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Psalms 18:17

Context

18:17 He rescued me from my strong enemy, 1 

from those who hate me,

for they were too strong for me.

Psalms 29:3

Context

29:3 The Lord’s shout is heard over the water; 2 

the majestic God thunders, 3 

the Lord appears over the surging water. 4 

Psalms 32:6

Context

32:6 For this reason every one of your faithful followers 5  should pray to you

while there is a window of opportunity. 6 

Certainly 7  when the surging water 8  rises,

it will not reach them. 9 

Psalms 77:20

Context

77:20 You led your people like a flock of sheep,

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalms 144:7

Context

144:7 Reach down 10  from above!

Grab me and rescue me from the surging water, 11 

from the power of foreigners, 12 

1 tn The singular refers either to personified death or collectively to the psalmist’s enemies. The following line, which refers to “those [plural] who hate me,” favors the latter.

2 tn Heb “the voice of the Lord [is] over the water.” As the next line makes clear, the “voice of the Lord” is here the thunder that accompanies a violent storm. The psalm depicts the Lord in the role of a warrior-king, so the thunder is his battle cry, as it were.

3 tn The Hebrew perfect verbal form is probably descriptive. In dramatic fashion the psalmist portrays the Lord coming in the storm to do battle with his enemies and to vindicate his people.

4 tn Traditionally “many waters.” The geographical references in the psalm (Lebanon, Sirion, Kadesh) suggest this is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea (see Ezek 26:19; 27:26). The psalmist describes a powerful storm moving in from the sea and sweeping over the mountainous areas north of Israel. The “surging waters” may symbolize the hostile enemies of God who seek to destroy his people (see Pss 18:17; 32:6; 77:20; 93:4; 144:7; Isa 17:13; Jer 51:55; Ezek 26:19; Hab 3:15). In this case the Lord is depicted as elevated above and sovereign over the raging waters.

5 tn A “faithful follower” (חָסִיד, khasid) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 18:25; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).

6 tn Heb “at a time of finding.” This may mean, “while there is time to ‘find’ [the Lord]” and seek his forgiveness (cf. NIV). Some emend the text by combining מְצֹא (mÿtso’, “finding”) with the following term רַק (raq, “only, surely”) and read either ר[וֹ]מָצ (matsor, “distress”; see Ps 31:22) or ק[וֹ]מָצ (matsoq, “hardship”; see Ps 119:143). In this case, one may translate “in a time of distress/hardship” (cf. NEB, NRSV).

7 tn The Hebrew term רַק (raq) occasionally has an asseverative force.

8 sn The surging water is here a metaphor for trouble that endangers one’s life.

9 tn Heb “him.” The translation uses the plural “them” to agree with the plural “every one of your faithful followers” in the first line of v. 6.

10 tn Heb “stretch out your hands.”

11 tn Heb “mighty waters.” The waters of the sea symbolize the psalmist’s powerful foreign enemies, as well as the realm of death they represent (see the next line and Ps 18:16-17).

12 tn Heb “from the hand of the sons of foreignness.”



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