[b-hebrew] Psalm 10:10

JBarach at aol.com JBarach at aol.com
Wed Feb 28 17:57:38 EST 2007


BHaverim --
 
What in the world do you do with Psalm 10:10?  In particular, what are  the 
first two words?
 
DCCH appears to come from the root DCH, which as to do with crushing and  
oppressing.  The doubled C suggests that the form might be piel.   Holladay's 
lexicon lists it as a qal imperfect, perhaps taking the vav at the  beginning of 
the word as a lengthened yod, but that really doesn't explain the  doubled C, 
nor is the qal form attested elsewhere.
 
Alexander's commentary on the Psalms takes it to be a participle and  renders 
it "bruised," but that would require a nif. participle (passive),  wouldn't 
it?  If it was a qal or piel participle, not only would the form  be weird but 
it would be active ("bruising, crushing") not passive ("bruised,  crushed"), 
right?
 
Alexander also seems to be taking it to refer to the person who is being  
oppressed by the lion-like wicked man here, and so he renders the whole phrase  
"Bruised he sinks down."  But if it's active, not passive, then it would  have 
to be something like "He crushes.  He ..."
 
Well, what do you do with that second word?  The root seems to have to  do 
with crouching or stooping, according to Holladay's lexicon.  In Job  38:40, it 
refers to a lion crouching in a den.  In Isaiah 2:11,17, however,  it appears 
to refer to stooping in humility.  
 
So does it refer to the victims ("He stoops") or the attacker ("He  crouches" 
... like a lion, as the previous verse said)?  What's the  connection between 
the words in this phrase?
 
Is it "Crushed, he stoops" -- referring to the victim, parallel to the next  
line ("He falls by his strong ones, the victims" -- a translation that makes 
me  wonder why "victims" is plural and "he falls" singular)?  That's how the  
NIV renders it (never an accurate translation at the best of times): "His  
victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength."
 
Or is it "He crushes.  He crouches.  And the victims fall --  again, why is 
that singular? -- by his strong ones"?  The NKJV seem to take  DCCH to refer to 
"crouching" of all things: "He crouches, he lies low, that the  helpless may 
fall by his strength."  Can DCCH refer to crouching and not  crushing?  What's 
the evidence for that?
 
In short: I'm baffled.  Help!
 
Thanks!
 
John
 
 
 
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