Psalm 58:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,

King James Bible
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

American Standard Version
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Their madness is according to the likeness of a serpent: like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ears:

English Revised Version
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Webster's Bible Translation
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Psalm 58:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In this second half of the Psalm the poet refreshes himself with the thought of seeing that for which he longs and prays realized even with the dawning of the morning after this night of wretchedness. The perfect in Psalm 57:7 is the perfect of certainty; the other perfects state what preceded and is now changed into the destruction of the crafty ones themselves. If the clause כּפף נפשׁי is rendered: my soul was bowed down (cf. חלל, Psalm 109:22), it forms no appropriate corollary to the crafty laying of snares. Hence kpp must be taken as transitive: he had bowed down my soul; the change of number in the mention of the enemies is very common in the Psalms relating to these trials, whether it be that the poet has one enemy κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν before his mind or comprehends them all in one. Even the lxx renders καὶ κατέκαμψαν τὴν ψυχὴν μου, it is true, as though it were וכפפו, but can scarcely have read it thus. This line is still remarkable; one would expect for Psalm 57:7 a thought parallel with Psalm 57:7, and perhaps the poet wrote כפף נפשׁו, his (the net-layer's) own soul bends (viz., in order to fall into the net). Then כפף like נפל would be praet. confidentiae. In this certainty, to express which the music here becomes triumphantly forte, David's heart is confident, cheerful (Symmachus ἐδραία), and a powerful inward impulse urges him to song and harp. Although נכון may signify ready, equipped (Exodus 34:2; Job 12:5), yet this meaning is to be rejected here in view of Psalm 51:12, Psalm 78:37, Psalm 112:7 : it is not appropriate to the emphatic repetition of the word. His evening mood which found expression in Psalm 57:4, was hope of victory; the morning mood into which David here transports himself, is certainty of victory. He calls upon his soul to awake (כּבודי as in Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:13), he calls upon harp and cithern to awake (הנּבל וכנּור with one article that avails for both words, as in Jeremiah 29:3; Nehemiah 1:5; and עוּרה with the accent on the ultima on account of the coming together of two aspirates), from which he has not parted even though a fugitive; with the music of stringed instruments and with song he will awake the not yet risen dawn, the sun still slumbering in its chamber: אעירה, expergefaciam (not expergiscar), as e.g., in Sol 2:7, and as Ovid (Metam. xi. 597) says of the cock, evocat auroram.

(Note: With reference to the above passage in the Psalms, the Talmud, B. Berachoth 3b, says, "A cithern used to hang above David's bed; and when midnight came, the north wind blew among the strings, so that they sounded of themselves; and forthwith he arose and busied himself with the Tra until the pillar of the dawn (עמוד השׁחר) ascended." Rashi observes, "The dawn awakes the other kings; but I, said David, will awake the dawn (אני מעורר את השׁחר).")

His song of praise, however, shall not resound in a narrow space where it is scarcely heard; he will step forth as the evangelist of his deliverance and of his Deliverer in the world of nations (בעמּים; and the parallel word, as also in Psalm 108:4; Psalm 149:7, is to be written בּלעמּים with Lamed raphatum and Metheg before it); his vocation extends beyond Israel, and the events of his life are to be for the benefit of mankind. Here we perceive the self-consciousness of a comprehensive mission, which accompanied David from the beginning to the end of his royal career (vid., Psalm 18:50). What is expressed in v. 11 is both motive and theme of the discourse among the peoples, viz., God's mercy and truth which soar high as the heavens (Psalm 36:6). That they extend even to the heavens is only an earthly conception of their infinity (cf. Ephesians 3:18). In the refrain, v. 12, which only differs in one letter from Psalm 57:6, the Psalm comes back to the language of prayer. Heaven and earth have a mutually involved history, and the blessed, glorious end of this history is the sunrise of the divine doxa over both, here prayed for.

Psalm 58:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

poison

Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

Ecclesiastes 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

like [heb.] according to the likeness of a serpent.

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers...

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

the deaf

Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, said the LORD.

adder or asp.-- Pethenm is no doubt the baeten of the Arabians, which M. Forskal describes as spotted with black and white, about one foot in length, nearly half an inch thick, oviparous, and its bite almost instant death. It is the aspic of the ancients, and is so called the literati of Cyprus, though the common people call it [], deaf.

Job 20:14,16 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him...

Isaiah 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:33
their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.

Psalm 140:3
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.

Jeremiah 8:17
For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders that cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 19:15
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words."

Zechariah 7:11
But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.

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