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Psalms 17:6-9

Context

17:6 I call to you for you will answer me, O God.

Listen to me! 1 

Hear what I say! 2 

17:7 Accomplish awesome, faithful deeds, 3 

you who powerfully deliver those who look to you for protection from their enemies. 4 

17:8 Protect me as you would protect the pupil of your eye! 5 

Hide me in the shadow of your wings! 6 

17:9 Protect me from 7  the wicked men who attack 8  me,

my enemies who crowd around me for the kill. 9 

1 tn Heb “Turn your ear toward me.”

2 tn Heb “my word.”

3 tn Heb “Set apart faithful acts.”

4 tn Heb “[O] one who delivers those who seek shelter from the ones raising themselves up, by your right hand.” The Lord’s “right hand” here symbolizes his power to protect and deliver.

sn Those who look to you for protection from their enemies. “Seeking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).

5 tc Heb “Protect me like the pupil, a daughter of an eye.” The noun בַּת (bat, “daughter”) should probably be emended to בָּבַת (bavat, “pupil”). See Zech 2:12 HT (2:8 ET) and HALOT 107 s.v. *בָּבָה.

6 sn Your wings. The metaphor compares God to a protective mother bird.

7 tn Heb “from before”; or “because.” In the Hebrew text v. 9 is subordinated to v. 8. The words “protect me” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “destroy.” The psalmist uses the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of danger. He describes the wicked as being already in the process of destroying him.

9 tn Heb “my enemies, at the risk of life they surround me.” The Hebrew phrase בְּנֶפֶשׁ (bÿnefesh) sometimes has the nuance “at the risk of [one’s] life” (see 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23; Lam 5:9).



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