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The Lord’s shout bends[a] the large trees[b]
and strips[c] the leaves from the forests.[d]
Everyone in his temple says, “Majestic!”[e]

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  1. Psalm 29:9 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal form is descriptive in function; the psalmist depicts the action as underway.
  2. Psalm 29:9 tc Heb “the deer.” Preserving this reading, some translate the preceding verb, “causes [the deer] to give premature birth” (cf. NEB, NASB). But the Polel of חוּל/חִיל (khul/khil) means “give birth,” not “cause to give birth,” and the statement “the Lord’s shout gives birth to deer” is absurd. In light of the parallelism (note “forests” in the next line) and v. 5, it is preferable to emend אַיָּלוֹת (ʾayyalot, “deer”) to אֵילוֹת (ʾelot, “large trees”) understanding the latter as an alternate form of the usual plural form אַיָּלִים (ʾayyalim).
  3. Psalm 29:9 tn The verb is used in Joel 1:7 of locusts stripping the leaves from a tree. The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries the descriptive function of the preceding imperfect. See GKC 329 §111.t.
  4. Psalm 29:9 tn The usual form of the plural of יַעַר (yaʿar, “forest”) is יְעָרִים (yeʿarim). For this reason some propose an emendation to יְעָלוֹת (ye’alot, “female mountain goats”) which would fit nicely in the parallelism with “deer” (cf. NEB “brings kids early to birth”). In this case one would have to understand the verb חָשַׂף (khasaf) to mean “cause premature birth,” an otherwise unattested homonym of the more common חָשַׂף (“strip bare”).sn The Lord’s thunderous shout is accompanied by high winds which damage the trees of the forest.
  5. Psalm 29:9 tn Heb “In his temple, all of it says, ‘Glory.’”