For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of David.
4:1 When I call out, answer me,
O God who vindicates me! 2
Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place. 3
and search for what is deceptive? 10 (Selah)
the Lord responds 13 when I cry out to him.
Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways! 15 (Selah)
and trust in the Lord! 17
4:6 Many say, “Who can show us anything good?”
Smile upon us, Lord! 18
than those who have abundant grain and wine. 20
for you, Lord, make me safe and secure. 22
[4:1] 1 sn Psalm 4. The psalmist asks God to hear his prayer, expresses his confidence that the Lord will intervene, and urges his enemies to change their ways and place their trust in God. He concludes with another prayer for divine intervention and again affirms his absolute confidence in God’s protection.
[4:1] 3 tn Heb “in distress (or “a narrow place”) you make (a place) large for me.” The function of the Hebrew perfect verbal form here is uncertain. The translation above assumes that the psalmist is expressing his 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 as if it had already happened. Such confidence is consistent with the mood of the psalm (vv. 3, 8). Another option is to take the perfects as precative, expressing a wish or request (“lead me”). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
[4:2] 10 tn Heb “a lie.” Some see the metonymic language of v. 2b (“emptiness, lie”) as referring to idols or false gods. However, there is no solid immediate contextual evidence for such an interpretation. It is more likely that the psalmist addresses those who threaten him (see v. 1) and refers in a general way to their sinful lifestyle. (See R. Mosis, TDOT 7:121.) The two terms allude to the fact that sinful behavior is ultimately fruitless and self-destructive.
[4:3] 12 tn Heb “that the
[4:4] 15 tn Heb “say in your heart(s) on your bed(s) and wail/lament.” The verb דֹמּוּ (dommu) is understood as a form of דָמָם (“wail, lament”) in sorrow and repentance. Another option is to take the verb from II דָמָם (damam, “be quiet”); cf. NIV, NRSV “be silent.”
[4:6] 18 tn Heb “lift up upon us the light of your face,
[4:6] sn Smile upon us. Though many are discouraged, the psalmist asks the Lord to intervene and transform the situation.
[4:8] 22 tn Heb “for you,