For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba. 2
Cleanse me of my sin! 7
I am forever conscious of my sin. 9
I have done what is evil in your sight.
you are right when you condemn me. 13
51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me. 14
you want me to possess wisdom. 18
Wipe away 28 all my guilt!
Renew a resolute spirit within me! 30
51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey! 34
and sinners will turn 37 to you.
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance. 39
Then my mouth will praise you. 41
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice. 44
God’s loyal love protects me all day long! 58
it is as effective as a sharp razor, O deceiver. 60
52:3 You love evil more than good,
lies more than speaking the truth. 61 (Selah)
and the tongue that deceives.
he will uproot you from the land of the living. (Selah)
52:6 When the godly see this, they will be filled with awe,
and will mock the evildoer, saying: 67
He trusted in his great wealth
and was confident about his plans to destroy others.” 69
I continually 72 trust in God’s loyal love.
They sin and commit evil deeds; 84
none of them does what is right. 85
they are all morally corrupt. 91
None of them does what is right, 92
not even one!
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread,
and do not call out to God.
even by things that do not normally cause fear. 96
You are able to humiliate them because God has rejected them. 99
When God restores the well-being of his people, 101
may Jacob rejoice, 102
may Israel be happy! 103
Vindicate me 108 by your power!
54:2 O God, listen to my prayer!
Pay attention to what I say! 109
ruthless men, who do not respect God, seek my life. 112 (Selah)
The Lord is among those who support me. 114
As a demonstration of your faithfulness, 117 destroy them!
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good!
and I triumph over my enemies. 121
For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a well-written song 123 by David.
55:1 Listen, O God, to my prayer!
Do not ignore 124 my appeal for mercy!
55:2 Pay attention to me and answer me!
and angrily attack me.
the horrors of death overcome me. 134
terror overwhelms 136 me.
I would fly away and settle in a safe place!
55:7 Look, I will escape to a distant place;
I will stay in the wilderness. (Selah)
55:8 I will hurry off to a place that is safe
from the strong wind 138 and the gale.”
Frustrate their plans! 140
For I see violence and conflict in the city.
while wickedness and destruction 142 are within it.
55:11 Disaster is within it;
violence 143 and deceit do not depart from its public square.
or else I could bear it;
it is not one who hates me who arrogantly taunts me, 145
or else I could hide from him.
my close friend in whom I confided. 148
in God’s temple we would walk together among the crowd.
May they go down alive into Sheol! 151
For evil is in their dwelling place and in their midst.
55:16 As for me, I will call out to God,
and the Lord will deliver me.
55:17 During the evening, morning, and noontime
I will lament and moan, 152
55:19 God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago,
will hear and humiliate them. 159 (Selah)
They refuse to change,
and do not fear God. 160
he breaks his solemn promises to them. 164
but he harbors animosity in his heart. 166
His words seem softer than oil,
but they are really like sharp swords. 167
and he will sustain you. 169
He will never allow the godly to be upended. 170
But as for me, I trust in you.
I trust in you.
in God I trust, I am not afraid.
they make a habit of plotting my demise. 190
they watch my every step, 193
Put my tears in your leather container! 200
Are they not recorded in your scroll? 201
I know that God is on my side. 203
in the Lord – I boast in his promise 205 –
56:11 in God I trust, I am not afraid.
I will give you the thank-offerings you deserve, 209
You keep my feet from stumbling, 211
57:1 Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me!
For in you I have taken shelter. 218
In the shadow of your wings 219 I take shelter
until trouble passes.
to the God who vindicates 221 me.
from my enemies who hurl insults! 223 (Selah)
May God send his loyal love and faithfulness!
57:4 I am surrounded by lions;
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are a sharp sword. 226
May your splendor cover the whole earth! 228
I am discouraged. 230
They have dug a pit for me. 231
They will fall 232 into it! (Selah)
I will sing and praise you!
Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!
I will wake up at dawn! 235
57:9 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Master!
I will sing praises to you before foreigners! 236
and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
May your splendor cover the whole earth! 239
Do you judge people 244 fairly?
you deal out violence in the earth. 247
liars go astray as soon as they are born. 249
or to a skilled snake-charmer.
58:6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths!
Smash the jawbones of the lions, O Lord!
Let them wither like grass! 256
they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
“Yes indeed, the godly are rewarded! 267
Yes indeed, there is a God who judges 268 in the earth!”
59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God!
Rescue me from violent men! 276
powerful men stalk 278 me,
but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord. 279
Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me! 282
rouse yourself and punish 284 all the nations!
Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers! (Selah)
59:6 They return in the evening;
they growl 285 like a dog
and prowl around outside 286 the city.
59:7 Look, they hurl insults at me
and openly threaten to kill me, 287
for they say, 288
you taunt 290 all the nations.
For God is my refuge. 292
59:11 Do not strike them dead suddenly,
because then my people might forget the lesson. 296
Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down,
O Lord who shields us! 297
So let them be trapped by their own pride
and by the curses and lies they speak!
59:13 Angrily wipe them out! Wipe them out so they vanish!
Let them know that God rules
in Jacob and to the ends of the earth! (Selah)
59:14 They return in the evening;
they growl 299 like a dog
and prowl around outside 300 the city.
59:15 They wander around looking for something to eat;
they refuse to sleep until they are full. 301
59:16 As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge 302
and my place of shelter when I face trouble. 303
For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 308 a prayer 309 of David written to instruct others. 310 It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 311 12,000 Edomites 312 in the Valley of Salt. 313
You suddenly turned on us in your anger. 315
Please restore us! 316
Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall. 318
you have made us drink intoxicating wine. 320
so that they might seek safety from the bow. 322 (Selah)
so that the ones you love may be safe. 325
“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;
the Valley of Succoth I will measure off. 327
60:7 Gilead belongs to me,
as does Manasseh! 328
Ephraim is my helmet, 329
Judah my royal scepter. 330
I will make Edom serve me. 332
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.” 333
60:9 Who will lead me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me to Edom? 334
60:10 Have you not rejected us, O God?
O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.
60:11 Give us help against the enemy,
for any help men might offer is futile. 335
he will trample down 337 our enemies.
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. 340
a strong tower that protects me from the enemy. 345
I will find shelter in the protection of your wings. 347 (Selah)
61:5 For you, O God, hear my vows;
you grant me the reward that belongs to your loyal followers. 348
61:6 Give the king long life!
Make his lifetime span several generations! 349
Decree that your loyal love and faithfulness should protect him. 351
as I fulfill 353 my vows day after day.
