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Psalms 29:3

Context

29:3 The Lord’s shout is heard over the water; 1 

the majestic God thunders, 2 

the Lord appears over the surging water. 3 

Psalms 29:10

Context

29:10 The Lord sits enthroned over the engulfing waters, 4 

the Lord sits enthroned 5  as the eternal king.

Psalms 93:3-4

Context

93:3 The waves 6  roar, O Lord,

the waves roar,

the waves roar and crash. 7 

93:4 Above the sound of the surging water, 8 

and the mighty waves of the sea,

the Lord sits enthroned in majesty. 9 

1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 tn The noun מַּבּוּל (mabbul, “flood”) appears only here and in Gen 6-11, where it refers to the Noahic flood. Some see a reference to that event here. The presence of the article (perhaps indicating uniqueness) and the switch to the perfect verbal form (which could be taken as describing a past situation) might support this. However, the immediate context indicates that the referent of מַּבּוּל is the “surging waters” mentioned in v. 3. The article indicates waters that are definite in the mind of the speaker and the perfect is probably descriptive in function, like “thunders” in v. 3. However, even though the historical flood is not the primary referent here, there may be a literary allusion involved. The psalmist views the threatening chaotic sea as a contemporary manifestation of the destructive waters of old.

5 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries the descriptive function of the preceding perfect.

6 tn The Hebrew noun translated “waves” often refers to rivers or streams, but here it appears to refer to the surging waves of the sea (see v. 4, Ps 24:2).

7 tn Heb “the waves lift up, O Lord, the waves lift up their voice, the waves lift up their crashing.”

8 tn Heb “mighty waters.”

sn The surging waters here symbolizes the hostile enemies of God who seek to destroy the order he has established in the world (see Pss 18:17; 29:3; 32:6; 77:20; 144:7; Isa 17:13; Jer 51:55; Ezek 26:19; Hab 3:15). But the Lord is depicted as elevated above and sovereign over these raging waters.

9 tn Heb “mighty on high [is] the Lord.”



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