Psalms 124


שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלֹות לְדָוִד לוּלֵי יְהוָה שֶׁהָיָה לָנוּ יֹאמַר־נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   124:1

Psal. 124:1   A song of the ascendance to David:

                                  “Were it not the Lord Who was for us ...,” let Israel now say.

לוּלֵי יְהוָה שֶׁהָיָה לָנוּ בְּקוּם עָלֵינוּ אָדָם׃   124:2

Psal. 124:2   Were it not the Lord Who was for us,

                                  on the rising against us of humanity,

אֲזַי חַיִּים בְּלָעוּנוּ בַּחֲרֹות אַפָּם בָּנוּ׃   124:3

Psal. 124:3   then they would have swallowed us alive,

                                  with their anger growing hot toward us,

This verse and the next two contain nearly identical grammatical difficulties.  The third word in this verse, which I translate as would have swallowed us, is spelled as a perfect verb.  It should rightly be imperfect.  I see this as poetic license, not an error.  See my remarks below for the remaining difficulties.

אֲזַי הַמַּיִם שְׁטָפוּנוּ נַחְלָה עָבַר עַל־נַפְשֵׁנוּ׃   124:4

Psal. 124:4   then the waters would have engulfed us,

                                  the flood passing over upon our soul,

The third word in this verse, which I translate as would have engulfed us, is perfect and should be imperfect.

אֲזַי עָבַר עַל־נַפְשֵׁנוּ הַמַּיִם הַזֵּידֹונִים׃   124:5

Psal. 124:5   then upon our soul.

                                  the turbulent waters would have passed over.

The second word in this verse, which I translate as would have passed over, is singular and perfect, but should be plural and imperfect.

בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה שֶׁלֹּא נְתָנָנוּ טֶרֶף לְשִׁנֵּיהֶם׃   124:6

Psal. 124:6   Blessed is the Lord, Who did not give us over,

                                  a prey for their teeth.

נַפְשֵׁנוּ כְּצִפֹּור נִמְלְטָה מִפַּח יֹוקְשִׁים הַפַּח נִשְׁבָּר וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִמְלָטְנוּ׃   124:7

Psal. 124:7   Our soul escaped from the snare of the trap setters like a bird.

                                  The snare was broken and we escaped.

עֶזְרֵנוּ בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ׃   124:8

Psal. 124:8   Our help is with the name of the Lord,

                                 Maker of heaven and earth.


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