Monday, December 12, 2005

Psalm 17 - The Confusion

While studying Psalm 17, I have happened upon a translation confusion. Verse 14 seems to have highly different meanings depending on the translation that you read, unless I'm nuts, which is a serious possibility...
Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down;
rescue me from the wicked by your sword.
O LORD, by your hand save me from such men,

from men of this world whose reward is in this life.
You still the hunger of those you cherish;
their sons have plenty,

and they store up wealth for their children.

OK, this sounds like: rescue me God from evil people who only care about earthly things. You satisfy Your children and make sure that even their children are taken care of.

Arise, O LORD!
Stand against them and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!

Save me by your mighty hand, O LORD,
from those whose only concern is earthly gain.
May they have their punishment in full.
May their children inherit more of the same,
and may the judgment continue to their children's children.

Ok, this sounds like: rescue me God from evil people who only care about earthly things. Continue to punish them from generation to generation.

I know it isn't entirely important, but I like to figure things like this out, so what are your thoughts?

By the way, if I am just nuts, I do have a good reason for it...while playing with Roscoe on the stairs the other day (I know you shouldn't play on stairs, but it is so much fun for kittens and I usually stay seated at the bottom.) I bent down to throw one of his furry mice and I heard a nasty sound. I pondered it for a moment and then as I noticed that my forehead was resting on the piece of wall that juts out to the side of the stairs it dawned on me that the sickening sound was my forehead smacking against that piece of wall. My first thought: Oh God, please don't let me die from being clumsy while playing with a kitten. It is so unromantic and stupid. Then I revised it to please let me not have a concussion or brain damage from being clumsy while playing with a kitten. It is equally unromantic and stupid and I will then have to explain it to people. At this time, I thought that it best to remove my head from the wall. I tested my walking ability, I tested my brain functions, I looked in the mirror and concluded that I would live, and I was right. I am bruised, but you can't even see it. Merry Christmas.


Danielle said...

Regarding your head: Ouch! Maybe you can tell people your dressing as a unicorn for Christmas.

Regarding your confusion: I think they're both correct. Neither translation is superbly useful for this verse, as the NIV is a thought-for-thought translation and the NLT is probably the same. To clarify, I looked at the KJV and the New American Standard which are both word-for-word translations and therefore more accurate. NASB doesn't interpret as much as the NIV. So, when you go to the NASB (I despise KJV) it has elements of both concepts, though less developed. Hope that helps.

middle aged blogger said...

As I read the NIV you quoted, my thought was that that the evil ones were the ones being referred to for future generations. Here's why:

It speaks of saving us from those whose reward is in this life and then says "still the hunger of those you cherish" - so thinking about Pastor Joel's sermon perhaps, it made me think about asking God to keep me from WANTING more than I NEED! (oops, I work on this!) In other words, don't let me be jealous of the wicked or what others have.

After the phrase you still the hunger...there is a semicolon ";" which made me read that their (Emphasis on the word their) sons have plenty.... So I heard the psalmist saying that the wicked give their sons plenty and store up wealth...

So perhaps they both really mean the same thing...

Your email mail last night hurt my heart. I can't write about that here...just know that I'm sad.

Love, MA Blogger

Jennifer said...

Thank you both for the insights. It is so nice to have people to bounce things off of!

Danielle said...

Um, just reread your comments including my own. I do know that I should have used "You're" instead of your. What a dork.