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Psalms 11:1

Context
Psalm 11 1 

For the music director; by David.

11:1 In the Lord I have taken shelter. 2 

How can you say to me, 3 

“Flee to a mountain like a bird! 4 

Psalms 50:16

Context

50:16 God says this to the evildoer: 5 

“How can you declare my commands,

and talk about my covenant? 6 

1 sn Psalm 11. The psalmist rejects the advice to flee from his dangerous enemies. Instead he affirms his confidence in God’s just character and calls down judgment on evildoers.

2 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.

3 tn The pronominal suffix attached to נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) is equivalent to a personal pronoun. See Ps 6:3.

4 tc The MT is corrupt here. The Kethib (consonantal text) reads: “flee [masculine plural!] to your [masculine plural!] mountain, bird.” The Qere (marginal reading) has “flee” in a feminine singular form, agreeing grammatically with the addressee, the feminine noun “bird.” Rather than being a second masculine plural pronominal suffix, the ending כֶם- (-khem) attached to “mountain” is better interpreted as a second feminine singular pronominal suffix followed by an enclitic mem (ם). “Bird” may be taken as vocative (“O bird”) or as an adverbial accusative of manner (“like a bird”). Either way, the psalmist’s advisers compare him to a helpless bird whose only option in the face of danger is to fly away to an inaccessible place.

5 tn Heb “evil [one].” The singular adjective is used here in a representative sense; it refers to those within the larger covenant community who have blatantly violated the Lord’s commandments. In the psalms the “wicked” (רְשָׁעִים, rÿshaim) are typically proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander, and cheat others (Ps 37:21).

6 tn Heb “What to you to declare my commands and lift up my covenant upon your mouth?” The rhetorical question expresses sarcastic amazement. The Lord is shocked that such evildoers would give lip-service to his covenantal demands, for their lifestyle is completely opposed to his standards (see vv. 18-20).



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