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Psalms 14:5-6

Context

14:5 They are absolutely terrified, 1 

for God defends the godly. 2 

14:6 You want to humiliate the oppressed, 3 

even though 4  the Lord is their 5  shelter.

1 tn Heb “there they are afraid [with] fear.” The perfect verbal form is probably used in a rhetorical manner; the psalmist describes the future demise of the oppressors as if it were already occurring. The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is also used here for dramatic effect, as the psalmist envisions the wicked standing in fear at a spot that is this vivid in his imagination (BDB 1027 s.v.). The cognate accusative following the verb emphasizes the degree of their terror.

2 tn Heb “for God is with a godly generation.” The Hebrew noun דּוֹר (dor, “generation”) refers here to the general class of people who are characterized by godliness. See BDB 190 s.v. for other examples where “generation” refers to a class of people.

3 tn Heb “the counsel of the oppressed you put to shame.” Using a second person plural verb form, the psalmist addresses the wicked. Since the context indicates their attempt to harm the godly will be thwarted, the imperfect should be taken in a subjunctive (cf. NASB, NRSV) rather than an indicative manner (cf. NIV). Here it probably expresses their desire or intent (“want to humiliate”).

4 tn It is unlikely that כִּי (ki) has a causal force here. The translation assumes a concessive force; another option is to understand an asseverative use (“certainly, indeed”).

5 tn Heb “his.” The antecedent of the singular pronoun is the singular form עָנִי (’ani, “oppressed”) in the preceding line. The singular is collective or representative here (and thus translated as plural, “they”).



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