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Psalm 40 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 40[a]

For the music director, a psalm of David.

40 I relied completely[b] on the Lord,
and he turned toward me
and heard my cry for help.
He lifted me out of the watery pit,[c]
out of the slimy mud.[d]
He placed my feet on a rock
and gave me secure footing.[e]
He gave me reason to sing a new song,[f]
praising our God.[g]
May many see what God has done,
so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord.[h]
How blessed[i] is the one[j] who trusts in the Lord[k]
and does not seek help from[l] the proud or from liars.[m]
O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.[n]
No one can thwart you.[o]
I want to declare your deeds and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount.[p]
Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern.[q]
You make that quite clear to me.[r]
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
Then I say,
“Look, I come!
What is written in the scroll pertains to me.[s]
I want to do what pleases you,[t] my God.
Your law dominates my thoughts.”[u]
I have told the great assembly[v] about your justice.[w]
Look, I spare no words.[x]
O Lord, you know this is true.
10 I have not failed to tell about your justice;[y]
I spoke about your reliability and deliverance.
I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.[z]
11 O Lord, you do not withhold[aa] your compassion from me.
May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me![ab]
12 For innumerable dangers[ac] surround me.
My sins overtake me
so I am unable to see;
they outnumber the hairs of my head
so my strength fails me.[ad]
13 Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!
O Lord, hurry and help me![ae]
14 May those who are trying to snatch away my life
be totally embarrassed and ashamed.[af]
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed.[ag]
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be humiliated[ah] and disgraced.[ai]
16 May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you.
May those who love to experience[aj] your deliverance say continually,[ak]
“May the Lord be praised!”[al]
17 I am oppressed and needy.[am]
May the Lord pay attention to me.[an]
You are my helper and my deliverer.
O my God, do not delay.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 40:1 sn Psalm 40. The psalmist combines a song of thanksgiving for a recent act of divine deliverance (vv. 1-11) with a confident petition for renewed divine intervention (vv. 12-17).
  2. Psalm 40:1 tn Heb “relying, I relied.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verbal form to emphasize the verbal idea. The emphasis is reflected in the translation through the adverb “completely.” Another option is to translate, “I waited patiently” (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  3. Psalm 40:2 tn Heb “cistern of roaring.” The Hebrew noun בּוֹר (bor, “cistern, pit”) is used metaphorically here of Sheol, the place of death, which is sometimes depicted as a raging sea (see Ps 18:4, 15-16). The noun שָׁאוֹן (shaʾon, “roaring”) refers elsewhere to the crashing sound of the sea’s waves (see Ps 65:7).
  4. Psalm 40:2 tn Heb “from the mud of mud.” The Hebrew phrase translated “slimy mud” employs an appositional genitive. Two synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81.
  5. Psalm 40:2 tn Heb “he established my footsteps.”
  6. Psalm 40:3 sn A new song was appropriate because the Lord had intervened in the psalmist’s experience in a fresh and exciting way.
  7. Psalm 40:3 tn Heb “and he placed in my mouth a new song, praise to our God.”
  8. Psalm 40:3 tn Heb “may many see and fear and trust in the Lord.” The translation assumes that the initial prefixed verbal form is a jussive (“may many see”), rather than an imperfect (“many will see”). The following prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) conjunctive are taken as indicating purpose or result (“so that they might swear allegiance…and trust”) after the introductory jussive.
  9. Psalm 40:4 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
  10. Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “man.” See the note on the word “one” in Ps 1:1.
  11. Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “who has made the Lord his [object of] trust.”
  12. Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “and does not turn toward.”
  13. Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “those falling away toward a lie.”
  14. Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “many things you have done, you, O Lord my God, your amazing deeds and your thoughts toward us.” The precise meaning of the text is not clear, but the psalmist seems to be recalling the Lord’s miraculous deeds on Israel’s behalf (see Pss 9:1; 26:7), as well as his covenantal decrees and promises (see Ps 33:11).
  15. Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “there is none arrayed against you.” The precise meaning of the text is unclear, but the collocation עָרַךְ אֶל (ʿarakh ʾel, “array against”) is used elsewhere of military (Judg 20:30; 1 Chr 19:17) or verbal opposition (Job 32:14).
  16. Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “I will declare and I will speak, they are too numerous to recount.” The present translation assumes that the cohortatives are used in a hypothetical manner in a formally unmarked conditional sentence, “Should I try to declare [them] and speak [of them]…” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). For other examples of cohortatives in the protasis (“if” clause) of a conditional sentence, see GKC 320 §108.e. (It should be noted, however, that GKC understands this particular verse in a different manner. See GKC 320 §108.f, where it is suggested that the cohortatives are part of an apodosis with the protasis being suppressed.) Another option is to take the cohortatives as a declaration of the psalmist’s resolve to announce the truth expressed in the next line. In this case one might translate: “I will declare and speak [the truth]: They are too numerous to recount.”
