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Psalm 141:5 New American Standard Bible 1995

5 Let the righteous smite me [a]in kindness and reprove me; It is oil upon the head; Do not let my head refuse it, [b]For still my prayer is [c]against their wicked deeds.

Psalm 141:5 New King James Version

5 Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it.

For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.

141:5 תהילים The Westminster Leningrad Codex

5 יֶֽהֶלְמֵֽנִי־צַדִּ֨יק׀ חֶ֡סֶד וְֽיוֹכִיחֵ֗נִי שֶׁ֣מֶן רֹ֭אשׁ אַל־יָנִ֣י רֹאשִׁ֑י כִּי־ע֥וֹד וּ֝תְפִלָּתִ֗י בְּרָעוֹתֵיהֶֽם׃

The NASB1995 and the NKJV translation for letting the righteous people to correct us can be interpreted in different ways:

  1. As per the NASB1995, it seems like it's saying that the righteous should correct us in kindness which means in a compassionate/gracious manner

  2. As per the NKJV, it seems like it's saying that whenever the righteous corrects us(regardless of whether it's in a harsh manner or a compassionate/gracious manner), it is still kindness. In other words, the act of correcting is kindness by and in itself.

Could someone please read & evaluate the Hebrew, and provide a more accurate assessment?

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Psalm 141:5 New American Standard Bible 1995

5a Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me;

NASB translated from the LXX:

παιδεύσει με δίκαιος    ἐν ἐλέει                καὶ ἐλέγξει με
                        in mercy/kindness

On the other hand, Psalm 141:5 New King James Version

5a Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness.

let his rebuke
וְֽיוֹכִיחֵ֗נִי (wə·yō·w·ḵî·ḥê·nî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine singular | first person common singular
Strong's 3198: To be right, reciprocal, to argue, to decide, justify, convict

be an act of loving devotion.
חֶ֡סֶד (ḥe·seḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2617: Kindness, piety, reproof, beauty

OP: (Psalm 141:5) the righteous should correct us in a kind manner Or saying correcting by and in itself is kindness

That depends on the manuscript. LXX suggests the former; Hebrew manuscript suggests the latter.

At https://biblehub.com/psalms/141-5.htm, only 5 out of 28 uses "in kindness" (former). The rest follows the MT.

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  • I suppose my follow-up question would deserve an entire new question posting by itself, or LOL an entire blog/website. How would we Christian in general go about defending said discrepancy in different bible manuscripts in the field of Apologetics? Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 16:55
  • This is not a hermeneutic question but an apologetic one. You are welcome to ask it at facebook.com/groups/129702255041932 :)
    – user35953
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 16:59

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