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2 Samuel 22 New English Translation (NET Bible)

David Sings to the Lord

22 [a] David sang[b] to the Lord the words of this song when[c] the Lord rescued him from the power[d] of all his enemies, including Saul.[e] He said:

“The Lord is my high ridge,[f] my stronghold,[g] my deliverer.
My God[h] is my rocky summit where I take shelter,[i]
my shield, the horn that saves me,[j] my stronghold,
my refuge, my savior. You save me from violence![k]
I called[l] to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,[m]
and I was delivered from my enemies.
The waves of death engulfed me;
the currents[n] of chaos[o] overwhelmed me.[p]
The ropes of Sheol[q] tightened around me;[r]
the snares of death trapped me.[s]
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called to my God.[t]
From his heavenly temple[u] he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help.[v]
The earth heaved and shook;[w]
the foundations of the sky[x] trembled.[y]
They heaved because he was angry.
Smoke ascended from[z] his nose;[aa]
fire devoured as it came from his mouth;[ab]
he hurled down fiery coals.[ac]
10 He made the sky sink[ad] as he descended;
a thick cloud was under his feet.
11 He mounted[ae] a winged angel[af] and flew;
he glided[ag] on the wings of the wind.[ah]
12 He shrouded himself in darkness,[ai]
in thick rain clouds.[aj]
13 From the brightness in front of him
came coals of fire.[ak]
14 The Lord thundered[al] from the sky;
the Most High[am] shouted loudly.[an]
15 He shot[ao] arrows and scattered them,[ap]
lightning and routed them.[aq]
16 The depths[ar] of the sea were exposed;
the inner regions[as] of the world were uncovered
by the Lord’s battle cry,[at]
by the powerful breath from his nose.[au]
17 He reached down from above and grabbed me;[av]
he pulled me from the surging water.[aw]
18 He rescued me from my strong enemy,[ax]
from those who hate me,
for they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted[ay] me in my day of calamity,
but the Lord helped me.[az]
20 He brought me out into a wide open place;
he delivered me because he was pleased with me.[ba]
21 The Lord repaid[bb] me for my godly deeds;[bc]
he rewarded[bd] my blameless behavior.[be]
22 For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands;[bf]
I have not rebelled against my God.[bg]
23 For I am aware of all his regulations,[bh]
and I do not reject his rules.[bi]
24 I was blameless before him;
I kept myself from sinning.[bj]
25 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds;[bk]
he took notice of my blameless behavior.[bl]
26 You prove to be loyal[bm] to one who is faithful;[bn]
you prove to be trustworthy[bo] to one who is innocent.[bp]
27 You prove to be reliable[bq] to one who is blameless,
but you prove to be deceptive[br] to one who is perverse.[bs]
28 You deliver oppressed[bt] people,
but you watch the proud and bring them down.[bu]
29 Indeed,[bv] you are my lamp,[bw] Lord.
The Lord illumines[bx] the darkness around me.[by]
30 Indeed,[bz] with your help[ca] I can charge[cb] against an army;[cc]
by my God’s power[cd] I can jump over a wall.[ce]
31 The one true God acts in a faithful manner;[cf]
the Lord’s promise is reliable;[cg]
he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.
32 Indeed,[ch] who is God besides the Lord?
Who is a protector[ci] besides our God?[cj]
33 The one true God[ck] is my mighty refuge;[cl]
he removes[cm] the obstacles in my way.[cn]
34 He gives me the agility of a deer;[co]
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.[cp]
35 He trains[cq] my hands for battle;[cr]
my arms can bend even the strongest bow.[cs]
36 You give me[ct] your protective shield;[cu]
your willingness to help enables me to prevail.[cv]
37 You widen my path;[cw]
my feet[cx] do not slip.
38 I chase my enemies and destroy them;
I do not turn back until I wipe them out.
39 I wipe them out and beat them to death;
they cannot get up;
they fall at my feet.
40 You give me strength for battle;[cy]
you make my foes kneel before me.[cz]
41 You make my enemies retreat;[da]
I destroy those who hate me.
42 They cry out,[db] but there is no one to help them;[dc]
they cry out to the Lord,[dd] but he does not answer them.
43 I grind them as fine as the dust of the ground;
I crush them and stomp them like clay[de] in the streets.
44 You rescue me from a hostile army;[df]
you preserve me as a leader of nations;
people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.[dg]
45 Foreigners are powerless before me;[dh]
when they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.[di]
46 Foreigners lose their courage;[dj]
they shake with fear[dk] as they leave[dl] their strongholds.[dm]
47 The Lord is alive![dn]
My Protector[do] is praiseworthy![dp]
The God who delivers me[dq] is exalted as king![dr]
48 The one true God completely vindicates me;[ds]
he makes nations submit to me.[dt]
49 He delivers me from my enemies;[du]
you snatch me away[dv] from those who attack me;[dw]
you rescue me from violent men.
50 So I will give you thanks, O Lord, before the nations![dx]
I will sing praises to you.[dy]
51 He gives his king magnificent victories;[dz]
he is faithful to his chosen ruler,[ea]
to David and to his descendants forever!”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 22:1 sn In this long song of thanks, David affirms that God is his faithful protector. He recalls in highly poetic fashion how God intervened in awesome power and delivered him from death. His experience demonstrates that God vindicates those who are blameless and remain loyal to him. True to his promises, God gives the king victory on the battlefield and enables him to subdue nations. A parallel version of the song appears in Ps 18.
  2. 2 Samuel 22:1 tn Heb “spoke.”
  3. 2 Samuel 22:1 tn Heb “in the day,” or “at the time.”
  4. 2 Samuel 22:1 tn Heb “hand.”
  5. 2 Samuel 22:1 tn Heb “and from the hand of Saul.”
  6. 2 Samuel 22:2 tn Traditionally “is my rock”; CEV “mighty rock”; TEV “is my protector.” This metaphor pictures God as a rocky, relatively inaccessible summit, where one would be able to find protection from enemies. See 1 Sam 23:25, 28.
  7. 2 Samuel 22:2 tn Traditionally “my fortress”; TEV “my strong fortress”; NCV “my protection.”sn My stronghold. David often found safety in such strongholds. See 1 Sam 22:4-5; 24:22; 2 Sam 5:9, 17; 23:14.
