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Psalms 10:13-14

Context

10:13 Why does the wicked man reject God? 1 

He says to himself, 2  “You 3  will not hold me accountable.” 4 

10:14 You have taken notice, 5 

for 6  you always see 7  one who inflicts pain and suffering. 8 

The unfortunate victim entrusts his cause to you; 9 

you deliver 10  the fatherless. 11 

1 tn The rhetorical question expresses the psalmist’s outrage that the wicked would have the audacity to disdain God.

2 tn Heb “he says in his heart” (see vv. 6, 11). Another option is to understand an ellipsis of the interrogative particle here (cf. the preceding line), “Why does he say in his heart?”

3 tn Here the wicked man addresses God directly.

4 tn Heb “you will not seek.” The verb דָרַשׁ (darash, “seek”) is used here in the sense of “seek an accounting.” One could understand the imperfect as generalizing about what is typical and translate, “you do not hold [people] accountable.”

5 tn Heb “you see.” One could translate the perfect as generalizing, “you do take notice.”

6 tn If the preceding perfect is taken as generalizing, then one might understand כִּי (ki) as asseverative: “indeed, certainly.”

7 tn Here the imperfect emphasizes God’s typical behavior.

8 tn Heb “destruction and suffering,” which here refers metonymically to the wicked, who dish out pain and suffering to their victims.

9 tn Heb “to give into your hand, upon you, he abandons, [the] unfortunate [one].” The syntax is awkward and the meaning unclear. It is uncertain who or what is being given into God’s hand. Elsewhere the idiom “give into the hand” means to deliver into one’s possession. If “to give” goes with what precedes (as the accentuation of the Hebrew text suggests), then this may refer to the wicked man being delivered over to God for judgment. The present translation assumes that “to give” goes with what follows (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). The verb יַעֲזֹב (yaazov) here has the nuance “entrust” (see Gen 39:6; Job 39:11); the direct object (“[his] cause”) is implied.

10 tn Or “help.”

11 tn Heb “[for] one who is fatherless, you are a deliverer.” The noun יָתוֹם (yatom) refers to one who has lost his father (not necessarily his mother, see Ps 109:9).

sn The fatherless. Because they were so vulnerable and were frequently exploited, fatherless children are often mentioned as epitomizing the oppressed (see Pss 68:5; 82:3; 94:6; 146:9; as well as Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12; 31:17, 21).



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