Psalm 69:7-18

Psalm 69:7-18
Proper 7A


It is for your sake that I have borneA reproach,B
    that shameC has coveredD my face.E

Notes on verse 7

A “borne” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
B “reproach” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.
C “shame” = kelimmah. From kalam (bearing shame, bringing dishonor or disgrace, humiliate insult, taunt, embarrass, reproach; properly to wound in a figurative sense). This is insult, disgrace, dishonor, humiliation, shame, or reproach.
D “covered” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.
E “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

I have becomeF a strangerG to my kindred,H
    an alienI to my mother’sJ children.K

Notes on verse 8

F “become” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
G “stranger” = zur. This is to come from somewhere else – a stranger. It is to stop for lodging. Figuratively, it can also mean to profane or commit adultery.
H “kindred” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
I “alien” = nokri. From neker (strange; to act foreign or strange; to disguise; can also be misfortune or unexpected calamity); from nakar (to recognize, examine, take notice, show, scrutinize). This is foreign, alien, stranger, extraordinary, adulteress. It is strange in many different senses – foreign, not being one’s relative, different, wonderful, relating to adultery.
J “mother’s” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
K “children” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

It is zealL for your houseM that has consumedN me;
    the insultsO of those who insultP you have fallenQ on me.

Notes on verse 9

L “zeal” = qinah. Perhaps from qana (to be jealous, zealous, envious). This is zeal, jealousy, envy, anger,  passion rivalry.
M “house” = bayit. Related to “children” in v8. Probably from banah (see note K above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
N “consumed” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
O “insults” = cherpah. Same as “reproach” in v7. See note B above.
P “insult” = charaph. Related to “reproach” in v7. See note B above.
Q “fallen” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.

10 When I humbledR my soulS with fasting,T
    they insultedU me for doing so.

Notes on verse 10

R “humbled” = bakah. This is to weep, complain, or lament.
S “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.
T “fasting” = tsom. From tsum (properly, covering one’s mouth; by extension, abstaining from food). This is fasting or a fast.
U “insulted” = hayah + charaph. Hayah is the same as “become” in v8. See note F above. Charaph is the same as “insult” in v7. See note P above.

11 When I madeV sackclothW my clothing,X
    I became a bywordY to them.

Notes on verse 11

V “made” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
W “sackcloth” = saq. Perhaps from shaqaq (to run, rush; to pursue like a predator; to search for with greed or appetite). This is sack or sackcloth. It is a mesh fabric used for bags or clothes. It is used as clothing for times of grief or humiliation. It is perhaps the same root that the word “sack” comes from.
X “clothing” = lebush. From labash (to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else; wrapping around in a literal or figurative way). This is clothing literally or figuratively. It can be used as a euphemism for a wife.
Y “byword” = mashal. From mashal (to compare, speak in a proverb or riddle – to speak in allegory or liken). This is proverb, parable, taunt, discourse, maxim, adage, poem.

12 I am the subject of gossipZ for those who sitAA in the gate,BB

Notes on verse 12a

Z “am the subject of gossip” = siach. From siach (musing, meditation, communication, babbling, prayer, contemplation). This is to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter.
AA “sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
BB “gate” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.

    and the drunkardsCC make songsDD about me.
13 But as for me, my prayerEE is to you, O Lord.FF

Notes on verses 12b-13a

CC “drunkards” = shathah + shekar. Shathah is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker. Shekar is from shakar (to be filled with drink, merry, tipsy; satiated in a positive sense or drunken in a negative sense; also figuratively influence). This is a beverage that intoxicates, liquor, a strong wine. It could also be someone who is a drunk.
DD “make songs” = neginah. 13x in OT. From nagan (to strike a stringed instrument, to pluck or play it). This is music, a song, a taunt, or a stringed instrument. It can also be a poem given a musical setting.
EE “prayer” = tephillah. From palal (to judge for oneself or in an official capacity; to pray or make supplication, to entreat). This is prayer or intercession. It can also be a hymn.
FF “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “become” in v8. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note F above). 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.

