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Psalms 49:12

Context

49:12 but, despite their wealth, people do not last, 1 

they are like animals 2  that perish. 3 

Psalms 49:20

Context

49:20 Wealthy people do not understand; 4 

they are like animals 5  that perish. 6 

1 tn Heb “but mankind in honor does not remain.” The construction vav (ו) + noun at the beginning of the verse can be taken as contrastive in relation to what precedes. The Hebrew term יְקָר (yÿqar, “honor”) probably refers here to the wealth mentioned in the preceding context. The imperfect verbal form draws attention to what is characteristically true. Some scholars emend יָלִין (yalin, “remains”) to יָבִין (yavin, “understands”) but this is an unnecessary accommodation to the wording of v. 20.

2 tn Or “cattle.”

3 tn The verb is derived from דָּמָה (damah, “cease; destroy”; BDB 198 s.v.). Another option is to derive the verb from דָּמָה (“be silent”; see HALOT 225 s.v. II דמה, which sees two homonymic roots [דָּמָה, “be silent,” and דָּמָה, “destroy”] rather than a single root) and translate, “they are like dumb beasts.” This makes particularly good sense in v. 20, where the preceding line focuses on mankind’s lack of understanding.

4 tn Heb “mankind in honor does not understand.” The Hebrew term יְקָר (yÿqar, “honor”) probably refers here to the wealth mentioned in the preceding context. The imperfect verbal form draws attention to what is characteristically true. Some emend יָבִין (yavin, “understands”) to יָלִין (yalin, “remains”), but this is an unnecessary accommodation to the wording of v. 12.

5 tn Or “cattle.”

6 tn The Hebrew verb is derived from דָּמָה (damah, “cease, destroy”; BDB 198 s.v.). Another option is to derive the verb from דָּמָה (damah, “be silent”; see HALOT 225 s.v. II דמה, which sees two homonymic roots [I דָּמַה, “be silent,” and II דָּמַה, “destroy”] rather than a single root) and translate, “they are like dumb beasts.” This makes particularly good sense here, where the preceding line focuses on mankind’s lack of understanding.



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