For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.
he is the one who delivers me. 356
All of you are murderers, 361
as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence. 362
They love to use deceit; 366
they pronounce blessings with their mouths,
but inwardly they utter curses. 367 (Selah)
For he is the one who gives me confidence. 369
62:7 God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter. 373
62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people!
Pour out your hearts before him! 374
God is our shelter! (Selah)
62:9 Men are nothing but a mere breath;
human beings are unreliable. 375
When they are weighed in the scales,
all of them together are lighter than air. 376
Do not put false confidence in what you can gain by robbery! 378
If wealth increases, do not become attached to it! 379
62:11 God has declared one principle;
two principles I have heard: 380
God is strong, 381
For you repay men for what they do. 383
A psalm of David, written when he was in the Judean wilderness. 385
My soul thirsts 387 for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched 388 land where there is no water.
and witnessed 391 your power and splendor.
my lips will praise you.
in your name I will lift up my hands. 395
My mouth joyfully praises you, 398
and think about you during the nighttime hours.
under your wings 401 I rejoice.
your right hand upholds me.
but they will descend into the depths of the earth. 405
their corpses will be eaten by jackals. 407
everyone who takes oaths in his name 409 will boast,
for the mouths of those who speak lies will be shut up. 410
For the music director; a psalm of David.
64:2 Hide me from the plots of evil men,
from the crowd of evildoers. 415
they aim their arrow, a slanderous charge, 417
They shoot at him suddenly and are unafraid of retaliation. 419
They plan how to hide 421 snares,
Man’s inner thoughts cannot be discovered. 427
All who see them will shudder, 432
They will proclaim 434 what God has done,
and reflect on his deeds.
64:10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
and take shelter in him.
For the music director; a psalm of David, a song.
Vows made to you are fulfilled.
all people approach you. 440
but you forgive 442 our acts of rebellion.
and allow to live in your palace courts. 444
May we be satisfied with the good things of your house –
your holy palace. 445
65:5 You answer our prayers by performing awesome acts of deliverance,
O God, our savior. 446
All the ends of the earth trust in you, 447
as well as those living across the wide seas. 448
and demonstrated your strength. 450
and their roaring waves,
as well as the commotion made by the nations. 452
you cause those living in the east and west to praise you. 454
you make it rich and fertile 456
with overflowing streams full of water. 457
You provide grain for them, 458
for you prepare the earth to yield its crops. 459
With rain showers you soften its soil, 463
and make its crops grow. 464
and you leave abundance in your wake. 466
and the hills are clothed with joy. 468
65:13 The meadows are clothed with sheep,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout joyfully, yes, they sing.
[51:1] 1 sn Psalm 51. The psalmist confesses his sinfulness to God and begs for forgiveness and a transformation of his inner character. According to the psalm superscription, David offered this prayer when Nathan confronted him with his sin following the king’s affair with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam 11-12). However, the final two verses of the psalm hardly fit this situation, for they assume the walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed and that the sacrificial system has been temporarily suspended. These verses are probably an addition to the psalm made during the period of exile following the fall of Jerusalem in 586
[51:1] 5 tn Traditionally “blot out my transgressions.” Because of the reference to washing and cleansing in the following verse, it is likely that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to wiping an object clean (note the use of the verb מָחָה (makhah) in the sense of “wipe clean; dry” in 2 Kgs 21:13; Prov 30:20; Isa 25:8). Another option is that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to erasing or blotting out names from a register (see Exod 32:32-33). In this case one might translate, “erase all record of my rebellious acts.”
[51:2] 7 sn In vv. 1b-2 the psalmist uses three different words to emphasize the multifaceted character and degree of his sin. Whatever one wants to call it (“rebellious acts,” “wrongdoing,” “sin”), he has done it and stands morally polluted in God’s sight. The same three words appear in Exod 34:7, which emphasizes that God is willing to forgive sin in all of its many dimensions. In v. 2 the psalmist compares forgiveness and restoration to physical cleansing. Perhaps he likens spiritual cleansing to the purification rites of priestly law.
[51:4] 10 tn Heb “only you,” as if the psalmist had sinned exclusively against God and no other. Since the Hebrew verb חָטָא (hata’, “to sin”) is used elsewhere of sinful acts against people (see BDB 306 s.v. 2.a) and David (the presumed author) certainly sinned when he murdered Uriah (2 Sam 12:9), it is likely that the psalmist is overstating the case to suggest that the attack on Uriah was ultimately an attack on God himself. To clarify the point of the hyperbole, the translation uses “especially,” rather than the potentially confusing “only.”
[51:4] 11 tn The Hebrew term לְמַעַן (lÿma’an) normally indicates purpose (“in order that”), but here it introduces a logical consequence of the preceding statement. (Taking the clause as indicating purpose here would yield a theologically preposterous idea – the psalmist purposely sinned so that God’s justice might be vindicated!) For other examples of לְמַעַן indicating result, see 2 Kgs 22:17; Jer 27:15; Amos 2:7, as well as IBHS 638-40 §38.3.
[51:5] 14 tn Heb “Look, in wrongdoing I was brought forth, and in sin my mother conceived me.” The prefixed verbal form in the second line is probably a preterite (without vav [ו] consecutive), stating a simple historical fact. The psalmist is not suggesting that he was conceived through an inappropriate sexual relationship (although the verse has sometimes been understood to mean that, or even that all sexual relationships are sinful). The psalmist’s point is that he has been a sinner from the very moment his personal existence began. By going back beyond the time of birth to the moment of conception, the psalmist makes his point more emphatically in the second line than in the first.
[51:6] 15 sn The juxtaposition of two occurrences of “look” in vv. 5-6 draws attention to the sharp contrast between the sinful reality of the psalmist’s condition and the lofty ideal God has for him.
[51:6] 18 tn Heb “in the secret [place] wisdom you cause me to know.” The Hiphil verbal form is causative, while the imperfect is used in a modal sense to indicate God’s desire (note the parallel verb “desire”).
[51:6] sn You want me to possess wisdom. Here “wisdom” does not mean “intelligence” or “learning,” but refers to moral insight and skill.
[51:7] 20 tn Heb “cleanse me with hyssop.” “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water (or blood) in purification rites (see Exod 12:22; Lev 14:4-6, 49-52; Num 19:6-18. The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness.
