Psalm 49:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,

King James Bible
Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

American Standard Version
Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, When iniquity at my heels compasseth me about?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why shall I fear in the evil day? the iniquity of my heel shall encompass me.

English Revised Version
Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when iniquity at my heels compasseth me about?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall encompass me?

Psalm 49:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

(Heb.: 48:13-15) The call is addressed not to the enemies of Jerusalem - for it would be absurd to invite such to look round about upon Jerusalem with joy and gladness - but to the people of Jerusalem itself. From the time of the going forth of the army to the arrival of the news of victory, they have remained behind the walls of the city in anxious expectation. Now they are to make the circuit of the city (הקּיף, still more definite than סבב, Joshua 6:3) outside the walls, and examine them and see that its towers are all standing, its bulwark is intact, its palaces are resplendent as formerly. לחילה, "upon its bulwark," equals לחילהּ (Zechariah 9:4), with softened suffix as in Isaiah 23:17; Psalm 45:6, and frequently; Ew. 247, d. פּסּג (according to another reading, הפסיג) signifies, in B. Baba kamma 81b, to cut through (a vineyard in a part where there is no way leading through it); the signification "to take to pieces and examine, to contemplate piece by piece," has no support in the usage of the language, and the signification "to extol" (erhhen, Luther following Jewish tradition) rests upon a false deduction from the name פּסגּה. Louis de Dieu correctly renders it: Dividite palatia, h. e. obambulate inter palatia ejus, secando omnes palatiorum vias, quo omnia possitis commode intueri. They are to convince themselves by all possible means of the uninjured state of the Holy City, in order that they may be able to tell to posterity, that זה, such an one, such a marvellous helper as is now manifest to them, is Elohim our God. He will also in the future guide us.... Here the Psalm closes; for, although נהג is wont to be construed with עלּ in the signification ἄγειν ἐπὶ (Psalm 23:2; Isaiah 49:10), still "at death" [lit. dying], i.e., when it comes to dying (Hengstenberg), or "even unto (על as in Psalm 48:11, Psalm 19:7) death" [lit. dying] (Hupfeld), forms no suitable close to this thoroughly national song, having reference to a people of whom the son of Sirach says (Psalm 37:25): ζωὴ ἀνδρὸς ἐν ἀριθμῷ ἡμερῶν καὶ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ἀναρίθμητοι. The rendering of Mendelssohn, Stier, and others, "over death" i.e., beyond death (Syriac), would be better; more accurately: beyond dying equals destruction (Bunsen, Bibelwerk, Th. i. S. clxi.). but the expression does not admit of this extension, and the thought comes upon one unexpectedly and as a surprise in this Psalm belonging to the time before the Exile. The Jerusalem Talmud, Megilla, ch. ii.((fol. 73, col. b, ed. Venet.), present a choice of the following interpretations: (1) עלמוּת equals בּעלימוּת, in youthfulness, adopting which, but somewhat differently applied, the Targum renders, "in the days of youth;" (2) כעילין עלמות, like virgins, with which Luther's rendering coincides: like youth (wie die Jugent); (3) according to the reading עלמות, which the lxx also reproduces: in this and the future world, noting at the same time that Akilas (Aquila) translates the word by ἀθανασία: "in a world where there is no death." But in connection with this last rendering one would rather expect to find אל־מות (Proverbs 12:28) instead of על־מות. עלמות, however, as equivalent to αἰῶνες is Mishnic, not Biblical; and a Hebrew word עלמוּת (עלימוּת) in the sense of the Aramaic עלּימתּ cannot be justified elsewhere. We see from the wavering of the MSS, some of which give על־מוּת, and others עלמוּת, and from the wavering of expositors, what little success is likely to follow any attempt to gain for על־מות, as a substantial part of the Psalm, any sense that is secure and in accordance both with the genius of the language and with the context. Probably it is a marginal note of the melody, an abbreviation for על־מוּת לבּן, Psalm 9:1. And either this note, as in Habakkuk 3:19 למנצּח בּנגינותי, stands in an exceptional manner at the end instead of the beginning (Hitzig, Reggio), or it belongs to the למנצח of the following Psalm, and is to be inserted there (Bttcher, De inferis, 371). If, however, על־מות does not belong to the Psalm itself, then it must be assumed that the proper closing words are lost. The original close was probably more full-toned, and somewhat like Isaiah 33:22.

Psalm 49:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore

Psalm 27:1,2 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid...

Psalm 46:1,2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble...

Isaiah 41:10,11 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you...

Acts 27:24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar: and, see, God has given you all them that sail with you.

Romans 8:33,34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies...

Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

days

Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

iniquity

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities are gone over my head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.

Hosea 7:2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about...

heels

Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.

Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

1 Samuel 26:20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea...

Cross References
Genesis 2:11
The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 94:13
to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.

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