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Psalms 35:15-16

Context

35:15 But when I stumbled, they rejoiced and gathered together;

they gathered together to ambush me. 1 

They tore at me without stopping to rest. 2 

35:16 When I tripped, they taunted me relentlessly, 3 

and tried to bite me. 4 

Psalms 35:19

Context

35:19 Do not let those who are my enemies for no reason 5  gloat 6  over me!

Do not let those who hate me without cause carry out their wicked schemes! 7 

Psalms 35:24-26

Context

35:24 Vindicate me by your justice, O Lord my God!

Do not let them gloat 8  over me!

35:25 Do not let them say to themselves, 9  “Aha! We have what we wanted!” 10 

Do not let them say, “We have devoured him!”

35:26 May those who want to harm me be totally embarrassed and ashamed! 11 

May those who arrogantly taunt me be covered with shame and humiliation! 12 

1 tn Heb “they gathered together against me, stricken [ones], and I did not know.” The Hebrew form נֵכִים (nekhim, “stricken ones” ?) is problematic. Some suggest an emendation to נָכְרִים[כְ] (kÿnokhÿrim, “foreigners”) or “like foreigners,” which would fit with what follows, “[like] foreigners that I do not recognize.” Perhaps the form should be read as a Qal active participle, נֹכִים (nokhim, “ones who strike”) from the verbal root נָכָה (nakhah, “to strike”). The Qal of this verb is unattested in biblical Hebrew, but the peal (basic) stem appears in Old Aramaic (J. Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire [BibOr], 114; DNWSI 1:730.) In this case one might translate, “attackers gathered together against me though I was not aware of it” (cf. NASB “smiters”; NEB, NRSV “ruffians”; NIV “attackers”).

2 tn Heb “they tore and did not keep quiet.” By using the verb “tear,” the psalmist likens his enemies to a wild animal (see Hos 13:8). In v. 17 he compares them to hungry young lions.

3 tc The MT reads “as profane [ones] of mockers of food,” which is nonsensical. The present translation assumes (1) an emendation of בְּחַנְפֵי (bÿkhanfey, “as profane men”) to בְּחַנְפִי (bekhanfiy, “when I tripped”; preposition + Qal infinitive construct from II חָנַף [“limp”] + first common singular pronominal suffix) and (2) an emendation of לַעֲגֵי מָעוֹג (laagey maog, “mockers of food”) to עָגוּ[ם]לַעְגָּ (lagamagu, “[with] taunting they taunted”; masculine plural noun with enclitic mem + Qal perfect third common plural from לַּעַג [laag, “taunt”]).

4 tn Heb “gnashing at me with their teeth.” The infinitive absolute adds a complementary action – they gnashed with their teeth as they taunted.

5 tn Heb “[with] a lie.” The Hebrew noun שֶׁקֶר (sheqer, “lie”) is used here as an adverb, “falsely, wrongfully” (see Ps 38:19).

6 tn Heb “rejoice.”

7 tn Heb “[do not let] those who hate me without cause pinch [i.e., wink] an eye.” The negative particle is understood in the second line by ellipsis (see the preceding line). In the Book of Proverbs “winking an eye” is associated with deceit and trickery (see 6:13; 10:10; 16:30).

8 tn Heb “rejoice.”

9 tn Heb “in their heart[s].”

10 tn Heb “Aha! Our desire!” The “desire” of the psalmist’s enemies is to triumph over him.

11 tn Heb “may they be embarrassed and ashamed together, the ones who rejoice over my harm.”

12 tn Heb “may they be clothed with shame and humiliation, the ones who magnify [themselves] against me.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 26 are understood as jussives (see vv. 24b-25, where the negative particle אַל (’al) appears before the prefixed verbal forms, indicating they are jussives). The psalmist is calling down judgment on his enemies.



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