Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me—
Why should I fear in days of adversity, When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,
There is no need to fear when times of trouble come, when enemies are surrounding me.
So why should I fear in bad times, hemmed in by enemy malice,
What cause have I for fear in the days of evil, when the evil-doing of those who are working for my downfall is round about me?
Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “days of trouble.” The phrase also occurs in Ps 94:13. The question is rhetorical; there is no reason to be afraid when the rich oppressors threaten the weak (see v. 17). The following verses explain why this is so.
2 tc The MT has, “the iniquity of my heels surrounds me.” The clause is best understood as temporal and as elaborating on the preceding phrase “times of trouble.” If the MT is retained, the genitive “of my heels” would probably indicate location (“the iniquity at my heels”); the sinful actions of the rich threaten to overtake the psalmist, as it were. It is better, however, to emend עֲקֵבַי (’aqivay, “my heels”) to either (1) עֲקֻבַּי (’aqubay, “my deceitful ones,” i.e., “those who deceive me” [from the adjective עָקֹב (’aqov), “deceitful,” see Jer 17:9]) or (2) עֹקְבַי (’oqÿvay, “those who deceive me” [a suffixed active participle from עָקַב, ’aqav, “betray, deceive”]). Origen’s transliteration of the Hebrew text favors the first of these options. Either of the emendations provides a much smoother transition to v. 6, because “those who trust in their wealth” would then be appositional to “those who deceive me.”