April 24, 2007

Psalm 18

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

For the Director.
By the servant of Yahweh.
By David, who spoke to Yahweh the words of this song
On the day Yahweh snatched him from the palm of all his enemies
And from the hand of Saul.
And he said:

I love you, Yahweh, my strength.
Yahweh is my cliff and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock; I will take refuge in him,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my high place.
To the praiseworthy one I call: “Yahweh!”
And from my enemies I am saved.

Encircling me were cords of death
And torrents of Belial terrified me.
Cords of Sheol surrounded me;
Confronting me were snares of death.

In my oppression I called “Yahweh!”
And to my God I cried out.
He heard my voice from his temple,
And my cry came before him, into his ears.

And the earth shook and quaked,
And the foundations of the mountains trembled;
And they were shaken because he was angry.

Smoke ascended from within his nose
And fire from his mouth devoured;

Coals blazed forth from him.
And he bowed the heavens and came down,
And gloom was under his feet.
And he rode on a cherub and flew,
And he soared on the wings of the wind,
He made darkness his hiding place, his booth around him:
Darkness of waters and clouds of vapors.
From the brightness before him his clouds passed —

Hail and coals of fire.
And Yahweh thundered in the heavens
And the Most High gave his voice —
Hail and coals of fire!

And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
And great lightning bolts, and he routed them.

And the channels of the waters were seen,
And uncovered were the foundations of the world,
At your rebuke, Yahweh,
At the blast of the breath of your nose.

He reached from above. He took me.
He drew me from mighty waters.
He snatched me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hate me for they were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But Yahweh was my support.
And he brought me out into a broad place;
He rescued me because he delights in me.

Yahweh rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands he repaid me,
Because I have guarded the ways of Yahweh
And have not wickedly departed from my God,
Because all his judgments were before me
And his statutes I did not put away from me.
And I was also blameless before him
And I guarded myself from my sin.
And Yahweh has repaid me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

With the loyal one you show yourself loyal.
With the blameless strong-man you show yourself blameless.
With the pure one you show yourself pure.
With the devious one you show yourself shrewd,
Because you save humble people,
But haughty eyes you bring low;
Because you light my lamp.
Yahweh, my God, illuminates my darkness.

Indeed, by you I run against a troop,
And by my God I leap a wall.
The Mighty One — blameless is his way;
The word of Yahweh is proven;
A shield is he to all who take refuge in him,
Because who is God except Yahweh?
And who is a rock except our God?
It is the Mighty One who clothes me with strength
And makes my way blameless,
Making my feet like a deer’s,
And on my high places he makes me stand.

He trained my hands for the battle
And a bow of bronze was bent by my arms.
And you gave me the shield of your salvation,
And your right hand supported me;
Your bending down has made me great.
You broadened my steps under me
And my ankles did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them
And I did not return until I destroyed them.
I shattered them and they could not rise;
They fell beneath my feet,
And you armed me with strength for the battle;
You make those who rise up bow down under me.
As for my enemies, you gave me their neck;
And as for those who hated me, I destroyed them.
They cried out, but there was no one to save;
To Yahweh — but he did not answer them.
And I beat them like dust upon the face of the wind;
Like mud in the streets I poured them out.
You delivered me from the contentions of people;
You made me the head of the nations:
A people I did not know serves me.
When their ear hears, they obey me.
The sons of foreign regions cringe before me.
The sons of foreign regions wither
And they come trembling from their hideouts.

Yahweh lives! And blessed be my rock!
And exalted be the God of my salvation,
The Mighty One who gives me vengeance
And subdues peoples under me,
Delivering me from my enemies;
Yes, from those who rise up you will raise me high;
From the violent man you snatch me.
Therefore I will thank you among the nations, Yahweh,
And to your name I will psalm —
The one who makes great the salvations of his king
And shows loyalty to his anointed one,
To David and to his seed forevermore.

Posted by John Barach @ 2:24 pm | Discuss (2)

2 Responses to “Psalm 18”

  1. Claire Martens Says:

    That is beautiful. I printed it off & may memorize it (once I finish my current project.) Have you translated any other passages?

  2. John Says:

    Well, I translate the passages I’m preaching, though I haven’t put those translations online.

    But every Sunday, we read a Psalm in our liturgy, and I’ve been working on preparing my own translations of them. You can find them all in my Bible – OT – Psalms category.

    I also gratefully acknowledge that I’m leaning heavily on two sources for these translations, though my final version isn’t identical to either of them: Joseph Addison Alexander’s commentary on the Psalms and particularly James Jordan’s monthly “Studies in the Psalter.”

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