[51:8] 24 tn Heb “cause me to hear happiness and joy.” The language is metonymic: the effect of forgiveness (joy) has been substituted for its cause. The psalmist probably alludes here to an assuring word from God announcing that his sins are forgiven (a so-called oracle of forgiveness). The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request. The synonyms “happiness” and “joy” are joined together as a hendiadys to emphasize the degree of joy he anticipates.
[51:8] 25 sn May the bones you crushed rejoice. The psalmist compares his sinful condition to that of a person who has been physically battered and crushed. Within this metaphorical framework, his “bones” are the seat of his emotional strength.
[51:11] 33 sn Do not take…away. The psalmist expresses his fear that, due to his sin, God will take away the Holy Spirit from him. NT believers enjoy the permanent gift of the Holy Spirit and need not make such a request nor fear such a consequence. However, in the OT God’s Spirit empowered certain individuals for special tasks and only temporarily resided in them. For example, when God rejected Saul as king and chose David to replace him, the divine Spirit left Saul and came upon David (1 Sam 16:13-14).
[51:12] 34 tn Heb “and [with] a willing spirit sustain me.” The psalmist asks that God make him the kind of person who willingly obeys the divine commandments. The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
[51:13] 35 tn The cohortative expresses the psalmist’s resolve. This may be a vow or promise. If forgiven, the psalmist will “repay” the Lord by declaring God’s mercy and motivating other sinners to repent.
[51:13] 36 tn Heb “your ways.” The word “merciful” is added for clarification. God’s “ways” are sometimes his commands, but in this context, where the teaching of God’s ways motivates repentance (see the next line), it is more likely that God’s merciful and compassionate way of dealing with sinners is in view. Thanksgiving songs praising God for his deliverance typically focus on these divine attributes (see Pss 34, 41, 116, 138).
[51:14] 39 tn Heb “my tongue will shout for joy your deliverance.” Another option is to take the prefixed verbal form as a jussive, “may my tongue shout for joy.” However, the pattern in vv. 12-15 appears to be prayer/request (see vv. 12, 14a, 15a) followed by promise/vow (see vv. 13, 14b, 15b).
[51:16] 42 tn Or “For.” The translation assumes the particle is asseverative (i.e., emphasizing: “certainly”). (Some translations that consider the particle asseverative leave it untranslated.) If taken as causal or explanatory (“for”, cf. NRSV), the verse would explain why the psalmist is pleading for forgiveness, rather than merely offering a sacrifice.
[51:16] 43 tn The translation assumes that the cohortative is used in a hypothetical manner in a formally unmarked conditional sentence, “You do not want a sacrifice, should I offer [it]” (cf. NEB). For other examples of cohortatives in the protasis (“if” clause) of a conditional sentence, see GKC 320 §108.e. (It should be noted, however, that GKC understands this particular verse in a different manner. See GKC 320 §108.f, where it is suggested that the cohortative is part of an apodosis with the protasis being suppressed.)
[51:16] 44 sn You do not desire a burnt sacrifice. The terminology used in v. 16 does not refer to expiatory sacrifices, but to dedication and communion offerings. This is not a categorical denial of the sacrificial system in general or of the importance of such offerings. The psalmist is talking about his specific situation. Dedication and communion offerings have their proper place in worship (see v. 19), but God requires something more fundamental, a repentant and humble attitude (see v. 17), before these offerings can have real meaning.
[52:1] 55 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.
[52:1] sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s head shepherd (1 Sam 21:7), informed Saul of David’s whereabouts (see 1 Sam 21-22).
[52:1] 58 tn Heb “the loyal love of God [is] all the day.” In this context, where the psalmist is threatened by his enemy, the point seems to be that the psalmist is protected by God’s loyal love at all times.
[52:4] 62 tn Heb “you love all the words of swallowing.” Traditionally בַּלַּע (bala’) has been taken to mean “swallowing” in the sense of “devouring” or “destructive” (see BDB 118 s.v. בָּלַע). HALOT 135 s.v. III *בֶּלַע proposes a homonym here, meaning “confusion.” This would fit the immediate context nicely and provide a close parallel to the following line, which refers to deceptive words.
[52:7] 68 tn The imperfect verbal form here draws attention to the ongoing nature of the action. The evildoer customarily rejected God and trusted in his own abilities. Another option is to take the imperfect as generalizing, “[here is the man who] does not make.”
[52:7] 69 tn Heb “he was strong in his destruction.” “Destruction” must refer back to the destructive plans mentioned in v. 2. The verb (derived from the root עָזַז, ’azaz, “be strong”) as it stands is either an imperfect (if so, probably used in a customary sense) or a preterite (without vav [ו] consecutive). However the form should probably be emended to וַיָּעָז (vayya’az), a Qal preterite (with vav [ו] consecutive) from עָזַז. Note the preterite form without vav (ו) consecutive in the preceding line (וַיִּבְטַח, vayyivtakh, “and he trusted”). The prefixed vav (ו) was likely omitted by haplography (note the suffixed vav [ו] on the preceding עָשְׁרוֹ, ’oshro, “his wealth”).
[52:9] 75 tn Heb “you have acted.” The perfect verbal form (1) probably indicates a future perfect here. The psalmist promises to give thanks when the expected vindication has been accomplished. Other options include (2) a generalizing (“for you act”) or (3) rhetorical (“for you will act”) use.
[53:1] 79 sn Psalm 53. This psalm is very similar to Ps 14. The major difference comes in v. 5, which corresponds to, but differs quite a bit from, Ps 14:5-6, and in the use of the divine name. Ps 14 uses “the
[53:1] 80 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מָחֲלַת (makhalat, “machalath”) is uncertain; perhaps it refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. The term also appears in the heading of Ps 88.
[53:1] 83 sn There is no God. This statement is probably not a philosophical assertion that God does not exist, but rather a confident affirmation that he is unconcerned about how men live morally and ethically (see Ps 10:4, 11).
[53:1] 84 tn Heb “they act corruptly, they do evil [with] injustice.” Ps 14:1 has עֲלִילָה (’alilah, “a deed”) instead of עָוֶל (’aval, “injustice”). The verbs describe the typical behavior of the wicked. The subject of the plural verbs is “sons of man” (v. 2). The entire human race is characterized by sinful behavior. This practical atheism – living as if there is no God who will hold them accountable for their actions – makes them fools, for one of the earmarks of folly is to fail to anticipate the long range consequences of one’s behavior.
[53:4] 94 tn Heb “Do they not understand?” The rhetorical question expresses the psalmist’s amazement at their apparent lack of understanding. This may refer to their lack of moral understanding, but it more likely refers to their failure to anticipate God’s defense of his people (see vv. 5-6).
