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Psalms 10:8-10

Context

10:8 He waits in ambush near the villages; 1 

in hidden places he kills the innocent.

His eyes look for some unfortunate victim. 2 

10:9 He lies in ambush in a hidden place, like a lion in a thicket; 3 

he lies in ambush, waiting to catch 4  the oppressed;

he catches the oppressed 5  by pulling in his net. 6 

10:10 His victims are crushed and beaten down;

they are trapped in his sturdy nets. 7 

1 tn Heb “he sits in the ambush of the villages.”

2 tn Heb “his eyes for an unfortunate person lie hidden.” The language may picture a lion (see v. 9) peering out from its hiding place in anticipation that an unsuspecting victim will soon come strolling along.

3 tn Or “in its den.”

4 tn The verb, which also appears in the next line, occurs only here and in Judg 21:21.

5 tn The singular form is collective (see v. 10) or refers to the typical or representative oppressed individual.

6 tn Or “when he [i.e., the wicked man] pulls in his net.”

sn The background of the imagery is hunting, where the hunter uses a net to entrap an unsuspecting bird or wild animal.

7 tn Heb “he crushes, he is bowed down, and he falls into his strong [ones], [the] unfortunate [ones].” This verse presents several lexical and syntactical difficulties. The first word (יִדְכֶּה, yidekeh) is an otherwise unattested Qal form of the verb דָּכָה (dakhah, “crush”). (The Qere [marginal] form is imperfect; the consonantal text [Kethib] has the perfect with a prefixed conjunction vav [ו].) If the wicked man’s victim is the subject, which seems to be the case (note the two verbs which follow), then the form should be emended to a Niphal (יִדָּכֶה, yiddakheh). The phrase בַּעֲצוּמָיו (baatsumayv, “into his strong [ones]”), poses interpretive problems. The preposition -בְּ (bet) follows the verb נָפַל (nafal, “fall”), so it may very well carry the nuance “into” here, with “his strong [ones]” then referring to something into which the oppressed individual falls. Since a net is mentioned in the preceding verse as the instrument used to entrap the victim, it is possible that “strong [ones]” here refers metonymically to the wicked man’s nets or traps. Ps 35:8 refers to a man falling into a net (רֶשֶׁת, reshet), as does Ps 141:10 (where the plural of מִכְמָר [mikhmar, “net”] is used). A hunter’s net (רֶשֶׁת), is associated with snares (פַּח [pakh], מֹקְשִׁים, [moqÿshim]) and ropes (חֲבָלִים, khavalim) in Ps 140:5. The final word in the verse (חֶלְכָּאִים (khelkaim, “unfortunate [ones]”) may be an alternate form of חֵלְכָח (khelkhakh, “unfortunate [one]”; see vv. 8, 14). The Qere (marginal reading) divides the form into two words, חֵיל כָּאִים (khel kaim, “army/host of disheartened [ones]”). The three verb forms in v. 10 are singular because the representative “oppressed” individual is the grammatical subject (see the singular עָנִי [’aniy] in v. 9).



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