June 5, 2012

Psalm 65

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

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.
A psalm.
By David.
A song.

To you silence is praise, God in Zion,
And to you will be performed a vow.
Hearer of prayer,
Unto you all flesh will come.
Deeds of liability prevail over me;
Our rebellions — you yourself will cover them.
Most happy is the one you choose and bring near:
He lives in your courts.
We are filled with the goodness of your house,
Your holy temple.

Awesomely, in righteousness you will answer us,
God of our salvation —
The trust of all the ends of the earth
And of the farthest sea —
Establishing the mountains by his power,
Girded with strength,
Quieting the uproar of the seas,
The uproar of their waves,
Even the tumult of the peoples.
Those who dwell at the ends fear your signs;
The outgoings of the morning and the evening you make shout for joy.

You visit the earth
And make it overflow;
You make it very rich.
God’s river is full of water.
You prepare their grain.
Indeed, in this way you prepare it:
Its furrows you drench;
You level its ridges.
With showers you soften it;
Its growth you bless.
You crown the year with your goodness,
And your cart tracks drip fat.
The grasslands of the wilderness drip,
And with joy the hills gird themselves.
The meadows are clothed with the flocks,
And the valleys are dressed with grain.
They shout for joy;
Yes, they sing!

Some comments on the translation:

Line 1: The word translated silence here is often emended, resulting in the translation “praise waits for you.”  But the word is the word for silence (cf., e.g., Alexander, Alter, Delitzsch, Jordan, Kidner).  What this phrase means, I’m not entirely certain.

Lines 2ff.: The Hebrew is broken up here, so that it appears as if the first part of verse 3 (Hebrew) is actually the second stich of the line that ends verse 2, so that it should be

To you silence is praise,
God in Zion.
And to you will be paid a vow,
Hearer of prayer.
Unto you all flesh will come.
Words/Things/Deeds of iniquity….

Line 5: The word translated “deeds” often means “words” but can also mean “things, matters.”  I’ve rendered this “deeds/works” (e.g., Alter, Jordan, Tate), but there are more obvious Hebrew words that could have been chosen for deeds or actions.  Hirsch thinks these are the “products of iniquity,” but because the word I’ve rendered “liability” has to do with guilt, I suspect that these are deeds/words   Still, Alexander may be right in thinking that these are the words associated with liability/guilt, that is, that they are charges and accusations which are overwhelming to David.   Such charges are a major theme of many psalms.

In line 20 (“Those who dwell at the ends…”), “ends” refers to the farthest reaches of the earth, it seems.


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