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Psalm 5:8-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Lord, lead me in your righteousness[a]
because of those who wait to ambush me,[b]
remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me.[c]
For[d] they do not speak the truth;[e]
their stomachs are like the place of destruction,[f]
their throats like an open grave,[g]
their tongues like a steep slope leading into it.[h]
10 Condemn them,[i] O God!
May their own schemes be their downfall.[j]
Drive them away[k] because of their many acts of insurrection,[l]
for they have rebelled against you.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:8 tn God’s providential leading is in view. His צְדָקָה (tsedaqah, “righteousness”) includes here the deliverance that originates in his righteousness; he protects and vindicates the one whose cause is just. For other examples of this use of the word, see BDB 842 s.v.
  2. Psalm 5:8 tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 27:11; 56:2.
  3. Psalm 5:8 tn Heb “make level before me your way.” The imperative “make level” is Hiphil in the Kethib (consonantal text); Piel in the Qere (marginal reading). God’s “way” is here the way in which he leads the psalmist providentially (see the preceding line, where the psalmist asks the Lord to lead him).
  4. Psalm 5:9 tn Or “certainly.”
  5. Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “for there is not in his mouth truthfulness.” The singular pronoun (“his”) probably refers back to the “man of bloodshed and deceit” mentioned in v. 6. The singular is collective or representative, as the plural in the next line indicates, and so has been translated “they.”
  6. Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “their inward part[s] [is] destruction.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse.
  7. Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “their throat is an open grave.” For a discussion of the extended metaphor in v. 9b, see the note on the word “it” at the end of the verse. The metaphor is suggested by the physical resemblance of the human throat to a deeply dug grave; both are dark chasms.
  8. Psalm 5:9 tn Heb “they make smooth their tongue.” Flattering, deceitful words are in view. See Ps 12:2. The psalmist’s deceitful enemies are compared to the realm of death/Sheol in v. 9b. Sheol was envisioned as a dark region within the earth, the entrance to which was the grave with its steep slopes (cf. Ps 88:4-6). The enemies’ victims are pictured here as slipping down a steep slope (the enemies’ tongues) and falling into an open grave (their throat) that terminates in destruction in the inner recesses of Sheol (their stomach). The enemies’ קֶרֶב (qerev, “inward part”) refers here to their thoughts and motives, which are destructive in their intent. The throat is where these destructive thoughts are transformed into words, and their tongue is what they use to speak the deceitful words that lead their innocent victims to their demise.sn As the psalmist walks down the path in which God leads him, he asks the Lord to guide his steps and remove danger from the path (v. 8), because he knows his enemies have “dug a grave” for him and are ready to use their deceitful words to “swallow him up” like the realm of death (i.e., Sheol) and bring him to ruin.
  9. Psalm 5:10 tn Heb “declare/regard them as guilty.” Declaring the psalmist’s adversaries guilty is here metonymic for judging them or paying them back for their wrongdoing.
  10. Psalm 5:10 tn Heb “may they fall from their plans.” The prefixed verbal form is a jussive, expressing an imprecation. The psalmist calls judgment down on the evildoers. Their plans will be their downfall in that God will judge them for their evil schemes.
  11. Psalm 5:10 tn Or “banish them.”
  12. Psalm 5:10 tn The Hebrew noun used here, פֶּשַׁע (peshaʿ), refers to rebellious actions. The psalmist pictures his enemies as rebels against God (see the next line).
New English Translation (NET)

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