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Psalm 17:11

ESV They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
NIV They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
NASB They have now surrounded us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground.
CSB They advance against me; now they surround me. They are determined to throw me to the ground.
NLT They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
KJV They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

What does Psalm 17:11 mean?

Enemies have surrounded David. This might be a reference to his experiences with the evil king, Saul (1 Samuel 20:32–33). David is praying for God's protection from these foes (Psalm 17:8–9). Earlier, he condemned those involved in "violence," using a term referring to savagery or animalism (Psalm 17:4). Here, David makes a similar comparison. Like pack animals, these murderous enemies have encircled David and others who honor God. Continuing the metaphor, David pictures the enemies as predators who lock eyes on their prospective victims before pouncing on them to drag them down to the earth.

Close attention to the text sees that the psalm has shifted, subtly, from speaking of David himself to plural references: the enemy is now said to be a threat to "our" safety. David was not alone when Saul and his men pursued him. A faithful band of men were with him (1 Samuel 22:1–2), David was concerned not only for himself but also for his faithful companions. It is a mark of noble character to be concerned about others who face trouble. Although the apostle Paul was under house arrest, like David, he was concerned about others. He writes in Philippians 1:7: "I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel." He counseled the Philippian believers: "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).
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