[53:5] 95 tn Heb “there they are afraid [with] fear.” The perfect verbal form is probably used in a rhetorical manner; the psalmist describes the future demise of the oppressors as if it were already occurring. The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is also used here for dramatic effect, as the psalmist envisions the wicked standing in fear at a spot that is this vivid in his imagination (BDB 1027 s.v.). The cognate accusative following the verb emphasizes the degree of their terror (“absolutely”).
[53:5] 96 tn Heb “there is no fear.” Apparently this means the evildoers are so traumatized with panic (see v. 5b) that they now jump with fear at everything, even those things that would not normally cause fear. Ps 14:5 omits this line.
[53:5] 97 tn Heb “scatters the bones.” The perfect is used in a rhetorical manner, describing this future judgment as if it were already accomplished. Scattering the bones alludes to the aftermath of a battle. God annihilates his enemies, leaving their carcasses spread all over the battlefield. As the bodies are devoured by wild animals and decay, the bones of God’s dead enemies are exposed. See Ps 141:7.
[53:5] 98 tn Heb “[those who] encamp [against] you.” The second person masculine singular pronominal suffix probably refers to God’s people viewed as a collective whole. Instead of “for God scatters the bones of those who encamp against you,” Ps 14:5 reads, “for God is with a godly generation.”
[53:5] 99 tn Once again the perfect is used in a rhetorical manner, describing this future judgment as if it were already accomplished. As in the previous line, God’s people are probably addressed. The second person singular verb form is apparently collective, suggesting that the people are viewed here as a unified whole. Ps 14:6 reads here “the counsel of the oppressed you put to shame, even though God is his shelter,” the words being addressed to the wicked.
[54:1] sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion the Ziphites informed Saul that David was hiding in their territory (see 1 Sam 23:19-20).
[54:3] 110 tc Many medieval Hebrew
[54:5] 116 tn The Kethib (consonantal text) reads a Qal imperfect, “the evil will return,” while the Qere (marginal reading) has a Hiphil imperfect, “he will repay.” The parallel line has an imperative (indicating a prayer/request), so it is best to read a jussive form יָשֹׁב (yashov, “let it [the evil] return”) here.
[54:7] 120 tn The perfects in v. 7 are probably rhetorical, indicating the psalmist’s certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s deliverance and his own vindication as if they were occurring or had already occurred.
[55:2] 127 tn The verb is a Hiphil cohortative from הוּם (hum), which means “to confuse someone” in the Qal and “to go wild” in the Niphal. An Arabic cognate means “to be out of one’s senses, to wander about.” With the vav (ו) conjunctive prefixed to it, the cohortative probably indicates the result or effect of the preceding main verb. Some prefer to emend the form to וְאֵהוֹמָה (vÿ’ehomah), a Niphal of הוּם (hum), or to וְאֶהַמֶה (vÿ’ehameh), a Qal imperfect from הָמָה (hamah, “to moan”). Many also prefer to take this verb with what follows (see v. 3).
[55:3] 130 tn Heb “from before the pressure of the wicked.” Some suggest the meaning “screech” (note the parallel “voice”; cf. NEB “shrill clamour”; NRSV “clamor”) for the rare noun עָקָה (’aqah, “pressure”).
[55:3] 132 tc The verb form in the MT appears to be a Hiphil imperfect from the root מוֹט (mot, “to sway”), but the Hiphil occurs only here and in the Kethib (consonantal text) of Ps 140:10, where the form יַמְטֵר (yamter, “let him rain down”) should probably be read. Here in Ps 55:3 it is preferable to read יַמְטִירוּ (yamtiru, “they rain down”). It is odd for “rain down” to be used with an abstract object like “wickedness,” but in Job 20:23 God “rains down” anger (unless one emends the text there; see BHS).
[55:9] 139 tn Traditionally בַּלַּע (bala’) has been taken to mean “swallow” in the sense of “devour” or “destroy” (cf. KJV), but this may be a homonym meaning “confuse” (see BDB 118 s.v. בַּלַּע; HALOT 135 s.v. III *בֶּלַע). “Their tongue” is the understood object of the verb (see the next line).
[55:14] 149 tn Heb “who together we would make counsel sweet.” The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line draw attention to the ongoing nature of the actions (the so-called customary use of the imperfect). Their relationship was characterized by such intimacy and friendship. See IBHS 502-3 §31.2b.
[55:15] 150 tc The meaning of the MT is unclear. The Kethib (consonantal text) reads יַשִּׁימָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashimavet ’alemo, “May devastation [be] upon them!”). The proposed noun יַשִּׁימָוֶת occurs only here and perhaps in the place name Beth-Jeshimoth in Num 33:49. The Qere (marginal text) has יַשִּׁי מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashi mavet ’alemo). The verbal form יַשִּׁי is apparently an alternate form of יַשִּׁיא (yashi’), a Hiphil imperfect from נָשַׁא (nasha’, “deceive”). In this case one might read “death will come deceptively upon them.” This reading has the advantage of reading מָוֶת (mavet, “death”) which forms a natural parallel with “Sheol” in the next line. The present translation is based on the following reconstruction of the text: יְשִׁמֵּם מָוֶת (yeshimmem mavet). The verb assumed in the reconstruction is a Hiphil jussive third masculine singular from שָׁמַם (shamam, “be desolate”) with a third masculine plural pronominal suffix attached. This reconstruction assumes that (1) haplography has occurred in the traditional text (the original sequence of three mems [מ] was lost with only one mem remaining), resulting in the fusion of originally distinct forms in the Kethib, and (2) that עָלֵימוֹ (’alemo, “upon them”) is a later scribal addition attempting to make sense of a garbled and corrupt text. The preposition עַל (’al) does occur with the verb שָׁמַם (shamam), but in such cases the expression means “be appalled at/because of” (see Jer 49:20; 50:45). If one were to retain the prepositional phrase here, one would have to read the text as follows: יַשִּׁים מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashim mavet ’alemo, “Death will be appalled at them”). The idea seems odd, to say the least. Death is not collocated with this verb elsewhere.
[55:17] 153 tn The prefixed verb with vav (ו) consecutive normally appears in narrational contexts to indicate past action, but here it continues the anticipatory (future) perspective of the preceding line. In Ps 77:6 one finds the same sequence of cohortative + prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive. In this case as well, both forms refer to future actions.
