For the music director; By David, a psalm.
and he turned toward me
and heard my cry for help.
out of the slimy mud. 4
He placed my feet on a rock
and gave me secure footing. 5
praising our God. 7
May many see what God has done,
so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord! 8
40:5 O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us. 14
No one can thwart you! 15
I want to declare them and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount! 16
You make that quite clear to me! 18
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
40:7 Then I say,
“Look! I come!
What is written in the scroll pertains to me. 19
Your law dominates my thoughts.” 21
Look! I spare no words! 24
O Lord, you know this is true.
I spoke about your reliability and deliverance;
I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness. 26
May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me! 28
My sins overtake me
so I am unable to see;
they outnumber the hairs of my head
so my strength fails me. 30
40:13 Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!
O Lord, hurry and help me! 31
40:14 May those who are trying to snatch away my life
be totally embarrassed and ashamed! 32
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed! 33
40:15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
40:16 May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you!
“May the Lord be praised!” 38
May the Lord pay attention to me! 40
You are my helper and my deliverer!
O my God, do not delay!
[40:1] 2 tn Heb “relying, I relied.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verbal form to emphasize the verbal idea. The emphasis is reflected in the translation through the adverb “completely.” Another option is to translate, “I waited patiently” (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV).
[40:2] 3 tn Heb “cistern of roaring.” The Hebrew noun בּוֹר (bor, “cistern, pit”) is used metaphorically here of Sheol, the place of death, which is sometimes depicted as a raging sea (see Ps 18:4, 15-16). The noun שָׁאוֹן (sha’on, “roaring”) refers elsewhere to the crashing sound of the sea’s waves (see Ps 65:7).
[40:2] 4 tn Heb “from the mud of mud.” The Hebrew phrase translated “slimy mud” employs an appositional genitive. Two 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.
[40:3] 8 tn Heb “may many see and fear and trust in the
[40:4] 9 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, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
[40:5] 14 tn Heb “many things you have done, you, O
[40:5] 15 tn Heb “there is none arrayed against you.” The precise meaning of the text is unclear, but the collocation עָרַךְ אֶל (’arakh ’el, “array against”) is used elsewhere of military (Judg 20:30; 1 Chr 19:17) or verbal opposition (Job 32:14).
[40:5] 16 tn Heb “I will declare and I will speak, they are too numerous to recount.” The present translation assumes that the cohortatives are used in a hypothetical manner in a formally unmarked conditional sentence, “Should I try to declare [them] and speak [of them]…” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). 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 cohortatives are part of an apodosis with the protasis being suppressed.) Another option is to take the cohortatives as a declaration of the psalmist’s resolve to announce the truth expressed in the next line. In this case one might translate: “I will declare and speak [the truth]: They are too numerous to recount.”
[40:6] 17 tn Heb “sacrifice and offering you do not desire.” The statement is exaggerated for the sake of emphasis (see Ps 51:16 as well). God is pleased with sacrifices, but his first priority is obedience and loyalty (see 1 Sam 15:22). Sacrifices and offerings apart from genuine allegiance are meaningless (see Isa 1:11-20).
[40:6] 18 tn Heb “ears you hollowed out for me.” The meaning of this odd expression is debated (this is the only collocation of “hollowed out” and “ears” in the OT). It may have been an idiomatic expression referring to making a point clear to a listener. The LXX has “but a body you have prepared for me,” a reading which is followed in Heb 10:5.
[40:7] 19 tn Heb “in the roll of the scroll it is written concerning me.” Apparently the psalmist refers to the law of God (see v. 8), which contains the commandments God desires him to obey. If this is a distinctly royal psalm, then the psalmist/king may be referring specifically to the regulations of kingship prescribed in Deut 17:14-20. See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 315.
[40:9] 23 tn Heb “I proclaim justice in the great assembly.” Though “justice” appears without a pronoun here, the
[40:11] 27 tn Some (cf. NIV, NRSV) translate the verb as a request (“do not withhold”), but elsewhere in the psalms the second masculine singular prefixed form, when addressed to God and preceded by לֹא (lo’), is always indicative in mood and never has the force of a prayer (see Pss 16:10; 22:2; 44:9 51:16-17; 60:10; 108:11; cf. NEB, NASB).
[40:11] 28 tn In this line the psalmist makes the transition from confidence to petition (see v. 13). Since the prefixed verbal form in the preceding line is imperfect/indicative, one could take the verb in this line as imperfect as well and translate, “your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me” (cf. NEB). However, the כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the next verse, if causal (“because”), is best understood as introducing a motivating argument in support of a petition. For this reason v. 11b is best taken as a prayer with the prefixed form being understood as jussive (cf. NIV, NRSV). For parallels to the proposed construction (jussive followed by כִּי + perfect introducing motivating argument), see Ps 25:21, as well as Pss 10:2-3; 22:8.
[40:12] 29 tn Or “sinful deeds.” The Hebrew term used here can have a nonmoral nuance (“dangers”) or a moral one (“sinful deeds”) depending on the context. The next line (see “my sins”) seems to favor the moral sense, but the psalmist also speaks of enemies shortly after this (v. 14).
[40:14] 33 tn The four prefixed verbal forms in this verse (“may those…be…embarrassed and ashamed…may those…be turned back and ashamed”) are understood as jussives. The psalmist is calling judgment down on his enemies.
[40:16] 37 tn The three prefixed verbal forms prior to the quotation are understood as jussives. The psalmist balances out his imprecation against his enemies with a prayer of blessing upon the godly.
[40:16] 38 tn The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive, “may the
[40:17] 40 tn The prefixed verbal form may be taken as a jussive of prayer (as in the present translation; cf. NIV) or as an imperfect, “The