A psalm by Asaph.
and to those whose motives are pure! 3
73:2 But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my feet almost slid out from under me. 4
73:3 For I envied those who are proud,
73:5 They are immune to the trouble common to men;
they do not suffer as other men do. 10
and violence their clothing. 12
their thoughts are sinful. 14
they proudly threaten violence. 17
73:9 They speak as if they rule in heaven,
and lay claim to the earth. 18
73:10 Therefore they have more than enough food to eat,
and even suck up the water of the sea. 19
73:11 They say, “How does God know what we do?
Is the sovereign one aware of what goes on?” 20
those who always have it so easy and get richer and richer. 22
and maintained a pure lifestyle. 25
73:14 I suffer all day long,
and am punished every morning.”
I would have betrayed your loyal followers. 27
73:16 When I tried to make sense of this,
it was troubling to me. 28
and understood the destiny of the wicked. 30
you bring them down 32 to ruin.
73:19 How desolate they become in a mere moment!
Terrifying judgments make their demise complete! 33
and my insides felt sharp pain. 39
I was as senseless as an animal before you. 42
73:23 But I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
and then you will lead me to a position of honor. 44
73:25 Whom do I have in heaven but you?
I desire no one but you on earth. 45
you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you. 51
I have made the sovereign Lord my shelter,
as 53 I declare all the things you have done.
A well-written song 55 by Asaph.
Why does your anger burn 57 against the sheep of your pasture?
as well as Mount Zion, where you dwell!
and all the damage the enemy has done to the temple! 62
they set up their battle flags. 65
74:5 They invade like lumberjacks
swinging their axes in a thick forest. 66
74:7 They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrate your dwelling place by knocking it to the ground. 72
“We will oppress all of them.” 74
They burn down all the places where people worship God in the land. 75
there are no longer any prophets 77
and we have no one to tell us how long this will last. 78
74:10 How long, O God, will the adversary hurl insults?
Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever?
74:11 Why do you remain inactive?
Intervene and destroy him! 79
performing acts of deliverance on the earth. 81
you shattered the heads of the sea monster 83 in the water.
you dried up perpetually flowing rivers. 88
you created the cycle of summer and winter. 93
and how a foolish nation blasphemes your name!
Do not continue to disregard 97 the lives of your oppressed people!
for the dark regions of the earth are full of places where violence rules. 99
74:21 Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame!
Let the oppressed and poor praise your name! 100
Remember how fools insult you all day long! 102
or the unceasing shouts of those who defy you. 105
For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 107 a psalm of Asaph; a song.
75:1 We give thanks to you, O God! We give thanks!
You reveal your presence; 108
people tell about your amazing deeds.
“At the appointed times, 110
I judge 111 fairly.
I make its pillars secure.” 113 (Selah)
and to the wicked, “Do not be so confident of victory! 115
Do not speak with your head held so high! 117
75:6 For victory does not come from the east or west,
or from the wilderness. 118
He brings one down and exalts another. 120
75:8 For the Lord holds in his hand a cup full
of foaming wine mixed with spices, 121
and pours it out. 122
Surely all the wicked of the earth
will slurp it up and drink it to its very last drop.” 123
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob!
“I will bring down all the power of the wicked;
the godly will be victorious.” 126
For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of Asaph, a song.
in Israel his reputation 129 is great.
he dwells in Zion. 131
the shield, the sword, and the rest of the weapons of war. 133 (Selah)
76:4 You shine brightly and reveal your majesty,
as you descend from the hills where you killed your prey. 134
they “fell asleep.” 137
All the warriors were helpless. 138
76:7 You are awesome! Yes, you!
Who can withstand your intense anger? 142
The earth 144 was afraid and silent
76:9 when God arose to execute judgment,
and to deliver all the oppressed of the earth. (Selah)
you reveal your anger in full measure. 147
76:11 Make vows to the Lord your God and repay them!
Let all those who surround him 148 bring tribute to the awesome one!
the kings of the earth regard him as awesome. 150
For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of Asaph.
I will cry out to God and he will pay attention 153 to me.
I kept my hand raised in prayer throughout the night. 155
I 156 refused to be comforted.
77:3 I said, “I will remember God while I groan;
I will think about him while my strength leaves me.” 157 (Selah)
I was troubled and could not speak. 159
77:5 I thought about the days of old,
about ancient times. 160
77:6 I said, “During the night I will remember the song I once sang;
I will think very carefully.”
I tried to make sense of what was happening. 161
Will he never again show me his favor?
77:8 Has his loyal love disappeared forever?
Has his promise 163 failed forever?
77:9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has his anger stifled his compassion?”
77:10 Then I said, “I am sickened by the thought
77:11 I will remember the works of the Lord.
Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago! 166
77:12 I will think about all you have done;
I will reflect upon your deeds!”
What god can compare to our great God? 169
77:14 You are the God who does amazing things;
you have revealed your strength among the nations.
the children of Jacob and Joseph. (Selah)
the waters saw you and trembled. 173
the skies thundered. 177
Yes, your arrows 178 flashed about.
77:18 Your thunderous voice was heard in the wind;
the lightning bolts lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook. 179
you passed through the surging waters, 181
but left no footprints. 182
77:20 You led your people like a flock of sheep,
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
A well-written song 184 by Asaph.
78:1 Pay attention, my people, to my instruction!
Listen to the words I speak! 185
78:2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom;
I will make insightful observations about the past. 186
that which our ancestors 188 have told us –
We will tell the next generation
about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts, 190
about his strength and the amazing things he has done.
he set up a law in Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to make his deeds known to their descendants, 192
78:6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born,
might know about them.
They will grow up and tell their descendants about them. 193
78:7 Then they will place their confidence in God.
They will not forget the works of God,
and they will obey 194 his commands.
78:8 Then they will not be like their ancestors,
who were a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that was not committed
and faithful to God. 195
but they retreated in the day of battle. 198
and they refused to obey 200 his law.
the amazing things he had shown them.
78:12 He did amazing things in the sight of their ancestors,
in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan. 202
78:13 He divided the sea and led them across it;
he made the water stand in a heap.
78:14 He led them with a cloud by day,
and with the light of a fire all night long.
78:15 He broke open rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them enough water to fill the depths of the sea. 203
78:16 He caused streams to flow from the rock,
and made the water flow like rivers.
78:17 Yet they continued to sin against him,
and rebelled against the sovereign One 204 in the desert.
by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.
“Is God really able to give us food 207 in the wilderness?
streams gushed forth.
But can he also give us food?
Will he provide meat for his people?”
A fire broke out against Jacob,
and his anger flared up 210 against Israel,
78:22 because they did not have faith in God,
and did not trust his ability to deliver them. 211
78:23 He gave a command to the clouds above,
and opened the doors in the sky.
78:24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
he gave them the grain of heaven. 212
He sent them more than enough to eat. 214
78:26 He brought the east wind through the sky,
and by his strength led forth the south wind.
78:27 He rained down meat on them like dust,
birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores. 215
78:28 He caused them to fall right in the middle of their camp,
all around their homes.
he gave them what they desired.
their food was still in their mouths,
78:31 when the anger of God flared up against them.
He killed some of the strongest of them;
he brought the young men of Israel to their knees.
78:32 Despite all this, they continued to sin,
and did not trust him to do amazing things. 218
and filled with terror. 220
they turned back and longed for God.
and that the sovereign God was their deliverer. 224
and lied to him. 226
and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
78:38 Yet he is compassionate.
He forgives sin and does not destroy.
