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Psalms 49:9

Context

49:9 so that he might continue to live 1  forever

and not experience death. 2 

Psalms 49:14

Context

49:14 They will travel to Sheol like sheep, 3 

with death as their shepherd. 4 

The godly will rule 5  over them when the day of vindication dawns; 6 

Sheol will consume their bodies and they will no longer live in impressive houses. 7 

1 tn The jussive verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive is taken as indicating purpose/result in relation to the statement made in v. 8. (On this use of the jussive after an imperfect, see GKC 322 §109.f.) In this case v. 8 is understood as a parenthetical comment.

2 tn Heb “see the Pit.” The Hebrew term שַׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 16:10; 30:9; 55:24; 103:4).

3 tn Heb “like sheep to Sheol they are appointed.” The verb form שַׁתּוּ (shatu) is apparently derived from שָׁתַת (shatat), which appears to be a variant of the more common שִׁית (shiyt, “to place; to set”; BDB 1060 s.v. שָׁתַת and GKC 183 §67.ee). Some scholars emend the text to שָׁחוּ (shakhu; from the verbal root שׁוּח [shukh, “sink down”]) and read “they descend.” The present translation assumes an emendation to שָׁטוּ (shatu; from the verbal root שׁוּט [shut, “go; wander”]), “they travel, wander.” (The letter tet [ט] and tav [ת] sound similar; a scribe transcribing from dictation could easily confuse them.) The perfect verbal form is used in a rhetorical manner to speak of their destiny as if it were already realized (the so-called perfect of certitude or prophetic perfect).

4 tn Heb “death will shepherd them,” that is, death itself (personified here as a shepherd) will lead them like a flock of helpless, unsuspecting sheep to Sheol, the underworld, the land of the dead.

5 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive carries the same force as the perfect verbal form in v. 14a. The psalmist speaks of this coming event as if it were already accomplished.

6 tn Heb “will rule over them in the morning.” “Morning” here is a metaphor for a time of deliverance and vindication after the dark “night” of trouble (see Pss 30:5; 46:5; 59:16; 90:14; 143:8; Isa 17:14). In this context the psalmist confidently anticipates a day of vindication when the Lord will deliver the oppressed from the rich (see v. 15) and send the oppressors to Sheol.

7 tn Heb “their form [will become an object] for the consuming of Sheol, from a lofty residence, to him.” The meaning of this syntactically difficult text is uncertain. The translation assumes that צוּר (tsur, “form”; this is the Qere [marginal] reading; the Kethib has צִירָם [tsiram, “their image”]) refers to their physical form or bodies. “Sheol” is taken as the subject of “consume” (on the implied “become” before the infinitive “to consume” see GKC 349 §114.k). The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to “lofty residence” is understood as privative, “away from; so as not.” The preposition -ל (lamed) is possessive, while the third person pronominal suffix is understood as a representative singular.



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