Psalms 381 O Lord, do not continue to rebuke me in your anger!
Do not continue to punish me in your raging fury! ▼
▼ The words “continue to” are supplied in the translation of both lines. The following verses make it clear that the psalmist is already experiencing divine rebuke/punishment. He asks that it might cease.▼
2 For your arrows pierce ▼ me,
and your hand presses me down. ▼
▼ Heb “and your hand [?] upon me.” The meaning of the verb נָחַת (nakhat) is unclear in this context. It is preferable to emend the form to וַתָּנַח (vattanakh) from the verb נוּחַ (nuakh, “rest”). In this case the text would read literally, “and your hand rests upon me” (see Isa 25:10, though the phrase is used in a positive sense there, unlike Ps 38:2).
3 My whole body is sick because of your judgment; ▼
▼ Heb “there is no soundness in my flesh from before your anger.” “Anger” here refers metonymically to divine judgment, which is the practical effect of God’s anger at the psalmist’s sin.
I am deprived of health because of my sin. ▼
▼ Heb “there is no health in my bones from before my sin.”
4 For my sins overwhelm me; ▼
▼ Heb “pass over my head.”
like a heavy load, they are too much for me to bear.
5 My wounds ▼ are infected and starting to smell, ▼
▼ Heb “my wounds stink, they are festering” (cf. NEB).
because of my foolish sins. ▼
▼ Heb “from before my foolishness.”
6 I am dazed ▼ and completely humiliated; ▼
▼ Heb “I am bowed down to excess.”
all day long I walk around mourning.
7 For I am overcome with shame ▼
▼ Heb “for my loins are filled with shame.” The “loins” are viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s emotions. The present translation assumes that נִקְלֶה (niqleh) is derived from קָלָה (qalah, “be dishonored”). Some derive it instead from a homonymic root קָלָה (qalah), meaning “to roast.” In this case one might translate “fever” (cf. NEB “my loins burn with fever”).
and my whole body is sick. ▼
8 I am numb with pain and severely battered; ▼
▼ Heb “I am numb and crushed to excess.”
I groan loudly because of the anxiety I feel. ▼
▼ Heb “I roar because of the moaning of my heart.”
9 O Lord, you understand my heart’s desire; ▼
▼ Heb “O Lord, before you [is] all my desire.”
my groaning is not hidden from you.
10 My heart beats quickly;
my strength leaves me;
I can hardly see. ▼
11 Because of my condition, ▼
▼ Or “wound,” or “illness.”even my friends and acquaintances keep their distance; ▼
▼ Heb “stand [aloof].”
my neighbors stand far away. ▼
▼ Heb “and the ones near me off at a distance stand.”
12 Those who seek my life try to entrap me; ▼
▼ Heb “lay snares.”
those who want to harm me speak destructive words;
all day long they say deceitful things.
13 But I am like a deaf man – I hear nothing;
I am like a mute who cannot speak. ▼
14 I am like a man who cannot hear
and is incapable of arguing his defense. ▼
▼ Heb “and there is not in his mouth arguments.”
15 Yet ▼
▼ Or perhaps “surely.”I wait for you, O Lord!
You will respond, O Lord, my God!
16 I have prayed for deliverance, because otherwise they will gloat over me; ▼
when my foot slips they will arrogantly taunt me. ▼
17 For I am about to stumble,
and I am in constant pain. ▼
▼ Heb “and my pain [is] before me continually.”
18 Yes, ▼
▼ Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.I confess my wrongdoing,
and I am concerned about my sins.
19 But those who are my enemies for no reason are numerous; ▼
▼ Heb “and my enemies, life, are many.” The noun חַיִּים (khayyim, “life”) fits very awkwardly here. The translation assumes an emendation to חִנָּם (khinam, “without reason”; note the parallelism with שֶׁקֶר [sheqer, “falsely”] and see Pss 35:19; 69:4; Lam 3:52). The verb עָצַם (’atsam) can sometimes mean “are strong,” but here it probably focuses on numerical superiority (note the parallel verb רָבַב, ravav, “be many”).
those who hate me without cause outnumber me. ▼
▼ Heb “are many.”
20 They repay me evil for the good I have done;
though I have tried to do good to them, they hurl accusations at me. ▼
▼ Heb “the ones who repay evil instead of good accuse me, instead of my pursuing good.”
21 Do not abandon me, O Lord!
My God, do not remain far away from me!
Hurry and help me, ▼ O Lord, my deliverer!
▼ Psalm 39. The psalmist laments his frailty and mortality as he begs the Lord to take pity on him and remove his disciplinary hand.
For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.22
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