Psalm 30

Notes (NET Translation)

A psalm – a song used at the dedication of the temple; by David.

The Hebrew translated “temple” literally means “house.” It could refer to God’s house or David’s house (palace, dynasty).

1 I will praise you, O LORD, for you lifted me up, and did not allow my enemies to gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I cried out to you and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you pulled me up from Sheol; you rescued me from among those descending into the grave.

4 Sing to the LORD, you faithful followers of his; give thanks to his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning.

6 In my self-confidence I said, “I will never be upended.”

[T]he suppliant looks back to when things were fine, literally, “in my ease/prosperity” (bĕšalwî). I follow LXX and Jerome in taking this as an objective statement about how things actually were (cf. Rashi). Modern translators and commentators understand it to suggest complacency, but there is no basis for that in the usage of related words (this particular form is a hapax). There seemed no reason why that state of God-given well-being should not continue forever. “I could not imagine anything tripping me up.” While fall down (môṭ) can imply the false confidence of a faithless person (10:6), or the commitment of the faithful person (15:5), it most often refers to the security of the person who belongs to Yhwh (16:8; 21:7 [8]; 46:5 [6]; 62:2, 6 [3, 7]; 125:1). Again, there is thus no reason to take the verb to suggest that the suppliant had lapsed into false self-confidence.1

7 O LORD, in your good favor you made me secure. Then you rejected me and I was terrified.

That God put the psalmist in a secure position further indicates that he was not in a state of false self-confidence. The Hebrew translated “you rejected me” literally means “you hid your face”. God had withdrawn his blessing and protection.

8 To you, O LORD, I cried out; I begged the Lord for mercy:

9 “What profit is there in taking my life, in my descending into the Pit? Can the dust of the grave praise you? Can it declare your loyalty?

10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me! O LORD, deliver me!”

11 Then you turned my lament into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy.

12 So now my heart will sing to you and not be silent; O LORD my God, I will always give thanks to you.

Bibliography

Craigie, Peter C., and Marvin E. Tate. Psalms 1-50. Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2004.

Goldingay, John. Psalms: Volume 1: Psalms 1-41. Kindle Edition. Baker Academic, 2006.

Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008.

VanGemeren, Willem. Psalms. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008.


  1. Goldingay 2006, loc. 8591-8598 
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