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Psalms 64:8-9

Context

64:8 Their slander will bring about their demise. 1 

All who see them will shudder, 2 

64:9 and all people will fear. 3 

They will proclaim 4  what God has done,

and reflect on his deeds.

1 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.

2 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.

3 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss read וַיִּרְאוּ (vayyiru, “and they will see”) instead of וַיִּירְאוּ (vayyirÿu, “and they will proclaim”).

4 tn Heb “the work of God,” referring to the judgment described in v. 7.



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