New English Translation
For the music director, according to the gittith style;[b] a psalm of David.
- Psalm 8:1 sn Psalm 8. In this hymn to the sovereign creator, the psalmist praises God’s majesty and marvels that God has given mankind dominion over the created order.
- Psalm 8:1 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term הגתית is uncertain; it probably refers to a musical style or type of instrument.
- Psalm 8:1 tn The plural form of the title emphasizes the Lord’s absolute sovereignty.
- Psalm 8:1 tn Or “awesome”; or “majestic.”
- Psalm 8:1 tn Heb “name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
- Psalm 8:1 tc Heb “which, give, your majesty on the heavens.” The verb form תְּנָה (tenah; an imperative?) should be emended to a second masculine singular perfect (נָתַתָּה, natattah) or imperfect (תִתֵּן, titten) form. The introductory אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher, “which”) can be taken as a relative pronoun (“you who”) or as a causal conjunction (“because”). One may literally translate, “you who [or “because you”] place your majesty upon the heavens.” For other uses of the phrase “place majesty upon” see Num 27:20 and 1 Chr 29:25.
New English Translation
For the music director, according to the alumoth-labben style;[b] a psalm of David.
9 I will thank the Lord with all my heart!
I will tell about all your amazing deeds.[c]
- Psalm 9:1 sn Psalm 9. The psalmist, probably speaking on behalf of Israel or Judah, praises God for delivering him from hostile nations. He celebrates God’s sovereignty and justice, and calls on others to join him in boasting of God’s greatness. Many Hebrew mss and the ancient Greek version (LXX) combine Psalms 9 and 10 into a single psalm.
- Psalm 9:1 tc The meaning of the Hebrew term עַלְמוּת (’almut) is uncertain. Some mss divide the form into עַל מוּת (’al mut, “according to the death [of the son]”), while the LXX assumes a reading עֲלֻמוֹת עַל (’al ’alumot, “according to alumoth”). The phrase probably refers to a particular tune or musical style.
- Psalm 9:1 tn The cohortative forms in vv. 1-2 express the psalmist’s resolve to praise God publicly.
New English Translation
For the music director, by the Lord’s servant David, who 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]
18 He said:[f]
“I love[g] you, Lord, my source of strength![h]
2 The Lord is my high ridge,[i] my stronghold,[j] my deliverer.
My God is my rocky summit where[k] I take shelter,[l]
my shield, the horn that saves me,[m] and my refuge.[n]
3 I called[o] to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,[p]
and I was delivered from my enemies.
- Psalm 18:1 sn Psalm 18. In this long song of thanks, the psalmist (a Davidic king, traditionally understood as David himself) affirms that God is his faithful protector. He recalls in highly poetic fashion how God intervened in awesome power and delivered him from death. The psalmist’s 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 psalm appears in 2 Sam 22:1-51.
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “spoke.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “in the day,” or “at the time.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “hand.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “and from the hand of Saul.”
- Psalm 18:1 tn A number of translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV) assign the words “he said” to the superscription, in which case the entire psalm is in first person. Other translations (e.g., NAB) include the introductory “he said” at the beginning of v. 1.
- Psalm 18:1 tn The verb רָחַם (rakham) elsewhere appears in the Piel (or Pual) verbal stem with the basic meaning, “have compassion.” The verb occurs only here in the basic (Qal) stem. The basic stem of the verbal root also occurs in Aramaic with the meaning “love” (see DNWSI 2:1068-69; Jastrow 1467 s.v. רָחַם; G. Schmuttermayr, “rhm: eine lexikalische Studie,” Bib 51 : 515-21). Since this introductory statement does not appear in the parallel version in 2 Sam 22:1-51, it is possible that it is a later addition to the psalm, made when the poem was revised for use in worship.
- Psalm 18:1 tn Heb “my strength.” “Strength” is metonymic here, referring to the Lord as the one who bestows strength to the psalmist; thus the translation “my source of strength.”
- Psalm 18:2 sn My high ridge. 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.
- Psalm 18:2 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.
- Psalm 18:2 tn Or “in whom.”
- Psalm 18:2 sn Take shelter. “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear and serve the Lord (Pss 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
- Psalm 18:2 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 (cf. 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. Ps 18:2 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.
- Psalm 18:2 tn Or “my elevated place.” The parallel version of this psalm in 2 Sam 22:3 adds at this point, “my refuge, my savior, [you who] save me from violence.”
- Psalm 18:3 tn In this song of thanksgiving, where the psalmist recalls how the Lord delivered him, the prefixed verbal form is best understood as a preterite indicating past tense, not an imperfect.
- Psalm 18:3 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): “[to the] praiseworthy one I cried out, [to the] Lord.”