here in the OT. (1) Some understand “El” to refer to God himself. In this case he is pictured presiding over his own heavenly assembly. (2) Others take אֵל as a superlative here (“God stands in the great assembly”), as in Pss 36:6 and 80:10. (3) The present translation assumes this is a reference to the Canaanite high god El, who presided over the Canaanite divine assembly. (See Isa 14:13, where El’s assembly is called “the stars of El.”) In the Ugaritic myths the phrase ’dt ’ilm refers to the “assembly of the gods,” who congregate in King Kirtu’s house, where Baal asks El to bless Kirtu’s house (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 91). If the Canaanite divine assembly is referred to here in Ps 82:1, then the psalm must be understood as a bold polemic against Canaanite religion. Israel’s God invades El’s assembly, denounces its gods as failing to uphold justice, and announces their coming demise. For an interpretation of the psalm along these lines, see W. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” EBC 5:533-36.
[82:1] 34 sn The present translation assumes that the Hebrew term אֱלֹהִים (’elohim, “gods”) here refers to the pagan gods who supposedly comprise El’s assembly according to Canaanite religion. Those who reject the polemical view of the psalm prefer to see the referent as human judges or rulers (אֱלֹהִים sometimes refers to officials appointed by God, see Exod 21:6; 22:8-9; Ps 45:6) or as angelic beings (אֱלֹהִים sometimes refers to angelic beings, see Gen 3:5; Ps 8:5).
[82:3] 38 tn The Hebrew noun יָתוֹם (yatom) refers to one who has lost his father (not necessarily his mother, see Ps 109:9). Because they were so vulnerable and were frequently exploited, fatherless children are often mentioned as epitomizing the oppressed (see Pss 10:14; 68:5; 94:6; 146:9; as well as Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12; 31:17, 21).
[82:5] 42 sn These gods, though responsible for justice, neglect their duty. Their self-imposed ignorance (which the psalmist compares to stumbling around in the dark) results in widespread injustice, which threatens the social order of the world (the meaning of the phrase all the foundations of the earth crumble).
[82:6] 44 sn Normally in the OT the title Most High belongs to the God of Israel, but in this context, where the mythological overtones are so strong, it probably refers to the Canaanite high god El (see v. 1, as well as Isa 14:13).
[82:7] sn You will die like mortals. For the concept of a god losing immortality and dying, see Isa 14:12-15, which alludes to a pagan myth in which the petty god “Shining One, son of the Dawn,” is hurled into Sheol for his hubris.
[82:7] 46 tn Heb “like one of the rulers.” The comparison does not necessarily imply that they are not rulers. The expression “like one of” can sometimes mean “as one of” (Gen 49:16; Obad 11) or “as any other of” (Judg 16:7, 11).
[82:8] 47 tn The translation assumes that the Qal of נָחַל (nakhal) here means “to own; to possess,” and that the imperfect emphasizes a general truth. Another option is to translate the verb as future, “for you will take possession of all the nations” (cf. NIV “all the nations are your inheritance”).
[83:1] 48 sn Psalm 83. The psalmist asks God to deliver Israel from the attacks of foreign nations. Recalling how God defeated Israel’s enemies in the days of Deborah and Gideon, he prays that the hostile nations would be humiliated.
[83:7] 60 sn Some identify Gebal with the Phoenician coastal city of Byblos (see Ezek 27:9, where the name is spelled differently), though others locate this site south of the Dead Sea (see BDB 148 s.v. גְּבַל; HALOT 174 s.v. גְּבַל).
[83:8] sn The descendants of Lot were the Moabites and Ammonites.
[83:10] 65 sn Endor is not mentioned in the accounts of Gideon’s or Barak’s victories, but both battles took place in the general vicinity of the town. (See Y. Aharoni and M. Avi-Yonah, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, 46, 54.) Because Sisera and Jabin are mentioned in v. 9b, many understand them to be the subject of the verbs in v. 10, though they relate v. 10 to Gideon’s victory, which is referred to in v. 9a, 11. (See, for example, Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible, 263.)
[83:12] 69 tn The translation assumes that “Zebah and Zalmunna” are the antecedents of the relative pronoun (“who [said]”). Another option is to take “their nobles…all their rulers” as the antecedent and to translate, “those who say.”
[83:13] 71 tn Or “tumbleweed.” The Hebrew noun גַּלְגַּל (galgal) refers to a “wheel” or, metaphorically, to a whirling wind (see Ps 77:18). If taken in the latter sense here, one could understand the term as a metonymical reference to dust blown by a whirlwind (cf. NRSV “like whirling dust”). However, HALOT 190 s.v. II גַּלְגַּל understands the noun as a homonym referring to a “dead thistle” here and in Isa 17:13. The parallel line, which refers to קַשׁ (qash, “chaff”), favors this interpretation.
