SteveMiller wrote:"...And the verse starts with ki.
While looking at Allen's Word Biblical Commentary (vol. 3) on verse 13 of this psalm, I came across an interesting comment concerning the use of כּי at the beginning of that verse. Allen notes that one of the uses of כּי is as an affirmative particle: "Indeed" or Yea". In this use, it introduces an independent clause unlike when it is used causally ("because…").
It then dawned on me that there may be a similar use of כּי at the beginning of verse 4 of this psalm. And, indeed, Allen's translation of verse 4 begins with "For example,"; i.e. it's used to introduce an independent clause.
Interestingly, this demonstrative use of כּי is the first meaning listed in HALOT in Bibleworks even though it's not the most common use of the word.
Thanks very much, John.
I had not thought to look up ki
That reminds me, way back when I was in Hebrew school, ki tov
was a common expression, meaning "so good".
I prefer that "so" meaning to "indeed" because "indeed" can be inserted anywhere, so it it hard to disprove.
Also there is a causation meaning of "so" which goes along with the normal meaning of ki
For example, HALOT's 1st example of ki
as emphatic is:
Genesis 18:20 וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֔ה זַעֲקַ֛ת סְדֹ֥ם וַעֲמֹרָ֖ה כִּי־רָ֑בָּה וְחַ֙טָּאתָ֔ם כִּ֥י כָבְדָ֖ה מְאֹֽד
KJV Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
NAS Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
KJV translated the ki'
s as "because" which I don't think is right because of the word order.
NAS translated the ki
's as "indeed", which loses the connection to the next verse.
I would now translate the ki
's as "so":And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin is so heavy
v21 I will go down now and see ....
Most of HALOT's examples don't require an emphatic. i.e.
Job 12:2אָ֭מְנָם כִּ֣י אַתֶּם־עָ֑ם וְ֜עִמָּכֶ֗ם תָּמ֥וּת חָכְמָֽה׃
KJV Job 12:2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
NAS Job 12:2 "Truly then you are the people, And with you wisdom will die!
HALOT says the ki
here should be translated as "certainly", but there is already a "truly" there.
NAS's "then" seems to work best.
but that would be another thread.
Anyway, Allen's "for example" for the ki
at the beginning of Ps 139:4 seems to be the normal meaning of 'ki'.