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Psalms 29:5-6

Context

29:5 The Lord’s shout breaks 1  the cedars,

the Lord shatters 2  the cedars of Lebanon. 3 

29:6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf

and Sirion 4  like a young ox. 5 

1 tn The Hebrew participial form draws attention to the durative nature of the action being described.

2 tn The prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) consecutive here and in v. 6a carry on the descriptive function of the preceding participle (see GKC 329 §111.u). The verb שָׁבַר (shavar) appears in the Qal in the first line of the verse, and in the Piel in the second line. The verb, which means “break” in the Qal, appears thirty-six times in the Piel, always with multiple objects (the object is either a collective singular or grammatically plural or dual form). The Piel may highlight the repetition of the pluralative action, or it may suggest an intensification of action, indicating repeated action comprising a whole, perhaps with the nuance “break again and again, break in pieces.” Another option is to understand the form as resultative: “make broken” (see IBHS 404-7 §24.3).

3 sn The cedars of the Lebanon forest were well-known in ancient Israel for their immense size. Here they may symbolize the arrogant enemies of God (see Isa 2:12-13).

4 sn Sirion is another name for Mount Hermon (Deut 3:9).

5 sn Lebanon and Sirion are compared to frisky young animals (a calf…a young ox) who skip and jump. The thunderous shout of the Lord is so powerful, one can see the very mountains shake on the horizon.



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