  17. Psalm 40:6 tn Heb “sacrifice and offering you do not desire.” The statement is exaggerated for the sake of emphasis (see Ps 51:16 as well). God is pleased with sacrifices, but his first priority is obedience and loyalty (see 1 Sam 15:22). Sacrifices and offerings apart from genuine allegiance are meaningless (see Isa 1:11-20).
  18. Psalm 40:6 tn Heb “ears you hollowed out for me.” The meaning of this odd expression is debated (this is the only collocation of “hollowed out” and “ears” in the OT). It may have been an idiomatic expression referring to making a point clear to a listener. The LXX has “but a body you have prepared for me,” a reading which is followed in Heb 10:5.
  19. Psalm 40:7 tn Heb “in the roll of the scroll it is written concerning me.” Apparently the psalmist refers to the law of God (see v. 8), which contains the commandments God desires him to obey. If this is a distinctly royal psalm, then the psalmist/king may be referring specifically to the regulations of kingship prescribed in Deut 17:14-20. See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 315.
  20. Psalm 40:8 tn Or “your will.”
  21. Psalm 40:8 tn Heb “your law [is] in the midst of my inner parts.” The “inner parts” are viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s thought life and moral decision making.
  22. Psalm 40:9 sn The great assembly is also mentioned in Pss 22:25 and 35:18.
  23. Psalm 40:9 tn Heb “I proclaim justice in the great assembly.” Though “justice” appears without a pronoun here, the Lord’s just acts are in view (see v. 10). His “justice” (צֶדֶק, tsedeq) is here the deliverance that originates in his justice; he protects and vindicates the one whose cause is just.
  24. Psalm 40:9 tn Heb “Look! My lips I do not restrain.”
  25. Psalm 40:10 tn Heb “your justice I have not hidden in the midst of my heart.”
  26. Psalm 40:10 tn Heb “I have not hidden your loyal love and reliability.”
  27. Psalm 40:11 tn Some (cf. NIV, NRSV) translate the verb as a request (“do not withhold”), but elsewhere in the psalms the second masculine singular prefixed form, when addressed to God and preceded by לֹא (loʾ), is always indicative in mood and never has the force of a prayer (see Pss 16:10; 22:2; 44:9 51:16-17; 60:10; 108:11; cf. NEB, NASB).
  28. Psalm 40:11 tn In this line the psalmist makes the transition from confidence to petition (see v. 13). Since the prefixed verbal form in the preceding line is imperfect/indicative, one could take the verb in this line as imperfect as well and translate, “your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me” (cf. NEB). However, the כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the next verse, if causal (“because”), is best understood as introducing a motivating argument in support of a petition. For this reason v. 11b is best taken as a prayer with the prefixed form being understood as jussive (cf. NIV, NRSV). For parallels to the proposed construction (jussive followed by כִּי + perfect introducing motivating argument), see Ps 25:21, as well as Pss 10:2-3; 22:8.
  29. Psalm 40:12 tn Or “sinful deeds.” The Hebrew term used here can have a nonmoral nuance (“dangers”) or a moral one (“sinful deeds”) depending on the context. The next line (see “my sins”) seems to favor the moral sense, but the psalmist also speaks of enemies shortly after this (v. 14).
  30. Psalm 40:12 tn Heb “and my heart abandons me.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of emotional strength and courage. For a similar idea see Ps 38:10.
  31. Psalm 40:13 tn Heb “hurry to my help.” See Pss 22:19; 38:22.
  32. Psalm 40:14 tn Heb “may they be embarrassed and ashamed together, the ones seeking my life to snatch it away.”
  33. Psalm 40:14 tn The four prefixed verbal forms in this verse (“may those…be…embarrassed and ashamed…may those…be turned back and ashamed”) are understood as jussives. The psalmist is calling judgment down on his enemies.sn See Ps 35:4 for a similar prayer.
  34. Psalm 40:15 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive in this imprecation.
  35. Psalm 40:15 tn Heb “May they be humiliated according to their shame, those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’”
  36. Psalm 40:16 tn Heb “those who love,” which stands metonymically for its cause, the experience of being delivered by the Lord.
  37. Psalm 40:16 tn The three prefixed verbal forms prior to the quotation are understood as jussives. The psalmist balances out his imprecation against his enemies with a prayer of blessing upon the godly.
  38. Psalm 40:16 tn The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive, “may the Lord be magnified [in praise].” Another option is to take the verb as an imperfect, “the Lord is great” (cf. NRSV). See Ps 35:27.
  39. Psalm 40:17 sn See Pss 35:10; 37:14.
  40. Psalm 40:17 tn The prefixed verbal form may be taken as a jussive of prayer (as in the present translation; cf. NIV) or as an imperfect, “The Lord will pay attention to me” (cf. NRSV). The parallel in Ps 70:5 has, “O God, hurry to me!” For this reason some prefer to emend יַחֲשָׁב (yakhashav, “may he pay attention”) to חוּשָׁה (khushah, “hurry!”). The syntax of the Hebrew text is awkward; elsewhere when the Qal of חָשַׁב (khashav, “reckon; consider”) is collocated with the preposition ל (lamed) and a pronominal suffix there is an accompanying direct object or additional prepositional phrase/adverbial accusative (see Gen 15:6; 2 Sam 19:19; Job 13:24; 19:11; 33:10; Pss 32:2; 41:7; Amos 6:5).
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 40 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 40[a]

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 40:1 In Hebrew texts 40:1-17 is numbered 40:2-18.
  2. Psalm 40:4 Or to lies
  3. Psalm 40:6 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts but a body you have prepared for me
  4. Psalm 40:6 Or purification offerings
  5. Psalm 40:7 Or come / with the scroll written for me
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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