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Go to Bible: Psalms 72
 
Psa 72:1(top)
Psa 72:2

“He will judge.” Most English versions translate the Hebrew text as if it was a jussive form of the verb, i.e., “May he judge,” or “Let him judge.” But the NET text note points out, “The prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, not a jussive.” Quite a few English Bibles translate many of the verses in Psalm 72 as if the verbs were imperfects, such as “He will judge” (cp. ASV; DBY; ERV; GNV; KJV; NET; NIV84; NKJV) and some English versions go back and forth, translating some verbs as jussive and others as imperfects.

Translators who believe the verbs are meant to be jussive (“May the king...”) say that the Psalm is a prayer or wish, and the psalmist is uttering a wish about God’s chosen king, who in this context would be Solomon. Although it may be true that the psalm was to apply to Solomon or another son of David in some sense, the greater truth is that the rabbis and early Christians understood Psalm 72 to be about the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and given what the psalm itself says, that is true. Many things in the Psalm that are true of Jesus would not have been true for Solomon under any circumstance, such as him having dominion over the whole earth (Psalm 72:8). Those verses could be considered hyperbole if applied to Solomon, but they are literal if applied to the Messiah. If people understood that this psalm was ultimately about the Messiah, then understanding the verbs as imperfects (“The king will...”) makes sense. It is worth noting that the Septuagint translates the verbs as future, letting us know that the translators took these Hebrew verbs as imperfects, not as jussives.

There are jussives in the psalm (cp. Ps. 72:15-17), but not all the verbs are jussive.

Psalm 72 is one of the great places in Scripture that describes to the Messiah himself, and to others, some of what the Messiah would accomplish.

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Psa 72:3(top)
Psa 72:4(top)
Psa 72:5(top)
Psa 72:6(top)
Psa 72:7(top)
Psa 72:8(top)
Psa 72:9(top)
Psa 72:10(top)
Psa 72:11

“bow down.” Or, “worship him.” The word translated “bow down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].

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Psa 72:12(top)
Psa 72:13(top)
Psa 72:14(top)
Psa 72:15(top)
Psa 72:16

“fruits.” This may be referring to the yield of grain (cp. “crops” HCSB) or to the fruit trees (cp. NET).

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Psa 72:17

“flourish.” The Hebrew word has to do with flourishing and increasing; and as a blessing over the Davidic dynasty, it has something to do with producing descendants.

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Psa 72:18(top)
Psa 72:19(top)
Psa 72:20(top)
  

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