    At an acceptableGG time,HH O God,II

Notes on verse 13b

GG “acceptable” = ratson. From ratsah (to be pleased with, delight, take pleasure in, or accept with favor; to approve or consent regarding something; can be used specifically of satisfying debts or being pardoned). This is delight shown in favor, good will, something that is accepted or acceptable.
HH “time” = eth. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
II “God” = Elohim.

    in the abundanceJJ of your steadfast love,KK answerLL me.

Notes on verse 13c

JJ “abundance” = rob. From rabab (to be or become much or many, multiply). This is any kind of abundance.
KK “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.
LL “answer” = anah. Related to “time” in v13. See note HH above.

With your faithfulMM helpNN 14 rescueOO me
    from sinkingPP in the mire;QQ

Notes on verses 13d-14a

MM “faithful” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
NN “help” = yesha. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, liberty.
OO “rescue” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
PP “sinking” = taba. 10x in OT. This is sink, drown, settle, or fasten.
QQ “mire” = tit. 13x in OT. Root perhaps means being sticky. This is mud, clay, or mire. Figuratively, it can refer to calamity.

let me be deliveredRR from my enemiesSS
    and from the deepTT waters.UU

Notes on verse 14b

RR “delivered” = natsal. Same as “rescue” in v14. See note OO above.
SS “enemies” = sane. This is to hate, an enemy. It is a personal hatred and not an abstract one.
TT “deep” = maamaqqim. 5x in OT. From amoq (to be deep in a literal or figurative sense; profound). This is depths or deep.
UU “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

15 Do not let the floodVV sweep overWW me
    or the deepXX swallow me upYY

Notes on verse 15a

VV “flood” = shibbol + mayim. Shibbol is 19x in OT. From the same as shobel (the train of a skirt that flows after a woman). This is an ear of grain or corn, a branch, a stream or flood. It was also a word the Gileadites used to test the fugitives in Judges 12:6. Mayim is the same as “waters” in v14. See note UU above.
WW “sweep over” = shataph. This is to overflow, rinse, overwhelm, run, drown, rush, flood, cleanse, gallop, conquer.
XX “deep” = metsolah. 11x in OT. From the same as tsulah (root may mean to sink; ocean depths, the abyss of the sea). This is depth, bottom, or otherwise somewhere deep that is watery or muddy.
YY “swallow…up” = bala. This is to swallow, engulf, cover, or destroy.

    or the PitZZ closeAAA its mouthBBB over me.
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;CCC

Notes on verses 15b-16a

ZZ “Pit” = be’er. From baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain). This is a well or pit.
AAA “close” = atar. 1x in OT. This is to close or bind.
BBB “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
CCC “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.

    according to your abundantDDD mercy,EEE turnFFF to me.

Notes on verse 16b

DDD “abundant” = rob. Same as “abundance” in v13. See note JJ above.
EEE “mercy” = racham. From the same as rechem (womb); from racham (to love, have compassion, have mercy); from racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is compassion, mercy, or tender love.
FFF “turn” = panah. Related to “face” in v7. See note E above.

17 Do not hideGGG your face from your servant,HHH
    for I am in distressIII—make hasteJJJ to answer me.

Notes on verse 17

GGG “hide” = sathar. This is hide, conceal, or be absent. It is hiding because something is covered – used in a literal or figurative sense.
HHH “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
III “am in distress” = tsarar. This is to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary.
JJJ “make haste” = maher. 18x in OT. From mahar (being liquid, which implies flowing; so, hurrying forward, whether in a positive or negative sense). This is speedy, quickly, soon, suddenly, or at once.

18 Draw nearKKK to me;LLL redeemMMM me;
    set me freeNNN because of my enemies.OOO

Notes on verse 18

KKK “draw near” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
LLL “me” = nephesh. Same as “soul” in v10. See note S above.
MMM “redeem” = gaal. This is to redeem someone or something according to kinship laws. So, it could be acting on a relative’s behalf to buy back their property, to marry one’s brother’s widow, etc. This could be more briefly translated as to redeem, acts as kinsman, or purchase. As a noun, it could be deliverer or avenger.
NNN “set…free” = padah. This is to sever, which is to say to ransom. To secure someone’s release (by paying their debt to free them from slavery) and thus redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve. Can also be the redemption price.
OOO “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.

Image credit: “Against Racing Water” by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras, 2011.

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