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Psalms 120:3-4

Context

120:3 How will he severely punish you,

you deceptive talker? 1 

120:4 Here’s how! 2  With the sharp arrows of warriors,

with arrowheads forged over the hot coals. 3 

1 tn Heb “What will he give to you, and what will he add to you, O tongue of deception?” The psalmist addresses his deceptive enemies. The Lord is the understood subject of the verbs “give” and “add.” The second part of the question echoes a standard curse formula, “thus the Lord/God will do … and thus he will add” (see Ruth 1:17; 1 Sam 3:17; 14:44; 20:13; 25:22; 2 Sam 3:9, 35; 19:13; 1 Kgs 2:23; 2 Kgs 6:31).

2 tn The words “here’s how” are supplied in the translation as a clarification. In v. 4 the psalmist answers the question he raises in v. 3.

3 tn Heb “with coals of the wood of the broom plant.” The wood of the broom plant was used to make charcoal, which in turn was used to fuel the fire used to forge the arrowheads.



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