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Psalms 17:11

    Psalms 17:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They have now compassed us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They have made a circle round our steps: their eyes are fixed on us, forcing us down to the earth;

    Webster's Revision

    They have now compassed us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us 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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They have now compassed us in our steps: they set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 17:11

    They have now compassed us in our steps - Instead of אשרנו ashshurenu, "our steps," Dr. Kennicott and others recommend אשרינו ashreynu, "O lucky we, at last we have compassed him." He cannot now escape; he is sure to fall into our hands.

    They have set their eyes bowing down to the earth - All the commentators and critics have missed the very expressive and elegant metaphor contained in this clause. Kennicott says, They drove the hart into toils, and then shot him. Bishop Horsley says, on the clause, They have set their eyes bowing down to the earth: "This is the attitude of huntsmen, taking aim at an animal upon the ground." No, it is the attitude of the huntsmen looking for the slot, or track of the hart's, hind's, or antelope's foot on the ground. See at the conclusion of the Psalm.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 17:11

    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.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 17:11

    17:11 Steps - In all our ways. We go from place to place, to rocks, and caves, and woods; but wheresoever we go they are at hand, and ready to surround us. Eyes - They keep their eyes fixed upon us. Bowing - Couching down upon the earth, that they may watch the fittest opportunity to surprize us.