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Psalms 18:26-27

Context

18:26 You prove to be reliable 1  to one who is blameless,

but you prove to be deceptive 2  to one who is perverse. 3 

18:27 For you deliver oppressed 4  people,

but you bring down those who have a proud look. 5 

1 tn Or “blameless.”

2 tn The Hebrew verb פָתַל (patal) is used in only three other texts. In Gen 30:8 it means literally “to wrestle,” or “to twist.” In Job 5:13 it refers to devious individuals, and in Prov 8:8 to deceptive words.

3 tn The adjective עִקֵּשׁ (’iqqesh) has the basic nuance “twisted, crooked,” and by extension refers to someone or something that is morally perverse. It appears frequently in Proverbs, where it is used of evil people (22:5), speech (8:8; 19:1), thoughts (11:20; 17:20), and life styles (2:15; 28:6). A righteous king opposes such people (Ps 101:4).

sn Verses 25-26 affirm God’s justice. He responds to people in accordance with their moral character. His response mirrors their actions. The faithful and blameless find God to be loyal and reliable in his dealings with them. But deceivers discover he is able and willing to use deceit to destroy them. For a more extensive discussion of the theme of divine deception in the OT, see R. B. Chisholm, “Does God Deceive?” BSac 155 (1998): 11-28.

4 tn Or perhaps, “humble” (note the contrast with those who are proud).

5 tn Heb “but proud eyes you bring low.” 2 Sam 22:28 reads, “your eyes [are] upon the proud, [whom] you bring low.”



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