Psalm 17:11
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
They have now surrounded us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground.

King James Bible
They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

Darby Bible Translation
They have now encompassed us in our steps; their eyes have they set, bowing down to the earth.

World English Bible
They have now surrounded us in our steps. They set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.

Young's Literal Translation
Our steps now have compassed him;' Their eyes they set to turn aside in the land.

Psalm 17:11 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

They have now compassed us - Myself, and those who are associated with me. It would seem from this that the psalmist was not alone. It is to be observed, however, that there is a difference of reading in the Hebrew text. The Masoretic reading is: "us;" the Hebrew text is "me," though in the other expression the plural is used - "our steps." There is no impropriety in supposing that the psalmist refers to his followers, associates, or friends, meaning that the wrong was done not to him alone, but to others connected with him. The meaning of "compassed" is, that they "surrounded" him on every side. Wherever he went, they were there.

In our steps - Wherever we go.

They have set their eyes - As those do who are intent on any thing; as the lion does that is seeking its prey Psalm 17:12. They looked keenly and directly at the object. They did not allow their eyes to wander. They were not indifferent to the object of their pursuit.

Bowing down to the earth - That is, as the translators evidently understood this, having their eyes bowed down to the ground, or looking steadily to the ground. The image, according to Dr. Horsley, is borrowed from a hunter taking aim at an animal upon the ground. A more literal translation, however, would be, "They have fixed their eyes to lay me prostrate upon the ground." The Hebrew word - נטה nâṭâh - means properly "to stretch out, to extend;" then, "to incline, to bow, to depress;" and hence, the idea of "prostrating;" thus, to make the shoulder bend downward, Genesis 49:15; to bring down the mind to an object, Psalm 119:112; to bow the heavens, Psalm 18:9. Hence, the idea of prostrating an enemy; and the sense here clearly is, that they had fixed their eyes intently on the psalmist, with a purpose to prostrate him to the ground, or completely to overwhelm him.

Psalm 17:11 Parallel Commentaries

Mysterious visits.
AN ADDRESS TO A LITTLE COMPANY AT THE COMMUNION TABLE AT MENTONE."Thou hast visited me in the night."--Psalm xvii. 3. MYSTERIOUS VISITS. IT is a theme for wonder that the glorious God should visit sinful man. "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" A divine visit is a joy to be treasured whenever we are favoured with it. David speaks of it with great solemnity. The Psalmist was not content barely to speak of it; but he wrote it down in plain terms,
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

My God Will Hear Me
"Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you. Blessed are all they that wait for Him. He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee."--ISA. xxx. 18, 19. "The Lord will hear when I call upon Him."--PS. iv. 3. "I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt hear me, O God!"--PS. xvii. 6. "I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."--MIC. vii. 7. The power of prayer rests in the faith
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Luke 21:20
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.

Psalm 37:14
The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct.

Psalm 37:32
The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him.

Psalm 56:6
They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life.

Psalm 88:17
They have surrounded me like water all day long; They have encompassed me altogether.

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