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Psalms 52:2-5

Context

52:2 Your tongue carries out your destructive plans; 1 

it is as effective as a sharp razor, O deceiver. 2 

52:3 You love evil more than good,

lies more than speaking the truth. 3  (Selah)

52:4 You love to use all the words that destroy, 4 

and the tongue that deceives.

52:5 Yet 5  God will make you a permanent heap of ruins. 6 

He will scoop you up 7  and remove you from your home; 8 

he will uproot you from the land of the living. (Selah)

1 tn Heb “destruction your tongue devises.”

2 tn Heb “like a sharpened razor, doer of deceit.” The masculine participle עָשָׂה (’asah) is understood as a substantival vocative, addressed to the powerful man.

3 tn Or “deceit more than speaking what is right.”

4 tn Heb “you love all the words of swallowing.” Traditionally בַּלַּע (bala’) has been taken to mean “swallowing” in the sense of “devouring” or “destructive” (see BDB 118 s.v. בָּלַע). HALOT 135 s.v. III *בֶּלַע proposes a homonym here, meaning “confusion.” This would fit the immediate context nicely and provide a close parallel to the following line, which refers to deceptive words.

5 tn The adverb גַּם (gam, “also; even”) is translated here in an adversative sense (“yet”). It highlights the contrastive correspondence between the evildoer’s behavior and God’s response.

6 tn Heb “will tear you down forever.”

7 tn This rare verb (חָתָה, khatah) occurs only here and in Prov 6:27; 25:22; Isa 30:14.

8 tn Heb “from [your] tent.”



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