Psalms 26

1Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have integrity,
Heb “for I in my integrity walk.”

and I trust in the Lord without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me!
Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives!
Heb “evaluate my kidneys and my heart.” The kidneys and heart were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.

3 For I am ever aware of your faithfulness,
Heb “for your faithfulness [is] before my eyes.”

and your loyalty continually motivates me.
Heb “and I walk about in your loyalty.”
The psalmist’s awareness of the Lord’s faithfulness and…loyalty toward him motivates him to remain loyal to the Lord and to maintain his moral purity.

4 I do not associate
Heb “sit.”
with deceitful men,
or consort
Heb “go.” The psalmist uses the imperfect form of the verb to emphasize that he does not make a practice of associating with such people.
with those who are dishonest.
Heb “[those who] conceal themselves.”

5 I hate the mob
Heb “assembly, company.”
of evil men,
and do not associate
Heb “sit.” The psalmist uses the imperfect form of the verb to emphasize that he does not make a practice of associating with such people.
with the wicked.
6 I maintain a pure lifestyle,
Heb “I wash my hands in innocence.” The psalmist uses an image from cultic ritual to picture his moral lifestyle. The imperfect verbal emphasizes that this is his habit.

so I can appear before your altar,
Heb “so I can go around your altar” (probably in ritual procession). Following the imperfect of the preceding line, the cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose or result.
O Lord,
7 to give you thanks,
Heb “to cause to be heard the sound of thanksgiving.”

and to tell about all your amazing deeds.
The two infinitival forms (both with prefixed preposition -לְ, lamed) give the purpose for his appearance at the altar.

8 O Lord, I love the temple where you live,
Heb “the dwelling of your house.”

the place where your splendor is revealed.
Heb “the place of the abode of your splendor.”

9 Do not sweep me away
Heb “do not gather up my life with.”
with sinners,
or execute me along with violent people,
Heb “or with men of bloodshed my life.” The verb is supplied; it is understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).

10 who are always ready to do wrong
Heb “who [have] in their hands evil.”

or offer a bribe.
Heb “and their right hand is full of a bribe.”

11 But I have integrity!
Heb “and I in my integrity walk.” The psalmist uses the imperfect verbal form to emphasize this is his practice. The construction at the beginning of the verse (conjunction + pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist and the sinners mentioned in vv. 9–10.

Rescue me
Or “redeem me.”
and have mercy on me!
I am safe,
Heb “my foot stands in a level place.”

and among the worshipers I will praise the Lord.

Psalm 27

Psalm 27. The author is confident of the Lord’s protection and asks the Lord to vindicate him.

By David.

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