  8. 2 Samuel 22:3 tc The translation (along with many English versions, e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) follows the LXX in reading אֱלֹהַי (ʾelohay, “my God”) rather than MT’s אֱלֹהֵי (ʾelohe, “the God of”). See Ps 18:2.
  9. 2 Samuel 22:3 tn Or “in whom.”
  10. 2 Samuel 22:3 tn Heb “the horn of my salvation,” or “my saving horn.”sn Though some see “horn” as referring to a horn-shaped peak of a hill, or to the “horns” of an altar where one could find refuge, it is more likely that 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 the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). In the ancient Near East powerful warrior-kings would sometimes compare themselves to a goring bull that uses its horns to kill its enemies. For examples, see P. Miller, “El the Warrior,” HTR 60 (1967): 422-25, and R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 135-36. 2 Sam 22:3 uses the metaphor of the horn in a slightly different manner. Here the Lord himself is compared to a horn. He is to the psalmist what the horn is to the ox, a source of defense and victory.
  11. 2 Samuel 22:3 tn The parallel version of the song in Ps 18 does not include this last line.
  12. 2 Samuel 22:4 tn In this song of thanksgiving, where David recalls how the Lord delivered him, the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense (cf. CEV “I prayed”), not an imperfect (as in many English versions).
  13. 2 Samuel 22:4 tn Heb “worthy of praise, I cried out [to] the Lord.” Some take מְהֻלָּל (mehullal, “worthy of praise”) with what precedes and translate, “the praiseworthy one,” or “praiseworthy.” However, the various epithets in vv. 1-2 have the first person pronominal suffix, unlike מְהֻלָּל. If one follows the traditional verse division and takes מְהֻלָּל with what follows, it is best understood as substantival and as appositional to יְהוָה (yehvah, “Yahweh”), resulting in “[to the] praiseworthy one I cried out, [to the] Lord.”
  14. 2 Samuel 22:5 tn The noun נַחַל (nakhal) usually refers to a river or stream, but in this context the plural form likely refers to the currents of the sea (see vv. 15-16).
  15. 2 Samuel 22:5 tn The noun בְלִיַּעַל (beliyyaʿal) is used here as an epithet for death. Elsewhere it is a common noun meaning “wickedness, uselessness” (see HALOT 133-34 s.v. בְּלִיַּעַל). It is often associated with rebellion against authority and other crimes that result in societal disorder and anarchy. The phrase “man/son of wickedness” refers to one who opposes God and the order he has established. The term becomes an appropriate title for death, which, through human forces, launches an attack against God’s chosen servant.
  16. 2 Samuel 22:5 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. (Note the perfect verbal form in the parallel/preceding line.) The verb בָּעַת (baʿat) sometimes by metonymy carries the nuance “frighten,” but the parallelism (note “engulfed” in the preceding line) favors the meaning “overwhelm” here.
  17. 2 Samuel 22:6 tn “Sheol,” personified here as David’s enemy, is the underworld, place of the dead in primitive Hebrew cosmology.
  18. 2 Samuel 22:6 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
  19. 2 Samuel 22:6 tn Heb “confronted me.”
  20. 2 Samuel 22:7 tn In this poetic narrative the two prefixed verbal forms in v. 7a are best understood as preterites indicating past tense, not imperfects. Note the use of the vav consecutive with the prefixed verbal form that follows in v. 7b.
  21. 2 Samuel 22:7 tn Heb “from his temple.” Verse 10, which pictures God descending from the sky, indicates that the heavenly, not earthly, temple is in view.
  22. 2 Samuel 22:7 tn Heb “and my cry for help [entered] his ears.”
  23. 2 Samuel 22:8 tn The earth heaved and shook. The imagery pictures an earthquake, in which the earth’s surface rises and falls. The earthquake motif is common in Old Testament theophanies of God as warrior and in ancient Near eastern literary descriptions of warring gods and kings. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 160-62.
  24. 2 Samuel 22:8 tn Psalm 18:7 reads “the roots of the mountains.”
  25. 2 Samuel 22:8 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the three prefixed verbal forms with vav consecutive in the verse.
  26. 2 Samuel 22:9 tn Heb “within” or “[from] within.” For a discussion of the use of the preposition ב (bet) here, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 163-64.
  27. 2 Samuel 22:9 tn Or “in his anger.” The noun אַף (ʾaf) can carry the abstract meaning “anger,” but the parallelism (note “from his mouth”) suggests the more concrete meaning “nose” here (most English versions, “nostrils”). See also v. 16, “the powerful breath of your nose.”
  28. 2 Samuel 22:9 tn Heb “fire from his mouth devoured.” In this poetic narrative the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the two perfect verbal forms in the verse.sn For other examples of fire as a weapon in Old Testament theophanies and ancient Near Eastern portrayals of warring gods and kings, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 165-67.
  29. 2 Samuel 22:9 tn Heb “coals burned from him.” Perhaps the psalmist pictures God’s fiery breath igniting coals (see Job 41:21), which he then hurls as weapons (see Ps 120:4).
  30. 2 Samuel 22:10 tn The verb נָטָה (natah) can carry the sense “[to cause to] bend; [to cause to] bow down” (see HALOT 693 s.v. נָטָה). For example, Gen 49:15 pictures Issachar as a donkey that “bends” its shoulder or back under a burden (cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV “He bowed the heavens”; NAB “He inclined the heavens”). Here the Lord causes the sky, pictured as a dome or vault, to bend or sink down as he descends in the storm.
  31. 2 Samuel 22:11 tn Or “rode upon.”
  32. 2 Samuel 22:11 tn Heb “a cherub” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV); NIV “the cherubim” (plural); TEV “his winged creature”; CEV “flying creatures.”sn A winged angel. Cherubim, as depicted in the Old Testament, possess both human and animal (lion, ox, and eagle) characteristics (see Ezek 1:10; 10:14, 21; 41:18). They are pictured as winged creatures (Exod 25:20; 37:9; 1 Kgs 6:24-27; Ezek 10:8, 19) and serve as the very throne of God when the ark of the covenant is in view (Pss 80:1; 99:1; see Num 7:89; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2; 2 Kgs 19:15). The picture of the Lord seated on the cherubim suggests they might be used by him as a vehicle, a function they carry out in Ezek 1:22-28 (the “living creatures” mentioned here are identified as cherubim in Ezek 10:20). In Ps 18:10 the image of a cherub serves to personify the wind (see the next line).
