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Psalms 27:4:

אַחַ֤ת ׀ שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ׃

Modified Sefria.com translation:

One thing have I asked of the LORD, it will I seek after: a) That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, b) To behold the pleasantness of the LORD, and c) to visit early in His temple.

It seems that he is requesting 3 things (which I marked a, b, c) above. Why does David use the term "one thing" and "it"?

  • 1
    It seems obvious that the answer is that "b" and "c" are not additional reasons besides "a". For example, they can be seen as the reason for requesting "a". The Psalmist requests to dwell in the abode of God, so that he may perceive God and frequent his sanctuary. – mevaqesh Aug 31 '15 at 22:15
  • BTW I dont know how וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר implies being early. – mevaqesh Aug 31 '15 at 22:15
  • @mevaqesh I left this translation there despite Sefaria's poor translation, in general. There is a MY question and answer on this, asked last week. Rashi has one translation which means "in the morning", so using the term "early" is not the most accurate, but, I think, fits the context of this translation. If I find the link to that MY question, I'll put in another comment, but you can easily locate Rashi's comment on this verse. Re - your 1st comment - I think that my analysis is also possible. IIRC, there is some Midrash that may explain this, but I don't recall who or where. – DanF Aug 31 '15 at 22:25
  • @mevaqesh Done. Thanks for the reminder. I guess there's a reason for your ID :-o – DanF May 19 '16 at 16:42
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Metzudas David thereon apparently understands "b" and "c" to be the same thing.

לחזות. לראות בנעימות תורת ה' : ולבקר. לדרוש בהיכלו בדבר מצות ה'

Furthermore, Malbim understands "b" and "c" to be the reason for the request "a"; not requests in and of themselves.

שבתי בבית ה' כל ימי חיי, הוא על הכוונה כדי לחזות בנועם ה' ולבקר בהיכלו, ואין בלבי כונה אחרת

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Art Scroll translates b and c to imply "in order to".

Thus the translatoion reads.

One thing that I asked of Hashem;
 that shall I seek:
That I dwell in the House of Hashem
  all the days of my life.
[in order] To behold the delight of Hashem
  and to  meditate in His Sanctuary.

Note the spacing used as part of the translation. Thus, Art Scroll is translating it as a single request which will allow one to have the two things whichresult from "dwelling in the House of Hashem"

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