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Psalms 68:1-3

Psalm 68 1 

For the music director; by David, a psalm, a song.

68:1 God springs into action! 2 

His enemies scatter;

his adversaries 3  run from him. 4 

68:2 As smoke is driven away by the wind, so you drive them away. 5 

As wax melts before fire,

so the wicked are destroyed before God.

68:3 But the godly 6  are happy;

they rejoice before God

and are overcome with joy. 7 

1 sn Psalm 68. The psalmist depicts God as a mighty warrior and celebrates the fact that God exerts his power on behalf of his people.

2 tn Or “rises up.” The verb form is an imperfect, not a jussive. The psalmist is describing God’s appearance in battle in a dramatic fashion.

3 tn Heb “those who hate him.”

4 sn The wording of v. 1 echoes the prayer in Num 10:35: “Spring into action, Lord! Then your enemies will be scattered and your adversaries will run from you.”

5 tn Heb “as smoke is scattered, you scatter [them].”

6 tn By placing the subject first the psalmist highlights the contrast between God’s ecstatic people and his defeated enemies (vv. 1-2).

7 tn Heb “and they are happy with joy” (cf. NEB). Some translate the prefixed verbal forms of v. 3 as jussives, “Let the godly be happy, let them rejoice before God, and let them be happy with joy!” (Cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV; note the call to praise in v. 4.)

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