Psalm 139:14 in RSV

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Mark Hettler

Puritan Board Freshman
Almost all translations (specifically I've looked at NASB, ESV, NIV, NKJV, KJV, and ASV) translate the first part of this verse as "I praise you" (or some minor variation, like substituting "thee," or "I will praise you," or "I give thanks to you," etc.) "for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." But the RSV translates it, "for thou art fearful and wonderful." In both the Hebrew and the LXX (at least the editions I have), it's a first person verb, and I none of the commentaries I look at make any reference to textual variants or alternative readings that would imply a second person understanding. (Kidner makes a brief dismissive reference to the RSV without mentioning the first versus second person issue.) Does anyone have any idea as to the rationale behind the RSV translation of this verse?
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Here is what the NET Bible has as a note:

Heb “because awesome things, I am distinct, amazing [are] your works.” The text as it stands is syntactically problematic and makes little, if any, sense. The Niphal of פָּלָה (pala’) occurs elsewhere only in Exod 33:16. Many take the form from פָלָא (pala’; see GKC 216 §75.qq), which in the Niphal perfect means “to be amazing” (see 2 Sam 1:26; Ps 118:23; Prov 30:18). Some, following the LXX and some other ancient witnesses, also prefer to emend the verb from first to second person, “you are amazing” (see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101–150 [WBC], 249, 251). The present translation assumes the text conflates two variants: נפלאים, the otherwise unattested masculine plural participle of פָלָא, and נִפְלָאוֹת (nifla’ot), the usual (feminine) plural form of the Niphal participle. The latter has been changed to a verb by later scribes in an attempt to accommodate it syntactically. The original text likely read, נוראות נפלאותים מעשׂיך (“your works [are] awesome [and] amazing”).​
 
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