February 12, 2008

Psalm 54

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.
On stringed instruments.
By David,
When the Ziphites came and said to Saul,
“Is not David hiding with us?”

God, in your name save me;
And in your might vindicate me.
God, hear my prayer;
Give ear to the sayings of my mouth,
Because strangers have risen up against me,
And oppressors seek my soul;
They have not set God before them.  Selah.

Look, God is a helper for me;
The Lord is among the supporters of my soul.
Cause the evil to return to my enemies;
In your trustworthiness destroy them.

With a free-will offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will praise your name, Yahweh, because it is good,
Because from all my trouble he has delivered me,
And on my enemies my eye has looked.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 1, “in your name” may mean “by your name,” as “in your might” in line 2 seems to mean “by your might.”  God’s name, Yahweh, indicates that he is the faithful God, and so, in keeping with his name, he will be faithful to David.

(2) In line 11, the word for “destroy” may mean “silence,” as it appears to in some other passages.  “To silence” is how Holliday’s lexicon renders this word, but most Bible translations use “to destroy” or “to cut off.”

(3) In the last line, “to look upon one’s enemies” is to gaze with delight at their destruction.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:43 pm | Discuss (0)

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