21 Evil people self-destruct;[a] those who hate the godly are punished.[b] 22 The Lord rescues his servants;[c] all who take shelter in him escape punishment.[d]
Psalm 34:21tnHeb “evil kills the wicked [one].” The singular form is representative; the typical evil person is envisioned. The Hebrew imperfect verbal form draws attention to the typical nature of the action.
Psalm 34:21tnHeb “are guilty,” but the verb is sometimes used metonymically with the meaning “to suffer the consequences of guilt,” the effect being substituted for the cause.
Psalm 34:22tnHeb “redeems the life of his servants.” The Hebrew participial form suggests such deliverance is characteristic.
Psalm 34:22tn “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear, and serve the Lord (Pss 2:12; 5:11-12; 31:19).
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