Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
I looked up in one concordance what "estranged" means:
- to be strange, be a stranger
- to become estranged
- strange, another, stranger, foreigner, an enemy (participle)
- loathsome (of breath) (participle)
- strange woman, prostitute, harlot (meton)
- (Niphal) to be estranged
- (Hophal) to be a stranger, be one alienated
I guess my question is when it says goes "are estranged from the womb" when it says from as once they come out or while inside the womb? Estranged where I see the context is with the verse how David is using it is when these people are young they learn to lie (from parents and other influences). A baby can be mentally corrupted in the womb (not as to know good and evil) just if you hate your baby in the womb. Scientists say it will affect the mental ability of the child, kind of like when babies don't get enough love they will die, or get mental disorders. I remember in my school work reading about how love is one of the main factors of a baby's health. Anyways, I can't see it in Hebrew so it kind of puts me in an awkward position on the verse but to me, it's saying two things:
One is that they are turned in the woman: when they are born they speak lies. Second is, once they are born, they have turned aside to speak lies. I was wondering your insight is. I don't have a Hebrew to English translation. When I read Greek it helps me understand verses better some of the time and I think this would be one of them.
"Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men? No, in heart you work wickedness; you weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear, which will not heed the voice of charmers, charming ever so skillfully. Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD! Let them flow away as waters which run continually; When he bends his bow, let his arrows be as if cut in pieces. Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the burning thorns, He shall take them away as with a whirlwind, as in His living and burning wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, So that men will say, 'Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely He is God who judges in the earth'" (Psalms 58:1-11).
I quote the whole psalm so we can look at it in context. The first thing that should jump out at you is the fact that it using a lot of figurative language, such as metaphors and similes. He calls the wicked poisonous serpents and talks about breaking their fangs. We've all met some really nasty people, but none of them literally had fangs. Therefore, we must carefully weigh what is being said to decide if it is literal or figurative as well.
Verse 3 is a type of figurative language called hyperbole. To make a point as to how wicked these people are, David stretches the point to say they have been wicked since they were born. Not literally, just as they were not literally serpents or lions with fangs, but to that extreme in a figurative sense. We know that it is figurative because he says the wicked were speaking lies from the time they were born. Newborn babies do not speak, let alone tell lies.
Other examples of hyperbole in the Bible:
- Genesis 42:28 "So he said to his brothers, "My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!" Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, "What is this that God has done to us?""
- Exodus 8:17 "And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt."
- Deuteronomy 1:28 "Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.""
- Judges 20:16 "Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss."
- Job 29:6 "When my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!"
- Psalm 107:26 "They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble."
- John 12:19 "The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!""