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Psalms 18:5-6

Context

18:5 The ropes of Sheol tightened around me, 1 

the snares of death trapped me. 2 

18:6 In my distress I called to the Lord;

I cried out to my God. 3 

From his heavenly temple 4  he heard my voice;

he listened to my cry for help. 5 

1 tn Heb “surrounded me.”

2 tn Heb “confronted me.”

3 tn In this poetic narrative context the four prefixed verbal forms in v. 6 are best understood as preterites indicating past tense, not imperfects.

4 tn Heb “from his temple.” Verse 10, which pictures God descending from the sky, indicates that the heavenly temple is in view, not the earthly one.

5 tc Heb “and my cry for help before him came into his ears.” 2 Sam 22:7 has a shorter reading, “my cry for help, in his ears.” It is likely that Ps 18:6 MT as it now stands represents a conflation of two readings: (1) “my cry for help came before him,” (2) “my cry for help came into his ears.” See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (SBLDS), 144, n. 13.



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