May 15, 2008

Psalm 61

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I have 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 string music.
By David.

Hear, O God, my cry;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth to you I call, when my heart is weak.
To the rock too high for me, lead me.

For you have been a refuge for me,
A strong tower in the face of the enemy.
I will sojourn in your tent for ages;
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  Selah.

For you yourself, O God, heard my vows;
You gave the heritage of those who fear your name.

Days to the days of the king you will add;
His years will be like generation and generation.
He will sit forever before God;
Loyalty and trustworthiness you appoint;
They will preserve him.

So I will psalm to your name for everlasting,
To perform my vows day by day.

Some comments about this psalm:

(1) Line 4 is often translated “the rock higher than I.”  But what is in view is not that the rock is taller than David is.  Rather, the idea is that David cannot climb up into this refuge himself but asks God to lead him up to the rock that is too high for him to reach.

(2) In line 12, “generation and generation” means something like “generation after generation,” a long succession of generations.

(3)  “Sit” in line 13 means “sit enthroned.”  The idea isn’t just that David is sitting around.  Rather, he is sitting as the king on his throne.

(4) The verb in line 14 could be a jussive: “Appoint loyalty and trustworthiness!”

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

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