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My God[a] is my rocky summit where I take shelter,[b]
my shield, the horn that saves me,[c] my stronghold,
my refuge, my savior. You save me from violence![d]

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  1. 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.
  2. 2 Samuel 22:3 tn Or “in whom.”
  3. 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.
  4. 2 Samuel 22:3 tn The parallel version of the song in Ps 18 does not include this last line.