[83:17] 78 tn Heb “and may they be terrified to perpetuity.” The Hebrew expression עֲדֵי־עַד (’adey-’ad, “to perpetuity”) can mean “forevermore” (see Pss 92:7; 132:12, 14), but here it may be used hyperbolically, for the psalmist asks that the experience of judgment might lead the nations to recognize (v. 18) and even to seek (v. 16) God.
[83:17] 79 tn Heb “may they be ashamed and perish.” The four prefixed verbal forms in this verse are understood as jussives. The psalmist concludes his prayer with an imprecation, calling severe judgment down on his enemies. The strong language of the imprecation seems to run contrary to the positive outcome of divine judgment envisioned in v. 16b. Perhaps the language of v. 17 is overstated for effect. Another option is that v. 16b expresses an ideal, while the strong imprecation of vv. 17-18 anticipates reality. It would be nice if the defeated nations actually pursued a relationship with God, but if judgment does not bring them to that point, the psalmist asks that they be annihilated so that they might at least be forced to acknowledge God’s power.
[84:3] sn The psalmist here romanticizes the temple as a place of refuge and safety. As he thinks of the birds nesting near its roof, he envisions them finding protection in God’s presence.
[84:4] 92 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see v. 12 and Pss 1:1; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
[84:5] 93 tn Heb “[Oh] the happiness [of] the man.” Hebrew literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle stated here was certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, we translate the gender and age specific “man” with the plural “those.” The individual referred to in v. 5a is representative of followers of God, as the use of plural forms in vv. 5b-7 indicates.
[84:6] 95 tn The translation assumes that the Hebrew phrase עֵמֶק הַבָּכָא (’emeq habbakha’) is the name of an otherwise unknown arid valley through which pilgrims to Jerusalem passed. The term בָּכָא (bakha’) may be the name of a particular type of plant or shrub that grew in this valley. O. Borowski (Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 130) suggests it is the black mulberry. Some take the phrase as purely metaphorical and relate בָּכָא to the root בָּכָה (bakhah, “to weep”). In this case one might translate, “the valley of weeping” or “the valley of affliction.”
[84:6] 96 tc The MT reads “a spring they make it,” but this makes little sense. Many medieval Hebrew
[84:6] sn Pools of water. Because water is so necessary for life, it makes an apt symbol for divine favor and blessing. As the pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem, God provided for their physical needs and gave them a token of his favor and of the blessings awaiting them at the temple.
[84:7] 99 tn Heb “they go from strength to strength.” The phrase “from strength to strength” occurs only here in the OT. With a verb of motion, the expression “from [common noun] to [same common noun]” normally suggests movement from one point to another or through successive points (see Num 36:7; 1 Chr 16:20; 17:5; Ps 105:13; Jer 25:32). Ps 84:7 may be emphasizing that the pilgrims move successively from one “place of strength” to another as they travel toward Jerusalem. All along the way they find adequate provisions and renewed energy for the trip.
[84:8] 101 tn Heb “
[84:9] 102 tn The phrase “our shield” refers metaphorically to the Davidic king, who, as God’s vice-regent, was the human protector of the people. Note the parallelism with “your anointed one” here and with “our king” in Ps 89:18.
[84:9] 103 tn Heb “look [on] the face of your anointed one.” The Hebrew phrase מְשִׁיחֶךָ (mÿshikhekha, “your anointed one”) refers here to the Davidic king (see Pss 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 89:38, 51; 132:10, 17).
[84:10] 106 tn Heb “I choose being at the entrance of the house of my God over living in the tents of the wicked.” The verb סָפַף (safaf) appears only here in the OT; it is derived from the noun סַף (saf, “threshold”). Traditionally some have interpreted this as a reference to being a doorkeeper at the temple, though some understand it to mean “lie as a beggar at the entrance to the temple” (see HALOT 765 s.v. ספף).
[84:11] 108 tn Heb “[is] a sun and a shield.” The epithet “sun,” though rarely used of Israel’s God in the OT, was a well-attested royal title in the ancient Near East. For several examples from Ugaritic texts, the Amarna letters, and Assyrian royal inscriptions, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 131, n. 2.
[84:12] 112 tn Heb “[Oh] the happiness [of] the man [who] trusts in you.” Hebrew literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle stated here is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, we translate the gender and age specific “man” with the plural “those.” The individual referred to here is representative of all followers of God, as the use of the plural form in v. 12b indicates.
