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Psalm 20[a]

For the music director, a psalm of David.

20 May the Lord answer[b] you[c] when you are in trouble;[d]
may the God of Jacob[e] make you secure.

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  1. Psalm 20:1 sn Psalm 20. The people pray for the king’s success in battle. When the king declares his assurance that the Lord will answer the people’s prayer, they affirm their confidence in God’s enablement.
  2. Psalm 20:1 tn The prefixed verbal forms here and in vv. 1b-5 are interpreted as jussives of prayer (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). Another option is to understand them as imperfects, “the Lord will answer,” etc. In this case the people declare their confidence that the Lord will intervene on behalf of the king and extend to him his favor.
  3. Psalm 20:1 sn May the Lord answer you. The people address the king as they pray to the Lord.
  4. Psalm 20:1 tn Heb “in a day of trouble.”
  5. Psalm 20:1 tn Heb “the name of the God of Jacob.” God’s “name” refers metonymically to his very person and to the divine characteristics suggested by his name, in this case “God of Jacob,” which highlights his relationship to Israel.

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