  33. 2 Samuel 22:11 tc The translation follows very many medieval Hebrew mss in reading וַיֵּדֶא (vayyedeʾ, “and he glided”; cf. NIV “soared”; NCV “raced”) rather than MT וַיֵּרָא (vayyeraʾ, “and he appeared,” so NASB, CEV). See as well the Syriac Peshitta, Targum, Vulgate, and the parallel version in Ps 18:10, which preserves the original reading (see the note there).
  34. 2 Samuel 22:11 sn The wings of the wind. Verse 10 may depict the Lord mounting a cherub, which is in turn propelled by the wind current. Another option is that two different vehicles (a cherub and the wind) are envisioned. A third option is that the wind is personified as a cherub. For a discussion of ancient Near Eastern parallels to the imagery in v. 10, see M. Weinfeld, “‘Rider of the Clouds’ and ‘Gatherer of the Clouds’,” JANESCU 5 (1973): 422-24.
  35. 2 Samuel 22:12 tc Heb “he made darkness around him coverings.” The parallel text in Ps 18:11 reads “he made darkness his hiding place around him, his covering.” 2 Sam 22:12 omits “his hiding place” and pluralizes “covering.” Psalm 18:11 may include a conflation of synonyms (“his hiding place” and “his covering”) or 2 Sam 22:12 may be the result of haplography/homoioarcton. Note that three successive words in Ps 18:11 begin with the letter ס (samek): סִתְרוֹ סְבִיבוֹתָיו סֻכָּתוֹ (sitro sevivotayv sukkato).
  36. 2 Samuel 22:12 tc Heb “a sieve of water, clouds of clouds.” The form חַשְׁרַת (khashrat) is a construct of חַשְׁרָה (khashrah, “sieve”), which occurs only here in the OT. A cognate Ugaritic noun means “sieve,” and a related verb חשׁר (“to sift”) is attested in post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic (see HALOT 363 s.v. *חשׁר). The phrase חַשְׁרַת־מַיִם (khashrat mayim) means literally “a sieve of water.” It pictures the rain clouds as a sieve through which the rain falls to the ground. (See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry, 146, note 33.)
  37. 2 Samuel 22:13 tc The parallel text in Ps 18:12 reads “from the brightness in front of him his clouds came, hail and coals of fire.” The Lucianic family of texts within the Greek tradition of 2 Sam 22:13 seems to assume the underlying Hebrew text: מִנֹּגַהּ נֶגְדּוֹ עָבְרוּ בָּרָד וְגַחֲלֵי אֵשׁ (minnogah negdo ʿaveru barad vegakhale ʾesh, “from the brightness in front of him came hail and coals of fire”) which is the basis for the present translation. The textual situation is perplexing and the identity of the original text uncertain. The verbs עָבְרוּ (ʿaveru; Ps 18:12) and בָּעֲרוּ (baʿaru, 2 Sam 22:13) appear to be variants involving a transposition of the first two letters. The noun עָבָיו (ʿavayv, “his clouds”; Ps 18:12) may be virtually dittographic (note the following עָבְרוּ), or it could have accidentally dropped from the text of 2 Sam 22:13 by virtual haplography (note the preceding בָּעֲרוּ [baʿaru], which might have originally read עָבְרוּ). The term בָּרָד (barad, “hail”; Ps 18:12) may be virtually dittographic (note the preceding עָבְרוּ), or it could have dropped from 2 Sam 22:13 by virtual haplography (note the preceding בָּעֲרוּ, which might have originally read עָבְרוּ). For a fuller discussion of the text, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 74-76.
  38. 2 Samuel 22:14 tn The shortened theme vowel indicates that the prefixed verbal form is a preterite.
  39. 2 Samuel 22:14 sn This divine title (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.
  40. 2 Samuel 22:14 tn Heb “offered his voice.” In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect. Note the preterite form in the preceding line. The text of Ps 18:13 adds at this point, “hail and coals of fire.” These words are probably accidentally added from v. 12b; they do not appear in 2 Sam 22:14.sn Thunder is a common motif in Old Testament theophanies and in ancient Near Eastern portrayals of the storm god and warring kings. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 179-83.
  41. 2 Samuel 22:15 tn Heb “sent.”
  42. 2 Samuel 22:15 tn The pronominal suffixes on the verbs “scattered” and “routed” (see the next line) refer to David’s enemies. Some argue that the suffixes refer to the arrows, in which case one might translate “shot them far and wide” and “made them move noisily,” respectively. They argue that the enemies have not been mentioned since v. 4 and are not again mentioned until v. 17. However, usage of the verbs פוּץ (puts, “scatter”) and הָמַם (hamam, “rout”) elsewhere in Holy War accounts suggests the suffixes refer to enemies. Enemies are frequently pictured in such texts as scattered and/or routed (see Exod 14:24; 23:27; Num 10:35; Josh 10:10; Judg 4:15; 1 Sam 7:10; 11:11; Ps 68:1).
  43. 2 Samuel 22:15 sn Lightning is a common motif in OT theophanies and in ancient Near Eastern portrayals of the storm god and warring kings. Arrows and lightning bolts are associated in other texts (see Pss 77:17-18; 144:6; Zech 9:14), as well as in ancient Near Eastern art. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 187, 190-92.
  44. 2 Samuel 22:16 tn Or “channels.”
  45. 2 Samuel 22:16 tn Or “foundations.”
  46. 2 Samuel 22:16 tn The noun is derived from the verb גָעַר (gaʿar) which is often understood to mean “rebuke.” In some cases it is apparent that scolding or threatening is in view (see Gen 37:10; Ruth 2:16; Zech 3:2). However, in militaristic contexts this translation is inadequate, for the verb refers in this setting to the warrior’s battle cry, which terrifies and paralyzes the enemy. See A. Caquot, TDOT 3:53, and note the use of the verb in Pss 68:30; 106:9; and Nah 1:4, as well as the related noun in Job 26:11; Pss 9:5; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
  47. 2 Samuel 22:16 tn Heb “blast of the breath” (literally, “breath of breath”) employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971): 17-81.
  48. 2 Samuel 22:17 tn Heb “stretched.” Perhaps “his hand” should be supplied by ellipsis (see Ps 144:7). In this poetic narrative context the three prefixed verbal forms in this verse are best understood as preterites indicating past tense, not imperfects.
  49. 2 Samuel 22:17 tn Heb “mighty waters.” The waters of the sea symbolize the psalmist’s powerful enemies, as well as the realm of death they represent (see v. 5 and Ps 144:7).
