January 29, 2008

Psalm 52

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.
By David,
When Doeg the Edomite came and reported to Saul, and said to him,
“David came to the house of Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast in evil, mighty man?
The loyalty of God last all the day.
Calamities your tongue devises,
Like a sharpened razor, working deceit.
You love evil more than good,
A lie more than speaking righteousness.  Selah.
You love all devouring words,
Deceitful tongue.

Likewise God will tear you down everlastingly;
He will take you away and tear you out of the tent;
And he will uproot you from the land of the living.  Selah.

The righteous will see and fear,
And at him they will laugh:
“Look, the young man who does not make God his strength;
And he trusts in abundance of riches;
He is strong in his calamities.”

But I myself am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the loyalty of God forever and ever.
I will praise you forever because you did it,
And I will wait on your name (because it is good) before your loyal ones.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 7, “devouring words” is literally “words of swallowing.”  In other words, these are words by which a person swallows you up and destroys you.

(2) In line 16, when it says that this man is “strong in his calamities,” it is referring to the ones that he has been devising (see line 3).  In other words, he thinks that because he has plotted calamity against the psalmist and others, he will be strong himself.

(3) The last line of the psalm is a bit complex, at least in English.  It appears to mean that David will wait on Yahweh before the ones who are loyal to Yahweh.  His waiting appears to be public, and he’s waiting on Yahweh’s name (which implies calling on Yahweh by name, I suspect) because his name summarizes his whole character and his name is good.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:22 pm | Discuss (0)

Leave a Reply