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Psalms 108:6-13

Context

108:6 Deliver by your power 1  and answer me,

so that the ones you love may be safe. 2 

108:7 God has spoken in his sanctuary: 3 

“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem,

the valley of Succoth I will measure off. 4 

108:8 Gilead belongs to me,

as does Manasseh! 5 

Ephraim is my helmet, 6 

Judah my royal scepter. 7 

108:9 Moab is my wash basin. 8 

I will make Edom serve me. 9 

I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”

108:10 Who will lead me into the fortified city?

Who will bring me to Edom? 10 

108:11 Have you not rejected us, O God?

O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.

108:12 Give us help against the enemy,

for any help men might offer is futile. 11 

108:13 By God’s power we will conquer; 12 

he will trample down 13  our enemies.

1 tn Heb “right hand.”

2 tn Or “may be rescued.” The lines are actually reversed in the Hebrew text: “So that the ones you love may be rescued, deliver by your power and answer me.”

3 tn Heb “in his holy place.”

4 sn Shechem stands for the territory west of the Jordan River; the valley of Succoth represents the region east of the Jordan.

5 tn Gilead was located east of the Jordan River. Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan in the region of Bashan.

6 tn Heb “the protection of my head.”

sn Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan River. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.

7 sn Judah, like Ephraim, was the other major tribe west of the Jordan River. The Davidic king, symbolized here by the royal scepter, came from this tribe.

8 sn The metaphor of the wash basin, used to rinse one’s hands and feet, suggests that Moab, in contrast to Israel’s elevated position (vv. 7-8), would be reduced to the status of a servant.

9 tn Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of.” Others translate עַל (’al) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.

10 sn The psalmist speaks again and acknowledges his need for help in battle. He hopes God will volunteer, based on the affirmation of sovereignty over Edom in v. 9, but he is also aware that God has seemingly rejected the nation of Israel (v. 11).

11 tn Heb “and futile [is] the deliverance of man.”

12 tn Heb “in God we will accomplish strength.” The statement refers here to military success (see Num 24:18; 1 Sam 14:48; Pss 60:12; 118:16-16).

13 sn On the expression trample down our enemies see Ps 44:5.



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