Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Psalm 6 Translation

Psalm 1
Psalm 2
Psalm 3
Psalm 4
Psalm 5
Now Psalm 6
[To the musician leading (those playing) the Neginoth upon the Sheminith, a psalm (attributed) to David]
1 Do not in your anger correct me,
     and do not in your heat discipline me.
2 Be gracious to me, YHWH,
     for I am languishing;
Heal me, YHWH,
     for my bones tremble.
3 And my soul trembles intensely,
     but you, YHWH, how long?
4 Return, YHWH; deliver my soul.
     save me because of your faithfulness.
5 For in death there is no memory of you;
     in Sheol who gives thanks to you.
6 I am weary with my sighing;
     I swim in all [the] night [on] my bed;
     with my tears, I dissolve my couch.
7 My eye is sunken from grief;
     it ages from all my harassers.
8 Go away from me,
     all transgressors of wickedness,
     for YHWH has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 YHWH heard my mercy-cry;
     YHWH will receive my prayer.
10 Let all my enemies be very ashamed
     and let them be terrified;
Let them return,
     let them be suddenly ashamed.
A couple items of interest here.  First, there is the explicit denial of any meaningful afterlife in 6:5.  If I were to guess (unprovable, I suppose), I would date the psalm to the same basic period as Ecclesiastes and the Writings in general.

6:8 would seem to be alluded to by Matthew 25:41, where the messianic king tells those who have not helped those in need to depart to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  In the psalm, the speaker is clearly oppressed by enemies. It is not clear what of the psalm Matthew 25 considered relevant.  Perhaps it is no more than the fact that the psalmist is in need and those who do not help those in need but could are in one sense their oppressors.

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