Psalms 63

1O God, you are my God! I long for you!
Or “I will seek you.”

My soul thirsts
Or “I thirst.”
for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched
Heb “faint” or “weary.” This may picture the land as “faint” or “weary,” or it may allude to the effect this dry desert has on those who are forced to live in it.
land where there is no water.
2 Yes,
The Hebrew particle כֵּן (ken) is used here to stress the following affirmation (see Josh 2:4).
in the sanctuary I have seen you,
The perfect verbal form is understood here as referring to a past experience which the psalmist desires to be repeated. Another option is to take the perfect as indicating the psalmist’s certitude that he will again stand in God’s presence in the sanctuary. In this case one can translate, “I will see you.”

and witnessed
Heb “seeing.” The preposition with the infinitive construct here indicates an accompanying circumstance.
your power and splendor.
3 Because
This line is understood as giving the basis for the praise promised in the following line. Another option is to take the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) as asseverative/emphasizing, “Indeed, your loyal love is better” (cf. NEB, which leaves the particle untranslated).
The word “experiencing” is supplied in the translation for clarification. The psalmist does not speak here of divine loyal love in some abstract sense, but of loyal love revealed and experienced.
your loyal love is better than life itself,
my lips will praise you.
4 For this reason
Or perhaps “then.”
I will praise you while I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will lift up my hands. Lifting up one’s hands toward God was a gesture of prayer (see Ps 28:2; Lam 2:19) or respect (Ps 119:48).

5 As if with choice meat
Heb “like fat and fatness.”
you satisfy my soul.
Or “me.”

My mouth joyfully praises you,
Heb “and [with] lips of joy my mouth praises.”

6 whenever
The Hebrew term אִם (’im) is used here in the sense of “when; whenever,” as in Ps 78:34.
I remember you on my bed,
and think about you during the nighttime hours.
7 For you are my deliverer;
Or “[source of] help.”

under your wings
Heb “in the shadow of your wings.”
I rejoice.
8 My soul
Or “I.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).
pursues you;
Heb “clings after.” The expression means “to pursue with determination” (see Judg 20:45; 1 Sam 14:22; 1 Chr 10:2; Jer 42:16).

your right hand upholds me.
9 Enemies seek to destroy my life,
Heb “but they for destruction seek my life.” The pronoun “they” must refer here to the psalmist’s enemies, referred to at this point for the first time in the psalm.

but they will descend into the depths of the earth.
The depths of the earth refers here to the underworld dwelling place of the dead (see Ezek 26:20; 31:14, 16, 18; 32:18, 24). See L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 167.

10 Each one will be handed over to the sword;
Heb “they will deliver him over to the sword.” The third masculine plural subject must be indefinite (see GKC 460 #144.f) and the singular pronominal suffix either representative or distributive (emphasizing that each one will be so treated). Active verbs with indefinite subjects may be translated as passives with the object (in the Hebrew text) as subject (in the translation).

their corpses will be eaten by jackals.
Heb “they will be [the] portion of jackals”; traditionally, “of foxes.”

But the king
The psalmist probably refers to himself in the third person here.
will rejoice in God;
everyone who takes oaths in his name
Heb “who swears [an oath] by him.”
will boast,
for the mouths of those who speak lies will be shut up.
The Niphal of this verb occurs only here and in Gen 8:2, where it is used of God “stopping” or “damming up” the great deep as he brought the flood to an end.

Psalm 64

Psalm 64. The psalmist asks God to protect him from his dangerous enemies and then confidently affirms that God will destroy his enemies and demonstrate his justice in the sight of all observers.

For the music director; a psalm of David.

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