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Psalms 7:9

Context

7:9 May the evil deeds of the wicked 1  come to an end! 2 

But make the innocent 3  secure, 4 

O righteous God,

you who examine 5  inner thoughts and motives! 6 

Psalms 7:14-16

Context

7:14 See the one who is pregnant with wickedness,

who conceives destructive plans,

and gives birth to harmful lies – 7 

7:15 he digs a pit 8 

and then falls into the hole he has made. 9 

7:16 He becomes the victim of his own destructive plans 10 

and the violence he intended for others falls on his own head. 11 

1 tn In the psalms the Hebrew term רְשָׁעִים (rÿshaim, “wicked”) describes people who are proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). They oppose God and his people.

2 tn The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation here.

3 tn Or “the godly” (see Ps 5:12). The singular form is collective (see the plural “upright in heart” in v. 10), though it may reflect the personal focus of the psalmist in this context.

4 tn The prefixed verbal form expresses the psalmist’s prayer or wish.

5 tn For other uses of the verb in this sense, see Job 7:18; Pss 11:4; 26:2; 139:23.

6 tn Heb “and [the one who] tests hearts and kidneys, just God.” The translation inverts the word order to improve the English style. The heart and kidneys were viewed as the seat of one’s volition, conscience, and moral character.

7 tn Heb “and he conceives harm and gives birth to a lie.”

sn Pregnant with wickedness…gives birth to harmful lies. The psalmist metaphorically pictures the typical sinner as a pregnant woman, who is ready to give birth to wicked, destructive schemes and actions.

8 tn Heb “a pit he digs and he excavates it.” Apparently the imagery of hunting is employed; the wicked sinner digs this pit to entrap and destroy his intended victim. The redundancy in the Hebrew text has been simplified in the translation.

9 tn The verb forms in vv. 15-16 describe the typical behavior and destiny of those who attempt to destroy others. The image of the evildoer falling into the very trap he set for his intended victim emphasizes the appropriate nature of God’s judgment.

10 tn Heb “his harm [i.e., the harm he conceived for others, see v. 14] returns on his head.”

11 tn Heb “and on his forehead his violence [i.e., the violence he intended to do to others] comes down.”



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