He often holds back his anger,
and does not stir up his fury. 228
and were like a wind that blows past and does not return. 230
78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,
and insulted him 231 in the desert!
how he delivered them from the enemy, 236
and his acts of judgment 238 in the region of Zoan.
78:44 He turned their rivers into blood,
and they could not drink from their streams.
as well as frogs that overran their land. 240
78:46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
the fruit of their labor to the locust.
78:47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
and their sycamore-fig trees with driving rain.
and hurled lightning bolts down on their livestock. 242
He sent fury, rage, and trouble
as messengers who bring disaster. 244
he did not spare them from death;
he handed their lives over to destruction. 246
78:51 He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,
the firstfruits of their reproductive power 247 in the tents of Ham.
78:52 Yet he brought out his people like sheep;
he led them through the wilderness like a flock.
78:53 He guided them safely along,
while the sea covered their enemies.
78:54 He brought them to the border of his holy land,
78:55 He drove the nations out from before them;
he assigned them their tribal allotments 250
and allowed the tribes of Israel to settle down. 251
they were as unreliable as a malfunctioning bow. 258
and made him jealous with their idols.
78:59 God heard and was angry;
he completely rejected Israel.
the tent where he lived among men.
78:62 He delivered his people over to the sword,
and was angry with his chosen nation. 264
he was like a warrior in a drunken rage. 272
78:66 He drove his enemies back;
he made them a permanent target for insults. 273
78:67 He rejected the tent of Joseph;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
78:68 He chose the tribe of Judah,
and Mount Zion, which he loves.
as secure as the earth, which he established permanently. 275
78:70 He chose David, his servant,
and took him from the sheepfolds.
and made him the shepherd of Jacob, his people,
and of Israel, his chosen nation. 277
he led them with skill. 280
A psalm of Asaph.
they have polluted your holy temple
and turned Jerusalem 284 into a heap of ruins.
79:2 They have given the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the sky; 285
the flesh of your loyal followers
to the beasts of the earth.
79:3 They have made their blood flow like water
all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them. 286
79:4 We have become an object of disdain to our neighbors;
those who live on our borders taunt and insult us. 287
Will you stay angry forever?
How long will your rage 289 burn like fire?
on the kingdoms that do not pray to you! 291
79:7 For they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his home.
Quickly send your compassion our way, 293
for we are in serious trouble! 294
79:9 Help us, O God, our deliverer!
For the sake of your glorious reputation, 295 rescue us!
Forgive our sins for the sake of your reputation! 296
79:10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Before our very eyes may the shed blood of your servants
be avenged among the nations! 297
Use your great strength to set free those condemned to die! 299
May they be insulted the same way they insulted you, O Lord! 301
79:13 Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will continually thank you. 302
We will tell coming generations of your praiseworthy acts. 303
For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 305 a psalm of Asaph.
80:1 O shepherd of Israel, pay attention,
you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep!
Come and deliver us! 309
80:3 O God, restore us!
How long will you remain angry at your people while they pray to you? 313
you have made them drink tears by the measure. 315
and our enemies insult us.
you drove out nations and transplanted it.
it took root, 322
and filled the land.
80:10 The mountains were covered by its shadow,
the highest cedars 323 by its branches.
and its shoots the Euphrates River. 325
so that all who pass by pluck its fruit? 327
the insects 329 of the field feed on it.
Look down from heaven and take notice!
Take care of this vine,
the shoot you made to grow! 332
They die because you are displeased with them. 334
to the one whom you raised up for yourself! 336
80:18 Then we will not turn away from you.
Revive us and we will pray to you! 337
For the music director; according to the gittith style; 342 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. 345
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. 347
I heard a voice I did not recognize. 348
his hands were released from holding the basket. 350
81:7 In your distress you called out and I rescued you.
I answered you from a dark thundercloud. 351
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 352 (Selah)
I will warn 354 you!
O Israel, if only you would obey me! 355
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. 359
they did what seemed right to them. 361
If only Israel would keep my commands! 363
81:14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and attack 364 their adversaries.”
May they be permanently humiliated!) 367
A psalm of Asaph.
and show favoritism to the wicked? 377 (Selah)
Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!
82:4 Rescue the poor and needy!
Deliver them from the power 379 of the wicked!
They stumble 381 around in the dark,
while all the foundations of the earth crumble. 382
all of you are sons of the Most High.’ 384
you will fall like all the other rulers.” 386
82:8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth!
For you own 387 all the nations.
A song, a psalm of Asaph.
83:1 O God, do not be silent!
Do not ignore us! 389 Do not be inactive, O God!
83:2 For look, your enemies are making a commotion;
those who hate you are hostile. 390
Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
they form an alliance 397 against you.
Moab and the Hagrites, 399
Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre. 401
83:8 Even Assyria has allied with them,
lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. 402 (Selah)
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River! 404
their corpses were like manure 406 on the ground.
and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna, 408
like dead weeds blown away by 412 the wind!
83:14 Like the fire that burns down the forest,
or the flames that consume the mountainsides, 413
83:15 chase them with your gale winds,
and terrify 414 them with your windstorm.
May they die in shame! 419
the sovereign king 422 over all the earth.
For the music director; according to the gittith style; 424 written by the Korahites, a psalm.
O Lord who rules over all! 426
in the courts of the Lord’s temple. 428
My heart and my entire being 429 shout for joy
to the living God.
84:3 Even the birds find a home there,
and the swallow 430 builds a nest,
where she can protect her young 431
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! 434
he provides a spring for them. 436
each one appears 440 before God in Zion.
hear my prayer!
Listen, O God of Jacob! (Selah)
Show concern for your chosen king! 443
than spending a thousand elsewhere. 445
I would rather stand at the entrance 446 to the temple of my God
than live 447 in the tents of the wicked.
The Lord bestows favor 449 and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity. 450
how blessed are those who trust in you! 452
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. 454
you forgave 456 all their sin. (Selah)
85:3 You withdrew all your fury;
you turned back from your raging anger. 457
85:4 Restore us, O God our deliverer!
Do not be displeased with us! 458
85:5 Will you stay mad at us forever?
Will you remain angry throughout future generations? 459
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 463 return to their foolish ways.
then his splendor will again appear in our land. 465
deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. 467
85:11 Faithfulness grows from the ground,
and deliverance looks down from the sky. 468
and our land will yield 470 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! 479
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! 482
86:9 All the nations, whom you created,
will come and worship you, 483 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. 485
Make me wholeheartedly committed to you! 486
86:12 O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart!
I will honor your name continually! 487
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! 496
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed, 498
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me. 499
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.” 508
“Each one of these 510 was born in her,
“This one was born there.” 514 (Selah)
87:7 As for the singers, as well as the pipers –
all of them sing within your walls. 515
By day I cry out
and at night I pray before you. 520
Pay attention 522 to my cry for help!
and I am ready to enter Sheol. 524
I am like a helpless man, 527
like corpses lying in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
and who are cut off from your power. 529
in the dark places, in the watery depths.
88:7 Your anger bears down on me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (Selah)
88:8 You cause those who know me to keep their distance;
you make me an appalling sight to them.
I am trapped and cannot get free. 531
88:9 My eyes grow weak because of oppression.
I call out to you, O Lord, all day long;
I spread out my hands in prayer to you. 532
88:10 Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead?
Do the departed spirits 533 rise up and give you thanks? (Selah)
88:11 Is your loyal love proclaimed in the grave,
or your faithfulness in the place of the dead? 534
or your deliverance in the land of oblivion? 537
88:13 As for me, I cry out to you, O Lord;
in the morning my prayer confronts you.
