A psalm of David, written when he fled from his son Absalom.[b]
3 Lord, how[c] numerous are my enemies! Many attack me.[d] 2 Many say about me, “God will not deliver him.”[e] (Selah)[f] 3 But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me;[g] you are my glory[h] and the one who restores me.[i]
Psalm 3:1snPsalm 3. The psalmist acknowledges that he is confronted by many enemies (vv. 1-2). But, alluding to a divine oracle he has received (vv. 4-5), he affirms his confidence in God’s ability to protect him (vv. 3, 6) and requests that God make his promise a reality (vv. 7-8).
Psalm 3:1sn According to Jewish tradition, David offered this prayer when he was forced to flee from Jerusalem during his son Absalom’s attempted coup (see 2 Sam 15:13-17).
Psalm 3:1tn The Hebrew term מָה (mah, “how”) is used here as an adverbial exclamation (see BDB 553 s.v.).
Psalm 3:3tnHeb “my glory,” or “my honor.” The psalmist affirms that the Lord is his source of honor, i.e., the one who gives him honor in the sight of others. According to BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 7, the phrase refers to God as the one to whom the psalmist gives honor. But the immediate context focuses on what God does for the psalmist, not vice-versa.
Psalm 3:3tnHeb “[the one who] lifts my head.” This phrase could be understood to refer to a general strengthening of the psalmist by God during difficult circumstances. However, if one takes the suggestion of the superscription that this is a Davidic psalm written during the revolt of Absalom, the phrase “lift the head” could refer to the psalmist’s desire for restoration to his former position (cf. Gen 40:13 where the same phrase is used). Like the Hebrew text, the present translation (“who restores me”) can be understood in either sense.
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