Psalm 4

"Shine on us!"

Psalm 4

Overview

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Purpose

Answers the question: "What is the psalmist trying to accomplish?"

Content

Answers the question: "What argument(s) does the psalmist make to accomplish this purpose?

Message

Answers the question: "What theological truth might an ancient or contemporary audience draw from this Psalm?

Translations as Tools

Purpose

No single translation can fully capture the meaning and beauty of the original Hebrew. These different English renderings each has its own specific purpose, but all highlight a particular feature(s) of the biblical text. 

Close-but-clear*

Psalm 4

 

1. For the director, with stringed instruments, a psalm by David.

2. Respond to me when I cry out, my righteous God, who granted me relief in distress. Be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

3. You mortal humans, how long will you turn my honour into shame? How long will you love vanity? How long will you seek falsehood? Selah.

4. But know that YHWH has set apart for himself a loyal person. YHWH hears when I cry out to him.

5. Tremble and do not sin. Think in your minds on your beds and be silent. Selah.

6. Sacrifice right sacrifices and trust in YHWH.

7. Many are those who say, “Who will show us good?” Cause the light of your face to shine on us, YHWH.

 

8. You have put joy in my heart greater than what you put in their hearts at the time in which their grain and wine multiplied.

9. In peace I will both lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, YHWH, make me dwell securely.

* The "close-but-clear" is a formal-equivalent rendering of the Hebrew. It is based on the interlinear, adjusted for English word-order. It aims to be as close to the Hebrew as possible while still being clear in English. 

Synthesis**

Psalm 4

1.  For the director, with stringed instruments, a psalm by David

2. Answer me when I call out, my righteous God!
    You, who eased my distress in the past,
    Have mercy and hear my prayer!

3. Oh, you mortal people, how long will you dishonour me?
    How long will you love worthless idols and chase after false gods? Selah.

4. Know this - that YHWH has set apart the one who is loyal.
    YHWH hears whenever I call out to him.

5. Tremble in fear and sin no more!
    Think it over on your beds and be silent! Selah.

6. Offer right sacrifices
    and trust in YHWH!

7. There are a lot of people saying, “If only someone would show us good!”
    May your favour and blessing dawn on us like the sun, YHWH!

8. You have given me joy surpassing theirs
    back when they had plenty of grain and wine.

9. In peace, I will fall asleep as soon as I lie down,
    because you, YHWH, and you alone,
    make my life secure.

** The "synthesis" is a dynamic-equivalent rendering, intended to support the Synthesis (at-a-glance) visualisation.

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