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from men, with your hand, YHVH, from men of the world, whose portion

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[is] in [this] life, and whose belly you fill with hidden things;

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they are satiated with children; they leave what remains for their suckling infants.

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use your powerful hand to deliver me from such men, from men who belong only to this world, whose reward is limited to this life, who consider the material things you give them in this life to be a treasure; in this life they are satisfied because they have children and they can leave an inheritance to their helpless offspring.



“Portion” can also mean “one’s share, usually a tract of land, or the reward for one’s actions,” which could be punishment. At this point in the verse it is not yet clear if the writer has in mind divine punishment for their actions, or the way God blesses all of us with good things in this life. The intended meaning is made clear in the rest of the verse.


This word comes from a root word meaning “to hide, hoard, or cover.” It came to be used of “treasure,” which one usually hides so it will not be stolen. Although it usually referred to something good, it can mean anything hidden or covered; context must determine the meaning. Despite the fact that it is talking about wicked men, this usage is also something good. However, these good things are temporary in contrast to the everlasting blessings of the faithful.


This word means “one that suckles.” In those days they breast fed their children beyond the infant stage, so it could refer to either “an infant or a toddler.” This may be another reference to an early death. While the wicked do leave an inheritance to their children, they may leave this life early, while their children are still infants or toddlers.

vs 13 and 14 go together

I am convinced that verse 14 is a continuation of verse 13 and never changes subjects. The strangeness comes because of the good things that come even to the wicked. However, the emphasis here is on eternity, which does not look so good for the wicked.