88:14 O Lord, why do you reject me,
and pay no attention to me? 538
I have been subjected to your horrors and am numb with pain. 540
your terrors destroy me.
88:17 They surround me like water all day long;
they join forces and encircle me. 542
those who know me leave me alone in the darkness. 544
A well-written song 546 by Ethan the Ezrachite.
to future generations I will proclaim your faithfulness. 548
in the skies you set up your faithfulness.” 550
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have made a promise on oath to David, my servant:
and establish your throne throughout future generations.’” 553 (Selah)
as well as your faithfulness in the angelic assembly. 555
89:6 For who in the skies can compare to the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings, 556
and more awesome than 559 all who surround him?
Who is strong like you, O Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
When its waves surge, 562 you calm them.
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
89:11 The heavens belong to you, as does the earth.
You made the world and all it contains. 565
89:12 You created the north and the south.
Tabor and Hermon 566 rejoice in your name.
89:13 Your arm is powerful,
your hand strong,
Loyal love and faithfulness characterize your rule. 570
O Lord, they experience your favor. 572
89:16 They rejoice in your name all day long,
and are vindicated 573 by your justice.
By your favor we are victorious. 575
our king to the Holy One of Israel. 577
“I have energized a warrior; 580
I have raised up a young man 581 from the people.
89:20 I have discovered David, my servant.
With my holy oil I have anointed him as king. 582
and my arm will strengthen him.
a violent oppressor will not be able to humiliate him. 586
89:23 I will crush his enemies before him;
I will strike down those who hate him.
and by my name he will win victories. 588
89:25 I will place his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers. 589
89:26 He will call out to me,
the most exalted of the earth’s kings.
89:28 I will always extend my loyal love to him,
and my covenant with him is secure. 593
and make his throne as enduring as the skies above. 595
89:30 If his sons reject my law
and disobey my regulations,
and do not keep my commandments,
their sin by inflicting them with bruises. 598
nor be unfaithful to my promise. 600
or go back on what I promised. 602
89:35 Once and for all I have vowed by my own holiness,
I will never deceive 603 David.
His throne will endure before me, like the sun, 605
his throne will endure like the skies.” 607 (Selah)
you are angry with your chosen king. 609
you have thrown his crown to the ground. 612
you have made his strongholds a heap of ruins.
he has become an object of disdain to his neighbors.
and all his enemies to rejoice.
and have not sustained him in battle. 618
and have knocked 620 his throne to the ground.
and have covered him with shame. (Selah)
89:46 How long, O Lord, will this last?
Will you remain hidden forever? 622
Will your anger continue to burn like fire?
Why do you make all people so mortal? 624
89:48 No man can live on without experiencing death,
or deliver his life from the power of Sheol. 625 (Selah)
the ones performed in accordance with your reliable oath to David? 628
and of how I must bear so many insults from people! 631
89:51 Your enemies, O Lord, hurl insults;
they insult your chosen king as they dog his footsteps. 632
We agree! We agree! 635
[73:1] 1 sn Psalm 73. In this wisdom psalm the psalmist offers a personal testimony of his struggle with the age-old problem of the prosperity of the wicked. As he observed evil men prosper, he wondered if a godly lifestyle really pays off. In the midst of his discouragement, he reflected upon spiritual truths and realities. He was reminded that the prosperity of the wicked is only temporary. God will eventually vindicate his people.
[73:1] 2 tn Since the psalm appears to focus on an individual’s concerns, not the situation of Israel, this introduction may be a later addition designed to apply the psalm’s message to the entire community. To provide a better parallel with the next line, some emend the Hebrew phrase לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אֱלֹהִים (lÿyisra’el ’elohim, “to Israel, God”) to אֱלֹהִים [or אֵל] לָיָּשָׁר (’elohim [or ’el] lÿyyashar, “God [is good] to the upright one”).
[73:2] sn My feet almost slid out from under me. The language is metaphorical. As the following context makes clear, the psalmist almost “slipped” in a spiritual sense. As he began to question God’s justice, the psalmist came close to abandoning his faith.
[73:4] 7 tn In Isa 58:6, the only other occurrence of this word in the OT, the term refers to “bonds” or “ropes.” In Ps 73:4 it is used metaphorically of pain and suffering that restricts one’s enjoyment of life.
[73:4] 9 tc Or “fat.” The MT of v. 4 reads as follows: “for there are no pains at their death, and fat [is] their body.” Since a reference to the death of the wicked seems incongruous in the immediate context (note v. 5) and premature in the argument of the psalm (see vv. 18-20, 27), some prefer to emend the text by redividing it. The term לְמוֹתָם (lÿmotam,“at their death”) is changed to לָמוֹ תָּם (lamo tam, “[there are no pains] to them, strong [and fat are their bodies]”). The term תָּם (tam, “complete; sound”) is used of physical beauty in Song 5:2; 6:9. This emendation is the basis for the present translation. However, in defense of the MT (the traditional Hebrew text), one may point to an Aramaic inscription from Nerab which views a painful death as a curse and a nonpainful death in one’s old age as a sign of divine favor. See ANET 661.
[73:6] 11 sn Arrogance is their necklace. The metaphor suggests that their arrogance is something the wicked “wear” proudly. It draws attention to them, just as a beautiful necklace does to its owner.
[73:7] 13 tc The MT reads “it goes out from fatness their eye,” which might be paraphrased, “their eye protrudes [or “bulges”] because of fatness.” This in turn might refer to their greed; their eyes “bug out” when they see rich food or produce (the noun חֵלֶב [khelev, “fatness”] sometimes refers to such food or produce). However, when used with the verb יָצָא (yatsa’, “go out”) the preposition מִן (“from”) more naturally indicates source. For this reason it is preferable to emend עֵינֵמוֹ (’enemo, “their eye”) to עֲוֹנָמוֹ, (’avonamo, “their sin”) and read, “and their sin proceeds forth from fatness,” that is, their prosperity gives rise to their sinful attitudes. If one follows this textual reading, another interpretive option is to take חֵלֶב (“fatness”) in the sense of “unreceptive, insensitive” (see its use in Ps 17:10). In this case, the sin of the wicked proceeds forth from their spiritual insensitivity.
[73:8] 17 tn Heb “oppression from an elevated place they speak.” The traditional accentuation of the MT places “oppression” with the preceding line. In this case, one might translate, “they mock and speak with evil [of] oppression, from an elevated place [i.e., “proudly”] they speak.” By placing “oppression” with what follows, one achieves better poetic balance in the parallelism.
[73:9] 18 tn Heb “they set in heaven their mouth, and their tongue walks through the earth.” The meaning of the text is uncertain. Perhaps the idea is that they lay claim to heaven (i.e., speak as if they were ruling in heaven) and move through the earth declaring their superiority and exerting their influence. Some take the preposition -בְּ (bet) the first line as adversative and translate, “they set their mouth against heaven,” that is, they defy God.
