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Psalm 9:4-6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

For you defended my just cause;[a]
from your throne you pronounced a just decision.[b]
You terrified the nations with your battle cry.[c]
You destroyed the wicked;[d]
you permanently wiped out all memory of them.[e]
The enemy’s cities have been reduced to permanent ruins.[f]
You destroyed their cities;[g]
all memory of the enemies has perished.[h]


  1. Psalm 9:4 tn Heb “for you accomplished my justice and my legal claim.”
  2. Psalm 9:4 tn Heb “you sat on a throne [as] one who judges [with] righteousness.” The perfect verbal forms in v. 4 probably allude to a recent victory (see vv. 5-7). Another option is to understand the verbs as describing what is typical (“you defend…you sit on a throne”).
  3. Psalm 9:5 tn The verb גָּעַר (gaʿar) is often understood to mean “rebuke” and in this context taken to refer to the Lord’s “rebuke” of the nations. 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 18:15; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
  4. Psalm 9:5 tn The singular form is collective (note “nations” and “their name”). In the psalms the “wicked” (רְשָׁעִים, reshaʿim) are typically proud, practical atheists (Ps 10:2, 4, 11) who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander (Ps 50:16-20), and cheat others (Ps 37:21). In this context the hostile nations who threaten Israel/Judah are in view.
  5. Psalm 9:5 tn Heb “their name you wiped out forever and ever.” The three perfect verbal forms in v. 5 probably refer to a recent victory (definite past or present perfect use), although they might express what is typical (characteristic use).
  6. Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “the enemy—they have come to an end [in] ruins permanently.” The singular form אוֹיֵב (ʾoyev, “enemy”) is collective. It is placed at the beginning of the verse to heighten the contrast with יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) in v. 7.
  7. Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “you uprooted cities.”
  8. Psalm 9:6 tn Heb “it has perished, their remembrance, they.” The independent pronoun at the end of the line is in apposition to the preceding pronominal suffix and lends emphasis (see IBHS 299 §16.3.4). The referent of the masculine pronoun is the nations/enemies (cf. v. 5), not the cities (the Hebrew noun עָרִים [ʿarim, “cities”] is grammatically feminine). This has been specified in the present translation for clarity; many modern translations retain the pronoun “them,” resulting in ambiguity (cf. NRSV “their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished”).
New English Translation (NET)

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