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Psalms 18:31-32

Context

18:31 Indeed, 1  who is God besides the Lord?

Who is a protector 2  besides our God? 3 

18:32 The one true God 4  gives 5  me strength; 6 

he removes 7  the obstacles in my way. 8 

1 tn Or “for.”

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

3 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.

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

5 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.

6 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).

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

8 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).



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