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8 Translation and Exegesis of Psalm 18.38–51

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Chapter Summary

In terms of the overall structure of the psalm, verses 38-43 provide a narrative counterpart to the theophany (vv. 8-16), for the first time giving description of the king's role in the victory and a report of the battle. The focus pans out from the battle scenes to a more general view of the king's relationship to other nations (vv. 44-46), bringing us dramatically to the psalm's conclusion. This chapter culminates in the king's praise, celebrating YHWH's gifts of deliverance, justice, and victory, and concludes with a personal vow to YHWH to praise him among the nations. Agricultural images of threshing and winnowing are common in ancient Near Eastern descriptions of defeating enemies in battle, and are used elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible (HB). Interpretation: vv. 38-46 concludes the main body of the psalm, completing the reversal of the king's plight described at the beginning of the psalm.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible (HB); king's earthly battle; metaphor; Psalm 18; theophany; YHWH

10.1163/9789004263215_009
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