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Psalms 50:19-21

Context

50:19 You do damage with words, 1 

and use your tongue to deceive. 2 

50:20 You plot against your brother; 3 

you slander your own brother. 4 

50:21 When you did these things, I was silent, 5 

so you thought I was exactly like you. 6 

But now I will condemn 7  you

and state my case against you! 8 

1 tn Heb “your mouth you send with evil.”

2 tn Heb “and your tongue binds together [i.e., “frames”] deceit.”

3 tn Heb “you sit, against your brother you speak.” To “sit” and “speak” against someone implies plotting against that person (see Ps 119:23).

4 tn Heb “against the son of your mother you give a fault.”

5 tn Heb “these things you did and I was silent.” Some interpret the second clause (“and I was silent”) as a rhetorical question expecting a negative answer, “[When you do these things], should I keep silent?” (cf. NEB). See GKC 335 §112.cc.

sn The Lord was silent in the sense that he delayed punishment. Of course, God’s patience toward sinners eventually runs out. The divine “silence” is only temporary (see v. 3, where the psalmist, having described God’s arrival, observes that “he is not silent”).

6 tn The Hebrew infinitive construct (הֱיוֹת, heyot) appears to function like the infinitive absolute here, adding emphasis to the following finite verbal form (אֶהְיֶה, ’ehyeh). See GKC 339-40 §113.a. Some prefer to emend הֱיוֹת (heyot) to the infinitive absolute form הָיוֹ (hayo).

7 tn Or “rebuke” (see v. 8).

8 tn Heb “and I will set in order [my case against you] to your eyes.” The cohortative form expresses the Lord’s resolve to accuse and judge the wicked.



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