Ps 30.9-10


9          To you alone[1] O Yahweh I called out[2]             and to my Lord[3] sought favor.[4]

10        What profit is there in my blood,[5] in my decent to the Pit?

            Can dirt praise you? Can it declare your faithfulness?[6]


[1]          The constituent אֵלֶיךָ is fronted here for constituent focus that the entity referred to (i.e. God) might be restricted as the only one that the poet sought aid from. It was God alone that he wanted, and to no others did he cry.

[2]          The two yiqtols indicate an action that occured on a frequent level in the past, to which now the poet re-tells from the present.

[3]          Although God was previously mentioned in the first person, he is now referred to in the third person. This is typical of Hebrew literature; however the reason is still uncertain.

[4]          The yiqtol expresses the habitual action of this activity, hinting at the frequent urgency with which the poet found himself on his knees intriguing his Lord for the kindness he was once shown in the past.

[5]          Two poetical devices are used here: 1) דם ‘blood’: used metonymically to represent the cessation of his life and thus, death; 2) a rhetorical question to drive home the supposed answer: there is no profit!

[6]          The question of declaring God's faithfulness is somewhat ironic, since it is this very character trait that the poet finds himself beseeching at that moment. Cf. Psalm 6.5.