Psalm 130:5-8

Psalm 130:5-8
Narrative Lectionary 416


5 I wait forA the Lord,B my soulC waits,
    and in his wordD I hope;E

Notes on verse 5

A “wait for” = qavah. It can mean to bind or gather together, especially in the sense of twisting together. In that light, it can mean collect. Figuratively, this can mean to wait, await, expect, or tarry.
B “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
D “word” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
E “hope” = yachal. This is to wait, which implies patience, hope, and trust. It can also be pained waiting.

my soul waits for the LordF
    more than those who watchG for the morning,H
    more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel,I hope in the Lord!J

Notes on verses 6-7a

F “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
G “watch” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
H “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
I “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
J “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v5. See note B above.

    For with the LordK there is steadfast love,L
    and with him is greatM power to redeem.N
It is he who will redeemO Israel
    from allP its iniquities.Q

Notes on verses 7b-8

K “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v5. See note B above.
L “steadfast love” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
M “great” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
N “redeem” = peduth. 4x in OT. From padah (to sever, to ransom; to secure someone’s release by paying their debt freeing them from slavery); to redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve; the redemption price). This is redemption, ransom, division.
O “redeem” = padah. Related to “redeem” in v7. See note N above.
P “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
Q “iniquities” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.

Image credit: “Landscape, Geography of Israel” at Yarkon National Park by eli cobin, between 2009 and 2011.

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