11 God has declared one principle; two principles I have heard:[a] God is strong,[b] 12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love.[c] For you repay men for what they do.[d]
Psalm 62:11tnHeb “one God spoke, two which I heard.” This is a numerical saying utilizing the “x” followed by “x + 1” pattern to facilitate poetic parallelism. (See W. M. W. Roth, Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament [VTSup], 55-56.) As is typical in such sayings, a list corresponding to the second number (in this case “two”) follows. Another option is to translate, “God has spoken once, twice [he has spoken] that which I have heard.” The terms אַחַת (ʾakhat, “one; once”) and שְׁתַיִם (shetayim, “two; twice”) are also juxtaposed in 2 Kgs 6:10 (where they refer to an action that was done more than “once or twice”) and in Job 33:14 (where they refer to God speaking “one way” and then in “another manner”).
Psalm 62:12tnHeb “and to you, O Master, [is] loyal love.”
Psalm 62:12tnHeb “for you pay back to a man according to his deed.” Another option is to understand vv. 11b and 12a as the first principle and v. 12b as the second. In this case one might translate, “God has declared one principle, two principles I have heard, namely, that God is strong, and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love, and that you repay men for what they do.”snYou repay men for what they do. The psalmist views God’s justice as a demonstration of both his power (see v. 11c) and his loyal love (see v. 12a). When God judges evildoers, he demonstrates loyal love to his people.
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