  50. 2 Samuel 22:18 tn The singular refers either to personified death or collectively to the psalmist’s enemies. The following line, which refers to “those [plural] who hate me,” favors the latter.
  51. 2 Samuel 22:19 tn The same verb is translated “trapped” in v. 6. In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not imperfect. Cf. NAB, NCV, TEV, NLT “attacked.”
  52. 2 Samuel 22:19 tn Heb “became my support.”
  53. 2 Samuel 22:20 tn Or “delighted in me” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
  54. 2 Samuel 22:21 tn In this poetic narrative context the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not imperfect.
  55. 2 Samuel 22:21 tn Heb “according to my righteousness.” As vv. 22-25 make clear, David refers here to his unwavering obedience to God’s commands. He explains that the Lord was pleased with him and willing to deliver him because he had been loyal to God and obedient to his commandments. Ancient Near Eastern literature contains numerous parallels. A superior (a god or king) would typically reward a subject (a king or the servant of a king, respectively) for loyalty and obedience. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 211-13.
  56. 2 Samuel 22:21 tn The unreduced Hiphil prefixed verbal form appears to be an imperfect, in which case the psalmist would be generalizing. However, both the preceding and following contexts (see especially v. 25) suggest he is narrating his experience. Despite its unreduced form, the verb is better taken as a preterite. For other examples of unreduced Hiphil preterites, see Pss 55:14a; 68:9a, 10b; 80:8a; 89:43a; 107:38b; 116:6b.
  57. 2 Samuel 22:21 tn Heb “according to the purity of my hands he repaid to me.” Hands suggest activity and behavior.
  58. 2 Samuel 22:22 tn Heb “for I have kept the ways of the Lord.” The phrase “ways of the Lord” refers here to the “conduct required” by the Lord (see HALOT 232 s.v. דֶרֶךְ). In Ps 25 the Lord’s “ways” are associated with his covenantal demands (see vv. 4, 9-10). See also Ps 119:3 (cf. vv. 1, 4), as well as Deut 8:6; 10:12; 11:22; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9; 30:16.
  59. 2 Samuel 22:22 tn Heb “I have not acted wickedly from my God.” The statement is elliptical, the idea being, “I have not acted wickedly and, in so doing, departed from my God.”
  60. 2 Samuel 22:23 tn Heb “for all his regulations are before me.” The term מִשְׁפָּטָו (mishpatav, “his regulations”) refers to God’s covenantal requirements, especially those which the king is responsible to follow (cf Deut 17:18-20). See also Pss 19:9 (cf vv. 7-8); 89:30; 147:20 (cf v. 19), as well as the numerous uses of the term in Ps 119.
  61. 2 Samuel 22:23 tn Heb “and his rules, I do not turn aside from it.” Ps 18:22 reads, “and his rules I do not turn aside from me.” The prefixed verbal form is probably an imperfect; David here generalizes about his loyalty to God’s commands. The Lord’s “rules” are the stipulations of the covenant which the king was responsible to obey (see Ps 89:31; cf v. 30 and Deut 17:18-20).
  62. 2 Samuel 22:24 tn Heb “from my sin,” that is, from making it my own in any way. Leading a “blameless” life meant that the king would be loyal to God’s covenant, purge the government and society of evil and unjust officials, and reward loyalty to the Lord (see Ps 101).
  63. 2 Samuel 22:25 tn Heb “according to my righteousness.” See v. 21.
  64. 2 Samuel 22:25 tn Heb “according to my purity before his eyes.”
  65. 2 Samuel 22:26 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 26-30 draw attention to God’s characteristic actions. Based on his experience, the psalmist generalizes about God’s just dealings with people (vv. 26-28) and about the way in which God typically empowers him on the battlefield (vv. 29-30). The Hitpael stem is used in vv. 26-27 in a reflexive resultative (or causative) sense. God makes himself loyal, etc. in the sense that he conducts or reveals himself as such. On this use of the Hitpael stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e.
  66. 2 Samuel 22:26 tn Or “to a faithful follower.” A חָסִיד (khasid, “faithful follower”) is one who does what is right in God’s eyes and remains faithful to God (see Pss 4:3; 12:1; 16:10; 31:23; 37:28; 86:2; 97:10).
  67. 2 Samuel 22:26 tn Or “innocent.”
  68. 2 Samuel 22:26 tc Heb “a warrior of innocence.” The parallel text in Ps 18:25 reads, probably correctly, גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”) instead of גִּבּוֹר (gibbor, “warrior”).
  69. 2 Samuel 22:27 tn Or “blameless.”
  70. 2 Samuel 22:27 tc The translation follows two medieval Hebrew mss in reading תִּתְפַּתָּל (titpattal) from the root פָּתַל (patal, “to twist”), rather than the MT תִּתַּפָּל (tittappal, from the root תָּפַל (tafal, “to be tasteless,” “behave silly”; cf. KJV “unsavoury”). See as well the parallel passage in Ps 18:26. The verb פָּתַל (patal) is used in only three other texts. In Gen 30:8 it means literally “to wrestle,” or “to twist.” In Job 5:13 it refers to devious individuals, and in Prov 8:8 to deceptive words. Cf. NAB, NASB “astute”; NIV “shrewd”; NRSV “perverse”; TEV, NLT “hostile.”
  71. 2 Samuel 22:27 tn The adjective עִקֵּשׁ (ʿiqqesh) has the basic nuance “twisted; crooked,” and by extension refers to someone or something that is morally perverse. It appears frequently in Proverbs, where it is used of evil people (22:5), speech (8:8; 19:1), thoughts (11:20; 17:20) and life styles (2:15; 28:6). A righteous king opposes such people (Ps 101:4). Verses 26-27 affirm God’s justice. He responds to people in accordance with their moral character. His response mirrors their actions. The faithful and blameless find God to be loyal and reliable in his dealings with them. But deceivers discover he is able and willing to use deceit to destroy them. For a more extensive discussion of the theme of divine deception in the OT, see R. B. Chisholm, “Does God Deceive?” BSac 155 (1998): 11-28.
  72. 2 Samuel 22:28 tn Or perhaps “humble” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT; note the contrast with those who are proud).
  73. 2 Samuel 22:28 tc Heb “but your eyes are upon the proud, you bring low.” Psalm 18:27 reads “but proud eyes you bring low.”
