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Psalm 89:16-18 New English Translation (NET Bible)

16 They rejoice in your name all day long,
and are vindicated[a] by your justice.
17 For you give them splendor and strength.[b]
By your favor we are victorious.[c]
18 For our shield[d] belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.[e]


  1. Psalm 89:16 tn Heb “are lifted up.”
  2. Psalm 89:17 tn Heb “for the splendor of their strength [is] you.”
  3. Psalm 89:17 tn Heb “you lift up our horn,” or if one follows the marginal reading (Qere), “our horn is lifted up.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 75:10; 89:24; 92:10; Lam 2:17).
  4. Psalm 89:18 tn The phrase “our shield” refers metaphorically to the Davidic king, who, as God’s vice-regent, was the human protector of the people. Note the parallelism with “our king” here and with “your anointed one” in Ps 84:9.
  5. Psalm 89:18 sn The basic sense of the word “holy” is “set apart from that which is commonplace, special, unique.” The Lord’s holiness is first and foremost his transcendent sovereignty as the ruler of the world. He is “set apart” from the world over which he rules. At the same time his holiness encompasses his moral authority, which derives from his royal position. As king he has the right to dictate to his subjects how they are to live; indeed his very own character sets the standard for proper behavior. This expression is a common title for the Lord in the book of Isaiah.
New English Translation (NET)

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