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Psalms 41:4-10


41:4 As for me, I said: 1 

“O Lord, have mercy on me!

Heal me, for I have sinned against you!

41:5 My enemies ask this cruel question about me, 2 

‘When will he finally die and be forgotten?’ 3 

41:6 When someone comes to visit, 4  he pretends to be friendly; 5 

he thinks of ways to defame me, 6 

and when he leaves he slanders me. 7 

41:7 All who hate me whisper insults about me to one another; 8 

they plan ways to harm me.

41:8 They say, 9 

‘An awful disease 10  overwhelms him, 11 

and now that he is bed-ridden he will never recover.’ 12 

41:9 Even my close friend 13  whom I trusted,

he who shared meals with me, has turned against me. 14 

41:10 As for you, O Lord, have mercy on me and raise me up,

so I can pay them back!” 15 

1 sn In vv. 4-10 the psalmist recites the prayer of petition and lament he offered to the Lord.

2 tn Heb “my enemies speak evil concerning me.”

3 tn Heb “and his name perish.”

4 tn Heb “to see.”

5 tn Heb “he speaks deceitfully.”

6 tn Heb “his heart gathers sin to itself.”

7 tn Heb “he goes outside and speaks.”

8 tn Heb “together against me they whisper, all those who hate me.” The Hitpael of לָחַשׁ (lakhash) refers here to whispering to one another (see 2 Sam 12:19).

9 tn The words “they say” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to make it clear that v. 8 contains a quotation of what the psalmist’s enemies say about him (see v. 7a).

10 tn Heb “thing of worthlessness.” In Ps 101:3 the phrase refers to evil deeds in general, but here it appears to refer more specifically to the illness that plagues the psalmist.

11 tn Heb “is poured out on him.” The passive participle of יָצַק (yatsaq) is used.

12 tn Heb “and he who lies down will not again arise.”

13 tn Heb “man of my peace.” The phrase here refers to one’s trusted friend (see Jer 38:22; Obad 7).

14 tn Heb “has made a heel great against me.” The precise meaning of this phrase, which appears only here, is uncertain.

sn The language of this verse is applied to Judas Iscariot in John 13:18.

15 tn The cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) here indicates purpose or result (“Then I will repay them”) after the preceding imperatives.

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