What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web.
Whose confidence is fragile, And whose trust a spider’s web.
Everything they count on will collapse. They are leaning on a spiderweb.
They hang their life from one thin thread, they hitch their fate to a spider web.
Whose support is cut off, and whose hope is no stronger than a spider’s thread.
Their confidence is gossamer, a spider’s house their trust.
Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider’s web.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The relative pronoun introduces the verse as a relative clause, working with the “godless person” of the preceding verse. The relative pronoun is joined to the resumptive pronoun in the translation: “who + his trust” = “whose trust.”
3 tn The word יָקוֹט (yaqot) is not known anywhere else; here it looks like it should be a noun to parallel “spider’s house” in the next colon. But scholars have tried to identify it as a verb, perhaps an imperfect of קוֹט (qot, BDB 876 s.v.), or related to an Arabic qatta, “to cut.” Some versions have “break in sunder” (KJV, RV); others “cut off” (RSV). Apart from verbs, some commentators follow Sa`adia’s Arabic translation “sun cords,” meaning “gossamer.” Accordingly, there are emendations like “threads,” “threads of summer,” “spider threads,” and the like. D. J. A. Clines agrees with those who conclude that emendations based on Sa`adia’s translation lack a sound philological basis. E. Dhorme “somewhat timidly” suggests יַלְקוּט (yalqut), the shepherd’s bag or scrip (1 Sam 17:40). He suggests that an empty bag would be a symbol of something unstable and futile. It seems impossible to determine exactly what the word meant. One can only conclude that it means something like “fragile” or “futile.” The LXX is of no help: “for his house shall be without inhabitants.”
4 sn The second half of the verse is very clear. What the godless person relies on for security is as fragile as a spider’s web – he may as well have nothing. The people of the Middle East view the spider’s web as the frailest of all “houses.”