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Psalms 37:15


37:15 Their swords will pierce 1  their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken.

Psalms 37:17


37:17 for evil men will lose their power, 2 

but the Lord sustains 3  the godly.

Psalms 37:19-20


37:19 They will not be ashamed when hard times come; 4 

when famine comes they will have enough to eat. 5 

37:20 But 6  evil men will die;

the Lord’s enemies will be incinerated 7 

they will go up in smoke. 8 

1 tn Heb “enter into.”

2 tn Heb “for the arms of the evil ones will be broken.”

3 tn The active participle here indicates this is characteristically true.

4 tn Heb “in a time of trouble.”

5 tn Heb “in days of famine they will be satisfied.”

6 tn Or “for,” but Hebrew כי in this case would have to extend all the way back to v. 17a. Another option is to understand the particle as asseverative, “surely” (see v. 22).

7 tc The meaning of the MT (כִּיקַר כָּרִים [kiqar karim], “like what is precious among the pastures/rams”) is uncertain. One possibility is to take the noun כָּרִים as “pastures” and interpret “what is precious” as referring to flowers that blossom but then quickly disappear (see v. 2 and BDB 430 s.v. יָקָר 3). If כָּרִים is taken as “rams,” then “what is precious” might refer to the choicest portions of rams. The present translation follows a reading in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4QpPs37), כיקוד כורם (“like the burning of an oven”). The next line, which pictures the Lord’s enemies being consumed in smoke, supports this reading, which assumes confusion of the Hebrew letters resh (ר) and dalet (ד) at the end of the first word in the sequence.

8 tn Heb “they perish in smoke, they perish.” In addition to repeating the verb for emphasis, the psalmist uses the perfect form of the verb to picture the enemies’ demise as if it had already taken place. In this way he draws attention to the certitude of their judgment.

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