[85:3] 117 tn Heb “the rage of your anger.” The phrase “rage of your anger” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81. See Pss 69:24; 78:49.
[85:9] 125 tn Heb “to dwell, glory, in our land.” “Glory” is the subject of the infinitive. The infinitive with -לְ (lÿ), “to dwell,” probably indicates result here (“then”). When God delivers his people and renews his relationship with them, he will once more reveal his royal splendor in the land.
[85:10] 127 sn Deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. The psalmist personifies these abstract qualities to emphasize that God’s loyal love and faithfulness will yield deliverance and peace for his people.
[85:13] 133 tn Heb “and it prepares for a way his footsteps.” Some suggest emending וְיָשֵׂם (vÿyasem, “and prepares”) to וְשָׁלוֹם (vÿshalom, “and peace”) since “deliverance” and “peace” are closely related earlier in v. 13. This could be translated, “and peace [goes ahead, making] a pathway for his footsteps” (cf. NEB).
[86:11] 146 tn Heb “Bind my heart to the fearing of your name.” The verb translated “bind” occurs only here in the Piel stem. It appears twice in the Qal, meaning “be joined” in both cases (Gen 49:6; Isa 14:20). To “fear” God’s name means to have a healthy respect for him which in turn motivates one to obey his commands (see Pss 61:5; 102:15).
[86:16] 156 tn Heb “the son of your female servant.” The phrase “son of a female servant” (see also Ps 116:16) is used of a son born to a secondary wife or concubine (Exod 23:12). In some cases the child’s father is the master of the house (see Gen 21:10, 13; Judg 9:18). The use of the expression here certainly does not imply that the
[86:17] 159 tn The perfect verbal forms are understood here as dramatic/rhetorical, expressing the psalmist’s certitude that such a sign from the
[87:1] 161 tn Heb “his foundation [is] in the hills of holiness.” The expression “his foundation” refers here by metonymy to the
[87:3] 162 tn Heb “glorious things are spoken about you.” The translation assumes this is a general reference to compliments paid to Zion by those who live within her walls and by those who live in the surrounding areas and lands. Another option is that this refers to a prophetic oracle about the city’s glorious future. In this case one could translate, “wonderful things are announced concerning you.”
[87:4] 164 tn Heb “to those who know me” (see Ps 36:10). Apparently the
[87:4] 168 tn Heb “and this one was born there.” The words “It is said of them” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarification and stylistic purposes (see v. 5). Those advocating the universalistic interpretation understand “there” as referring to Zion, but it seems more likely that the adverb refers to the nations just mentioned. The foreigners are identified by their native lands.
[87:5] 169 tn Heb “and of Zion it is said.” Another option is to translate, “and to Zion it is said.” In collocation with the Niphal of אָמַר (’amar), the preposition lamed (-לְ) can introduce the recipient of the statement (see Josh 2:2; Jer 4:11; Hos 1:10; Zeph 3:16), carry the nuance “concerning, of” (see Num 23:23), or mean “be named” (see Isa 4:3; 62:4).
[87:5] 170 tn Heb “a man and a man.” The idiom also appears in Esth 1:8. The translation assumes that the phrase refers to each of Zion’s residents, in contrast to the foreigners mentioned in v. 4. Those advocating the universalistic interpretation understand this as a reference to each of the nations, including those mentioned in v. 4.
[87:6] 174 tn As noted in v. 4, the translation assumes a contrast between “there” (the various foreign lands) and “in her” (Zion). In contrast to foreigners, the citizens of Zion have special status because of their birthplace (v. 5). In this case vv. 4 and 6 form a structural frame around v. 5.
[87:7] 175 tc Heb “and singers, like pipers, all my springs [are] in you.” The participial form חֹלְלִים (kholÿlim) appears to be from a denominative verb meaning “play the pipe,” though some derive the form from חוּל (khul, “dance”). In this case the duplicated lamed (ל) requires an emendation to מְחֹלְלִים (mÿkholÿlim, “a Polel form). The words are addressed to Zion. As it stands, the Hebrew text makes little, if any, sense. “Springs” are often taken here as a symbol of divine blessing and life”), but this reading does not relate to the preceding line in any apparent way. The present translation assumes an emendation of כָּל־מַעְיָנַי (kol-ma’yanay, “all my springs”) to כֻּלָּם עָנוּ (kullam ’anu, “all of them sing,” with the form עָנוּ being derived from עָנָה, ’anah, “sing”).