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Psalms 64:3-4

Context

64:3 They 1  sharpen their tongues like a sword;

they aim their arrow, a slanderous charge, 2 

64:4 in order to shoot down the innocent 3  in secluded places.

They shoot at him suddenly and are unafraid of retaliation. 4 

Psalms 64:8

Context

64:8 Their slander will bring about their demise. 5 

All who see them will shudder, 6 

1 tn Heb “who.” A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “a bitter word.”

3 tn The psalmist uses the singular because he is referring to himself here as representative of a larger group.

4 tn Heb “and are unafraid.” The words “of retaliation” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

5 tc The MT reads literally, “and they caused him to stumble, upon them, their tongue.” Perhaps the third plural subject of the verb is indefinite with the third singular pronominal suffix on the verb being distributive (see Ps 63:10). In this case one may translate, “each one will be made to stumble.” The preposition עַל (’al) might then be taken as adversative, “against them [is] their tongue.” Many prefer to emend the text to וַיַּכְשִׁילֵמוֹ עֲלֵי לְשׁוֹנָם (vayyakhshilemoaley lÿshonam, “and he caused them to stumble over their tongue”). However, if this reading is original, it is difficult to see how the present reading of the MT arose. Furthermore, the preposition is not collocated with the verb כָּשַׁל (kashal) elsewhere. It is likely that the MT is corrupt, but a satisfying emendation has not yet been proposed.

6 tn The Hitpolel verbal form is probably from the root נוּד (nud; see HALOT 678 s.v. נוד), which is attested elsewhere in the Hitpolel stem, not the root נָדַד (nadad, as proposed by BDB 622 s.v. I נָדַד), which does not occur elsewhere in this stem.



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