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10 The Exalted God is my shield,[a]
the one who delivers the morally upright.[b]
11 God is a just judge;
he is angry throughout the day.[c]
12 If a person[d] does not repent, God will wield his sword.[e]
He has prepared to shoot his bow.[f]

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  1. Psalm 7:10 tn Traditionally, “my shield is upon God” (cf. NASB). As in v. 8, עַל (ʿal) should be understood as a divine title, here compounded with “God” (cf. NIV, “God Most High”). See M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:45-46. The shield metaphor pictures God as a protector against deadly attacks.
  2. Psalm 7:10 tn Heb “pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the Lord and, as a result, experience his deliverance (see Pss 11:2; 32:11; 36:10; 64:10; 94:15; 97:11).
  3. Psalm 7:11 tn Heb “God (the divine name אֵל [ʾel] is used) is angry during all the day.” The verb זֹעֵם (zoʿem) means “be indignant, be angry, curse.” Here God’s angry response to wrongdoing and injustice leads him to prepare to execute judgment as described in the following verses.
  4. Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “If he”; the referent (a person who is a sinner) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The subject of the first verb is understood as the sinner who fails to repent of his ways and becomes the target of God’s judgment (vv. 9, 14-16).
  5. Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “if he does not return, his sword he wields.” The referent (God) of the pronominal subject of the second verb (“sharpens”) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The verb לָטַשׁ (latash) appears only five times in the Bible. It is typically taken as a reference to sharpening, as in 1 Sam 13:20. But the meaning “wield” known from Ugaritic, a close cognate language, seems to fit the context better. The following verbs describe past actions of having gotten instruments prepared for battle. It is more consistent with that setting to picture God taking his sword and swinging it as a final act of preparation or as an immediate threat.
  6. Psalm 7:12 tn Heb “his bow he has stepped [on] and prepared it.” “Treading the bow” involved stepping on one end of it in order to bend and string it and thus prepare it for battle. The verbs are a perfect and a preterite, thus referring to past action.