  74. 2 Samuel 22:29 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.
  75. 2 Samuel 22:29 tc Many medieval Hebrew mss, some LXX mss, and the Syriac Peshitta support reading תָּאִיר (taʾir, “you cause to shine”) before the words “my lamp.” See Ps 18:28. The metaphor, which likens the Lord to a lamp or light, pictures him as the psalmist’s source of life. For other examples of “lamp” used in this way, see Job 18:6; 21:17; Prov 13:9; 20:20; 24:20. For other examples of “light” as a symbol for life, see Job 3:20; 33:30; Ps 56:13.
  76. 2 Samuel 22:29 tc The Lucianic Greek recension and Vulgate understand this verb to be second person rather than third person as in the MT. But this is probably the result of reading the preceding word “Lord” as a vocative under the influence of the vocative in the first part of the verse.
  77. 2 Samuel 22:29 tn Heb “my darkness.”
  78. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.
  79. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn Heb “by you.”
  80. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn Heb “I will run.” The imperfect verbal forms in v. 30 indicate the subject’s potential or capacity to perform an action. Though one might expect a preposition to follow the verb here, this need not be the case with the verb רוּץ (ruts; see 1 Sam 17:22). Some emend the Qal to a Hiphil form of the verb and translate, “I put to flight [literally, “cause to run”] an army.”
  81. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn More specifically, the noun refers to a raiding party or to a contingent of troops (see HALOT 177 s.v. II גְדוּד). The picture of a divinely empowered warrior charging against an army in almost superhuman fashion appears elsewhere in ancient Near Eastern literature. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 228.
  82. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn Heb “by my God.”
  83. 2 Samuel 22:30 tn David uses hyperbole to emphasize his God-given military superiority.
  84. 2 Samuel 22:31 tn Heb “[As for] the God, his way is blameless.” The term הָאֵל (haʾel, “the God”) stands as a nominative (or genitive) absolute in apposition to the resumptive pronominal suffix on “way.” The prefixed article emphasizes his distinctiveness as the one true God (see BDB 42 s.v. II אֵל 6; Deut 33:26). God’s “way” in this context refers to his protective and salvific acts in fulfillment of his promise (see also Deut 32:4; Pss 67:2; 77:13 [note vv. 11-12, 14]; 103:7; 138:5; 145:17).
  85. 2 Samuel 22:31 tn Heb “the word of the Lord is purified.” The Lord’s “word” probably refers here to his oracle(s) of victory delivered to the psalmist before the battle(s) described in the following context. See also Pss 12:5-7 and 138:2-3. David frequently received such oracles before going into battle (see 1 Sam 23:2, 4-5, 10-12; 30:8; 2 Sam 5:19). The Lord’s word of promise is absolutely reliable; it is compared to metal that has been refined in fire and cleansed of impurities. See Ps 12:6. In the ancient Near East kings would typically seek and receive oracles from their god(s) prior to battle. For examples, see R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 241-42.
  86. 2 Samuel 22:32 tn Or “for.” The translation assumes that כִּי (ki) is asseverative here.
  87. 2 Samuel 22:32 tn Heb “rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor of protection.
  88. 2 Samuel 22:32 tn The rhetorical questions anticipate the answer, “No one.” In this way the psalmist indicates that the Lord is the only true God and reliable source of protection. See also Deut 32:39, where the Lord affirms that he is the only true God. Note as well the emphasis on his role as protector (צוּר, tsur, “rocky cliff”) in Deut 32:4, 15, 17-18, 30.
  89. 2 Samuel 22:33 tn Heb “the God.” See the note at v. 31.
  90. 2 Samuel 22:33 tc 4QSama has מְאַזְּרֵנִי (meʾazzereni, “the one girding me with strength”) rather than the MT מָעוּזִּי (maʿuzzi, “my refuge”). See as well Ps 18:32.
  91. 2 Samuel 22:33 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav consecutive here carries along the generalizing tone of the preceding line.
  92. 2 Samuel 22:33 tn Heb “and he sets free (from the verb נָתַר, natar) [the] blameless, his [Kethib; “my” (Qere)] way.” The translation follows Ps 18:32 in reading “he made my path smooth.” The term תָּמִים (tamim, “smooth”) usually carries a moral or ethical connotation, “blameless, innocent.” However, in Ps 18:33 it refers to a pathway free of obstacles. The reality underlying the metaphor is the psalmist’s ability to charge into battle without tripping (see vv. 33, 36).
  93. 2 Samuel 22:34 tc Heb “[the one who] makes his feet like [those of] a deer.” The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading רַגְלַי (raglay, “my feet”) rather than the MT רַגְלָיו (raglayv, “his feet”). See as well Ps 18:33.
  94. 2 Samuel 22:34 tn Heb “and on my high places he makes me walk.” The imperfect verbal form emphasizes God’s characteristic provision. The psalmist compares his agility in battle to the ability of a deer to negotiate rugged, high terrain without falling or being injured. Habakkuk uses similar language to describe his faith during difficult times. See Hab 3:19.
  95. 2 Samuel 22:35 tn Heb “teaches.”
  96. 2 Samuel 22:35 tn The psalmist attributes his skill with weapons to divine enabling. Egyptian reliefs picture gods teaching the king how to shoot a bow. See O. Keel, Symbolism of the Biblical World, 265.
  97. 2 Samuel 22:35 tn Heb “and a bow of bronze is bent by my arms.” The verb נָחֵת (nakhet) apparently means “to pull back; to bend” here (see HALOT 692 s.v. נחת). The bronze bow referred to here was probably laminated with bronze strips, or a purely ceremonial or decorative bow made entirely from bronze. In the latter case the language is hyperbolic, for such a weapon would not be functional in battle.
  98. 2 Samuel 22:36 tn Another option is to translate the prefixed verb with vav consecutive with a past tense, “you gave me.” Several prefixed verbal forms with vav consecutive also appear in vv. 38-44. The present translation understands this section as a description of what generally happened when the author charged into battle, but another option is to understand the section as narrative and translate accordingly.
  99. 2 Samuel 22:36 tc Psalm 18:35 contains an additional line following this one, which reads “your right hand supports me.” It may be omitted here due to homoioarcton. See the note at Ps 18:35.tn Heb “and you give me the shield of your deliverance”; KJV, ASV “the shield of thy (your NRSV, NLT) salvation”; NIV “your shield of victory.” Ancient Near Eastern literature often refers to a god giving a king special weapons. See R. B. Chisholm, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Psalm 18/2 Samuel 22” (Th.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1983), 260-61.