[55:19] 159 tc Heb “God will hear and answer them, even [the] one who sits [from] ancient times.” The prefixed verbal from with vav (ו) consecutive carries on the anticipatory force of the preceding imperfect. The verb appears to be a Qal form from עָנָה (’anah, “to answer”). If this reading is retained, the point would be that God “answered” them in judgment. The translation assumes an emendation to the Piel וַיְעַנֵּם (vay’annem; see 2 Kgs 17:20) and understands the root as עָנָה (’anah, “to afflict”; see also 1 Kgs 8:35).
[55:20] 163 tc The form should probably be emended to an active participle (שֹׁלְמָיו, sholÿmayv) from the verbal root שָׁלַם (shalam, “be in a covenant of peace with”). Perhaps the translation “his friends” suggests too intimate a relationship. Another option is to translate, “he attacks those who made agreements with him.”
[55:21] 165 tn Heb “the butter-like [words] of his mouth are smooth.” The noun מַחְמָאֹת (makhma’ot, “butter-like [words]”) occurs only here. Many prefer to emend the form to מֵחֶמְאָה (mekhem’ah, from [i.e., “than”] butter”), cf. NEB, NRSV “smoother than butter.” However, in this case “his mouth” does not agree in number with the plural verb חָלְקוּ (kholqu, “they are smooth”). Therefore some further propose an emendation of פִּיו (piv, “his mouth”) to פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”). In any case, the point seems to that the psalmist’s former friend spoke kindly to him and gave the outward indications of friendship.
[56:2] 184 tn Some take the Hebrew term מָרוֹם (marom, “on high; above”) as an adverb modifying the preceding participle and translate, “proudly” (cf. NASB; NIV “in their pride”). The present translation assumes the term is a divine title here. The
[56:4] 186 tn Heb “in God I boast, his word.” The syntax in the Hebrew text is difficult. (1) The line could be translated, “in God I boast, [in] his word.” Such a translation assumes that the prepositional phrase “in God” goes with the following verb “I boast” (see Ps 44:8) and that “his word” is appositional to “in God” and more specifically identifies the basis for the psalmist’s confidence. God’s “word” is here understood as an assuring promise of protection. Another option (2) is to translate, “in God I will boast [with] a word.” In this case, the “word” is a song of praise. (In this view the pronominal suffix “his” must be omitted as in v. 10.) The present translation reflects yet another option (3): In this case “I praise his word” is a parenthetical statement, with “his word” being the object of the verb. The sentence begun with the prepositional phrase “in God” is then completed in the next line, with the prepositional phrase being repeated after the parenthesis.
[56:5] 189 tn Heb “my affairs they disturb.” For other instances of דָּבָר (davar) meaning “affairs, business,” see BDB 183 s.v.. The Piel of עָצַב (’atsav, “to hurt”) occurs only here and in Isa 63:10, where it is used of “grieving” (or “offending”) the Lord’s holy Spirit. Here in Ps 56:5, the verb seems to carry the nuance “disturb, upset,” in the sense of “cause trouble.”
[56:7] 196 tc Heb “because of wickedness, deliverance to them.” As it stands, the MT makes no sense. The negative particle אַיִן (’ayin, “there is not,” which is due to dittography of the immediately preceding אָוֶן, ’aven, “wickedness”), should probably be added before “deliverance” (see BHS, note a). The presence of an imperative in the next line (note “bring down”) suggests that this line should be translated as a prayer as well, “may there not be deliverance to them.”
[56:8] 199 tn Heb “my wandering you count, you.” The Hebrew term נֹד (nod, “wandering,” derived from the verbal root נוֹד, nod, “to wander”; cf. NASB) here refers to the psalmist’s “changeable circumstances of life” and may be translated “misery.” The verb סָפַר (safar, “count”) probably carries the nuance “assess” here. Cf. NIV “my lament”; NRSV “my tossings.”
[56:8] 200 tn Traditionally “your bottle.” Elsewhere the Hebrew word נֹאד (no’d, “leather container”) refers to a container made from animal skin which is used to hold wine or milk (see Josh 9:4, 13; Judg 4:19; 1 Sam 16:20). If such a container is metaphorically in view here, then the psalmist seems to be asking God to store up his tears as a reminder of his suffering.
[56:10] 204 tn Heb “in God I praise a word.” The syntax of the Hebrew text is difficult. The statement is similar to that of v. 4, except that the third person pronominal suffix is omitted here, where the text has simply “a word” instead of “his word.” (1) One could translate, “in God I will boast [with] a word.” In this case, the “word” refers to a song of praise. (2) If one assumes that God’s word is in view, as in v. 4, then one option is to translate, “in God I boast, [in] his word.” In this case the prepositional phrase “in God” goes with the following verb “I boast” (see Ps 44:8) and “[his] word” is appositional to “in God” and more specifically identifies the basis for the psalmist’s confidence. God’s “word” is here understood as an assuring promise of protection. (3) The present translation reflects another option: In this case “I praise [his] word” is a parenthetical statement, with “[his] word” being the object of the verb. The sentence begun with the prepositional phrase “in God” is then completed in v. 11, with the prepositional phrase being repeated after the parenthesis.
[56:13] 210 tn The perfect verbal form is probably future perfect; the psalmist promises to make good on his vows once God has delivered him (see Pss 13:5; 52:9). (2) Another option is to understand the final two verses as being added later, after the
[56:13] 211 tn Heb “are not my feet [kept] from stumbling?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course they are!” The question has been translated as an affirmation for the sake of clarification of meaning.
[56:13] 212 tn Heb “walk before.” For a helpful discussion of the background and meaning of this Hebrew idiom, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 254; cf. the same idiom in 2 Kgs 20:3; Isa 38:3.
[57:1] 217 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when he fled from Saul and hid in “the cave.” This probably refers to either the incident recorded in 1 Sam 22:1 or to the one recorded in 1 Sam 24:3.
[57:2] 220 tn Heb “to God Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.
[57:3] 222 tn Heb “may he send from heaven and deliver me.” The prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives expressing the psalmist’s prayer. The second verb, which has a vav (ו) conjunctive prefixed to it, probably indicates purpose. Another option is to take the forms as imperfects expressing confidence, “he will send from heaven and deliver me” (cf. NRSV).
[57:3] 223 tn Heb “he hurls insults, one who crushes me.” The translation assumes that this line identifies those from whom the psalmist seeks deliverance. (The singular is representative; the psalmist is surrounded by enemies, see v. 4.) Another option is to understand God as the subject of the verb חָרַף (kharaf), which could then be taken as a homonym of the more common root חָרַף (“insult”) meaning “confuse.” In this case “one who crushes me” is the object of the verb. One might translate, “he [God] confuses my enemies.”
