Thursday, 4 January 2018
Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (TLV)
Allow me to provide an amplified translation based on the Hebrew. This is made difficult because the Psalms are poetry put to music. Regular rules of grammar don't apply to poetry the way they do in prose. This verse in particular is very cryptic.
My translation would be, "My blood relatives and my own heart, even my rocky heart, (will turn into) calamity, yet my portion is the eternal God."
There is no etnakhta to provide a divider or understanding of the phrasing of the verse. This leaves us to wonder what Levavi Tzur-Levavii means. Tzur means "rock". It is loosely translated by some in this place as "strength". This is the only place in the Bible where this occurs. There are 73 other places in the Bible where Tzur is used, it is translated as "rock" or a word closely related to rock (like stone or rocky).
So, our analysis of this verse leaves us with impressions that the poet is communicating. Let's listen to his message to us. My blood relatives and my own heart will lead me into calamity. The balancing thought is, "Nevertheless, my portion will be the eternal Lord."
This seems to echo Paul's writing (Paul knew the Psalms) as follows ...
Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,