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2 Samuel 22:39-43


22:39 I wipe them out and beat them to death;

they cannot get up;

they fall at my feet.

22:40 You give me strength for battle; 1 

you make my foes kneel before me. 2 

22:41 You make my enemies retreat; 3 

I destroy those who hate me.

22:42 They cry out, 4  but there is no one to help them; 5 

they cry out to the Lord, 6  but he does not answer them.

22:43 I grind them as fine as the dust of the ground;

I crush them and stomp on them like clay 7  in the streets.

1 tn Heb “you clothed me with strength for battle.”

2 tn Heb “you make those who rise against me kneel beneath me.”

3 tn Heb “and [as for] my enemies, you give to me [the] back [or “neck” ].” The idiom “give [the] back” means “to cause [one] to turn the back and run away.” See Exod 23:27 and HALOT 888 s.v. II ערף.

4 tc The translation follows one medieval Hebrew ms and the ancient versions in reading the Piel יְשַׁוְּעוּ (yÿshavvÿu, “they cry for help”) rather than the Qal of the MT יִשְׁעוּ (yishu, “they look about for help”). See Ps 18:41 as well.

5 tn Heb “but there is no deliverer.”

6 tn The words “they cry out” are not in the Hebrew text. This reference to the psalmists’ enemies crying out for help to the Lord suggests that the psalmist refers here to enemies within the covenant community, rather than foreigners. However, the militaristic context suggests foreign enemies are in view. Ancient Near Eastern literature indicates that defeated enemies would sometimes cry out for mercy to the god(s) of their conqueror. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 271.

7 tn Or “mud” (so NAB, NIV, CEV). See HALOT 374 s.v. טִיט.

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