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May the godly strike me in love and correct me.
May my head not refuse[a] choice oil.[b]
Indeed, my prayer is a witness against their evil deeds.[c]

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 141:5 tn The form יָנִי (yani) appears to be derived from the verbal root נוּא (nuʾ). Another option is to emend the form to יְנָא (yenaʾ), a Piel from נָאָה (naʾah), and translate “may choice oil not adorn my head” (see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 271). In this case, choice oil, like delicacies in v. 4, symbolize the pleasures of sin.
  2. Psalm 141:5 sn May my head not refuse choice oil. The psalmist compares the constructive criticism of the godly (see the previous line) to having refreshing olive oil poured over one’s head.
  3. Psalm 141:5 tc Heb “for still, and my prayer [is] against their evil deeds.” The syntax of the Hebrew text is difficult; the sequence -כִּי־עוֹד וּ (ki ʿod u-, “for still and”) occurs only here. The translation assumes an emendation to כִּי עֵד תְּפִלָּתִי (ki ʿed tefillati, “indeed a witness [is] my prayer”). The psalmist’s lament about the evil actions of sinful men (see v. 4) testifies against the wicked in the divine court.

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