May 14, 2007

Psalm 21

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

For the Director.
A Psalm
By David.

Yahweh, in your strength the king rejoices;
And in your salvation how greatly he is glad!
The desire of his heart you granted him
And the request of his lips you did not withhold. Selah.

Indeed you welcomed him with blessings of goodness;
You set on his head a crown of fine gold.
Life he asked of you;
You gave it to him,
Length of days everlastingly and forever.

Great is his glory through your salvation;
Majesty and splendor you put upon him.
Indeed, you make him blessings forever;
You gladden him with joy by your face.

For the king trusts in Yahweh,
And in the loyalty of the Highest he will not be shaken.

Your hand will find all your enemies;
Your right hand will find those who hate you.
You will make them like a fiery furnace
In the time of your face, Yahweh.
In anger he will swallow them
And fire will devour them.
Their fruit you will destroy from the earth
And their seed from the sons of Adam,
Because they intend evil against you;
They devise a plot.
They lack ability,

Because you will make them turn their back;
When you ready your bowstrings at their faces.

Be exalted, Yahweh, in your strength;
We will sing and psalm your power.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 12, “you make him blessings forever” doesn’t seem to mean that Yahweh makes the king blessed, but rather that he makes him blessed in order to be a blessing to others. He becomes a blessing to the people and a source of blessings.

(2) The word “intend” in line 24 (“they intend evil against you”) is often used for stretching something out (e.g., stretching out a hand), but this phrase (“to stretch out against”) “expresses the intention to cause a certain fate to overtake another person” (Hirsch).

(3) In line 27, the word translated “back” is really something of a guess, though it’s a guess shared by many commentators. Got any better suggestions?

Posted by John Barach @ 3:50 pm | Discuss (0)

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