Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave, for evil finds lodging among them.
Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.
Let death seize my enemies by surprise; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.
Haul my betrayers off alive to hell--let them experience the horror, let them feel every desolate detail of a damned life.
Let the hand of death come on them suddenly, and let them go down living into the underworld; because evil is in their houses and in their hearts.
Let death come upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol; for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tc The meaning of the MT is unclear. The Kethib (consonantal text) reads יַשִּׁימָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashimavet ’alemo, “May devastation [be] upon them!”). The proposed noun יַשִּׁימָוֶת occurs only here and perhaps in the place name Beth-Jeshimoth in Num 33:49. The Qere (marginal text) has יַשִּׁי מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashi mavet ’alemo). The verbal form יַשִּׁי is apparently an alternate form of יַשִּׁיא (yashi’), a Hiphil imperfect from נָשַׁא (nasha’, “deceive”). In this case one might read “death will come deceptively upon them.” This reading has the advantage of reading מָוֶת (mavet, “death”) which forms a natural parallel with “Sheol” in the next line. The present translation is based on the following reconstruction of the text: יְשִׁמֵּם מָוֶת (yeshimmem mavet). The verb assumed in the reconstruction is a Hiphil jussive third masculine singular from שָׁמַם (shamam, “be desolate”) with a third masculine plural pronominal suffix attached. This reconstruction assumes that (1) haplography has occurred in the traditional text (the original sequence of three mems [מ] was lost with only one mem remaining), resulting in the fusion of originally distinct forms in the Kethib, and (2) that עָלֵימוֹ (’alemo, “upon them”) is a later scribal addition attempting to make sense of a garbled and corrupt text. The preposition עַל (’al) does occur with the verb שָׁמַם (shamam), but in such cases the expression means “be appalled at/because of” (see Jer 49:20; 50:45). If one were to retain the prepositional phrase here, one would have to read the text as follows: יַשִּׁים מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ (yashim mavet ’alemo, “Death will be appalled at them”). The idea seems odd, to say the least. Death is not collocated with this verb elsewhere.
2 sn Go down alive. This curse imagines a swift and sudden death for the psalmist’s enemies.