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16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me.
Give your servant your strength.
Deliver this son of your female servant.[a]
17 Show me evidence of your favor.[b]
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed,[c]
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me.[d]

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  1. Psalm 86:16 tn Heb “the son of your female servant.” The phrase “son of a female servant” (see also Ps 116:16) is used of a son born to a secondary wife or concubine (Exod 23:12). In some cases the child’s father is the master of the house (see Gen 21:10, 13; Judg 9:18). The phrase may be used metaphorically and idiomatically to emphasize the psalmist’s humility before the Lord and his status as the Lord’s servant. Or it may be a reference to the psalmist’s own mother who also was a servant of the Lord.
  2. Psalm 86:17 tn Heb “Work with me a sign for good.” The expression “work a sign” also occurs in Judg 6:17.
  3. Psalm 86:17 tn After the imperative in the preceding line (“work”), the prefixed verb forms with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicate purpose or result.
  4. Psalm 86:17 tn The perfect verbal forms are understood here as dramatic/rhetorical, expressing the psalmist’s certitude that such a sign from the Lord will be followed by his intervention. Another option is to understand the forms as future perfects (“for you, O Lord, will have helped me and comforted me”).

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