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Then I said, “I am afflicted.

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That’s it!

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The years

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of the right hand of ELYON!


Then I answered myself: I am so distressed; this inner turmoil is making me sick. But wait! That’s it!, It is all about the proofs in history of the visible manifestations of the powerful working of THE MOST HIGH GOD.



The word I have rendered as “afflicted” usually means things like “sick, afflicted, weak, wounded, or distressed, be ill or diseased.” In certain grammatical situations it can mean “to appease, to beseech, to entreat the favor of,” but the verb tense does not fit that situation. The reason for the use of this word is to show David’s mental and emotional state. He is tempted to go running down the path that his emotions are calling him to. Having asked out loud the questions that have come from his doubts, he now moves to the answer, but his anguish is so great that before he can answer, he highlights the level of his anguish one more time.

Some translators think the use of “sick” in this verse is part of an entire sentence that goes to the end of this verse. I prefer to think of it as an exclamation of emotion that stands alone because he quickly moves on to another emotion which, thankfully, replaces this one. As you will see in the next few footnotes, there is much controversy about how to translate this verse. There are two major camps, and the way they translate it differs greatly.


The Hebrew simply has the word “it,” but this word is emphatic. Although it means something simple, “he, it, or that,” it was often used with an emphatic purpose, and that seems to be the case here. In English, the only way to make something like this emphatic is to put an exclamation point after it, for instance by saying “that!” “That there!”

Since a primary verb is missing, something must be added to make the sentence make sense. This is typical of Hebrew, where sometimes even the main verb is missing, and it can be any verb, not just a verb of being. We shall see in a moment what is typically added.


The word I have rendered as “years” means “years,” but there is a very similar word from another root; it is the verb “to change.” Some scholars think it is the other word, the one meaning “to change” that was intended here. Which root a translator chooses greatly changes the way this verse is translated. Those that choose “to change” end up with something like the NET Bible, i.e. “I’m sickened by the thought that the Most High might become inactive” (might change). Those that choose “years” end up with something similar to the NKJV And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High,” or the NIV Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.” Thankfully, both ways of translating the verse point to an emotional state that then is changed by the realities of what God has done in the past. The only difference is when that change occurs, part way through verse 10, or at the beginning of verse 11.

It seems to me that the questions of verses 7-9 are the climax of his doubts. So, verse 10 is the beginning of the answer to those questions (but he first has to express his anguish one more quick time).

The way I have translated and paraphrased it above, strives to show more of the emotion behind those words. The psalmist doesn’t take time to time to explain the change in his emotional state, he simply jumps from one state to another, without a proper explanation. The properly worded expression of his thoughts comes in verse 11 where the verb “remember or call to mind” is used. Therefore, those that insert “I remembered” into verse 10 are doing so because it is used in verse 11, and the idea is the same. However, cleaning up the grammar and making it sound proper robs it of its raw emotion.

Background Information

Having wondered if God’s faithfulness, love, favor, and promises are still trustworthy (vv7-9) Asaph now moves to the answer in v 10.

However, verse 10 starts with a brief statement of his mental anguish, then very suddenly shifts to his emotional state upon considering the history of what God has done.