Semănătorul (The Sower)

April 2023, Volume 3, Number 2

'In the Sanctuary' in the Psalms

Dr. Justin M. Young

This study addresses the translation of the term שׁדק when prefixed with ב in the Psalter. While the expression is rendered rather consistently as a sanctuary reference (i.e., ‘in the/my/his sanctuary’) in other parts of the OT, the phrase is commonly given an alternative translation in some psalms. This article surveys the five passages in the Psalter in which שׁדקב is commonly translated in alternative ways from a sanctuary reference (60:8 [6]; 68:18 [17]; 77:14 [13]; 89:36 [35]; 108:8 [7]), contending that no definitive case exists in the Psalter for such alternative renderings. In the light of this, especially in cases in which שׁדקב appears in a verbless clause (i.e., 68:18 [17] and 77:14 [13]), ‘in the sanctuary’ remains the best translational option. While translating שׁדקב as a sanctuary reference carries significant ramifications for the ideology of these psalms, the present analysis focuses primarily on the translational issues involved.

KEY WORDS: Psalms, Psalter, sanctuary, temple, holiness, Mount Sinai

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr3260