I cried out
To the Lord
In my great distress
When sinners attacked.
Suddenly I heard the cry of war
I said, You will hear me
Because I fulfilled righteousness
I pondered in my my heart.
I fulfilled righteousness
I have flourished
I have many children.
Their wealth has gone out into all the earth
And their glory to the end of the earth.
They were raised up to the stars
They said, “We shall not fall.”
They abused the best among them.
They could not continue.
Their sins were in secret,
So, I did not know.
Their lawless deeds exceed the heathen before them
They polluted the Lord’s holy things.
Greek Text & Translation:
Ἐβόησα πρὸς κύριον ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαί με εἰς τέλος, πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ ἐπιθέσθαι ἁμαρτωλούς, 2 ἐξάπινα ἠκούσθη κραυγὴ πολέμου ἐνώπιόν μου, εἶπα Ἐπακούσεταί μου, ὅτι ἐπλήσθην δικαιοσύνης. 3 ἐλογισάμην ἐν καρδίᾳ μου ὅτι ἐπλήσθην δικαιοσύνης ἐν τῷ εὐθηνῆσαί με καὶ πολλὴν γενέσθαι ἐν τέκνοις. 4 ὁ πλοῦτος αὐτῶν διεδόθη εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν καὶ ἡ δόξα αὐτῶν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς. 5 ὑψώθησαν ἕως τῶν ἄστρων, εἶπαν Οὐ μὴ πέσωσιν, 6 καὶ ἐξύβρισαν ἐν τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ οὐκ ἤνεγκαν. 7 αἱ ἁμαρτίαι αὐτῶν ἐν ἀποκρύφοις, καὶ ἐγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν, 8 αἱ ἀνομίαι αὐτῶν ὑπὲρ τὰ πρὸ αὐτῶν ἔθνη, ἐβεβήλωσαν τὰ ἅγια κυρίου ἐν βεβηλώσει.
Ἐβόησα πρὸς κύριον ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαί με εἰς τέλος,
I cried to the Lord in my distress depth
Pros + accusative & speaking:
Psychologically, “to, towards,” with verbs or nouns which express the movement of an intellectual content to a specific object.
With verbs of speaking: “to say or import something to someone.”
The articular infinitive is used in a manner similar to a participle: during the time of tribulation. Robertson explains that this usage is Semetic:
Ἐν τῷ appears in the tragedies. It is found 6 times in Thucydides, 16 in Xenophon, 26 in Plato. But Blass observes that the classical writers did not use ἐν τῷ in the temporal sense of ‘while’ or ‘during.’ Moulton sought to minimize the fact that in the O. T. ἐν τῷ occurs 455 times (45 in the Apocrypha) and that it exactly translates the Hebrew בְּ and held that it did not in principle go beyond what we find in Attic writers. But he took that back in the second edition under the suggestion of Dr. E. A. Abbott that we must find Attic parallels for ‘during.’ So he now calls this “possible but unidiomatic Greek.
Greek Grammar in Light of Historical Research, 1073. In this instance, I don’t know where the usage derives from a translation or from one writing in a second language.
eis telos: to the end, complete. This is an odd usage of the phrase:
But the phrase probably interprets some intensive, such as לכלה (2 Chron. 12:12), or עד לכלה (2 Chron. 31:1), both of which are rendered by εἰς τέλος in the lxx.
Herbert Ryle & Montague James, Psalms of the Pharisees, 1891, 3.
πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ ἐπιθέσθαι ἁμαρτωλούς,
to the Lord in the attack the sinners
An accusative noun as the subject of the infinitive.
epithitemi: To stand upon, to come upon, attack.
2 ἐξάπινα ἠκούσθη κραυγὴ πολέμου ἐνώπιόν μου,
Suddenly I heard a cry of war before me
See, Jeremiah 4:19.
εἶπα Ἐπακούσεταί μου, ὅτι ἐπλήσθην δικαιοσύνης.
I said, hear me, because I fulfilled righteousness
3 ἐλογισάμην ἐν καρδίᾳ μου
I said in my heart
ὅτι ἐπλήσθην δικαιοσύνης
because I fulfilled righteousness
ἐν τῷ εὐθηνῆσαί με
in the flourishing me
The en + dative demonstrates the proof of flourishing.
