No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—
No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him—
Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God.
Really! There's no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
Truly, no man may get back his soul for a price, or give to God the payment for himself;
Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life, there is no price one can give to God for it.
None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him––
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “a brother, he surely does not ransom, a man.” The sequence אִישׁ...אָח (’akh...’ish, “a brother…a man”) is problematic, for the usual combination is אָח...אָח (“a brother…a brother”) or אִישׁ...אִישׁ (“a man…a man”). When אִישׁ and אָח are combined, the usual order is אָח...אִישׁ (“a man…a brother”), with “brother” having a third masculine singular suffix, “his brother.” This suggests that “brother” is the object of the verb and “man” the subject. (1) Perhaps the altered word order and absence of the suffix can be explained by the text’s poetic character, for ellipsis is a feature of Hebrew poetic style. (2) Another option, supported by a few medieval Hebrew
2 tn Heb “he cannot pay to God his ransom price.” Num 35:31 may supply the legal background for the metaphorical language used here. The psalmist pictures God as having a claim on the soul of the individual. When God comes to claim the life that ultimately belongs to him, he demands a ransom price that is beyond the capability of anyone to pay. The psalmist’s point is that God has ultimate authority over life and death; all the money in the world cannot buy anyone a single day of life beyond what God has decreed.