10:4 The wicked man is so arrogant he always thinks,
“God won’t hold me accountable; he doesn’t care.” 1
“I will never 3 be upended,
because I experience no calamity.” 4
“God overlooks it;
he does not pay attention;
he never notices.” 6
so that mere mortals may no longer terrorize them. 9
1 tn Heb “the wicked [one], according to the height of his nose, he does not seek, there is no God, all his thoughts.” The phrase “height of his nose” probably refers to an arrogant or snooty attitude; it likely pictures one with his nose turned upward toward the sky in pride. One could take the “wicked” as the subject of the negated verb “seek,” in which case the point is that the wicked do not “seek” God. The translation assumes that this statement, along with “there is no God,” is what the wicked man thinks to himself. In this case God is the subject of the verb “seek,” and the point is that God will not hold the wicked man accountable for his actions. Verse 13 strongly favors this interpretation. The statement “there is no God” is not a philosophical assertion that God does not exist, but rather a confident affirmation that he is unconcerned about how men live morally and ethically (see v. 11).
2 tn Heb “he says in his heart/mind.”
3 tn Heb “for a generation and a generation.” The traditional accentuation of the MT understands these words with the following line.
4 tn Heb “who, not in calamity.” If אֲשֶׁר (’asher) is taken as a relative pronoun here, then one could translate, “[I] who [am] not in calamity.” Some emend אֲשֶׁר to אֹשֶׁר (’osher, “happiness”; see HALOT 99 s.v. אֹשֶׁר); one might then translate, “[I live in] happiness, not in calamity.” The present translation assumes that אֲשֶׁר functions here as a causal conjunction, “because, for.” For this use of אֲשֶׁר, see BDB 83 s.v. אֲשֶׁר 8.c (where the present text is not cited).
6 tn Heb “God forgets, he hides his face, he never sees.”
7 tn Heb “to judge (on behalf of),” or “by judging (on behalf of).”
9 tn Heb “he will not add again [i.e., “he will no longer”] to terrify, man from the earth.” The Hebrew term אֱנוֹשׁ (’enosh, “man”) refers here to the wicked nations (v. 16). By describing them as “from the earth,” the psalmist emphasizes their weakness before the sovereign, eternal king.