1 sn Psalm 109. Appealing to God’s justice, the psalmist asks God to vindicate him and to bring severe judgment down upon his enemies.
2 tn Heb “do not be deaf.”
3 sn In vv. 6-19 the psalmist calls on God to judge his enemies severely. Some attribute this curse-list to the psalmist’s enemies rather than the psalmist. In this case one should paraphrase v. 6: “They say about me, ‘Appoint an evil man, etc.’” Those supporting this line of interpretation point out that vv. 2-5 and 20 refer to the enemies’ attack on the psalmist being a verbal one. Furthermore in vv. 1-5, 20 the psalmist speaks of his enemies in the plural, while vv. 6-19 refer to an individual. This use of the singular in vv. 6-19 could be readily explained if this is the psalmist’s enemies’ curse on him. However, it is much more natural to understand vv. 6-19 as the psalmist’s prayer against his enemies. There is no introductory quotation formula in v. 6 to indicate that the psalmist is quoting anyone, and the statement “may the Lord repay my accusers in this way” in v. 20 most naturally appears to be a fitting conclusion to the prayer in vv. 6-19. But what about the use of the singular in vv. 6-19? Often in the psalms the psalmist will describe his enemies as a group, but then speak of them as an individual as well, as if viewing his adversaries collectively as one powerful foe. See, for example, Ps 7, where the psalmist uses both the plural (vv. 1, 6) and the singular (vv. 2, 4-5) in referring to enemies. Perhaps by using the singular in such cases, the psalmist wants to single out each enemy for individual attention, or perhaps he has one especially hostile enemy in mind who epitomizes the opposition of the whole group. This may well be the case in Ps 109. Perhaps we should understand the singular throughout vv. 6-19 in the sense of “each and every one.” For a lengthy and well-reasoned defense of the opposite view – that vv. 6-19 are a quotation of what the enemies said about the psalmist – see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 72-73.
4 tn Heb “appoint against him an evil [man].”
5 tn The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive here (note the imperative in the preceding line).