  100. 2 Samuel 22:36 tn Heb “your answer makes me great.” David refers to God’s willingness to answer his prayer.
  101. 2 Samuel 22:37 tn Heb “step.” “Step” probably refers metonymically to the path upon which the psalmist walks. Another option is to translate, “you widen my stride.” This would suggest that God gives him the capacity to run quickly.
  102. 2 Samuel 22:37 tn Heb “lower legs.” On the meaning of the Hebrew noun, which occurs only here, see H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 112. A cognate Akkadian noun means “lower leg.”
  103. 2 Samuel 22:40 tn Heb “you clothed me with strength for battle.”
  104. 2 Samuel 22:40 tn Heb “you make those who rise against me kneel beneath me.”
  105. 2 Samuel 22:41 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.
  106. 2 Samuel 22:42 tc The translation follows one medieval Hebrew ms and the ancient versions in reading the Piel יְשַׁוְּעוּ (yeshavveʿu, “they cry for help”) rather than the Qal of the MT יִשְׁעוּ (yishʿu, “they look about for help”). See Ps 18:41 as well.
  107. 2 Samuel 22:42 tn Heb “but there is no deliverer.”
  108. 2 Samuel 22:42 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.
  109. 2 Samuel 22:43 tn Or “mud” (so NAB, NIV, CEV). See HALOT 374 s.v. טִיט.
  110. 2 Samuel 22:44 tn Heb “from the strivings of my people.” In this context רִיב (riv, “striving”) probably has a militaristic sense (as in Judg 12:2; Isa 41:11), and עַם (ʿam, “people”) probably refers more specifically to an army (for other examples, see the verses listed in BDB 766 s.v. עַם 2.d). The suffix “my” suggests David is referring to attacks by his own countrymen, the “people” being Israel. However, the parallel text in Ps 18:43 omits the suffix.
  111. 2 Samuel 22:44 tn Heb “a people whom I did not know serve me.” In this context the verb “know” (יָדַע, yadaʿ) probably refers to formal recognition by treaty. People who were once not under the psalmist’s authority now willingly submit to his rulership to avoid being conquered militarily (see vv. 45-46). The language may recall the events recorded in 2 Sam 8:9-10 and 10:19.
  112. 2 Samuel 22:45 tn For the meaning “to be weak; to be powerless” for the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash), see Ps 109:24. Verse 46, which also mentions foreigners, favors this interpretation. Another option is to translate “cower in fear” (see Deut 33:29; Pss 66:3; 81:15).
  113. 2 Samuel 22:45 tn Heb “at a report of an ear they submit to me.” The report of David’s exploits is so impressive that those who hear it submit to his rulership without putting up a fight.
  114. 2 Samuel 22:46 tn Heb “wither, wear out.”
  115. 2 Samuel 22:46 tc The translation assumes a reading וְיַחְרְגוּ (veyakhregu, “and they quaked”) rather than the MT וְיַחְגְּרוּ (veyakhgeru, “and they girded themselves”). See the note at Ps 18:45.
  116. 2 Samuel 22:46 tn Heb “from.”
  117. 2 Samuel 22:46 tn Heb “prisons.” Their besieged cities are compared to prisons.
  118. 2 Samuel 22:47 tn Elsewhere the construction חַי־יְהוָה (khay yehvah) is used exclusively as an oath formula, but this is not the case here, for no oath follows. Here the statement is an affirmation of the Lord’s active presence and intervention. In contrast to pagan deities, he demonstrates that he is the living God by rescuing and empowering the psalmist.
  119. 2 Samuel 22:47 tn Heb “my rocky cliff,” which is a metaphor for protection.
  120. 2 Samuel 22:47 tn Or “blessed [i.e., praised] be.”
  121. 2 Samuel 22:47 tn Heb “the God of the rock of my deliverance.” The term צוּר (tsur, “rock”) is probably accidentally repeated from the previous line. The parallel version in Ps 18:46 has simply “the God of my deliverance.”
  122. 2 Samuel 22:47 tn The words “as king” are supplied in the translation for clarification. In the Psalms the verb רוּם (rum, “be exalted”) when used of God, refers to his exalted position as king (Pss 99:2; 113:4; 138:6) and/or his self-revelation as king through his mighty deeds of deliverance (Pss 21:13; 46:10; 57:5, 11).
  123. 2 Samuel 22:48 tn Heb “The God is the one who grants vengeance to me.” The plural form of the noun “vengeance” indicates degree here, suggesting complete vengeance or vindication. In the ancient Near East military victory was sometimes viewed as a sign that one’s God had judged in favor of the victor, avenging and/or vindicating him. See, for example, Judg 11:27, 32-33, 36.
  124. 2 Samuel 22:48 tn Heb “and [is the one who] brings down nations beneath me.”
  125. 2 Samuel 22:49 tn Heb “and [the one who] brings me out from my enemies.”
  126. 2 Samuel 22:49 tn Heb “you lift me up.” In light of the preceding and following references to deliverance, the verb רוּם (rum) probably here refers to being rescued from danger (see Ps 9:13). However, it could mean “exalt; elevate” here, indicating that the Lord has given him victory over his enemies and forced them to acknowledge the psalmist’s superiority.
  127. 2 Samuel 22:49 tn Heb “from those who rise against me.”
  128. 2 Samuel 22:50 sn This probably alludes to the fact that David will praise the Lord in the presence of the defeated nations when they, as his subjects, bring their tribute payments. Ideally God’s chosen king was to testify to the nations of God’s greatness. See J. Eaton, Kingship and the Psalms (SBT), 182-85.
  129. 2 Samuel 22:50 tn Heb “to your name.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his divine characteristics as suggested by his name, in this case “Lord,” the primary name of Israel’s covenant God which suggests his active presence with his people (see Exod 3:12-15).
  130. 2 Samuel 22:51 tc The translation follows the Kethib and the ancient versions in reading מַגְדִּיל (magdil, “he magnifies”) rather than the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss of the MT which read מִגְדּוֹל (migdol, “tower”). See Ps 18:50.
  131. 2 Samuel 22:51 tn Heb “[the one who] does loyalty to his anointed one.”
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 27 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 27[a]

By David.

27 The Lord is my light[b] and my salvation.
I fear no one.[c]
The Lord protects my life.
