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Psalms 17:9

Context

17:9 Protect me from 1  the wicked men who attack 2  me,

my enemies who crowd around me for the kill. 3 

Psalms 17:11

Context

17:11 They attack me, now they surround me; 4 

they intend to throw me to the ground. 5 

1 tn Heb “from before”; or “because.” In the Hebrew text v. 9 is subordinated to v. 8. The words “protect me” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “destroy.” The psalmist uses the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of danger. He describes the wicked as being already in the process of destroying him.

3 tn Heb “my enemies, at the risk of life they surround me.” The Hebrew phrase בְּנֶפֶשׁ (bÿnefesh) sometimes has the nuance “at the risk of [one’s] life” (see 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23; Lam 5:9).

4 tc Heb “our steps, now they surround me.” The Kethib (consonantal text) has “surround me,” while the Qere (marginal reading) has “surround us,” harmonizing the pronoun to the preceding “our steps.” The first person plural pronoun does not fit the context, where the psalmist speaks as an individual. In the preceding verses the psalmist uses a first person singular verbal or pronominal form twenty times. For this reason it is preferable to emend “our steps” to אִשְּׁרוּנִי (’ishÿruni, “they attack me”) from the verbal root אָשֻׁר (’ashur, “march, stride, track”).

5 tn Heb “their eyes they set to bend down in the ground.”



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