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Psalms 17:8-9

Context

17:8 Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye! 1 

Hide me in the shadow of your wings! 2 

17:9 Protect me from 3  the wicked men who attack 4  me,

my enemies who crowd around me for the kill. 5 

1 tc Heb “Protect me like the pupil, a daughter of an eye.” The noun בַּת (bat, “daughter”) should probably be emended to בָּבַת (bavat, “pupil”). See Zech 2:12 HT (2:8 ET) and HALOT 107 s.v. *בָּבָה.

2 sn Your wings. The metaphor compares God to a protective mother bird.

3 tn Heb “from before”; or “because.” In the Hebrew text v. 9 is subordinated to v. 8. The words “protect me” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “destroy.” The psalmist uses the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of danger. He describes the wicked as being already in the process of destroying him.

5 tn Heb “my enemies, at the risk of life they surround me.” The Hebrew phrase בְּנֶפֶשׁ (bÿnefesh) sometimes has the nuance “at the risk of [one’s] life” (see 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23; Lam 5:9).



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