31:9 Have mercy on me, for I am in distress!
I have lost my strength. 3
31:10 For my life nears its end in pain;
my years draw to a close as I groan. 4
My strength fails me because of 5 my sin,
and my bones become brittle. 6
my neighbors are appalled by my suffering 8 –
those who know me are horrified by my condition; 9
those who see me in the street run away from me.
I am regarded as worthless, like a broken jar. 11
the terrifying news that comes from every direction. 13
When they plot together against me,
they figure out how they can take my life.
31:14 But I trust in you, O Lord!
I declare, “You are my God!”
Rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me.
Deliver me because of your faithfulness!
31:17 O Lord, do not let me be humiliated,
for I call out to you!
May evil men be humiliated!
May they go wailing to the grave! 16
31:18 May lying lips be silenced –
with arrogance and contempt!
which you store up for your loyal followers! 20
you conceal them in a shelter, where they are safe from slanderous attacks. 25
for he demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to me when I was besieged by enemies. 27
“I am cut off from your presence!” 29
But you heard my plea for mercy when I cried out to you for help.
The Lord protects those who have integrity,
but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly. 31
all you who wait on the Lord!
[31:9] 3 tn Heb “my breath and my stomach [grow weak].” Apparently the verb in the previous line (“grow dim, be weakened”) is to be understood here. The Hebrew term נפשׁ can mean “life,” or, more specifically, “throat, breath.” The psalmist seems to be lamenting that his breathing is impaired because of the physical and emotional suffering he is forced to endure.
[31:11] 8 tc Heb “and to my neighbors, exceedingly.” If the MT is retained, then these words probably go with what precedes. However the syntactical awkwardness of the text suggests it is textually corrupt. P. C. Craigie (Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 258) suggests that the initial mem (מ) on מְאֹד (me’od, “exceedingly”) be understood as an enclitic mem (ם) which was originally suffixed to the preceding form and then later misinterpreted. The resulting form אֵד (’ed) can then be taken as a defectively written form of אֵיד (’ed, “calamity”). If one follows this emendation, then the text reads literally, “and to my neighbors [I am one who experiences] calamity.” The noun פַחַד (fakhad, “[object of] horror”) occurs in the next line; אֵיד and פַחַד appear in parallelism elsewhere (see Prov 1:26-27).
[31:17] 16 tn The verb יִדְּמוּ (yiddÿmu) is understood as a form of דָּמַם (damam, “wail, lament”). Another option is to take the verb from דָּמַם (“be quiet”; see BDB 198-99 s.v. I דָּמַם), in which case one might translate, “May they lie silent in the grave.”
[31:19] 21 tn “Taking shelter” in the
[31:21] 27 tn Heb “for he caused his faithfulness to be amazing to me in a besieged city.” The psalmist probably speaks figuratively here. He compares his crisis to being trapped in a besieged city, but the