Psalms 80


לַמְנַצֵּחַ אֶל־שֹׁשַׁנִּים עֵדוּת לְאָסָף מִזְמוֹר׃   80:1

Psal. 80:1   A psalm of Asaph's, a testimony for the leader to Shoshanim:

For the word Shoshanim, see Psal. 45:1.  There’s a minor variation to its appearance here from its other two appearances, however.  The conjunction before the word, which was spelled with an ayin previously, is spelled here with an aleph, changing its meaning.  With the ayin, its meaning is most likely upon; with the aleph, its meaning is most likely to.  Whether this is an error or not, I won’t hazard to say.  I translate it just as it reads.

רֹעֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל הַאֲזִינָה נֹהֵג כַּצֹּאן יוֹסֵף יֹשֵׁב הַכְּרוּבִים הוֹפִיעָה׃   80:2

Psal. 80:2   O Shepherd of Israel, listen!

                              O Leader of Joseph like a flock,

                      Dweller of the cherubim,

                               shine forth!

My guess is that the phrase Dweller of the cherubim is a reference to the cover of the ark of the covenant, where the Lord’s presence is, with the two cherubim.

לִפְנֵי אֶפְרַיִם וּבִנְיָמִן וּמְנַשֶּׁה עוֹרְרָה אֶת־גְּבוּרָתֶךָ וּלְכָה לִישֻׁעָתָה לָּנוּ׃   80:3

Psal. 80:3   Rouse Your might before Ephraim and Benjamin and Menasseh,

                               and come to our salvation.

אֱלֹהִים הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ וְהָאֵר פָּנֶיךָ וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה׃   80:4

Psal. 80:4   O God, restore us,

                               and cause Your face to shine

                       that we may be saved.

יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת עַד־מָתַי עָשַׁנְתָּ בִּתְפִלַּת עַמֶּךָ׃   80:5

Psal. 80:5   O Lord, God of hosts,

                               how long You have been “angered” by the prayer of Your people!

In most other translations, this verse comes out as a question.  To make it be a question, the translators ignored the tense of the verb I translate as have been angered, which is perfect, and translated it as if it were imperfect, which produces variations on will ... be angered.

הֶאֱכַלְתָּם לֶחֶם דִּמְעָה וַתַּשְׁקֵמוֹ בִּדְמָעוֹת שָׁלִישׁ׃   80:6

Psal. 80:6   You have fed them bread of tears,

                               and You have given them tears to drink in large measure.

תְּשִׂימֵנוּ מָדוֹן לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ וְאֹיְבֵינוּ יִלְעֲגוּ־לָמוֹ׃   80:7

Psal. 80:7   Must You appoint us a strife to our neighbors

                               that our enemies can ridicule to themselves?

אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ וְהָאֵר פָּנֶיךָ וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה׃   80:8

Psal. 80:8   O God of hosts, restore us,

                               and cause Your “face” to shine

                      that we may be saved.

גֶּפֶן מִמִּצְרַיִם תַּסִּיעַ תְּגָרֵשׁ גּוֹיִם וַתִּטָּעֶהָ׃   80:9

Psal. 80:9   You can make a vine spring up from Egypt;

                                You can drive out nations and plant it.

פִּנִּיתָ לְפָנֶיהָ וַתַּשְׁרֵשׁ שָׁרָשֶׁיהָ וַתְּמַלֵּא־אָרֶץ׃  80:10

Psal. 80:10   You cleared a place before it,

                                 and it took deep root,

                         that it filled the land.

כָּסּוּ הָרִים צִלָּהּ וַעֲנָפֶיהָ אַרְזֵי־אֵל׃  80:11

Psal. 80:11   Its shadow and its branches covered the mountains,

                                 cedars of strength.

תְּשַׁלַּח קְצִירֶהָ עַד־יָם וְאֶל־נָהָר יוֹנְקוֹתֶיהָ׃  80:12

Psal. 80:12   It could send out its boughs as far as the sea

                                 and its shoots to the river.

לָמָּה פָּרַצְתָּ גְדֵרֶיהָ וְאָרוּהָ כָּל־עֹבְרֵי דָרֶךְ׃  80:13

Psal. 80:13   Why have You broken down her fences

                                 that all travelers of the road may pluck it?

יְכַרְסְמֶנָּה חֲזִיר מִיָּעַר וְזִיז שָׂדַי יִרְעֶנָּה׃  80:14

Psal. 80:14   A boar can ravage it from the forest,

                                or any moving creature of the field feed on it.

אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת שׁוּב־נָא הַבֵּט מִשָּׁמַיִם וּרְאֵה וּפְקֹד גֶּפֶן זֹאת׃  80:15

Psal. 80:15   O God of hosts, return now,

                                 look from heaven and see,

                        and care for this vine,

וְכַנָּה אֲשֶׁר־נָטְעָה יְמִינֶךָ וְעַל־בֵּן אִמַּצְתָּה לָּךְ׃  80:16

Psal. 80:16   and the stock that Your right “hand” planted,

                                and for the offspring You secured for Yourself.

שְׂרֻפָה בָאֵשׁ כְּסוּחָה מִגַּעֲרַת פָּנֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ׃  80:17

Psal. 80:17   Burned by fire, cut down!

                                Because of the rebuke of Your countenance,

                         they must perish.

תְּהִי־יָדְךָ עַל־אִישׁ יְמִינֶךָ עַל־בֶּן־אָדָם אִמַּצְתָּ לָּךְ׃  80:18

Psal. 80:18   Let Your “hand” be on him, Your right “hand,”

                                 on the son of man You secured for Yourself.

וְלֹא־נָסוֹג מִמֶּךָּ תְּחַיֵּנוּ וּבְשִׁמְךָ נִקְרָא׃  80:19

Psal. 80:19   Then we will not turn away from You;

                                 May You revive us that we may call on Your name.

יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ הָאֵר פָּנֶיךָ וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה׃  80:20

Psal. 80:20   O Lord, God of hosts, restore us,

                                  cause Your “face” to shine

                         that we may be saved.

This last verse is almost identical to vss. 4 and 8.  Each of the three verses is different in one or two words, however.  This psalmist seems to exhibit a trait we’ve encountered before, no exact replicas of any verse.


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