We had better keep going on these do not destroy psalms. Perhaps this one can apply in this age to those who "prepare the way in the land for the violence of their hands", to use Tate's paraphrase of verse 3. Is there a God in the earth judging today?
I should consider my options in my translation. The gloss I used for pls does not seem perfect here. From my concordance I see there are only these uses of the root in the data that I have.
|pls||Rule||bpls||1||בַּפֶּ֙לֶס֙||in a level||Isa 40:12(13)|
|ipls||1||יְפַלֵּ֥ס||he leveled||Psa 78:50(1)|
|mpls||1||מְפַלֵּֽס||he levels||Pro 5:21(9)|
|mplwi||1||־מִפְלְשֵׂי||the leveling of||Job 37:16(3)|
|tpls||2||־תְּפַלֵּ֑ס||you should level||Pro 5:6(4)|
|תְּפַלֵּֽס||you level||Isa 26:7(7)|
|tplsun||1||תְּפַלֵּֽסֽוּן||you level out||Psa 58:3(8)|
We should look at every instance and see whether we can level with this gloss. I may be missing a nuance, or verse 3 may have an element of sarcasm. Tate suggests several options weigh out / mete / deal out, or look at / watch / survey [NEB], but he prefers 'prepare the way'. This appears to me to be pure guessword. It might make us wonder if this phrase matches the famous words in Isaiah 40:3. It does not even come close. Can we make sense of these 9 instances - and keep our concord focused?
|אֹ֥רַח לַצַּדִּ֖יק מֵֽישָׁרִ֑ים |
יָשָׁ֕ר מַעְגַּ֥ל צַדִּ֖יק תְּפַלֵּֽס
|z aork lxdiq miwrim |
iwr mygl xdiq tpls
|7 The path of a righteous one is uprightness.
Upright, the track of the righteous one, you level.
|מִֽי־מָדַ֨ד בְּשָׁעֳל֜וֹ מַ֗יִם וְשָׁמַ֙יִם֙ בַּזֶּ֣רֶת תִּכֵּ֔ן וְכָ֥ל בַּשָּׁלִ֖שׁ עֲפַ֣ר הָאָ֑רֶץ |
וְשָׁקַ֤ל בַּפֶּ֙לֶס֙ הָרִ֔ים וּגְבָע֖וֹת בְּמֹאזְנָֽיִם
|ib mi-mdd bwoylo mim vwmiim bzrt ticn vcl bwliw ypr harx |
vwql bpls hrim ugbyot bmazniim
|12 Who has measured his fistful of waters, or heaven in a span, stabilized, or nourished in three, the dust of the earth,
or weighed in a level, the hills and the hillocks in the balance?
|יְפַלֵּ֥ס נָתִ֗יב לְאַ֫פּ֥וֹ |
לֹא־חָשַׂ֣ךְ מִמָּ֣וֶת נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וְ֝חַיָּתָ֗ם לַדֶּ֥בֶר הִסְגִּֽיר
|n ipls ntib lapo |
la-kwç mmvvt npwm
vkitm ldbr hsgir
|50 He leveled a pathway for his anger.
He did not keep back their being from death,
and he imprisoned their lives to the pestilence.
|פַּ֭לֵּס מַעְגַּ֣ל רַגְלֶ֑ךָ |
|cv pls mygl rglç |
|26 Level the track for your foot,
and all your ways will be established.
|אֹ֣רַח חַ֭יִּים פֶּן־תְּפַלֵּ֑ס |
נָע֥וּ מַ֝עְגְּלֹתֶ֗יהָ לֹ֣א תֵדָֽע פ
|v aork kiim pn-tpls |
nyu myglotih la tdy p
|6 Lest you should level a path of life,
wavering to and fro are her tracks. You do not know. P
|כִּ֤י נֹ֨כַח ׀ עֵינֵ֣י יְ֭הוָה דַּרְכֵי־אִ֑ישׁ |
|ca ci nock yini ihvh drci-aiw |
|21 Because opposite the eyes of Yahweh are the ways of each,
and all its tracks he levels.
|פֶּ֤לֶס ׀ וּמֹאזְנֵ֣י מִ֭שְׁפָּט לַֽיהוָ֑ה |
|ia pls umazni mwp't lihvh |
|11 Level and balanced is a judgment of Yahweh,
his deed, all the stones of a cup.
|הֲ֭תֵדַע עַל־מִפְלְשֵׂי־עָ֑ב |
מִ֝פְלְא֗וֹת תְּמִ֣ים דֵּעִֽים
|'tz htdy yl-mplwi-yb |
mplaot tmim dyim
|16 Do you know about the leveling of thick cloud,|
from the wonders of one who is complete in knowledge?
|a||lmnxk al-twkt ldvid mctm.||1||For the leader. Do not destroy. Of David, a miktam.|
|b||haumnm alm xdq tdbrun? |
miwrim twp'tu bni adm?
|2||Is it truly a dumb righteousness that you speak?|
From uprightness you judge the earthling children?
|g||af-blb yolot tpylun. |
barx kms idicm tplsun.
|3||Indeed you work injustice in the heart.|
In the earth, you level out the violence of your hands.
|d||zoru rwyim mrkm. |
tyu mb'tn dobri czb.
|4||Estranged are the wicked from the womb.|
They wander out of the belly speaking a lie.
|h||kmt-lmo cdmut kmt-nkw. |
cmo-ptn kirw ia'tm aozno,
|5||Their heat is akin to the heat of a snake.|
As the deaf adder plugs his ear,
|v||awr la-iwmy lqol mlkwim, |
kobr kbrim mkucm.
|6||which will not hear the voice of the conjurers,|
charming charms with wisdom.
|z||alohim hros-winimo bpimo. |
mltyot cpirim ntox ihvh.
|7||O God, overthrow their teeth in their mouths.|
the fangs of young lions break off, Yahweh.
|k||iimasu cmo-mim ithlcu-lmo, |
idroç kixiv cmo itmollu,
|8||Let them be refused like their meandering waters,|
as when one directs a tailless arrow,
|'t||cmo wblul tms ihloç, |
npl awt bl-kzu wmw.
|9||as a slimy slug slithering off,|
a woman's miscarriage that will not gaze on the sun.
|i||b'trm ibinu siroticm a'td, |
cmo-ki cmo-kron iwyrnu.
|10||Ere your garden-pots discern a brierpatch,|
like life, like burning, he will sweep him away.
|ia||iwmk xdiq ci-kzh nqm. |
pymiv irkx bdm hrwy.
|11||A righteous one will be glad for he gazes on vengeance.|
He will wash his footfall in the blood of the wicked.
|ib||viamr adm aç-pri lxdiq. |
aç iw-alohim wop'tim barx.
|12||And an earthling will say, Surely fruit for one who is righteous.|
Surely there is a God judging in the earth.