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Psalms 73:8-9

Context

73:8 They mock 1  and say evil things; 2 

they proudly threaten violence. 3 

73:9 They speak as if they rule in heaven,

and lay claim to the earth. 4 

1 tn The verb מוּק (muq, “mock”) occurs only here in the OT.

2 tn Heb “and speak with evil.”

3 tn Heb “oppression from an elevated place they speak.” The traditional accentuation of the MT places “oppression” with the preceding line. In this case, one might translate, “they mock and speak with evil [of] oppression, from an elevated place [i.e., “proudly”] they speak.” By placing “oppression” with what follows, one achieves better poetic balance in the parallelism.

4 tn Heb “they set in heaven their mouth, and their tongue walks through the earth.” The meaning of the text is uncertain. Perhaps the idea is that they lay claim to heaven (i.e., speak as if they were ruling in heaven) and move through the earth declaring their superiority and exerting their influence. Some take the preposition -בְּ (bet) the first line as adversative and translate, “they set their mouth against heaven,” that is, they defy God.



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