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7 Translation and Exegesis of Psalm 18.31–37

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Chapter Summary

The words and pictures in verses 31-37 with its three powerful word-pictures are pivotal to the message of the psalm. The final image in this verse takes us back to the psalmist's introductory declaration of trust, and develops the themes of seeking refuge and moral uprightness. In the light of the previous verses, this powerful image of God as a protective shield declares that refuge, protection and salvation are available to those who trust in YHWH. In a study of biblical depictions of radiance, Shawn Aster observes that there is a wide variety of biblical idioms involving being clothed in a positive abstract concept such as strength, salvation, royalty, or in a negative one such as shame. The word-picture in this verse is inherently ambiguous because of the multiple semantic co-ordinates of דרך.

Keywords: god; Psalm 18; psalmist; Shawn Aster; word-picture; YHWH



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