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Mazmur 19:2-7


19:2 Day after day it speaks out; 1 

night after night it reveals his greatness. 2 

19:3 There is no actual speech or word,

nor is its 3  voice literally heard.

19:4 Yet its voice 4  echoes 5  throughout the earth;

its 6  words carry 7  to the distant horizon. 8 

In the sky 9  he has pitched a tent for the sun. 10 

19:5 Like a bridegroom it emerges 11  from its chamber; 12 

like a strong man it enjoys 13  running its course. 14 

19:6 It emerges from the distant horizon, 15 

and goes from one end of the sky to the other; 16 

nothing can escape 17  its heat.

19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect

and preserves one’s life. 18 

The rules set down by the Lord 19  are reliable 20 

and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. 21 

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[19:2]  1 tn Heb “it gushes forth a word.” The “sky” (see v. 1b) is the subject of the verb. Though not literally speaking (see v. 3), it clearly reveals God’s royal majesty. The sun’s splendor and its movement across the sky is in view (see vv. 4-6).

[19:2]  2 tn Heb “it [i.e., the sky] declares knowledge,” i.e., knowledge about God’s royal majesty and power (see v. 1). This apparently refers to the splendor and movements of the stars. The imperfect verbal forms in v. 2, like the participles in the preceding verse, combine with the temporal phrases (“day after day” and “night after night”) to emphasize the ongoing testimony of the sky.

[19:3]  3 tn Heb “their.” The antecedent of the plural pronoun is “heavens” (v. 1).

[19:4]  4 tc The MT reads, “their measuring line” (קוּם, qum). The noun קַו (qav, “measuring line”) makes no sense in this context. The reading קוֹלָם (qolam, “their voice”) which is supported by the LXX, is preferable.

[19:4]  5 tn Heb “goes out,” or “proceeds forth.”

[19:4]  6 tn Heb “their” (see the note on the word “its” in v. 3).

[19:4]  7 tn The verb is supplied in the translation. The Hebrew text has no verb; יָצָא (yatsa’, “goes out”) is understood by ellipsis.

[19:4]  8 tn Heb “to the end of the world.”

[19:4]  9 tn Heb “in them” (i.e., the heavens).

[19:4]  10 sn He has pitched a tent for the sun. The personified sun emerges from this “tent” in order to make its daytime journey across the sky. So the “tent” must refer metaphorically to the place where the sun goes to rest during the night.

[19:5]  11 tn The participle expresses the repeated or regular nature of the action.

[19:5]  12 tn The Hebrew noun חֻפָּה (khufah, “chamber”) occurs elsewhere only in Isa 4:5 and Joel 2:16 (where it refers to the bedroom of a bride and groom).

[19:5]  sn Like a bridegroom. The metaphor likens the sun to a bridegroom who rejoices on his wedding night.

[19:5]  13 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the regularity of the action.

[19:5]  14 tn Heb “[on] a path.”

[19:5]  sn Like a strong man. The metaphorical language reflects the brilliance of the sunrise, which attests to the sun’s vigor.

[19:6]  15 tn Heb “from the end of the heavens [is] its going forth.”

[19:6]  16 tn Heb “and its circuit [is] to their ends.”

[19:6]  17 tn Heb “is hidden from.”

[19:7]  18 tn Heb “[it] restores life.” Elsewhere the Hiphil of שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) when used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “life”) as object, means to “rescue or preserve one’s life” (Job 33:30; Ps 35:17) or to “revive one’s strength” (emotionally or physically; cf. Ruth 4:15; Lam 1:11, 16, 19). Here the point seems to be that the law preserves the life of the one who studies it by making known God’s will. Those who know God’s will know how to please him and can avoid offending him. See v. 11a.

[19:7]  19 tn Traditionally, “the testimony of the Lord.” The noun עֵדוּת (’edut) refers here to the demands of God’s covenant law.

[19:7]  20 tn God’s covenant contains a clear, reliable witness to his moral character and demands.

[19:7]  21 tn Or “the [morally] naive,” that is, the one who is young and still in the process of learning right from wrong and distinguishing wisdom from folly.

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