[57:4] 224 tn The cohortative form אֶשְׁכְּבָה (’eshkÿvah, “I lie down”) is problematic, for it does not seem to carry one of the normal functions of the cohortative (resolve or request). One possibility is that the form here is a “pseudo-cohortative” used here in a gnomic sense (IBHS 576-77 §34.5.3b).
[57:4] 225 tn The Hebrew verb לָהַט (lahat) is here understood as a hapax legomenon meaning “devour” (see HALOT 521 s.v. II להט), a homonym of the more common verb meaning “to burn.” A more traditional interpretation takes the verb from this latter root and translates, “those who are aflame” (see BDB 529 s.v.; cf. NASB “those who breathe forth fire”).
[57:4] 226 tn Heb “my life, in the midst of lions, I lie down, devouring ones, sons of mankind, their teeth a spear and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword.” The syntax of the verse is difficult. Another option is to take “my life” with the preceding verse. For this to make sense, one must add a verb, perhaps “and may he deliver” (cf. the LXX), before the phrase. One might then translate, “May God send his loyal love and faithfulness and deliver my life.” If one does take “my life” with v. 4, then the parallelism of v. 5 is altered and one might translate: “in the midst of lions I lie down, [among] men who want to devour me, whose teeth….”
[57:8] 234 tn Heb “glory,” but that makes little sense in the context. Some view כָּבוֹד (kavod, “glory”) here as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kÿvediy, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 16:9; 30:12; 108:1, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:90. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”
[57:8] 235 tn BDB 1007 s.v. שַׁחַר takes “dawn” as an adverbial accusative, though others understand it as a personified direct object. “Dawn” is used metaphorically for the time of deliverance and vindication the psalmist anticipates. When salvation “dawns,” the psalmist will “wake up” in praise.
[58:1] 240 sn Psalm 58. The psalmist calls on God to punish corrupt judges because a vivid display of divine judgment will convince observers that God is the just judge of the world who vindicates the godly.
[58:1] 243 tn Heb “Really [in] silence, what is right do you speak?” The Hebrew noun אֵלֶם (’elem, “silence”) makes little, if any, sense in this context. Some feel that this is an indictment of the addressees’ failure to promote justice; they are silent when they should make just decisions. The present translation assumes an emendation to אֵלִם (’elim), which in turn is understood as a defectively written form of אֵילִים (’elim, “rulers,” a metaphorical use of אַיִל, ’ayil, “ram”; see Exod 15:15; Ezek 17:13). The rhetorical question is sarcastic, challenging their claim to be just. Elsewhere the collocation of דָּבַר (davar, “speak”) with צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “what is right”) as object means “to speak the truth” (see Ps 52:3; Isa 45:19). Here it refers specifically to declaring what is right in a legal setting, as the next line indicates.
[58:1] 244 tn Heb “the sons of mankind.” The translation assumes the phrase is the object of the verb “to judge.” Some take it as a vocative, “Do you judge fairly, O sons of mankind?” (Cf. NASB; see Ezek 20:4; 22:2; 23:36.)
[58:2] 245 tn The particle אַף (’af, “no”) is used here as a strong adversative emphasizing the following statement, which contrasts reality with the rulers’ claim alluded to in the rhetorical questions (see Ps 44:9).
[58:2] 246 tn Heb “in the heart unjust deeds you do.” The phrase “in the heart” (i.e., “mind”) seems to refer to their plans and motives. The Hebrew noun עַוְלָה (’avlah, “injustice”) is collocated with פָּעַל (pa’al, “do”) here and in Job 36:23 and Ps 119:3. Some emend the plural form עוֹלֹת (’olot, “unjust deeds”; see Ps 64:6) to the singular עָוֶל (’avel, “injustice”; see Job 34:32), taking the final tav (ת) as dittographic (note that the following verbal form begins with tav). Some then understand עָוֶל (’avel, “injustice”) as a genitive modifying “heart” and translate, “with a heart of injustice you act.”
[58:2] 247 tn Heb “in the earth the violence of your hands you weigh out.” The imagery is from the economic realm. The addressees measure out violence, rather than justice, and distribute it like a commodity. This may be ironic, since justice was sometimes viewed as a measuring scale (see Job 31:6).
[58:7] 254 tn Following the imperatival forms in v. 6, the prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive expressing the psalmist’s wish. Another option is to take the form as an imperfect (indicative) and translate, “they will scatter” (see v. 9). The verb מָאַס (ma’as; which is a homonym of the more common מָאַס, “to refuse, reject”) appears only here and in Job 7:5, where it is used of a festering wound from which fluid runs or flows.
[58:7] 255 tn Heb “like water, they go about for themselves.” The translation assumes that the phrase “they go about for themselves” is an implied relative clause modifying “water.” Another option is to take the clause as independent and parallel to what precedes. In this case the enemies would be the subject and the verb could be taken as jussive, “let them wander about.”
[58:7] 256 tc The syntax of the Hebrew text is difficult and the meaning uncertain. The text reads literally, “he treads his arrows (following the Qere; Kethib has “his arrow”), like they are cut off/dry up.” It is not clear if the verbal root is מָלַל (malal, “circumcise”; BDB 576 s.v. IV מָלַל) or the homonymic מָלַל (“wither”; HALOT 593-94 s.v. I מלל). Since the verb מָלַל (“to wither”) is used of vegetation, it is possible that the noun חָצִיר (khatsir, “grass,” which is visually similar to חִצָּיו, khitsayv, “his arrows”) originally appeared in the text. The translation above assumes that the text originally was כְּמוֹ חָצִיר יִתְמֹלָלוּ(kÿmo khatsir yitmolalu, “like grass let them wither”). If original, it could have been accidentally corrupted to חִצָּיר כְּמוֹ יִתְמֹלָלוּ (“his arrow(s) like they dry up”) with דָּרַךְ (darakh, “to tread”) being added later in an effort to make sense of “his arrow(s).”
[58:8] 258 tn Heb “like a melting snail [that] moves along.” A. Cohen (Psalms [SoBB], 184) explains that the text here alludes “to the popular belief that the slimy trail which the snail leaves in its track is the dissolution of its substance.”
[58:8] 259 tn The words “let them be like” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. The jussive mood is implied from the preceding context, and “like” is understood by ellipsis (see the previous line).
