New English Translation
4 How blessed[a] is the one[b] who trusts in the Lord[c]
and does not seek help from[d] the proud or from liars.[e]
5 O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.[f]
No one can thwart you.[g]
I want to declare your deeds and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount.[h]
6 Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern.[i]
You make that quite clear to me.[j]
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
- Psalm 40:4 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
- Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “man.” See the note on the word “one” in Ps 1:1.
- Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “who has made the Lord his [object of] trust.”
- Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “and does not turn toward.”
- Psalm 40:4 tn Heb “those falling away toward a lie.”
- Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “many things you have done, you, O Lord my God, your amazing deeds and your thoughts toward us.” The precise meaning of the text is not clear, but the psalmist seems to be recalling the Lord’s miraculous deeds on Israel’s behalf (see Pss 9:1; 26:7), as well as his covenantal decrees and promises (see Ps 33:11).
- Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “there is none arrayed against you.” The precise meaning of the text is unclear, but the collocation עָרַךְ אֶל (ʿarakh ʾel, “array against”) is used elsewhere of military (Judg 20:30; 1 Chr 19:17) or verbal opposition (Job 32:14).
- Psalm 40:5 tn Heb “I will declare and I will speak, they are too numerous to recount.” The present translation assumes that the cohortatives are used in a hypothetical manner in a formally unmarked conditional sentence, “Should I try to declare [them] and speak [of them]…” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). For other examples of cohortatives in the protasis (“if” clause) of a conditional sentence, see GKC 320 §108.e. (It should be noted, however, that GKC understands this particular verse in a different manner. See GKC 320 §108.f, where it is suggested that the cohortatives are part of an apodosis with the protasis being suppressed.) Another option is to take the cohortatives as a declaration of the psalmist’s resolve to announce the truth expressed in the next line. In this case one might translate: “I will declare and speak [the truth]: They are too numerous to recount.”
- Psalm 40:6 tn Heb “sacrifice and offering you do not desire.” The statement is exaggerated for the sake of emphasis (see Ps 51:16 as well). God is pleased with sacrifices, but his first priority is obedience and loyalty (see 1 Sam 15:22). Sacrifices and offerings apart from genuine allegiance are meaningless (see Isa 1:11-20).
- Psalm 40:6 tn Heb “ears you hollowed out for me.” The meaning of this odd expression is debated (this is the only collocation of “hollowed out” and “ears” in the OT). It may have been an idiomatic expression referring to making a point clear to a listener. The LXX has “but a body you have prepared for me,” a reading which is followed in Heb 10:5.