[73:10] 19 tc Heb “therefore his people return [so Qere (marginal reading); Kethib (consonantal text) has “he brings back”] to here, and waters of abundance are sucked up by them.” The traditional Hebrew text (MT) defies explanation. The present translation reflects M. Dahood’s proposed emendations (Psalms [AB], 2:190) and reads the Hebrew text as follows: לָכֵן יִשְׂבְעוּם לֶחֶם וּמֵי מָלֵא יָמֹצּוּ לָמוֹ (“therefore they are filled with food, and waters of abundance they suck up for themselves”). The reading יִשְׂבְעוּם לֶחֶם (yisvÿ’um lekhem, “they are filled with food”) assumes (1) an emendation of יָשׁיּב עַמּוֹ (yashyyv, “he will bring back his people”) to יִשְׂבְעוּם (yisvÿ’um, “they will be filled”; a Qal imperfect third masculine plural form from שָׂבַע [sava’] with enclitic mem [ם]), and (2) an emendation of הֲלֹם (halom, “to here”) to לֶחֶם (“food”). The expression “be filled/fill with food” appears elsewhere at least ten times (see Ps 132:15, for example). In the second line the Niphal form יִמָּצוּ (yimmatsu, derived from מָצָה, matsah, “drain”) is emended to a Qal form יָמֹצּוּ (yamotsu), derived from מָצַץ (matsats, “to suck”). In Isa 66:11 the verbs שָׂבַע (sava’; proposed in Ps 73:10a) and מָצַץ (proposed in Ps 73:10b) are parallel. The point of the emended text is this: Because they are seemingly sovereign (v. 9), they become greedy and grab up everything they need and more.
[73:11] 20 tn Heb “How does God know? Is there knowledge with the Most High?” They appear to be practical atheists, who acknowledge God’s existence and sovereignty in theory, but deny his involvement in the world (see Pss 10:4, 11; 14:1).
[73:13] 23 tn The words “I concluded” are supplied in the translation. It is apparent that vv. 13-14 reflect the psalmist’s thoughts at an earlier time (see vv. 2-3), prior to the spiritual awakening he describes in vv. 17-28.
[73:15] 27 tn Heb “look, the generation of your sons I would have betrayed.” The phrase “generation of your [i.e., God’s] sons” occurs only here in the OT. Some equate the phrase with “generation of the godly” (Ps 14:5), “generation of the ones seeking him” (Ps 24:6), and “generation of the upright” (Ps 112:2). In Deut 14:1 the Israelites are referred to as God’s “sons.” Perhaps the psalmist refers here to those who are “Israelites” in the true sense because of their loyalty to God (note the juxtaposition of “Israel” with “the pure in heart” in v. 1).
[73:17] 30 tn Heb “I discerned their end.” At the temple the psalmist perhaps received an oracle of deliverance announcing his vindication and the demise of the wicked (see Ps 12) or heard songs of confidence (for example, Ps 11), wisdom psalms (for example, Pss 1, 37), and hymns (for example, Ps 112) that describe the eventual downfall of the proud and wealthy.
[73:18] 31 tn The use of the Hebrew term אַךְ (’akh, “surely”) here literarily counteracts its use in v. 13. The repetition draws attention to the contrast between the two statements, the first of which expresses the psalmist’s earlier despair and the second his newly discovered confidence.
[73:20] 36 tn Heb “you will despise their form.” The Hebrew term צֶלֶם (tselem, “form; image”) also suggests their short-lived nature. Rather than having real substance, they are like the mere images that populate one’s dreams. Note the similar use of the term in Ps 39:6.
[73:24] 44 tn Heb “and afterward [to] glory you will take me.” Some interpreters view this as the psalmist’s confidence in an afterlife in God’s presence and understand כָּבוֹד (cavod) as a metonymic reference to God’s presence in heaven. But this seems unlikely in the present context. The psalmist anticipates a time of vindication, when the wicked are destroyed and he is honored by God for his godly life style. The verb לָקַח (laqakh, “take”) here carries the nuance “lead, guide, conduct,” as in Num 23:14, 27-28; Josh 24:3 and Prov 24:11.
[73:25] 45 tn Heb “Who [is there] for me in heaven? And besides you I do not desire [anyone] in the earth.” The psalmist uses a merism (heaven/earth) to emphasize that God is the sole object of his desire and worship in the entire universe.
[73:26] 46 tn The Hebrew verb כָלָה (khalah, “to fail; to grow weak”) does not refer here to physical death per se, but to the physical weakness that sometimes precedes death (see Job 33:21; Pss 71:9; 143:7; Prov 5:11).
[73:26] 48 tn Heb “is the rocky summit of my heart and my portion.” The psalmist compares the
[73:28] 53 tn The infinitive construct with -לְ (lÿ) is understood here as indicating an attendant circumstance. Another option is to take it as indicating purpose (“so that I might declare”) or result (“with the result that I declare”).
[74:1] 54 sn Psalm 74. The psalmist, who has just experienced the devastation of the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 586
[74:1] 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.
[74:1] 56 sn The psalmist does not really believe God has permanently rejected his people or he would not pray as he does in this psalm. But this initial question reflects his emotional response to what he sees and is overstated for the sake of emphasis. The severity of divine judgment gives the appearance that God has permanently abandoned his people.
[74:8] 74 tc Heb “[?] altogether.” The Hebrew form נִינָם (ninam) is problematic. It could be understood as the noun נִין (nin, “offspring”) but the statement “their offspring altogether” would make no sense here. C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs (Psalms [ICC], 2:159) emends יָחַד (yakhad, “altogether”) to יָחִיד (yakhid, “alone”) and translate “let their offspring be solitary” (i.e., exiled). Another option is to understand the form as a Qal imperfect first common plural from יָנָה (yanah, “to oppress”) with a third masculine plural pronominal suffix, “we will oppress them.” However, this verb, when used in the finite form, always appears in the Hiphil. Therefore, it is preferable to emend the form to the Hiphil נוֹנֵם (nonem, “we will oppress them”).
[74:9] 76 tn Heb “our signs we do not see.” Because of the reference to a prophet in the next line, it is likely that the “signs” in view here include the evidence of God’s presence as typically revealed through the prophets. These could include miraculous acts performed by the prophets (see, for example, Isa 38:7-8) or object lessons which they acted out (see, for example, Isa 20:3).
[74:11] 79 tn Heb “Why do you draw back your hand, even your right hand? From the midst of your chest, destroy!” The psalmist pictures God as having placed his right hand (symbolic of activity and strength) inside his robe against his chest. He prays that God would pull his hand out from under his robe and use it to destroy the enemy.
[74:13] 82 tn The derivation and meaning of the Polel verb form פּוֹרַרְתָּ (porarta) are uncertain. The form may be related to an Akkadian cognate meaning “break, shatter,” though the biblical Hebrew cognate of this verb always appears in the Hiphil or Hophal stem. BDB 830 s.v. II פָּרַר suggests a homonym here, meaning “to split; to divide.” A Hitpolel form of a root פָּרַר (parar) appears in Isa 24:19 with the meaning “to shake violently.”
[74:13] 83 tn The Hebrew text has the plural form, “sea monsters” (cf. NRSV “dragons”), but it is likely that an original enclitic mem has been misunderstood as a plural ending. The imagery of the mythological sea monster is utilized here. See the note on “Leviathan” in v. 14.
