the snares of death trapped me. 2
the snares 4 of Sheol confronted me.
I was confronted 5 with trouble and sorrow.
140:5 Proud men hide a snare for me;
evil men 6 spread a net by the path;
they set traps for me. (Selah)
1 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
2 tn Heb “confronted me.”
3 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
4 tn The Hebrew noun מצר (“straits; distress”) occurs only here, Ps 118:5 and Lam 1:3. If retained, it refers to Sheol as a place where one is confined or severely restricted (cf. BDB 865 s.v. מֵצַר, “the straits of Sheol”; NIV “the anguish of the grave”; NRSV “the pangs of Sheol”). However, HALOT 624 s.v. מֵצַר suggests an emendation to מְצָדֵי (mÿtsadey, “snares of”), a rare noun attested in Job 19:6 and Eccl 7:26. This proposal, which is reflected in the translation, produces better parallelism with “ropes” in the preceding line.
5 tn The translation assumes the prefixed verbal form is a preterite. The psalmist recalls the crisis from which the Lord delivered him.
6 tn Heb “and ropes,” but many prefer to revocalize the noun as a participle (חֹבְלִים, khovÿlim) from the verb חָבַל (khaval, “act corruptly”).