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Psalms 75:4-5

Context

75:4 1 I say to the proud, “Do not be proud,”

and to the wicked, “Do not be so confident of victory! 2 

75:5 Do not be so certain you have won! 3 

Do not speak with your head held so high! 4 

Psalms 75:10

Context

75:10 God says, 5 

“I will bring down all the power of the wicked;

the godly will be victorious.” 6 

Psalms 148:14

Context

148:14 He has made his people victorious, 7 

and given all his loyal followers reason to praise –

the Israelites, the people who are close to him. 8 

Praise the Lord!

1 tn The identity of the speaker in vv. 4-6 is unclear. The present translation assumes that the psalmist, who also speaks in vv. 7-9 (where God/the Lord is spoken of in the third person) here addresses the proud and warns them of God’s judgment. The presence of כִּי (ki, “for”) at the beginning of both vv. 6-7 seems to indicate that vv. 4-9 are a unit. However, there is no formal indication of a new speaker in v. 4 (or in v. 10, where God appears to speak). Another option is to see God speaking in vv. 2-6 and v. 10 and to take only vv. 7-9 as the words of the psalmist. In this case one must interpret כִּי at the beginning of v. 7 in an asseverative or emphatic sense (“surely; indeed”).

2 tn Heb “do not lift up a horn.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Here the idiom seems to refer to an arrogant attitude that assumes victory has been achieved.

3 tn Heb “do not lift up on high your horn.”

4 tn Heb “[do not] speak with unrestrained neck.” The negative particle is understood in this line by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

sn The image behind the language of vv. 4-5 is that of a powerful wild ox that confidently raises its head before its enemies.

5 tn The words “God says” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation to clarify that God speaks in v. 10.

6 tn Heb “and all the horns of the wicked I will cut off, the horns of the godly will be lifted up.” The imagery of the wild ox’s horn is once more utilized (see vv. 4-5).

7 tn Heb “and he lifted up a horn for his people.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 75:10; 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Another option is to take the “horn” as a symbol for the Davidic king, through whom the Lord gives his people military victory.

8 tn “[there is] praise for all his loyal followers, to the sons of Israel, the people near him.” Here “praise” stands by metonymy for the victory that prompts it.



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