[58:9] 263 tn Heb “like living, like burning anger he will sweep it away.” The meaning of the text is unclear. The translation assumes that within the cooking metaphor (see the previous line) חַי (khay, “living”) refers here to raw meat (as in 1 Sam 2:15, where it modifies בָּשָׂר, basar, “flesh”) and that חָרוּן (kharun; which always refers to God’s “burning anger” elsewhere) here refers to food that is cooked. The pronominal suffix on the verb “sweep away” apparently refers back to the “thorns” of the preceding line. The image depicts swift and sudden judgment. Before the fire has been adequately kindled and all the meat cooked, the winds of judgment will sweep away everything in their path.
[58:11] 268 tn The plural participle is unusual here if the preceding אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is here a plural of majesty, referring to the one true God. Occasionally the plural of majesty does take a plural attributive (see GKC 428-29 §132.h). It is possible that the final mem (ם) on the participle is enclitic, and that it was later misunderstood as a plural ending. Another option is to translate, “Yes indeed, there are gods who judge in the earth.” In this case, the statement reflects the polytheistic mindset of pagan observers who, despite their theological ignorance, nevertheless recognize divine retribution when they see it.
[59:1] sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when Saul sent assassins to surround David’s house and kill him in the morning (see 1 Sam 19:11). However, the psalm itself mentions foreign enemies (vv. 5, 8). Perhaps these references reflect a later adaptation of an original Davidic psalm.
[59:5] 283 tn Heb “
[59:7] 288 tn The words “for they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The following question (“Who hears?”) is spoken by the psalmist’s enemies, who are confident that no one else can hear their threats against the psalmist. They are aggressive because they feel the psalmist is vulnerable and has no one to help him.
[59:9] 291 tc Heb “his strength, for you I will watch.” “His strength” should be emended to “my strength” (see v. 17). Some also emend אֶשְׁמֹרָה (’eshmorah, “I will watch”) to אֱזַמֵּרָה (’ezammerah, “I will sing praises [to you]”) See v. 17.
[59:11] sn My people might forget the lesson. Swift, sudden destruction might be quickly forgotten. The psalmist wants God’s judgment to be prolonged so that it might be a continual reminder of divine justice.
[60:2] 317 tn The verb פָּצַם (patsam, “split open”) occurs only here in the OT. An Arabic cognate means “crack,” and an Aramaic cognate is used in Tg. Jer 22:14 with the meaning “break open, frame.” See BDB 822 s.v. and Jastrow 1205 s.v. פְּצַם.
[60:2] sn You made the earth quake; you split it open. The psalmist uses the imagery of an earthquake to describe the nation’s defeat.
[60:3] 320 tn Heb “wine of staggering,” that is, intoxicating wine that makes one stagger in drunkenness. Intoxicating wine is here an image of divine judgment that makes its victims stagger like drunkards. See Isa 51:17-23.
[60:4] 322 tn There is a ray of hope in that God has allowed his loyal followers to rally under a battle flag. The translation assumes the verb is from the root נוּס (nus, “flee”) used here in the Hitpolel in the sense of “find safety for oneself” (HALOT 681 s.v. נוס) or “take flight for oneself” (BDB 630-31 s.v. נוּס). Another option is to take the verb as a denominative from נֵס (nes, “flag”) and translate “that it may be displayed” (BDB 651 s.v. II נסס) or “that they may assemble under the banner” (HALOT 704 s.v. II נסס). Here קֹשֶׁט (qoshet) is taken as an Aramaized form of קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”; BDB 905-6 s.v. קֶשֶׁת), though some understand the homonymic קֹשְׁטְ (qosht, “truth”) here (see Prov 22:21; cf. NASB). If one follows the latter interpretation, the line may be translated, “so that they might assemble under the banner for the sake of truth.”
[60:7] sn Ephraim, named after one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.
[60:8] 332 tn Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of,” i.e., “I will take possession of Edom.” Others translate עַל (’al) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.
[60:8] 333 tc Heb “over me, O Philistia, shout in triumph.” The translation follows the text of Ps 108:9. When the initial עֲלֵיוֹ (’aleyo, “over”) was misread as עָלַי (’alay, “over me”), the first person verb form was probably altered to an imperative to provide better sense to the line.
[60:9] 334 sn In v. 9 the psalmist speaks again and acknowledges his need for help in battle. He hopes God will volunteer, based on the affirmation of sovereignty over Edom in v. 8, but he is also aware that God has seemingly rejected the nation (v. 10, see also v. 1).
[61:2] 339 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] 346 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] 348 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.
[62:2] 359 tn The Hebrew text adds רַבָּה (rabbah, “greatly”) at the end of the line. It is unusual for this adverb to follow a negated verb. Some see this as qualifying the assertion to some degree, but this would water down the affirmation too much (see v. 6b, where the adverb is omitted). If the adverb has a qualifying function, it would suggest that the psalmist might be upended, though not severely. This is inconsistent with the confident mood of the psalm. The adverb probably has an emphatic force here, “I will not be greatly upended” meaning “I will not be annihilated.”
[62:3] 362 tn Heb “like a bent wall and a broken fence.” The point of the comparison is not entirely clear. Perhaps the enemies are depicted as dangerous, like a leaning wall or broken fence that is in danger of falling on someone (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:69).
[62:5] 368 tn Heb “only for God be silent, my soul.” The wording is similar to that of v. 1a. Here an imperatival form, דּוֹמִּי (dommiy, “be silent”), appears instead of the noun דּוּמִיָּה (dumiyyah, “silence”). The psalmist is encouraging himself to maintain his trust in God.
[62:9] 375 tn Heb “only a breath [are] the sons of mankind, a lie [are] the sons of man.” The phrases “sons of mankind” and “sons of man” also appear together in Ps 49:2. Because of the parallel line there, where “rich and poor” are mentioned, a number of interpreters and translators treat these expressions as polar opposites, בְּנֵי אָדָם (bÿney ’adam) referring to the lower classes and בְּנֵי אִישׁ (bÿney ’ish) to higher classes. But usage does not support such a view. The rare phrase בְּנֵי אִישׁ (“sons of man”) appears to refer to human beings in general in its other uses (see Pss 4:2; Lam 3:33). It is better to understand the phrases as synonymous expressions.