[74:14] 84 sn You crushed the heads of Leviathan. The imagery of vv. 13-14 originates in West Semitic mythology. The description of Leviathan should be compared with the following excerpts from Ugaritic mythological texts: (1) “Was not the dragon [Ugaritic tnn, cognate with Hebrew תַּנִין (tanin), translated “sea monster” in v. 13] vanquished and captured? I did destroy the wriggling [Ugaritic ’qltn, cognate to Hebrew עֲקַלָּתוֹן (’aqallaton), translated “squirming” in Isa 27:1] serpent, the tyrant with seven heads” (note the use of the plural “heads” here and in v. 13). (See CTA 3.iii.38-39 in G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 50.) (2) “For all that you smote Leviathan the slippery [Ugaritic brh, cognate to Hebrew בָּרִחַ (bariakh), translated “fast moving” in Isa 27:1] serpent, [and] made an end of the wriggling serpent, the tyrant with seven heads” (See CTA 5.i.1-3 in G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 68.) In the myths Leviathan is a sea creature that symbolizes the destructive water of the sea and, in turn, the forces of chaos that threaten the established order. In the OT, the battle with the sea motif is applied to Yahweh’s victories over the forces of chaos at creation and in history (see Pss 74:13-14; 77:16-20; 89:9-10; Isa 51:9-10). Yahweh’s subjugation of the waters of chaos is related to his kingship (see Pss 29:3, 10; 93:3-4). Isa 27:1 applies imagery from Canaanite mythology to Yahweh’s eschatological victory over his enemies. Apocalyptic literature employs the imagery as well. The beasts of Dan 7 emerge from the sea, while Rev 13 speaks of a seven-headed beast coming from the sea. Here in Ps 74:13-14 the primary referent is unclear. The psalmist may be describing God’s creation of the world (note vv. 16-17 and see Ps 89:9-12), when he brought order out of a watery mass, or the exodus (see Isa 51:9-10), when he created Israel by destroying the Egyptians in the waters of the sea.
[74:14] 86 sn You fed him to the people. This pictures the fragments of Leviathan’s dead corpse washing up on shore and being devoured by those who find them. If the exodus is in view, then it may allude to the bodies of the dead Egyptians which washed up on the shore of the Red Sea (see Exod 14:30).
[74:15] 87 sn You broke open the spring and the stream. Perhaps this alludes to the way in which God provided water for the Israelites as they traveled in the wilderness following the exodus (see Ps 78:15-16, 20; 105:41).
[74:15] 88 sn Perpetually flowing rivers are rivers that contain water year round, unlike the seasonal streams that flow only during the rainy season. Perhaps the psalmist here alludes to the drying up of the Jordan River when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan under Joshua (see Josh 3-4).
[74:17] 92 tn This would appear to refer to geographical boundaries, such as mountains, rivers, and seacoasts. However, since the day-night cycle has just been mentioned (v. 16) and the next line speaks of the seasons, it is possible that “boundaries” here refers to the divisions of the seasons. See C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms (ICC), 2:156.
[74:20] 98 tc Heb “look at the covenant.” The LXX reads “your covenant,” which seems to assume a second person pronominal suffix. The suffix may have been accidentally omitted by haplography. Note that the following word (כִּי) begins with kaf (כ).
[74:20] 99 tn Heb “for the dark places of the earth are full of dwelling places of violence.” The “dark regions” are probably the lands where the people have been exiled (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:157). In some contexts “dark regions” refers to Sheol (Ps 88:6) or to hiding places likened to Sheol (Ps 143:3; Lam 3:6).
[74:21] 100 sn Let the oppressed and poor praise your name! The statement is metonymic. The point is this: May the oppressed be delivered from their enemies! Then they will have ample reason to praise God’s name.
[75:2] 111 tn Heb “I, [in] fairness, I judge.” The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically executes fair judgment as he governs the world. One could take this as referring to an anticipated (future) judgment, “I will judge.”
[75:3] 113 tn The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically prevents the world from being overrun by chaos. One could take this as referring to an anticipated event, “I will make its pillars secure.”
[75:4] 114 tn The identity of the speaker in vv. 4-6 is unclear. The present translation assumes that the psalmist, who also speaks in vv. 7-9 (where God/the
[75:4] 115 tn Heb “do not lift up a horn.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Here the idiom seems to refer to an arrogant attitude that assumes victory has been achieved.
[75:6] 118 tn Heb “for not from the east or from the west, and not from the wilderness of the mountains.” If one follows this reading the sentence is elliptical. One must supply “does help come,” or some comparable statement. However, it is possible to take הָרִים (harim) as a Hiphil infinitive from רוּם (rum), the same verb used in vv. 4-5 of “lifting up” a horn. In this case one may translate the form as “victory.” In this case the point is that victory does not come from alliances with other nations.
[75:8] sn The psalmist pictures God as forcing the wicked to gulp down an intoxicating drink that will leave them stunned and vulnerable. Divine judgment is also depicted this way in Ps 60:3; Isa 51:17-23; and Hab 2:16.
[76:5] 135 tn Heb “strong of heart.” In Isa 46:12, the only other text where this phrase appears, it refers to those who are stubborn, but here it seems to describe brave warriors (see the next line).
[76:5] 137 tn Heb “they slept [in] their sleep.” “Sleep” here refers to the “sleep” of death. A number of modern translations take the phrase to refer to something less than death, however: NASB “cast into a deep sleep”; NEB “fall senseless”; NIV “lie still”; NRSV “lay stunned.”
[76:6] 139 tn Heb “from your shout.” The noun is derived from the Hebrew verb גָּעַר (ga’ar), which is often understood to mean “rebuke.” In some cases it is apparent that scolding or threatening is in view (see Gen 37:10; Ruth 2:16; Zech 3:2). However, in militaristic contexts this translation is inadequate, for the verb refers in this setting to the warrior’s battle cry, which terrifies and paralyzes the enemy. See A. Caquot, TDOT 3:53, and note the use of the verb in Pss 68:30; 106:9; Nah 1:4, as well as the related noun in Job 26:11; Pss 9:5; 18:15; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
[76:7] 142 tc Heb “and who can stand before you from the time of your anger?” The Hebrew expression מֵאָז (me’az, “from the time of”) is better emended to מֵאֹז (me’oz, “from [i.e., “because of”] the strength of your anger”; see Ps 90:11).
[76:10] 146 tn Heb “the anger of men will praise you.” This could mean that men’s anger (subjective genitive), when punished by God, will bring him praise, but this interpretation does not harmonize well with the next line. The translation assumes that God’s anger is in view here (see v. 7) and that “men” is an objective genitive. God’s angry judgment against men brings him praise because it reveals his power and majesty (see vv. 1-4).
[76:10] 147 tn Heb “the rest of anger you put on.” The meaning of the statement is not entirely clear. Perhaps the idea is that God, as he prepares for battle, girds himself with every last ounce of his anger, as if it were a weapon.
[76:12] 149 tn Heb “he reduces the spirit of princes.” According to HALOT 148 s.v. II בצר, the Hebrew verb בָּצַר (batsar) is here a hapax legomenon meaning “reduce, humble.” The statement is generalizing, with the imperfect tense highlighting God’s typical behavior.
[77:1] 151 sn Psalm 77. The psalmist recalls how he suffered through a time of doubt, but tells how he found encouragement and hope as he recalled the way in which God delivered Israel at the Red Sea.
[77:1] 153 tn The perfect with vav (ו) consecutive is best taken as future here (although some translations render this as a past tense; cf. NEB, NIV). The psalmist expresses his confidence that God will respond to his prayer. This mood of confidence seems premature (see vv. 3-4), but v. 1 probably reflects the psalmist’s attitude at the end of the prayer (see vv. 13-20). Having opened with an affirmation of confidence, he then retraces how he gained confidence during his trial (see vv. 2-12).
[77:2] 155 tn Heb “my hand [at] night was extended and was not growing numb.” The verb נָגַר (nagar), which can mean “flow” in certain contexts, here has the nuance “be extended.” The imperfect form (תָפוּג, tafug, “to be numb”) is used here to describe continuous action in the past.
[77:3] 157 tn Heb “I will remember God and I will groan, I will reflect and my spirit will grow faint.” The first three verbs are cohortatives, the last a perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. The psalmist’s statement in v. 4 could be understood as concurrent with v. 1, or, more likely, as a quotation of what he had said earlier as he prayed to God (see v. 2). The words “I said” are supplied in the translation at the beginning of the verse to reflect this interpretation (see v. 10).
