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Psalms 35:15

Context

35:15 But when I stumbled, they rejoiced and gathered together;

they gathered together to ambush me. 1 

They tore at me without stopping to rest. 2 

Psalms 35:19-25

Context

35:19 Do not let those who are my enemies for no reason 3  gloat 4  over me!

Do not let those who hate me without cause carry out their wicked schemes! 5 

35:20 For they do not try to make peace with others, 6 

but plan ways to deceive those who are unsuspecting. 7 

35:21 They are ready to devour me; 8 

they say, “Aha! Aha! We’ve got you!” 9 

35:22 But you take notice, 10  Lord!

O Lord, do not remain far away from me!

35:23 Rouse yourself, wake up 11  and vindicate me! 12 

My God and Lord, defend my just cause! 13 

35:24 Vindicate me by your justice, O Lord my God!

Do not let them gloat 14  over me!

35:25 Do not let them say to themselves, 15  “Aha! We have what we wanted!” 16 

Do not let them say, “We have devoured him!”

1 tn Heb “they gathered together against me, stricken [ones], and I did not know.” The Hebrew form נֵכִים (nekhim, “stricken ones” ?) is problematic. Some suggest an emendation to נָכְרִים[כְ] (kÿnokhÿrim, “foreigners”) or “like foreigners,” which would fit with what follows, “[like] foreigners that I do not recognize.” Perhaps the form should be read as a Qal active participle, נֹכִים (nokhim, “ones who strike”) from the verbal root נָכָה (nakhah, “to strike”). The Qal of this verb is unattested in biblical Hebrew, but the peal (basic) stem appears in Old Aramaic (J. Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire [BibOr], 114; DNWSI 1:730.) In this case one might translate, “attackers gathered together against me though I was not aware of it” (cf. NASB “smiters”; NEB, NRSV “ruffians”; NIV “attackers”).

2 tn Heb “they tore and did not keep quiet.” By using the verb “tear,” the psalmist likens his enemies to a wild animal (see Hos 13:8). In v. 17 he compares them to hungry young lions.

3 tn Heb “[with] a lie.” The Hebrew noun שֶׁקֶר (sheqer, “lie”) is used here as an adverb, “falsely, wrongfully” (see Ps 38:19).

4 tn Heb “rejoice.”

5 tn Heb “[do not let] those who hate me without cause pinch [i.e., wink] an eye.” The negative particle is understood in the second line by ellipsis (see the preceding line). In the Book of Proverbs “winking an eye” is associated with deceit and trickery (see 6:13; 10:10; 16:30).

6 tn Heb “for they do not speak peace.”

7 tn Heb “but against the quiet ones of the land words of deceit they plan.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 20 highlight their characteristic behavior.

8 tn Heb “and they cause their mouth to be wide against me.” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries on the generalizing mood of the previous verse. For other examples of this use of the prefixed verbal form with vav consecutive, see GKC 329 §111.t.

9 tn Heb “our eye sees.” Apparently this is an idiom meaning to “look in triumph” or “gloat over” (see Ps 54:7).

10 tn Heb “you see, O Lord.” There is a deliberate play on words. In v. 21 the enemies say, “our eye sees,” but the psalmist is confident that the Lord “sees” as well, so he appeals to him for help (see also v. 17).

11 sn Though he is confident that the Lord is aware of his situation (see v. 22a), the psalmist compares the Lord’s inactivity to sleep and urges him to wake up.

12 tn Heb “for my justice.”

13 tn Heb “for my cause.”

14 tn Heb “rejoice.”

15 tn Heb “in their heart[s].”

16 tn Heb “Aha! Our desire!” The “desire” of the psalmist’s enemies is to triumph over him.



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