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Psalms 37:35-36

Context

37:35 I have seen ruthless evil men 1 

growing in influence, like a green tree grows in its native soil. 2 

37:36 But then one passes by, and suddenly they have disappeared! 3 

I looked for them, but they could not be found.

Psalms 37:38

Context

37:38 Sinful rebels are totally destroyed; 4 

evil men have no future. 5 

1 tn The Hebrew uses the representative singular again here.

2 tn Heb “being exposed [?] like a native, luxuriant.” The Hebrew form מִתְעָרֶה (mitareh) appears to be a Hitpael participle from עָרָה (’arah, “be exposed”), but this makes no sense in this context. Perhaps the form is a dialectal variant of מִתְעָלָה (“giving oneself an air of importance”; see Jer 51:3), from עָלָה (’alah, “go up”; see P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 296). The noun אֶזְרָח (’ezrakh, “native, full citizen”) refers elsewhere to people, but here, where it is collocated with “luxuriant, green,” it probably refers to a tree growing in native soil.

3 tn Heb “and he passes by and, look, he is not [there].” The subject of the verb “passes by” is probably indefinite, referring to any passerby. Some prefer to change the form to first person, “and I passed by” (cf. NEB; note the first person verbal forms in preceding verse and in the following line).

4 tn Or “destroyed together.” In this case the psalmist pictures judgment sweeping them away as a group.

5 tn Heb “the end of evil men is cut off.” As in v. 37, some interpret אַחֲרִית (’akharit, “end”) as referring to offspring (see Ps 109:13). The perfect verbal forms in v. 38 probably express general truths. Another option is that they are used emphatically to state with certitude that the demise of the wicked is as good as done.



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