Psalm 26#sn Psalm 26. The author invites the Lord to test his integrity, asserts his innocence and declares his loyalty to God.
1 Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have integrity,#tn Heb “for I in my integrity walk.”
and I trust in the Lord without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me!
Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives!#tn Heb “evaluate my kidneys and my heart.” The kidneys and heart were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.
3 For I am ever aware of your faithfulness,#tn Heb “for your faithfulness [is] before my eyes.”
and your loyalty continually motivates me.#tn Heb “and I walk about in your loyalty.”sn The psalmist’s awareness of the Lord’s faithfulness and…loyalty toward him motivates him to remain loyal to the Lord and to maintain his moral purity.
4 I do not associate#tn Heb “sit.” with deceitful men,
or consort#tn Heb “go.” The psalmist uses the imperfect form of the verb to emphasize that he does not make a practice of associating with such people. with those who are dishonest.#tn Heb “[those who] conceal themselves.”
5 I hate the mob#tn Heb “assembly, company.” of evil men,
and do not associate#tn Heb “sit.” The psalmist uses the imperfect form of the verb to emphasize that he does not make a practice of associating with such people. with the wicked.
6 I maintain a pure lifestyle,#tn Heb “I wash my hands in innocence.” The psalmist uses an image from cultic ritual to picture his moral lifestyle. The imperfect verbal emphasizes that this is his habit.
so I can appear before your altar,#tn Heb “so I can go around your altar” (probably in ritual procession). Following the imperfect of the preceding line, the cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose or result. O Lord,
7 to give you thanks,#tn Heb “to cause to be heard the sound of thanksgiving.”
and to tell about all your amazing deeds.#tn The two infinitival forms (both with prefixed preposition -לְ, lamed) give the purpose for his appearance at the altar.
8 O Lord, I love the temple where you live,#tn Heb “the dwelling of your house.”
the place where your splendor is revealed.#tn Heb “the place of the abode of your splendor.”
9 Do not sweep me away#tn Heb “do not gather up my life with.” with sinners,
or execute me along with violent people,#tn Heb “or with men of bloodshed my life.” The verb is supplied; it is understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).
10 who are always ready to do wrong#tn Heb “who [have] in their hands evil.”
or offer a bribe.#tn Heb “and their right hand is full of a bribe.”
11 But I have integrity!#tn Heb “and I in my integrity walk.” The psalmist uses the imperfect verbal form to emphasize this is his practice. The construction at the beginning of the verse (conjunction + pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist and the sinners mentioned in vv. 9-10.
Rescue me#tn Or “redeem me.” and have mercy on me!
12 I am safe,#tn Heb “my foot stands in a level place.”
and among the worshipers I will praise the Lord.
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