Sunday, May 8, 2011

David, a warrior king and psalmist

Psalm 18 is full of action and great word images but it is a long one.
Like teachers used to say, "I won't take off any points or give you demerits" if you don't read every verse. ;-)
But I don't feel right about censoring or shortening it.
So here is the whole poem, joining Robert of Daily Athens' PsalmChallenge.
The original Hebrew and an older translation is here.
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1. For the leader -- of David, the servant of the LORD who addressed the words of this song to the LORD after the LORD had saved him from the grip of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul,

2. and he said: I adore You, O LORD, my strength,
3. O LORD, my crag, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, the source of my rescue, my haven.
4. Praised I called the LORD and was rescued from my enemies.


5. Ropes of death encompassed me; torrents of Belial terrified me; 6. ropes of Sheol encircled me; snares of death confronted me.
7. In my distress I call on the LORD, to my God I cry out; from His temple He hears my voice; my cry to Him reaches His ears.
8. The earth rocked and quaked; the foundations of the mountains shook, they were rocked by His indignation;
9. smoke went up from His nostrils, consuming fire from His mouth; coals blazed forth from Him.
10. He bent the heavens and came down, thick cloud beneath His feet.

11. He mounted a cherub and flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.

12. He makes darkness His screen; encircling Him, His pavilion—dark water masses, sky-high clouds.
13. Out of the brilliance before Him, His clouds passed, hail and fiery coals.
14. The LORD thundered from heaven, the Most High gave forth His voice—hail and fiery coals.
15. He sent forth His arrows and scattered them; He discharged lightning and routed them.
16. The watercourses were exposed; the foundations of the world were laid bare by Your mighty roaring, O LORD, at the blast of the wind from Your nostrils.

17. He sends down from on high, He takes me; He draws me out of the mighty waters;
18. He saves me from my fierce enemy, from foes too strong for me.
19. They confront me on the day of my calamity, but the LORD is my support.

20. He brings me out to freedom; He rescues me because He is pleased with me.
21 The LORD rewards me according to my righteousness; He requites the cleanness of my hands;
22. for I have kept to the ways of the LORD and have not been guilty before my God;
23. for all of His rules are before me; His laws I do not disregard.
24. I have been blameless toward Him, and have kept myself from sinning;
25. and the LORD has requited me according to my righteousness, the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.

26. With the loyal, You deal loyally; with the blameless man, You are blameless.
27. With the pure, You act purely, and with the perverse, You are wily.
28. It is You who rescue lowly people, but haughty eyes You humble.
29. It is You who light my lamp; the LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
30. It is with You that I can rush a barrier; with my God I can vault a wall.
31. God—His way is pure; the word of the LORD is perfect; He is a shield to all who seek refuge in Him.

32. Truly, who is a god except the LORD, who is a rock but our God,
33. the God who girds me with might, who makes my way blameless;
34. who makes my feet like a deer’s, and makes me stand on the heights;
35. who trained my hands for battle, having made my arms bend a bow of bronze?
36. You have given me the shield of Your rescue, Your right hand sustains me, Your care makes me great.
37. You free my stride beneath me; my feet have not slipped.
38. I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I do not turn back until they are destroyed.
39. I smash them, and they can rise no more; they lay beneath my feet.
40. You have girded me with strength for battle, making those who rise against me bow beneath me,
41. and my enemies You made turn tail before me. My foes I wiped out.
42. They cry out―there is none to rescue; to the LORD―He did not answer them.
43. I grind them fine as windswept dust; as dirt of the streets I tread them flat.
44. You rescue me from the strife of people; You set me at the head of nations; a people I knew not serve me.
45. As soon as an ear hears, they listen to me; foreigners cower before me;
46. foreigners lose courage, and come trembling out of their strongholds.

47. The LORD lives! Blessed is my rock! Exalted be God, my rescuer,
48. the God who has vindicated me and made peoples subject beneath me,
49. who delivers me from my enemies, who exalts me above those who rise against me, saving me from a violent man.
50. For this I sing Your praise among the nations, LORD, and offer hymns to Your name: 51. He accords great rescues to His king, keeps faith with His anointed, with David and his offspring forever.

A giant rope in an apartment stairwell
Fallen rocks in Nahal David, near the Dead Sea
Wind whipping up the Sea of Galilee
The Judean Desert
Grandson Dean, Science Museum, Jerusalem, 2007
Ibex at Ein Gedi
King David near David's Tomb, Mt. Zion


Spiderdama said...

Wow, wonderful pictures to this psalm Dina. I really like the picture of your grandson and "the cleanness of my hands":-)
Wish you a blessed day, hugs from North

JM said...

Fantastic scenery in the second shot! Cool spotting: the goat.

Reader Wil said...

Excellent Dina! You found so many photos matching many of the verses of this long psalm! I especially like the photo of your grandson washing his hands! King David's statue is impressive too.

Hilda said...

What a great idea to illustrate the psalm with photos! I'm wowed by the gigantic rope.

Birdman said...

Now, that's some BIG rope!

VP said...

Your posts about psalms are always interesting, I always learn something new and I am delighted by your choice of pictures.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I love that you have given us the entire psalm and illustrated it with photos from the very land in which it was originally written.

Happy Mother's Day to you, by the way, a little late I guess!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your effort and thoughtful images ! Your participation as well !

Like the picture of the rope most, as its 'feeling' is made felt throught the company of the words. Impressed.

Please have a good start into the new week and please join again soon.

Patsy said...


Kay said...

I'm just stopping by to wish you a very HAPPY Mother's Day, Dina!!!

Cloudia said...

yes, his psalms are life rafts I floated on for years....

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



crystal said...

Great photos. I especially liked the statue of David :)

cieldequimper said...

You've outdone yourself here. Incredible post.

Virginia said...

What a beautiful illustration of these words. Blessings!

spacedlaw said...

That ibex looks quite nosey.