[77:4] 158 tn Heb “you held fast the guards of my eyes.” The “guards of the eyes” apparently refers to his eyelids. The psalmist seems to be saying that God would not bring him relief, which would have allowed him to shut his eyes and get some sleep (see v. 2).
[77:6] 161 tn Heb “I will remember my song in the night, with my heart I will reflect. And my spirit searched.” As in v. 4, the words of v. 6a are understood as what the psalmist said earlier. Consequently the words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification (see v. 10). The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive at the beginning of the final line is taken as sequential to the perfect “I thought” in v. 6.
[77:7] 162 tn As in vv. 4 and 6a, the words of vv. 7-9 are understood as a quotation of what the psalmist said earlier. Therefore the words “I asked” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
[77:10] 164 tn Heb “Most High.” This divine title (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Pss 7:17; 9:2; 18:13; 21:7; 47:2.
[77:10] 165 tc Heb “And I said, ‘This is my wounding, the changing of the right hand of the Most High.’” The form חַלּוֹתִי (khallotiy) appears to be a Qal infinitive construct (with a first person singular pronominal suffix) from the verbal root חָלַל (khalal, “to pierce; to wound”). The present translation assumes an emendation to חֲלוֹתִי (khalotiy), a Qal infinitive construct (with a first person singular pronominal suffix) from the verbal root חָלָה (khalah, “be sick, weak”). The form שְׁנוֹת (shÿnot) is understood as a Qal infinitive construct from שָׁנָה (shanah, “to change”) rather than a plural noun form, “years” (see v. 5). “Right hand” here symbolizes by metonymy God’s power and activity. The psalmist observes that his real problem is theological in nature. His experience suggests that the sovereign Lord has abandoned him and become inactive. However, this goes against the grain of his most cherished beliefs.
[77:11] sn The psalmist refuses to allow skepticism to win out. God has revealed himself to his people in tangible, incontrovertible ways in the past and the psalmist vows to remember the historical record as a source of hope for the future.
[77:13] 167 sn Verses 13-20 are the content of the psalmist’s reflection (see vv. 11-12). As he thought about God’s work in Israel’s past, he reached the place where he could confidently cry out for God’s help (see v. 1).
[77:13] 168 tn Heb “O God, in holiness [is] your way.” God’s “way” here refers to his actions. “Holiness” is used here in the sense of “set apart, unique,” rather than in a moral/ethical sense. As the next line and the next verse emphasize, God’s deeds are incomparable and set him apart as the one true God.
[77:18] sn Verses 16-18 depict the
[78:1] 183 sn Psalm 78. The author of this lengthy didactic psalm rehearses Israel’s history. He praises God for his power, goodness and patience, but also reminds his audience that sin angers God and prompts his judgment. In the conclusion to the psalm the author elevates Jerusalem as God’s chosen city and David as his chosen king.
[78:2] 186 tn Heb “I will open with a wise saying my mouth, I will utter insightful sayings from long ago.” Elsewhere the Hebrew word pair חִידָה+מָשָׁל (mashal + khidah) refers to a taunt song (Hab 2:6), a parable (Ezek 17:2), proverbial sayings (Prov 1:6), and an insightful song that reflects on the mortality of humankind and the ultimate inability of riches to prevent death (Ps 49:4).
[78:5] 191 tn The Hebrew noun עֵדוּת (’edut) refers here to God’s command that the older generation teach their children about God’s mighty deeds in the nation’s history (see Exod 10:2; Deut 4:9; 6:20-25).
[78:9] 197 tn Heb “ones armed, shooters of bow.” It is possible that the term נוֹשְׁקֵי (noshÿqey, “ones armed [with]”) is an interpretive gloss for the rare רוֹמֵי (romey, “shooters of”; on the latter see BDB 941 s.v. I רָמָה). The phrase נוֹשְׁקֵי קֶשֶׁת (noshÿqey qeshet, “ones armed with a bow”) appears in 1 Chr 12:2; 2 Chr 17:17.
[78:9] 198 sn They retreated. This could refer to the northern tribes’ failure to conquer completely their allotted territory (see Judg 1), or it could refer generally to the typical consequence (military defeat) of their sin (see vv. 10-11).
[78:25] 213 sn Because of the reference to “heaven” in the preceding verse, it is likely that mighty ones refers here to the angels of heaven. The LXX translates “angels” here, as do a number of modern translations (NEB, NIV, NRSV).
[78:38] 228 tn One could translate v. 38 in the past tense (“he was compassionate…forgave sin and did not destroy…held back his anger, and did not stir up his fury”), but the imperfect verbal forms are probably best understood as generalizing. Verse 38 steps back briefly from the narrational summary of Israel’s history and lays the theological basis for v. 39, which focuses on God’s mercy toward sinful Israel.
[78:41] 234 sn The basic sense of the word “holy” is “set apart from that which is commonplace, special, unique.” The Lord’s holiness is first and foremost his transcendent sovereignty as the ruler of the world. He is “set apart” from the world over which he rules. At the same time his holiness encompasses his moral authority, which derives from his royal position. As king he has the right to dictate to his subjects how they are to live; indeed his very own character sets the standard for proper behavior. This expression is a common title for the
[78:49] 243 tn Heb “he sent against them the rage of his anger.” The phrase “rage of his 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.
[78:51] 247 tn Heb “the beginning of strength.” If retained, the plural form אוֹנִים (’onim, “strength”) probably indicates degree (“great strength”), but many ancient witnesses read “their strength,” which presupposes an emendation to אֹנָם (’onam; singular form of the noun with third masculine plural pronominal suffix).
[78:65] 272 tn Heb “like a warrior overcome with wine.” The Hebrew verb רוּן (run, “overcome”) occurs only here in the OT. The phrase “overcome with wine” could picture a drunken warrior controlled by his emotions and passions (as in the present translation), or it could refer to a warrior who awakes from a drunken stupor.
[78:69] 274 tc Heb “and he built like the exalting [ones] his sanctuary.” The phrase כְּמוֹ־רָמִים (kÿmo-ramim, “like the exalting [ones]”) is a poetic form of the comparative preposition followed by a participial form of the verb רוּם (rum, “be exalted”). The text should be emended to כִּמְרֹמִים (kimromim, “like the [heavenly] heights”). See Ps 148:1, where “heights” refers to the heavens above.
[78:69] 275 tn Heb “like the earth, [which] he established permanently.” The feminine singular suffix on the Hebrew verb יָסַד (yasad, “to establish”) refers to the grammatically feminine noun “earth.”
[79:1] 281 sn Psalm 79. The author laments how the invading nations have destroyed the temple and city of Jerusalem. He asks God to forgive his people and to pour out his vengeance on those who have mistreated them.
[79:8] 292 tn Heb “do not remember against us sins, former.” Some understand “former” as an attributive adjective modifying sins, “former [i.e., chronologically prior] sins” (see BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן). The present translation assumes that ראשׁנים (“former”) here refers to those who lived formerly, that is, the people’s ancestors (see Lam 5:7). The word is used in this way in Lev 26:45; Deut 19:14 and Eccl 1:11.
[79:11] 299 tn Heb “according to the greatness of your arm leave the sons of death.” God’s “arm” here symbolizes his strength to deliver. The verbal form הוֹתֵר (hoter) is a Hiphil imperative from יָתַר (yatar, “to remain; to be left over”). Here it must mean “to leave over; to preserve.” However, it is preferable to emend the form to הַתֵּר (hatter), a Hiphil imperative from נָתַר (natar, “be free”). The Hiphil form is used in Ps 105:20 of Pharaoh freeing Joseph from prison. The phrase “sons of death” (see also Ps 102:21) is idiomatic for those condemned to die.
