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Psalm 4:1-3 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 4[a]

For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of David.

When I call out, answer me,
O God who vindicates me.[b]
Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place.[c]
Have mercy on me[d] and respond to[e] my prayer.
You men,[f] how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?[g]
How long[h] will you love what is worthless[i]
and search for what is deceptive?[j] (Selah)
Realize that[k] the Lord shows the godly special favor;[l]
the Lord responds[m] when I cry out to him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 4:1 sn Psalm 4. The psalmist asks God to hear his prayer, expresses his confidence that the Lord will intervene, and urges his enemies to change their ways and place their trust in God. He concludes with another prayer for divine intervention and again affirms his absolute confidence in God’s protection.
  2. Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “God of my righteousness.”
  3. Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “in distress (or “a narrow place”) you make (a place) large for me.” The function of the Hebrew perfect verbal form here is uncertain. The translation above assumes that the psalmist is expressing his certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s deliverance as if it had already happened. Such confidence is consistent with the mood of the psalm (vv. 3, 8). Another option is to take the perfects as precative, expressing a wish or request (“lead me”). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.
  4. Psalm 4:1 tn Or “show me favor.”
  5. Psalm 4:1 tn Heb “hear.”
  6. Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “sons of man.”
  7. Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “how long my honor to shame?”
  8. Psalm 4:2 tn The interrogative construction עַד־מֶה (ʿad meh, “how long?”), is understood by ellipsis in the second line.
  9. Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “emptiness.”
  10. Psalm 4:2 tn Heb “a lie.” Some see the metonymic language of v. 2b (“emptiness, lie”) as referring to idols or false gods. However, there is no solid immediate contextual evidence for such an interpretation. It is more likely that the psalmist addresses those who threaten him (see v. 1) and refers in a general way to their sinful lifestyle. (See R. Mosis, TDOT 7:121.) The two terms allude to the fact that sinful behavior is ultimately fruitless and self-destructive.
  11. Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “and know that.”
  12. Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “that the Lord sets apart a faithful one for himself.” The psalmist states a general principle, though the singular form and the parallel line indicate he has himself in mind as the representative godly person. A חָסִיד (khasid; here translated as “the godly”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).
  13. Psalm 4:3 tn Heb “hears.”
New English Translation (NET)

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