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Psalm 68[a]

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

68 God springs into action.[b]
His enemies scatter;
his adversaries[c] run from him.[d]
As smoke is driven away by the wind, so you drive them away.[e]
As wax melts before fire,
so the wicked are destroyed before God.
But the godly[f] are happy;
they rejoice before God
and are overcome with joy.[g]

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  1. Psalm 68:1 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. Psalm 68:1 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. Psalm 68:1 tn Heb “those who hate him.”
  4. Psalm 68:1 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. Psalm 68:2 tn Heb “as smoke is scattered, you scatter [them].”
  6. Psalm 68:3 tn By placing the subject first the psalmist highlights the contrast between God’s ecstatic people and his defeated enemies (vv. 1-2).
  7. Psalm 68:3 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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