Psalm 27#sn Psalm 27. The author is confident of the Lord’s protection and asks the Lord to vindicate him.
1 The Lord delivers and vindicates me!#tn Heb “the Lord [is] my light and my deliverance.” “Light” is often used as a metaphor for deliverance and the life/blessings it brings. See Pss 37:6; 97:11; 112:4; Isa 49:6; 51:4; Mic 7:8. Another option is that “light” refers here to divine guidance (see Ps 43:3).
I fear no one!#tn Heb “Whom shall I fear?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “No one!”
The Lord protects my life!
I am afraid of no one!#tn Heb “Of whom shall I be afraid?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “No one!”
2 When evil men attack me#tn Heb “draw near to me.”
to devour my flesh,#sn To devour my flesh. The psalmist compares his enemies to dangerous, hungry predators (see 2 Kgs 9:36; Ezek 39:17).
when my adversaries and enemies attack me,#tn Heb “my adversaries and my enemies against me.” The verb “draw near” (that is, “attack”) is understood by ellipsis; see the previous line.
they stumble and fall.#tn The Hebrew verbal forms are perfects. The translation assumes the psalmist is generalizing here, but another option is to take this as a report of past experience, “when evil men attacked me…they stumbled and fell.”
3 Even when an army is deployed against me,
I do not fear.#tn Heb “my heart does not fear.”
Even when war is imminent,#tn Heb “if war rises up against me.”
I remain confident.#tn Heb “in this [i.e., “during this situation”] I am trusting.”
4 I have asked the Lord for one thing –
this is what I desire!
I want to live#tn Heb “my living.” in the Lord’s house#sn The Lord’s house. This probably refers to the tabernacle (if one accepts Davidic authorship) or the temple (see Judg 19:18; 1 Sam 1:7, 24; 2 Sam 12:20; 1 Kgs 7:12, 40, 45, 51). all the days of my life,
so I can gaze at the splendor#tn Or “beauty.” of the Lord
and contemplate in his temple.
5 He will surely#tn Or “for he will.” The translation assumes the כִּי (ki) is asseverative here, rather than causal. give me shelter#tn Heb “he will hide me in his hut.” in the day of danger;#tn Or “trouble.”
he will hide me in his home;#tn Heb “tent.”
he will place me#tn The three imperfect verb forms in v. 5 anticipate a positive response to the prayer offered in vv. 7-12. on an inaccessible rocky summit.#tn Heb “on a rocky summit he lifts me up.” The Lord places the psalmist in an inaccessible place where his enemies cannot reach him. See Ps 18:2.
6 Now I will triumph
over my enemies who surround me!#tn Heb “and now my head will be lifted up over my enemies all around me.”sn In vv. 1-3 the psalmist generalizes, but here we discover that he is facing a crisis and is under attack from enemies (see vv. 11-12).
I will offer sacrifices in his dwelling place and shout for joy!#tn Heb “I will sacrifice in his tent sacrifices of a shout for joy” (that is, “sacrifices accompanied by a joyful shout”).
I will sing praises to the Lord!
7 Hear me,#tn Heb “my voice.” O Lord, when I cry out!
Have mercy on me and answer me!
8 My heart tells me to pray to you,#tc Heb “concerning you my heart says, ‘Seek my face.’” The verb form “seek” is plural, but this makes no sense here, for the psalmist is addressed. The verb should be emended to a singular form. The first person pronominal suffix on “face” also makes little sense, unless it is the voice of the Lord he hears. His “heart” is viewed as speaking, however, so it is better to emend the form to פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”).
and I do pray to you, O Lord.#tn Heb “your face, O Lord, I seek.” To “seek the Lord’s face” means to seek his favor through prayer (see 2 Sam 21:1; Pss 24:6; 105:4).
9 Do not reject me!#tn Heb “do not hide your face from me.” The idiom “hide the face” can mean “ignore” (see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9) or carry the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 30:7; 88:14).
Do not push your servant away in anger!
You are my deliverer!#tn Or “[source of] help.”
Do not forsake or abandon me,
O God who vindicates me!
10 Even if my father and mother abandoned me,#tn Or “though my father and mother have abandoned me.”
the Lord would take me in.#tn Heb “gather me in”; or “receive me.”
11 Teach me how you want me to live;#tn Heb “teach me your way.” The Lord’s “way” refers here to the moral principles which he expects the psalmist to follow. See Ps 25:4.
lead me along a level path#sn The level path refers to God’s moral principles (see the parallel line), which, if followed, will keep the psalmist blameless before his accusers (see v. 12). because of those who wait to ambush me!#tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 54:5; 56:2.
12 Do not turn me over to my enemies,#tn Heb “do not give me over to the desire of my enemies.”
for false witnesses who want to destroy me testify against me.#tn Heb “for they have risen up against me, lying witnesses and a testifier of violence.” The form יָפֵחַ (yafeakh) is traditionally understood as a verb meaning “snort, breathe out”: “for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty” (KJV; cf. BDB 422 s.v.). A better option is to take the form as a noun meaning “a witness” (or “testifier”). See Prov 6:19; 12:17; 14:5, 25; 19:5, 9, and Hab 2:3.
13 Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience
the Lord’s favor in the land of the living?#tn In the Hebrew text the sentence is incomplete: “If I had not believed [I would] see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” The words “Where would I be” are supplied in the translation to clarify the intent of the statement.
14 Rely#tn Or “wait.” on the Lord!
Be strong and confident!#tn Heb “be strong and let your heart be confident.”
Rely on the Lord!