8 You[a] prevail over[b] all your enemies; your power is too great for those who hate you.[c] 9 You burn them up like a fiery furnace[d] when you appear.[e] The Lord angrily devours them;[f] the fire consumes them.
Psalm 21:8tn The king is now addressed. One could argue that the Lord is still being addressed, but v. 9 militates against this proposal, for there the Lord is mentioned in the third person and appears to be distinct from the addressee (unless, of course, one takes “Lord” in v. 9 as vocative; see the note on “them” in v. 9b). Verse 7 begins this transition to a new addressee by referring to both the king and the Lord in the third person (in vv. 1-6 the Lord is addressed and only the king referred to in the third person).
Psalm 21:8tnHeb “your hand finds.” The idiom pictures the king grabbing hold of his enemies and defeating them (see 1 Sam 23:17). The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 8-12 may be translated with the future tense, as long as the future is understood as generalizing.
Psalm 21:8tnHeb “your right hand finds those who hate you.”
Psalm 21:9tnHeb “you make them like a furnace of fire.” Although many modern translations retain the literal Hebrew, the statement is elliptical. The point is not that he makes them like a furnace, but like an object burned in a furnace (cf. NEB, “at your coming you shall plunge them into a fiery furnace”).
Psalm 21:9tnHeb “at the time of your face.” The “face” of the king here refers to his angry presence. See Lam 4:16.
Psalm 21:9tnHeb “the Lord, in his anger he swallows them, and fire devours them.” Some take “the Lord” as a vocative, in which case he is addressed in vv. 8-9a. But this makes the use of the third person in v. 9b rather awkward, though the king could be the subject (see vv. 1-7).
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