or else I could bear it;
it is not one who hates me who arrogantly taunts me, 2
or else I could hide from him.
but he harbors animosity in his heart. 4
His words seem softer than oil,
but they are really like sharp swords. 5
1 tn Or “for.”
3 tn Heb “the butter-like [words] of his mouth are smooth.” The noun מַחְמָאֹת (makhma’ot, “butter-like [words]”) occurs only here. Many prefer to emend the form to מֵחֶמְאָה (mekhem’ah, from [i.e., “than”] butter”), cf. NEB, NRSV “smoother than butter.” However, in this case “his mouth” does not agree in number with the plural verb חָלְקוּ (kholqu, “they are smooth”). Therefore some further propose an emendation of פִּיו (piv, “his mouth”) to פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”). In any case, the point seems to that the psalmist’s former friend spoke kindly to him and gave the outward indications of friendship.
4 tn Heb “and war [is in] his heart.”
5 tn Heb “his words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords.”