NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Psalms 18:29-34

Context

18:29 Indeed, 1  with your help 2  I can charge against 3  an army; 4 

by my God’s power 5  I can jump over a wall. 6 

18:30 The one true God acts in a faithful manner; 7 

the Lord’s promise 8  is reliable; 9 

he is a shield to all who take shelter 10  in him.

18:31 Indeed, 11  who is God besides the Lord?

Who is a protector 12  besides our God? 13 

18:32 The one true God 14  gives 15  me strength; 16 

he removes 17  the obstacles in my way. 18 

18:33 He gives me the agility of a deer; 19 

he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. 20 

18:34 He trains my hands for battle; 21 

my arms can bend even the strongest bow. 22 

1 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.

2 tn Heb “by you.”

3 tn Heb “I will run.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 29 indicate the subject’s potential or capacity to perform an action. Though one might expect a preposition to follow the verb here, this need not be the case with the verb רוּץ (ruts; see 1 Sam 17:22). Some emend the Qal to a Hiphil form of the verb and translate, “I put to flight [Heb “cause to run”] an army.”

4 tn More specifically, the noun גְּדוּד (gÿdud) refers to a raiding party or to a contingent of troops.

sn I can charge against an army. The picture of a divinely empowered warrior charging against an army in almost superhuman fashion appears elsewhere in ancient Near Eastern literature. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 228.

5 tn Heb “and by my God.”

6 sn I can jump over a wall. The psalmist uses hyperbole to emphasize his God-given military superiority.

7 tn Heb “[As for] the God, his way is blameless.” The term הָאֵל (hael, “the God”) stands as a nominative (or genitive) absolute in apposition to the resumptive pronominal suffix on “way.” The prefixed article emphasizes his distinctiveness as the one true God (cf. Deut 33:26). God’s “way” in this context refers to his protective and salvific acts in fulfillment of his promise (see also Deut 32:4; Pss 67:2; 77:13 [note vv. 11-12, 14]; 103:7; 138:5; 145:17).

8 sn The Lords promise. In the ancient Near East kings would typically seek and receive oracles from their god(s) prior to battle. For examples, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 241-42.

9 tn Heb “the word of the Lord is purified.” The Lord’s “word” probably refers here to his oracle(s) of victory delivered to the psalmist before the battle(s) described in the following context. See also Pss 12:5-7 and 138:2-3. David frequently received such oracles before going into battle (see 1 Sam 23:2, 4-5, 10-12; 30:8; 2 Sam 5:19). The Lord’s word of promise is absolutely reliable; it is compared to metal that has been refined in fire and cleansed of impurities. See Ps 12:6.

10 sn Take shelter. See the note on the word “shelter” in v. 2.

11 tn Or “for.”

12 tn Heb “rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor of divine protection. See v. 2, where the Hebrew term צוּר (tsur) is translated “rocky summit.”

13 tn The rhetorical questions anticipate the answer, “No one.” In this way the psalmist indicates that the Lord is the only true God and reliable source of protection. See also Deut 32:39, where the Lord affirms that he is the only true God. Note as well the emphasis on his role as protector (Heb “rocky cliff,” צוּר, tsur) in Deut 32:4, 15, 17-18, 30.

14 tn Heb “the God.” The prefixed article emphasizes the Lord’s distinctiveness as the one true God (cf. Deut 33:26). See v. 30.

15 tn Heb “is the one who clothes.” For similar language see 1 Sam 2:4; Pss 65:6; 93:1. The psalmist employs a generalizing hymnic style in vv. 32-34; he uses participles in vv. 32a, 33a, and 34a to describe what God characteristically does on his behalf.

16 tn 2 Sam 22:33 reads, “the God is my strong refuge.”

sn Gives me strength. As the following context makes clear, this refers to physical and emotional strength for battle (see especially v. 39).

17 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries along the generalizing force of the preceding participle.

18 tn Heb “he made my path smooth.” The Hebrew term תָּמִים (tamim, “smooth”) usually carries a moral or ethical connotation, “blameless, innocent.” However, in Ps 18:33 it refers to a pathway free of obstacles. The reality underlying the metaphor is the psalmist’s ability to charge into battle without tripping (see vv. 33, 36).

19 tn Heb “[the one who] makes my feet like [those of ] a deer.”

20 tn Heb “and on my high places he makes me walk.” The imperfect verbal form emphasizes God’s characteristic provision. The psalmist compares his agility in battle to the ability of a deer to negotiate rugged, high terrain without falling or being injured.

sn Habakkuk uses similar language to describe his faith during difficult times. See Hab 3:19.

21 sn He trains my hands. The psalmist attributes his skill with weapons to divine enablement. Egyptian reliefs picture gods teaching the king how to shoot a bow. See O. Keel, The Symbolism of the Biblical World, 265.

22 tn Heb “and a bow of bronze is bent by my arms”; or “my arms bend a bow of bronze.” The verb נָחַת (nakhat) apparently means “pull back, bend” here (see HALOT 692 s.v. נחת). The third feminine singular verbal form appears to agree with the feminine singular noun קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”). In this case the verb must be taken as Niphal (passive). However, it is possible that “my arms” is the subject of the verb and “bow” the object. In this case the verb is Piel (active). For other examples of a feminine singular verb being construed with a plural noun, see GKC 464 §145.k.

sn The strongest bow (Heb “bow of bronze”) probably refers to a bow laminated with bronze strips, or to a purely ceremonial or decorative bow made entirely from bronze. In the latter case the language is hyperbolic, for such a weapon would not be functional in battle.



TIP #13: Chapter View to explore chapters; Verse View for analyzing verses; Passage View for displaying list of verses. [ALL]
created in 0.03 seconds
powered by bible.org