[79:12] 300 tn Heb “Return to our neighbors sevenfold into their lap.” The number seven is used rhetorically to express the thorough nature of the action. For other rhetorical/figurative uses of the Hebrew phrase שִׁבְעָתַיִם (shiv’atayim, “seven times”) see Gen 4:15, 24; Ps 12:6; Prov 6:31; Isa 30:26.
[80:1] 306 sn Winged angels (Heb “cherubs”). Cherubs, as depicted in the OT, possess both human and animal (lion, ox, and eagle) characteristics (see Ezek 1:10; 10:14, 21; 41:18). They are pictured as winged creatures (Exod 25:20; 37:9; 1 Kgs 6:24-27; Ezek 10:8, 19) and serve as the very throne of God when the ark of the covenant is in view (Ps 99:1; see Num 7:89; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2; 2 Kgs 19:15). The picture of the Lord seated on the cherubs suggests they might be used by him as a vehicle, a function they carry out in Ezek 1:22-28 (the “living creatures” mentioned here are identified as cherubs in Ezek 10:20). In Ps 18:10 the image of a cherub serves to personify the wind.
[80:4] 312 tn Heb “
[80:4] 313 tn Heb “How long will you remain angry during the prayer of your people.” Some take the preposition -בְּ (bet) in an adversative sense here (“at/against the prayer of your people”), but the temporal sense is preferable. The psalmist expects persistent prayer to pacify God.
[80:7] 317 tn Heb “O God, hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי before צְבָאוֹת (tsÿva’ot, “hosts”; see Ps 89:9), but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (yehvah ’elohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (tsÿva’ot) in Pss 59:5 and 84:8 as well. See also v. 4 for a similar construction.
[80:13] 329 tn The precise referent of the Hebrew word translated “insects,” which occurs only here and in Ps 50:11, is uncertain. Aramaic, Arabic, and Akkadian cognates refer to insects, such as locusts or crickets.
[80:14] 330 tn Heb “O God, hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי before צְבָאוֹת (tsÿva’ot, “hosts”; see Ps 89:9), but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (yehvah ’elohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (tsÿva’ot) in Pss 59:5 and 84:8 as well. See also vv. 4, 7 for a similar construction.
[80:15] 332 tn Heb “and upon a son you strengthened for yourself.” In this context, where the extended metaphor of the vine dominates, בֵּן (ben, “son”) probably refers to the shoots that grow from the vine. Cf. Gen 49:22.
[80:17] 335 tn Heb “may your hand be upon the man of your right hand.” The referent of the otherwise unattested phrase “man of your right hand,” is unclear. It may refer to the nation collectively as a man. (See the note on the word “yourself” in v. 17b.)
[80:17] 336 tn Heb “upon the son of man you strengthened for yourself.” In its only other use in the Book of Psalms, the phrase “son of man” refers to the human race in general (see Ps 8:4). Here the phrase may refer to the nation collectively as a man. Note the use of the statement “you strengthened for yourself” both here and in v. 15, where the “son” (i.e., the branch of the vine) refers to Israel.
[80:19] 338 tn Heb “O
[81:1] 341 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] 347 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] 348 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] 350 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] 352 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] 353 tn The words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification. Verses 8-10 appear to recall what the
[81:8] 355 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] 366 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] 367 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] 368 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] 371 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] 373 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] 374 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] 378 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] 382 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] 384 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] 386 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] 387 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] 388 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] 400 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] 405 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] 409 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] 411 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] 418 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] 419 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] 432 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] 433 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] 435 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] 436 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] 439 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] 441 tn Heb “
[84:9] 442 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] 443 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] 446 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] 448 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] 452 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] 457 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] 465 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] 467 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] 473 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] 486 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] 496 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] 499 tn The perfect verbal forms are understood here as dramatic/rhetorical, expressing the psalmist’s certitude that such a sign from the
[87:1] 501 tn Heb “his foundation [is] in the hills of holiness.” The expression “his foundation” refers here by metonymy to the
[87:3] 502 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] 504 tn Heb “to those who know me” (see Ps 36:10). Apparently the
[87:4] 508 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] 509 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] 510 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] 514 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] 515 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”).
[88:1] 516 sn Psalm 88. The psalmist cries out in pain to the Lord, begging him for relief from his intense and constant suffering. The psalmist regards God as the ultimate cause of his distress, but nevertheless clings to God in hope.
[88:1] 517 tn The Hebrew phrase מָחֲלַת לְעַנּוֹת (makhalat lÿ’annot) may mean “illness to afflict.” Perhaps it refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. The term מָחֲלַת also appears in the superscription of Ps 53.
[88:1] 518 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.
[88:1] 519 tn Heb “O
[88:9] 532 tn Heb “I spread out my hands to you.” Spreading out the hands toward God was a prayer gesture (see Exod 9:29, 33; 1 Kgs 8:22, 38; 2 Chr 6:12-13, 29; Ezra 9:15; Job 11:13; Isa 1:15). The words “in prayer” have been supplied in the translation to clarify this.
[88:15] 540 tn Heb “I carry your horrors [?].” The meaning of the Hebrew form אָפוּנָה (’afunah), which occurs only here in the OT, is unclear. It may be an adverb meaning “very much” (BDB 67 s.v.), though some prefer to emend the text to אָפוּגָה (’afugah, “I am numb”) from the verb פוּג (pug; see Pss 38:8; 77:2).
[89:1] 545 sn Psalm 89. The psalmist praises God as the sovereign creator of the world. He recalls God’s covenant with David, but then laments that the promises of the covenant remain unrealized. The covenant promised the Davidic king military victories, but the king has now been subjected to humiliating defeat.
[89:3] 551 tn The words “the
[89:5] 555 tn Heb “in the assembly of the holy ones.” The phrase “holy ones” sometimes refers to God’s people (Ps 34:9) or to their priestly leaders (2 Chr 35:3), but here it refers to God’s heavenly assembly and the angels that surround his throne (see vv. 6-7).
[89:6] 556 tn Heb “sons of gods”; or “sons of God.” Though אֵלִים (’elim) is vocalized as a plural form (“gods”) in the Hebrew text, it is likely that the final mem (ם) is actually enclitic rather than a plural marker. In this case one may read “God.” Some, following a Qumran text and the LXX, also propose the phrase occurred in the original text of Deut 32:8. The phrase בְנֵי אֵלִים (vÿney ’elim, “sons of gods” or “sons of God”) occurs only here and in Ps 29:1. Since the “sons of gods/God” are here associated with “the assembly of the holy ones” and “council of the holy ones,” the heavenly assembly (comprised of so-called “angels” and other supernatural beings) appears to be in view. See Job 5:1; 15:15 and Zech 14:5, where these supernatural beings are referred to as “holy ones.” In Canaanite mythological texts the divine council of the high god El is called “the sons of El.” The OT apparently uses the Canaanite phrase, applying it to the supernatural beings that surround the
[89:10] 563 tn Heb “Rahab.” The name “Rahab” means “proud one.” Since it is sometimes used of Egypt (see Ps 87:4; Isa 30:7), the passage may allude to the exodus. However, the name is also used of the sea (or the mythological sea creature) which symbolizes the disruptive forces of the world that seek to replace order with chaos (see Job 9:13; 26:12). Isa 51:9 appears to combine the mythological and historical referents. The association of Rahab with the sea in Ps 89 (see v. 9) suggests that the name carries symbolic force in this context. In this case the passage may allude to creation (see vv. 11-12), when God overcame the great deep and brought order out of chaos.
