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Psalms 18:40-41

Context

18:40 You make my enemies retreat; 1 

I destroy those who hate me. 2 

18:41 They cry out, but there is no one to help them; 3 

they cry out to the Lord, 4  but he does not answer them.

1 tn Heb “and [as for] my enemies, you give to me [the] back [or “neck”].” The idiom “give [the] back” means “to cause [one] to turn the back and run away.” Cf. Exod 23:27.

2 sn Those who hate me. See v. 17, where it is the Lord who delivered the psalmist from those who hated him.

3 tn Heb “but there is no deliverer.”

4 tn Heb “to the Lord.” The words “they cry out” are supplied in the translation because they are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).

sn They cry out. This reference to the psalmist’s enemies crying out for help to the Lord suggests that the psalmist refers here to enemies within the covenant community, rather than foreigners. However, the militaristic context suggests foreign enemies are in view. Ancient Near Eastern literature indicates that defeated enemies would sometimes cry out for mercy to the god(s) of their conqueror. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 271.



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