Monday, January 11, 2021

Psalms 67

Tate has a lot to say about verb tenses here. He writes: "This psalm presents major problems in determining the mood and tense of the verbs." I have read verse 2 as imperfect (future). Eerdmans reads it as present. God is gracious, etc. Gunkel goes to the past. God was gracious to us, etc. LXX goes to the jussive. May God have compassion, etc. (NETS).

My advice is remember it's poetry and do what you want. (I am not quite that random in my thoughts though you might think I was theocratic at times with my imperatives.) Don't forget you can look up all uses and forms of any word in the concordance. I left a link on gracious below (on the Hebrew side). Interesting that this form ikonnu is rare.

First read the Psalm. 

spr thlim

Book of Psalms

sz

67

almnxk bnginot mzmor wir. 1For the leader. On strings. A psalm. A song.
balohim ikonnu vibrcnu.
iar pniv aitnu slh.
2God will be gracious to us and will bless us.
He will shine the light of his face on us. Selah.
gldyt barx drcç,
bcl-goiim iwuytç,
3To know your way on earth,
in all nations your salvation,
dioduç ymim alohim.
ioduç ymim culm.
4make peoples thank you O God.
Make peoples thank you, all of them.
hiwmku virnnu laumim,
ci-twpo't ymim miwor,
ulaumim barx tnkm slh.
5Make tribes glad and shout for joy,
for you judge peoples with equity,
and tribes on the earth, you guide them. Selah.
vioduç ymim alohim.
ioduç ymim culm.
6Make peoples thank you O God.
Make peoples thank you, all of them.
zarx ntnh ibulh.
ibrcnu alohim alohinu.
7Earth has given her produce.
God our God will bless us.
kibrcnu alohim,
viirau aoto cl-apsi-arx.
8God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
This Psalm clearly has a centre, verse 5, the only tricolon, flanked and framed by verses 4 and 6. Then framed and flanked again by the word bless. Everyone is to be glad and shout for joy. Curious that this psalm in the middle of the Psalter, the third of three harvest-related psalms (65-67), anticipates the closing psalms of the Psalter. As many point out, the text reflects the priestly benediction of Numbers 6:24-26.

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