Ps 7:8

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Thu Aug 26 22:28:51 EDT 1999

Dear Ray,
you wrote:

> I'm interested in the syntax of Ps 7:8 in Hebrew,
especially the function
> of the initial waw. By definition it's a disjunctive waw.
I would say it
> introduces a change of subject/focus. At the end of v. 7
is a perfect: "You
> have decreed/commanded judgment" (note NRSV; prophetic
perfect?). V. 8
> describes the scene: "The assembly of the peoples
surrounds you." What is
> the relationship between the two lines of v. 8? Is there
contrast? Does the
> assembly come to oppose God but finds him (or rather the
Lord is beseeched
> by David to be) seated or returning (text problem) to the
heights over them
> (in judgment)? "To the heights over them return!" Then v.
9 continues the
> description and bases another plea on it: "The Lord judges
the peoples;
> judge me, O Lord..." Anyone else have some suggestions?

I have wanted to get back to you on this because I love to
discuss BH poetry, but I have been real busy.  I hope it's
not out-of-line to respond so late.  I imagine folks
participate in this type of forum because they're looking
for quick responses, but who knows, maybe a comment or two
will still be helpful.  Or maybe someone will want to pick
up a new (or renewed) thread.

Look at my translation below.  The parts in parentheses are
meant as guides to *my impression* of the sense.  You will
see that I do not consider the vav at the beginning of 7 as
disjunctive per se.  Yeah, the personna is switching from
talking about his own need for justice to that of the
congregation's, but the appeal to YHVH to rise up as judge
is quite *unbroken*.

6  Arise (as a judge), O YHVH, in your great feeling;
Lift (yourself as a judge) against the outbursts of my
Awake, O my God (to the need)!
It is a judgment that you have commanded (so I am justified
in looking to you).
7  Even (What's more) the congregation of the peoples
surround you (with expectation);
So because of it (the congregation (and its expectation?)),
return to the exalted place (of judge)!
8  May YHVH litigate the people!
Judge me, O YHVH, according to my righteousness!
(Judge) According to my blamelessness, even (judge)
concerning me


B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315.437.6744
(home) 315.479.8267

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