[89:15] 572 tn Heb “in the light of your face they walk.” The idiom “light of your face” probably refers to a smile (see Eccl 8:1), which in turn suggests favor and blessing (see Num 6:25; Pss 4:6; 31:16; 44:3; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19; Dan 9:17).
[89:17] 575 tn Heb “you lift up our horn,” or if one follows the marginal reading (Qere), “our horn is lifted up.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 75:10; 89:24; 92:10; Lam 2:17).
[89:18] 576 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 “our king" here and with “your anointed one” in Ps 84:9.
[89:18] 577 sn The basic sense of the word “holy” is “set apart from that which is commonplace, special, unique.” The Lord’s holiness is first and foremost his transcendent sovereignty as the ruler of the world. He is “set apart” from the world over which he rules. At the same time his holiness encompasses his moral authority, which derives from his royal position. As king he has the right to dictate to his subjects how they are to live; indeed his very own character sets the standard for proper behavior. This expression is a common title for the
[89:22] 585 tn The translation understands the Hiphil of נָשַׁא (nasha’) in the sense of “act as a creditor.” This may allude to the practice of a conqueror forcing his subjects to pay tribute in exchange for “protection.” Another option is to take the verb from a homonymic verbal root meaning “to deceive,” “to trick.” Still another option is to emend the form to יִשָּׂא (yisa’), a Qal imperfect from נָאַשׂ (na’as, “rise up”) and to translate “an enemy will not rise up against him” (see M. Dahood, Psalms [AB], 2:317).
[89:22] 586 tn Heb “and a son of violence will not oppress him.” The imperfect is understood in a modal sense, indicating capability or potential. The reference to a “son of violence” echoes the language of God’s promise to David in 2 Sam 7:10 (see also 1 Chr 17:9).
[89:24] 588 tn Heb “and by my name his horn will be lifted up.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 75:10; 92:10; Lam 2:17).
[89:25] 589 tn Some identify “the sea” as the Mediterranean and “the rivers” as the Euphrates and its tributaries. However, it is more likely that “the sea” and “the rivers” are symbols for hostile powers that oppose God and the king (see v. 9, as well as Ps 93:3-4).
[89:26] 590 sn You are my father. The Davidic king was viewed as God’s “son” (see 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7). The idiom reflects ancient Near Eastern adoption language associated with covenants of grant, by which a lord would reward a faithful subject by elevating him to special status, referred to as “sonship.” Like a son, the faithful subject received an “inheritance,” viewed as an unconditional, eternal gift. Such gifts usually took the form of land and/or an enduring dynasty. See M. Weinfeld, “The Covenant of Grant in the Old Testament and in the Ancient Near East,” JAOS 90 (1970): 184-203, for general discussion and some striking extra-biblical parallels.
[89:32] sn Despite the harsh image of beating…with a club, the language reflects a father-son relationship (see v. 30; 2 Sam 7:14). According to Proverbs, a שֵׁבֶט (shevet, “club”) was sometimes utilized to administer corporal punishment to rebellious children (see Prov 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15).
[89:33] 599 tn Heb “break”; “make ineffectual.” Some prefer to emend אָפִיר (’afir; the Hiphil of פָּרַר, parar, “to break”) to אָסִיר (’asir; the Hiphil of סוּר, sur, “to turn aside”), a verb that appears in 2 Sam 7:15.
[89:37] 607 tn Heb “and a witness in the sky, secure.” Scholars have offered a variety of opinions as to the identity of the “witness” referred to here, none of which is very convincing. It is preferable to join וְעֵד (vÿ’ed) to עוֹלָם (’olam) in the preceding line and translate the commonly attested phrase עוֹלָם וְעֵד (“forever”). In this case one may translate the second line, “[it] will be secure like the skies.” Another option (the one reflected in the present translation) is to take עד as a rare noun meaning “throne” or “dais.” This noun is attested in Ugaritic; see, for example, CTA 16 vi 22-23, where ksi (= כִּסֵּא, kisse’, “throne”) and ’d (= עד, “dais”) appear as synonyms in the poetic parallelism (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 91). Emending בַּשַּׁחַק (bashakhaq, “in the heavens”) to כַּשַׁחַק (kashakhaq, “like the heavens”) – bet/kaf (כ/ב) confusion is widely attested – one can then read “[his] throne like the heavens [is] firm/stable.” Verse 29 refers to the enduring nature of the heavens, while Job 37:18 speaks of God spreading out the heavens (שְׁחָקִים, shÿkhaqim) and compares their strength to a bronze mirror. Ps 89:29 uses the term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim, “skies”) which frequently appears in parallelism to שְׁחָקִים.
[89:43] 616 tn The perfect verbal form predominates in vv. 38-45. The use of the imperfect in this one instance may be for rhetorical effect. The psalmist briefly lapses into dramatic mode, describing the king’s military defeat as if it were happening before his very eyes.
[89:43] 617 tc Heb “you turn back, rocky summit, his sword.” The Hebrew term צוּר (tsur, “rocky summit”) makes no sense here, unless it is a divine title understood as vocative, “you turn back, O Rocky Summit, his sword.” Some emend the form to צֹר (tsor, “flint”) on the basis of Josh 5:2, which uses the phrase חַרְבוֹת צֻרִים (kharvot tsurim, “flint knives”). The noun צֹר (tsor, “flint”) can then be taken as “flint-like edge,” indicating the sharpness of the sword. Others emend the form to אָחוֹר (’akhor, “backward”) or to מִצַּר (mitsar, “from the adversary”). The present translation reflects the latter, assuming an original reading תָּשִׁיב מִצָּר חַרְבּוֹ (tashiv mitsar kharbo), which was corrupted to תָּשִׁיב צָר חַרְבּוֹ (tashiv tsar kharbo) by virtual haplography (confusion of bet/mem is well-attested) with צָר (tsar, “adversary”) then being misinterpreted as צוּר in the later tradition.
[89:44] 619 tc The Hebrew text appears to read, “you have brought to an end from his splendor,” but the form מִטְּהָרוֹ (mittÿharo) should be slightly emended (the daghesh should be removed from the tet [ת]) and read simply “his splendor” (the initial mem [מ] is not the preposition, but a nominal prefix).
[89:47] 623 tn Heb “remember me, what is [my] lifespan.” The Hebrew term חֶלֶד (kheled) is also used of one’s lifespan in Ps 39:5. Because the Hebrew text is so awkward here, some prefer to emend it to read מֶה חָדֵל אָנִי (meh khadel ’aniy, “[remember] how transient [that is, “short-lived”] I am”; see Ps 39:4).
[89:50] 631 tn Heb “my lifting up in my arms [or “against my chest”] all of the many, peoples.” The term רַבִּים (rabbim, “many”) makes no apparent sense here. For this reason some emend the text to רִבֵי (rivey, “attacks by”), a defectively written plural construct form of רִיב (riv, “dispute; quarrel”).
[89:52] 633 sn The final verse of Ps 89, v. 52, is a conclusion to this third “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the first, second and fourth “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 41:13; 72:18-19; 106:48, respectively).
[89:52] 635 tn Heb “surely and surely” (אָמֵן וְאָמֵן [’amen vÿ’amen], i.e., “Amen and amen”). This is probably a congregational response to the immediately preceding statement about the propriety of praising God; thus it has been translated “We agree! We agree!”