καὶ πολλὴν γενέσθαι ἐν τέκνοις.
and much to be in children
The blessing of many children was, according to the promises of the Law, a reward for true obedience. Cf. Ex. 23:25, 26; Dt. 7:13.
Psalms of the Pharisees, 5.
4 ὁ πλοῦτος αὐτῶν διεδόθη εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν
The wealth of them is distributed to all the earth
Who are they?
αὐτῶν: referring to τέκνοις. Geiger wrongly understands it of ἀμαρτωλοὶ (ver. 1). For the combination of δόξα and πλοῦτος he quotes Ps. 111 (112) 3 δόξα (הוֹן) καὶ πλοῦτος (עשֶׁר) ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ (τοῦ φοβουμένου τὸν κύριον).
The general tone of the passage seems to be caught from Ps. 72 (73) 9–12.
Psalms of the Pharisees, 5.
καὶ ἡ δόξα αὐτῶν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς.
and the glory of them until the ends of the earth
5 ὑψώθησαν ἕως τῶν ἄστρων,
They were lifted up until the stars
εἶπαν Οὐ μὴ πέσωσιν,
They said, they shall not fall
6 καὶ ἐξύβρισαν ἐν τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς αὐτῶν
and they abused the good ones of them
καὶ οὐκ ἤνεγκαν.
and not they carried
This is really a difficult phrase. Ryle & James comment:
οὐκ ἤνεγκαν. The most probable explanation of this expression is to be obtained from a comparison with Jer. 20:9 ‘I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain’ (καὶ οὐ δύναμαι φέρειν = וְלֹא אוּכַל): cf. also Job 31:23; Jer. 2:13, 10:10; Joel 2:11.
They could not keep their ambition under control; their arrogance knew no bounds. The Psalmist is referring to the wealthy Sadducees.
The NRSV renders it, “were not able to endure”.
7 αἱ ἁμαρτίαι αὐτῶν ἐν ἀποκρύφοις,
the sins of them in secrets
Secrets is plural, secret places.
καὶ ἐγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν,
and I not know
8 αἱ ἀνομίαι αὐτῶν ὑπὲρ τὰ πρὸ αὐτῶν ἔθνη,
the lawlessness of them on behalf of the before them heathen
greater than those before them
ἐβεβήλωσαν τὰ ἅγια κυρίου ἐν βεβηλώσει.
they were defiled the holy ones of the lord by means of defilement.
The verb and noun often connotes blasphemy, which is odd with things. Therefore, defile or pollute makes more sense.
The repetition of the verb as a noun is an intensive construction. Ryle & James think it derives from Hebrew usage, which sounds right:
ἐβεβήλωσαν … ἐν βεβηλώσει. For this construction compare 9:19. It probably represents the intensive use of the Inf. Absol. with the Finite Verb in the Hebrew. (6)
The phrase βεβηλοῦν τὰ ἅγια κυρίου occurs frequently in the lxx (e.g. Lev. 19:8, 22:15; Num. 18:32; Ps. 88: (89) 40; Ezek. 22:26, 24:21, etc.; Zeph. 3:4; Mal. 2:11; 1 Macc. 3:51).
The words of Lev. 19:8, where the lxx rendering is ὁ δὲ ἔσθων αὐτὸ ἁμαρτίαν λήψεται ὅτι τὰ ἅγια κυρίου ἐβεβήλωσε, will best explain this concluding sentence of the Psalm. The correspondence of the language is so close that in all probability it has been borrowed by our translator, and therefore should supply the true interpretation of τὰ ἅγια κυρίου. These words might be taken to mean ‘the sanctuary of the Lord,’ for which they commonly stand in the lxx; and this translation is followed by Geiger (‘das Heiligthum’) and Pick (‘the Sanctuary’). But both in this verse and in 2:3 the Psalmist is alluding especially to the profane and irreverent action of the Jews, and of their Priests in particular, in the ritual of the sacrifices, as, for example, by approaching the altar when ceremonially unclean, a form of profanation singled out for especial opprobrium in 8:13, 14. The violation of the Mosaic law under this head represented to the true Pharisee the extreme of impiety, which God would surely not suffer to go unpunished.