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Psalm 21:1-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 21[a]

For the music director, a psalm of David.

21 O Lord, the king rejoices in the strength you give;[b]
he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide.[c]
You grant[d] him his heart’s desire;
you do not refuse his request.[e] (Selah)
For you bring him[f] rich[g] blessings;[h]
you place a golden crown on his head.
He asked you to sustain his life,[i]
and you have granted him long life and an enduring dynasty.[j]
Your deliverance brings him great honor;[k]
you give him majestic splendor.[l]
For you grant him lasting blessings;
you give him great joy by allowing him into your presence.[m]
For the king trusts[n] in the Lord,
and because of the Most High’s[o] faithfulness he is not shaken.[p]


  1. Psalm 21:1 sn Psalm 21. The psalmist praises the Lord for the way he protects and blesses the Davidic king.
  2. Psalm 21:1 tn Heb “in your strength.” The translation interprets the pronominal suffix as subjective, rather than merely descriptive (or attributive).
  3. Psalm 21:1 tn Heb “and in your deliverance, how greatly he rejoices.”
  4. Psalm 21:2 tn The translation assumes the perfect verbal forms in v. 2 are generalizing, stating factually what God typically does for the king. Another option is to take them as present perfects, “you have granted…you have not refused.” See v. 4, which mentions a specific request for a long reign.
  5. Psalm 21:2 tn Heb “and the request of his lips you do not refuse.”
  6. Psalm 21:3 tn Or “meet him [with].”
  7. Psalm 21:3 tn Heb “good.”
  8. Psalm 21:3 sn You bring him rich blessings. The following context indicates that God’s “blessings” include deliverance/protection, vindication, sustained life, and a long, stable reign (see also Pss 3:8; 24:5).
  9. Psalm 21:4 tn Heb “life he asked from you.” Another option is to translate the perfect verbal forms in v. 4 with the present tense, “he asks…you grant.”
  10. Psalm 21:4 tn Heb “you have granted him length of days forever and ever.” The phrase “length of days,” when used of human beings, usually refers to a lengthy period of time (such as one’s lifetime). See, for example, Deut 30:20; Job 12:12; Ps 91:16; Prov 3:2, 16; Lam 5:20. The additional phrase “forever and ever” is hyperbolic. While it seems to attribute eternal life to the king (see Pss 61:6-7; 72:5 as well), the underlying reality is the king’s enduring dynasty. He will live on, as it were, through his descendants, who will continue to rule over his kingdom long after he has passed off the scene.
  11. Psalm 21:5 tn Or “great glory.”
  12. Psalm 21:5 tn Heb “majesty and splendor you place upon him.” For other uses of the phrase הוֹד וְהָדָר (hod vehadar, “majesty and splendor”) see 1 Chr 16:27; Job 40:10; Pss 96:6; 104:1; 111:3.
  13. Psalm 21:6 tn Heb “you make him happy with joy with [i.e., “close by” or “in”] your face.” On the idiom “with your face” (i.e., “in your presence”) see Ps 16:11 and BDB 816 s.v. פָּנֻה II.2.a.
  14. Psalm 21:7 tn The active participle draws attention to the ongoing nature of the action.
  15. Psalm 21:7 sn The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. Note the focus of vv. 8-12 and see Ps 47:2.
  16. Psalm 21:7 tn Another option is to translate the imperfect verbal form as future, “he will not be shaken” (cf. NRSV “he shall not be moved”). Even if one chooses this option, the future tense must be understood in a generalizing sense.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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