[62:11] 380 tn Heb “one God spoke, two which I heard.” This is a numerical saying utilizing the “x” followed by “x + 1” pattern to facilitate poetic parallelism. (See W. M. W. Roth, Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament [VTSup], 55-56.) As is typical in such sayings, a list corresponding to the second number (in this case “two”) follows. Another option is to translate, “God has spoken once, twice [he has spoken] that which I have heard.” The terms אַחַת (’akhat, “one; once”) and שְׁתַּיִם (shÿtayim, “two; twice”) are also juxtaposed in 2 Kgs 6:10 (where they refer to an action that was done more than “once or twice”) and in Job 33:14 (where they refer to God speaking “one way” and then in “another manner”).
[62:12] 383 tn Heb “for you pay back to a man according to his deed.” Another option is to understand vv. 11b and 12a as the first principle and v. 12b as the second. In this case one might translate, “God has declared one principle, two principles I have heard, namely, that God is strong, and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love, and that you repay men for what they do.”
[62:12] sn You repay men for what they do. The psalmist views God’s justice as a demonstration of both his power (see v. 11c) and his loyal love (see v. 12a). When God judges evildoers, he demonstrates loyal love to his people.
[63:1] 385 sn According to the psalm superscription David wrote the psalm while in the “wilderness of Judah.” Perhaps this refers to the period described in 1 Sam 23-24 or to the incident mentioned in 2 Sam 15:23.
[63:2] 390 tn The perfect verbal form is understood here as referring to a past experience which the psalmist desires to be repeated. Another option is to take the perfect as indicating the psalmist’s certitude that he will again stand in God’s presence in the sanctuary. In this case one can translate, “I will see you.”
[63:3] 392 tn This line is understood as giving the basis for the praise promised in the following line. Another option is to take the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) as asseverative/emphasizing, “Indeed, your loyal love is better” (cf. NEB, which leaves the particle untranslated).
[63:3] 393 tn The word “experiencing” is supplied in the translation for clarification. The psalmist does not speak here of divine loyal love in some abstract sense, but of loyal love revealed and experienced.
[63:9] 405 sn The depths of the earth refers here to the underworld dwelling place of the dead (see Ezek 26:20; 31:14, 16, 18; 32:18, 24). See L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 167.
[63:10] 406 tn Heb “they will deliver him over to the sword.” The third masculine plural subject must be indefinite (see GKC 460 §144.f) and the singular pronominal suffix either representative or distributive (emphasizing that each one will be so treated). Active verbs with indefinite subjects may be translated as passives with the object (in the Hebrew text) as subject (in the translation).
[64:1] 411 sn Psalm 64. The psalmist asks God to protect him from his dangerous enemies and then confidently affirms that God will destroy his enemies and demonstrate his justice in the sight of all observers.
[64:5] 423 tn If this is a direct quotation (cf. NASB, NIV), the pronoun “them” refers to the snares mentioned in the previous line. If it is an indirect quotation, then the pronoun may refer to the enemies themselves (cf. NEB, which is ambiguous). Some translations retain the direct quotation but alter the pronoun to “us,” referring clearly to the enemies (cf. NRSV).
[64:6] 425 tc The MT has תַּמְנוּ (tamnu, “we are finished”), a Qal perfect first common plural form from the verbal root תָּמַם (tamam). Some understand this as the beginning of a quotation of the enemies’ words and translate, “we have completed,” but the Hiphil would seem to be required in this case. The present translation follows many medieval Hebrew
[64:6] 427 tn Heb “and the inner part of man, and a heart [is] deep.” The point seems to be that a man’s inner thoughts are incapable of being discovered. No one is a mind reader! Consequently the psalmist is vulnerable to his enemies’ well-disguised plots.
[64:7] 428 tn The prefixed verb with vav (ו) consecutive is normally used in narrative contexts to describe completed past actions. It is possible that the conclusion to the psalm (vv. 7-10) was added to the lament after God’s judgment of the wicked in response to the psalmist’s lament (vv. 1-6). The translation assumes that these verses are anticipatory and express the psalmist’s confidence that God would eventually judge the wicked. The psalmist uses a narrative style as a rhetorical device to emphasize his certitude. See GKC 329-30 §111.w.
[64:7] 430 tn The translation follows the traditional accentuation of the MT. Another option is to translate, “But God will shoot them down with an arrow, suddenly they will be wounded” (cf. NIV, NRSV).
[64:8] 431 tc The MT reads literally, “and they caused him to stumble, upon them, their tongue.” Perhaps the third plural subject of the verb is indefinite with the third singular pronominal suffix on the verb being distributive (see Ps 63:10). In this case one may translate, “each one will be made to stumble.” The preposition עַל (’al) might then be taken as adversative, “against them [is] their tongue.” Many prefer to emend the text to וַיַּכְשִׁילֵמוֹ עֲלֵי לְשׁוֹנָם (vayyakhshilemo ’aley lÿshonam, “and he caused them to stumble over their tongue”). However, if this reading is original, it is difficult to see how the present reading of the MT arose. Furthermore, the preposition is not collocated with the verb כָּשַׁל (kashal) elsewhere. It is likely that the MT is corrupt, but a satisfying emendation has not yet been proposed.
[64:8] 432 tn The Hitpolel verbal form is probably from the root נוּד (nud; see HALOT 678 s.v. נוד), which is attested elsewhere in the Hitpolel stem, not the root נָדַד (nadad, as proposed by BDB 622 s.v. I נָדַד), which does not occur elsewhere in this stem.
[65:1] 438 tn Heb “for you, silence, praise.” Many prefer to emend the noun דֻּמִיָּה (dumiyyah, “silence”) to a participle דּוֹמִיָּה (domiyyah), from the root דָּמָה (damah, “be silent”), understood here in the sense of “wait.”
[65:4] 443 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
[65:5] sn All the ends of the earth trust in you. This idealistic portrayal of universal worship is typical hymnic hyperbole, though it does anticipate eschatological reality.
[65:5] 448 tc Heb “and [the] distant sea.” The plural adjective is problematic after the singular form “sea.” One could emend יָם (yam, “sea”) to יָמִים (yamim, “seas”), or emend the plural form רְחֹקִים (rÿkhoqim, “far”) to the singular רָחֹק (rakhoq). In this case the final mem (ם) could be treated as dittographic; note the mem on the beginning of the first word in v. 6.
[65:8] 454 tn Heb “the goings out of the morning and the evening you cause to shout for joy.” The phrase “goings out of the morning and evening” refers to the sunrise and sunset, that is, the east and the west.
[65:9] 459 tn Heb “for thus [referring to the provision of rain described in the first half of the verse] you prepare it.” The third feminine singular pronominal suffix attached to the verb “prepare” refers back to the “earth,” which is a feminine noun with regard to grammatical form.