3

Psalm 40:12 (KJV) " For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me."

Is it possible to read "they are more than the hairs of my head" as speaking of the evils surrounding him instead of Iniquities? Because I've read from an answer on this site that "Iniquities" can mean punishment instead.

It would make sense because he said the evils are "innumerable " which he says are "more than the hairs if my head

1
  • The KJV, Young's Literal and Green's Literal, all disagree with your suggestion.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 6 '18 at 11:44
1

Psalm 40:12 (KJV)

For innumerable evils have compassed me about:
mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up;
they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me."

Is it possible to read "they are more than the hairs of my head" as speaking of the evils surrounding him instead of Iniquities?

It is possible to push your interpretation that way. However, a more strict reading shows that they refers to the iniquities as the closer antecedent. Psalm 38:4 confirms this reading:

For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

0

I would translate starting at the beginning of the sentence in v11

Ps 40:11 You, O LORD, withhold not Your tender pity from me.
Let Your mercy and truth continually preserve me
12 for troubles have encompassed me until [they are] without number.
My iniquities have overtaken me
so that I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head
and my heart leaves me.

He is surrounded by troubles, not iniquities.
"More than the hairs of my head" describes iniquities, not troubles.
But the troubles surrounding him are innumerable, which is about the same as "more than the hairs of my head".

You are right that the word "iniquities" may mean punishment or consequences for those iniquities. I think that is what David means.

-3

As I read it, "they" are both "evils" and "iniquities".

Consider this passage:

"There are gangsters all around me and thugs standing over me; they have me surrounded!"

The "they" refers to the gangsters and the thugs.

In the Psalm, the psalmist says evils and iniquities have cut off his every way of escape.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.