Psalm 42:5 (and 42:11) vary greatly in English translations with regard to how they deal with the last clause. Is there no way to be sure what it is saying? What are the issues in rendering this accurately?
For example, YLT has this:
Psa 42:5 What! bowest thou thyself, O my soul? Yea, art thou troubled within me? Wait for God, for still I confess Him: The salvation of my countenance--My God!
This translation says that the countenance in question is God's, not the Psalmist's:
JPS Tanakh 1917 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why moanest thou within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him For the salvation of His countenance.
While the NIV has this which seems to ignore "countenance" altogether:
New International Version Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Other translation likewise are all over the map.
I came across this footnote in the NET Bible:
16 tc Heb “for again I will give him thanks, the saving acts of his face.” The verse division in the Hebrew text is incorrect. אֱלֹהַי (’elohay, “my God”) at the beginning of v. 7 belongs with the end of v. 6 (see the corresponding refrains in 42:11 and 43:5, both of which end with “my God” after “saving acts of my face”). The Hebrew term פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”) should be emended to פְּנֵי (pÿney, “face of”). The emended text reads, “[for] the saving acts of the face of my God,” that is, the saving acts associated with God’s presence/intervention https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Psalms+42:4
And this is how they rendered it:
42:5 Why are you depressed, 13 O my soul? 14 Why are you upset? 15 Wait for God! For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention. 16
Does the Hebrew allow for the last clause to read like this?:
"...For I will again give thanks to my God BY his saving intervention."
My thought is that the Psalmist, being a son of Korah is probably a choir member and he is distraught because the enemy is preventing him from getting to the temple. This would then be an expression of confidence that God, by his saving intervention will make it possible for him to return to the joyful singing, and thanking God.