that I remember all of their wicked deeds.
Their evil deeds have now surrounded them;
their sinful deeds are always before me. 2
7:3 The royal advisers delight the king with their evil schemes,
the princes make him glad with their lies.
they 4 are like a smoldering oven;
they are like a baker who does not stoke the fire
until the kneaded dough is ready for baking.
1 tn Heb “and they do not say in their heart”; TEV “It never enters their heads.”
2 tn Heb “they [the sinful deeds] are before my face” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NCV “they are right in front of me.”
3 tc The MT reads מְנָאֲפִים (mÿna’afim, “adulterers”; Piel participle masculine plural from נָאַף, na’af, “to commit adultery”), which does not seem to fit the context. The original reading was probably אוֹפִים (’ofim, “bakers”; Qal participle masculine plural from אָפַה, ’afah, “to bake”), which harmonizes well with the baker/oven/fire motif in 7:4-7. The textual deviation was caused by: (1) confusion of נ (nun) and ו (vav), (2) metathesis of נ/ו (nun/vav) and א (alef), and (3) dittography of מ (mem) from the preceding word. Original כֻּלָּם אוֹפִים (kullam ’ofim, “all of them are bakers”) was confused for כֻּלָּם מְנָאֲפִים (“all of them are adulterers”). In spite of this most English versions follow the reading of the MT here.
4 tc The MT preserves the enigmatic כְּמוֹ תַנּוּר בֹּעֵרָה מֵ (kÿmo tannur bo’erah me, “Like a burning oven, from…?”). The adjectival participle בֹּעֵרָה (“burning”) is feminine while the noun תַנּוּר (tannur, “oven”) that it modifies is masculine. The BHS editors solve this problem by simply redividing the words: כְּמוֹ תַנּוּר בֹּעֵר הֵם (cÿmo tannur bo’er hem, “they are like a burning oven”). This solution is followed by many English versions (e.g., NCV, NRSV, NLT).