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Psalms 140:9-11

Context

140:9 As for the heads of those who surround me –

may the harm done by 1  their lips overwhelm them!

140:10 May he rain down 2  fiery coals upon them!

May he throw them into the fire!

From bottomless pits they will not escape. 3 

140:11 A slanderer 4  will not endure on 5  the earth;

calamity will hunt down a violent man and strike him down. 6 

1 tn Heb “harm of their lips.” The genitive here indicates the source or agent of the harm.

2 tn The verb form in the Kethib (consonantal Hebrew text) appears to be a Hiphil imperfect from the root מוּט (mut, “to sway”), but the Hiphil occurs only here and in Ps 55:3, where it is preferable to read יַמְטִירוּ (yamtiru, “they rain down”). In Ps 140:10 the form יַמְטֵר (yamter, “let him rain down”) should probably be read.

3 tn Heb “into bottomless pits, they will not arise.” The translation assumes that the preposition -בְּ (bet) has the nuance “from” here. Another option is to connect the line with what precedes, take the final clause as an asyndetic relative clause, and translate, “into bottomless pits [from which] they cannot arise.” The Hebrew noun מַהֲמֹרָה (mahamorah, “bottomless pit”) occurs only here in the OT.

4 tn Heb “a man of a tongue.”

5 tn Heb “be established in.”

6 tn Heb “for blows.” The Hebrew noun מַדְחֵפֹה (madkhefoh, “blow”) occurs only here in the OT.



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