I am afraid of no one.[d]
When evil men attack me[e]
to devour my flesh,[f]
when my adversaries and enemies attack me,[g]
they stumble and fall.[h]
Even when an army is deployed against me,
I do not fear.[i]
Even when war is imminent,[j]
I remain confident.[k]
I have asked the Lord for one thing—
this is what I desire!
I want to live[l] in the Lord’s house[m] all the days of my life,
so I can gaze at the splendor[n] of the Lord
and contemplate in his temple.
He will surely[o] give me shelter[p] in the day of danger;[q]
he will hide me in his home.[r]
He will place me[s] on an inaccessible rocky summit.[t]
Now I will triumph
over my enemies who surround me.[u]
I will offer sacrifices in his dwelling place and shout for joy.[v]
I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear me,[w] O Lord, when I cry out.
Have mercy on me and answer me.
My heart tells me to pray to you,[x]
and I do pray to you, O Lord.[y]
Do not reject me.[z]
Do not push your servant away in anger.
You are my deliverer.[aa]
Do not forsake or abandon me,
O God who vindicates me.
10 Even if my father and mother abandoned me,[ab]
the Lord would take me in.[ac]
11 Teach me how you want me to live,[ad] Lord;
lead me along a level path[ae] because of those who wait to ambush me.[af]
12 Do not turn me over to my enemies,[ag]
for false witnesses who want to destroy me testify against me.[ah]
13 Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience
the Lord’s favor in the land of the living?[ai]
14 Rely[aj] on the Lord!
Be strong and confident![ak]
Rely on the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 27:1 sn Psalm 27. The author is confident of the Lord’s protection and asks the Lord to vindicate him.
  2. Psalm 27:1 sn “Light” is often used as a metaphor for deliverance and the life/blessings it brings. See Pss 37:6; 97:11; 112:4; Isa 49:6; 51:4; Mic 7:8. Another option is that “light” refers here to divine guidance (see Ps 43:3).
  3. Psalm 27:1 tn Heb “Whom shall I fear?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “No one.”
  4. Psalm 27:1 tn Heb “Of whom shall I be afraid?” The rhetorical question anticipates the answer, “No one!”
  5. Psalm 27:2 tn Heb “draw near to me.”
  6. Psalm 27:2 sn To devour my flesh. The psalmist compares his enemies to dangerous, hungry predators (see 2 Kgs 9:36; Ezek 39:17).
  7. Psalm 27:2 tn Heb “my adversaries and my enemies against me.” The verb “draw near” (that is, “attack”) is understood by ellipsis; see the previous line.
  8. Psalm 27:2 tn The Hebrew verbal forms are perfects. The translation assumes the psalmist is generalizing here, but another option is to take this as a report of past experience, “when evil men attacked me…they stumbled and fell.”
  9. Psalm 27:3 tn Heb “my heart does not fear.”
  10. Psalm 27:3 tn Heb “if war rises up against me.”
  11. Psalm 27:3 tn Heb “in this [i.e., “during this situation”] I am trusting.”
  12. Psalm 27:4 tn Heb “for me to live.”
  13. Psalm 27:4 sn The Lord’s house. This probably refers to the tabernacle (if one accepts Davidic authorship) or the temple (see Judg 19:18; 1 Sam 1:7, 24; 2 Sam 12:20; 1 Kgs 7:12, 40, 45, 51).
  14. Psalm 27:4 tn Or “beauty.”
  15. Psalm 27:5 tn Or “for he will.” The translation assumes the כִּי (ki) is asseverative here, rather than causal.
  16. Psalm 27:5 tn Heb “he will hide me in his hut.”
  17. Psalm 27:5 tn Or “trouble.”
  18. Psalm 27:5 tn Heb “tent.”
  19. Psalm 27:5 tn The three imperfect verb forms in v. 5 anticipate a positive response to the prayer offered in vv. 7-12.
  20. Psalm 27:5 tn Heb “on a rocky summit he lifts me up.” The Lord places the psalmist in an inaccessible place where his enemies cannot reach him. See Ps 18:2.
  21. Psalm 27:6 tn Heb “and now my head will be lifted up over my enemies all around me.”sn In vv. 1-3 the psalmist generalizes, but here we discover that he is facing a crisis and is under attack from enemies (see vv. 11-12).
  22. Psalm 27:6 tn Heb “I will sacrifice in his tent sacrifices of a shout for joy” (that is, “sacrifices accompanied by a joyful shout”).
  23. Psalm 27:7 tn Heb “my voice.”
  24. Psalm 27:8 tc Heb “concerning you my heart says, ‘Seek my face.’” The verb form “seek” is plural, but this makes no sense here, for the psalmist is addressed. The verb should be emended to a singular form. The first person pronominal suffix on “face” also makes little sense, unless it is the voice of the Lord he hears. His “heart” is viewed as speaking, however, so it is better to emend the form to פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”).
  25. Psalm 27:8 tn Heb “your face, O Lord, I seek.” To “seek the Lord’s face” means to seek his favor through prayer (see 2 Sam 21:1; Pss 24:6; 105:4).
  26. Psalm 27:9 tn Heb “do not hide your face from me.” The idiom “hide the face” can mean “ignore” (see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9) or carry the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 30:7; 88:14).
  27. Psalm 27:9 tn Or “[source of] help.”
  28. Psalm 27:10 tn Or “though my father and mother have abandoned me.”
  29. Psalm 27:10 tn Heb “gather me in”; or “receive me.”
  30. Psalm 27:11 tn Heb “teach me your way.” The Lord’s “way” refers here to the moral principles which he expects the psalmist to follow. See Ps 25:4.
  31. Psalm 27:11 sn The level path refers to God’s moral principles (see the parallel line), which, if followed, will keep the psalmist blameless before his accusers (see v. 12).
  32. Psalm 27:11 tn Heb “because of those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 54:5; 56:2.
  33. Psalm 27:12 tn Heb “do not give me over to the desire of my enemies.”
  34. Psalm 27:12 tn Heb “for they have risen up against me, lying witnesses and a testifier of violence.” The form יָפֵחַ (yafeakh) is traditionally understood as a verb meaning “snort, breathe out”: “for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty” (KJV; cf. BDB 422 s.v.). A better option is to take the form as a noun meaning “a witness” (or “testifier”). See Prov 6:19; 12:17; 14:5, 25; 19:5, 9, and Hab 2:3.
