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Psalms 29:5

Context

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

the Lord shatters 2  the cedars of Lebanon. 3 

Psalms 46:9

Context

46:9 He brings an end to wars throughout the earth; 4 

he shatters 5  the bow and breaks 6  the spear;

he burns 7  the shields with fire. 8 

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 tn Heb “[the] one who causes wars to cease unto the end of the earth.” The participle continues the description begun in v. 8b and indicates that this is the Lord’s characteristic activity. Ironically, he brings peace to the earth by devastating the warlike, hostile nations (vv. 8, 9b).

5 tn The verb שָׁבַר (shavar, “break”) appears in the Piel here (see Ps 29:5). In the OT it occurs 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). The imperfect verbal form carries on and emphasizes the generalizing nature of the description.

6 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive carries along the generalizing emphasis of the preceding imperfect.

7 tn The imperfect verbal form carries on and emphasizes the generalizing nature of the description.

8 tn Heb “wagons he burns with fire.” Some read “chariots” here (cf. NASB), but the Hebrew word refers to wagons or carts, not chariots, elsewhere in the OT. In this context, where military weapons are mentioned, it is better to revocalize the form as עֲגִלוֹת (’agilot, “round shields”), a word which occurs only here in the OT, but is attested in later Hebrew and Aramaic.



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