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2 Samuel 22:44-46


22:44 You rescue me from a hostile army; 1 

you preserve me as a leader of nations;

people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects. 2 

22:45 Foreigners are powerless before me; 3 

when they hear of my exploits, they submit to me. 4 

22:46 Foreigners lose their courage; 5 

they shake with fear 6  as they leave 7  their strongholds. 8 

1 tn Heb “from the strivings of my people.” In this context רִיב (riv, “striving”) probably has a militaristic sense (as in Judg 12:2; Isa 41:11), and עַם (’am, “people”) probably refers more specifically to an army (for other examples, see the verses listed in BDB 766 s.v. עַם 2.d). The suffix “my” suggests David is referring to attacks by his own countrymen, the “people” being Israel. However, the parallel text in Ps 18:43 omits the suffix.

2 tn Heb “a people whom I did not know serve me.” In this context the verb “know” (יָדַע, yada’) probably refers to formal recognition by treaty. People who were once not under the psalmist’s authority now willingly submit to his rulership to avoid being conquered militarily (see vv. 45-46). The language may recall the events recorded in 2 Sam 8:9-10 and 10:19.

3 tn For the meaning “to be weak; to be powerless” for the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash), see Ps 109:24. Verse 46, which also mentions foreigners, favors this interpretation. Another option is to translate “cower in fear” (see Deut 33:29; Pss 66:3; 81:15).

4 tn Heb “at a report of an ear they submit to me.” The report of David’s exploits is so impressive that those who hear it submit to his rulership without putting up a fight.

5 tn Heb “wither, wear out.”

6 tc The translation assumes a reading וְיַחְרְגוּ (vÿyakhrÿgu, “and they quaked”) rather than the MT וְיַחְגְּרוּ (vÿyakhgÿru, “and they girded themselves”). See the note at Ps 18:45.

7 tn Heb “from.”

8 tn Heb “prisons.” Their besieged cities are compared to prisons.

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