  35. Psalm 27:13 tn In the Hebrew text the sentence is incomplete: “If I had not believed [I would] see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” The words “Where would I be” are supplied in the translation to clarify the intent of the statement.
  36. Psalm 27:14 tn Or “wait.”
  37. Psalm 27:14 tn Heb “be strong and let your heart be confident.”
New English Translation (NET)

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Matthew 25 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five[a] of the virgins[b] were foolish, and five were wise. When[c] the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra[d] olive oil[e] with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When[f] the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The[g] foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied.[h] ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then[i] the door was shut. 11 Later,[j] the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’[k] 12 But he replied,[l] ‘I tell you the truth,[m] I do not know you!’ 13 Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.[n]

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves[o] and entrusted his property to them. 15 To[p] one he gave five talents,[q] to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work[r] and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After[s] a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The[t] one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir,[u] you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered,[v] ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The[w] one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so[x] I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered,[y] ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers,[z] and on my return I would have received my money back with interest![aa] 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten.[ab] 29 For the one who has will be given more,[ac] and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.[ad] 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness,[ae] where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Judgment

31 “When[af] the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All[ag] the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He[ah] will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him,[ai] ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When[aj] did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 39 When[ak] did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the king will answer them,[al] ‘I tell you the truth,[am] just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters[an] of mine, you did it for me.’

41 “Then he will say[ao] to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they too will answer,[ap] ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ 45 Then he will answer them,[aq] ‘I tell you the truth,[ar] just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”[as]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 25:2 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  2. Matthew 25:2 tn Grk “Five of them.”
  3. Matthew 25:3 tn Grk “For when.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.
  4. Matthew 25:3 tn The word “extra” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The point is that the five foolish virgins had only the oil in their lamps, but took along no extra supply from which to replenish them. This is clear from v. 8, where the lamps of the foolish virgins are going out because they are running out of oil.
  5. Matthew 25:3 tn On the use of olive oil in lamps, see L&N 6.202.
  6. Matthew 25:5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  7. Matthew 25:8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  8. Matthew 25:9 tn Grk “The wise answered, saying, ‘No.’”
  9. Matthew 25:10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  10. Matthew 25:11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  11. Matthew 25:11 tn Grk “Open to us.”
  12. Matthew 25:12 tn Grk “But answering, he said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.
  13. Matthew 25:12 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  14. Matthew 25:13 tc Most later mss (C3 Γ ƒ13 1241 1424c M) add here “in which the Son of Man is coming” (ἐν ᾗ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται, en |ē ho huios tou anthrōpou erchetai), reproducing almost verbatim the last line of Matt 24:44. The longer reading thus appears to be an explanatory expansion and should not be considered authentic. The earlier and better witnesses (P35 א A B C* D L W Δ Θ ƒ1 33 565 892 1424* al lat co) lack this phrase.
  15. Matthew 25:14 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
  16. Matthew 25:15 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  17. Matthew 25:15 sn A talent was equal to 6000 denarii. See the note on this term in 18:24.
  18. Matthew 25:16 tn Grk “traded with them.”
  19. Matthew 25:19 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  20. Matthew 25:20 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  21. Matthew 25:20 tn Grk Or “Lord; or “Master” (and so throughout this paragraph).
  22. Matthew 25:21 tn Grk “His master said to him.”
  23. Matthew 25:22 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  24. Matthew 25:25 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  25. Matthew 25:26 tn Grk “But answering, his master said to him.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.
  26. Matthew 25:27 tn For the translation “deposited my money with the bankers,” see L&N 57.216.
  27. Matthew 25:27 sn That is, “If you really feared me you should have done a minimum to get what I asked for.”
  28. Matthew 25:28 tn Grk “the ten talents.”
  29. Matthew 25:29 tn Grk “to everyone who has, he will be given more.”sn The one who has will be given more. Faithfulness yields great reward (see Matt 13:12; also Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 19:26).
  30. Matthew 25:29 sn The one who has nothing has even what he seems to have taken from him, ending up with no reward at all (see also Luke 8:18). The exact force of this is left ambiguous, but there is no comfort here for those who are pictured by the third slave as being totally unmoved by the master. Though not an outright enemy, there is no relationship to the master either.
  31. Matthew 25:30 tn The Greek term translated “darkness” (σκότος) is associated with Tartarus in Aeschylus, Eumenides 72; other references to the darkness of death and the underworld can be found throughout the classical literature as far back as Homer. BDAG 932 s.v. σκότος 1 states: “Of the darkness of the place of punishment far removed fr. the heavenly kingdom (Philo, Exsecr. 152 βαθὺ σκότος. Cf. Wsd 17:20; PsSol 14:9.—σκ. κ. βόρβορος ‘gloom and muck’ await those who are untrue to the Eleusinian Mysteries, Ael. Aristid. 22, 10 K.=19 p. 421 D. Of the darkness of death and the underworld in Hom. and the Trag. As the domain of evil spirits PGM 36, 138; Theoph. Ant. 2, 7 [p. 110, 5]) τὸ σκ. τὸ ἐξώτερον the darkness outside Mt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30.”
  32. Matthew 25:31 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  33. Matthew 25:32 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  34. Matthew 25:33 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  35. Matthew 25:37 tn Grk “answer him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  36. Matthew 25:38 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  37. Matthew 25:39 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  38. Matthew 25:40 tn Grk “answering, the king will say to them.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.
  39. Matthew 25:40 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  40. Matthew 25:40 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelphoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited). In this context Jesus is ultimately speaking of his “followers” (whether men or women, adults or children), but the familial connotation of “brothers and sisters” is also important to retain here.
  41. Matthew 25:41 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
  42. Matthew 25:44 tn Grk “Then they will answer, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  43. Matthew 25:45 tn Grk “answer them, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  44. Matthew 25:45 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  45. Matthew 25:46 sn Here the ultimate destination of the righteous is eternal life. In several places Matthew uses “life” or “eternal life” in proximity with “the kingdom of heaven” or merely “the kingdom,” suggesting a close relationship between the two concepts (compare Matt 25:34 with v. 46; Matt 19:16, 17, 29 with vv. 23, 24). Matthew consistently portrays “eternal life” as something a person enters in the world to come, whereas the Gospel of John sees “eternal life” as beginning in the present and continuing into the future (cf. John 5:24).
New English Translation (NET)

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