Bible Notes

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Ps. 121:1)—In the original Hebrew this passage may be read either as a statement or as a question. As a result, the margin of the Authorized Version has: "Shall I lift up mine eyes unto the hills? Whence should my help come?" and Smith: "I raise my eyes to the hills; whence does my help come?" while Moffatt renders: "I lift mine eyes to the mountains; ah, where is help to come from?" The answer to these questions is, of course, to be found in the words of verse 2: "My help cometh from the Lord."

"He shall preserve thy soul" (Ps. 121:7)—The Hebrew word "nephesh," translated "soul" both in this verse and in Psalms 119:175, can also mean "life." Hence, in Psalms 121:7 we find that Smith translates: "The Lord will guard your life;" while Moffatt renders the complete verse as follows: "The Eternal will guard you from all harm, he will preserve your life."

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps. 16:6)—The Hebrew word "chebel" can mean "measuring line," hence the rendering of the Authorized Version, but the sense was often extended to include the "territory" which was measured or enclosed by the "line"; hence, "chebel" came to mean "measured portion, lot, part, or region" (Brown, Driver, Briggs: Hebrew Lexicon, p. 286) or, metaphorically, "fortune or lot." Consequently, Moffatt is justified in translating: "Fair prospects are allotted me."

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