New English Translation
3 But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me;[a]
you are my glory[b] and the one who restores me.[c]
4 To the Lord I cried out,[d]
and he answered me from his holy hill.[e] (Selah)
5 I rested and slept;
I awoke,[f] for the Lord protects[g] me.
6 I am not afraid[h] of the multitude of people[i]
who attack me from all directions.[j]
- Psalm 3:3 tn Heb “a shield round about me.”
- Psalm 3:3 tn Heb “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 3:3 tn Heb “[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.
- Psalm 3:4 tn The prefixed verbal form could be an imperfect, yielding the translation “I cry out,” but the verb form in the next line (a vav [ו] consecutive with the preterite) suggests this is a brief narrative of what has already happened. Consequently the verb form in v. 4a is better understood as a preterite, “I cried out.” (For another example of the preterite of this same verb form, see Ps 30:8.) Sometime after the crisis arose, the psalmist prayed to the Lord and received an assuring answer. Now he confidently awaits the fulfillment of the divine promise.
- Psalm 3:4 sn His holy hill. That is, Zion (see Pss 2:6; 48:1-2). The psalmist recognizes that the Lord dwells in his sanctuary on Mount Zion.
- Psalm 3:5 tn The three verbal forms that appear in succession here (perfect + vav [ו] consecutive with preterite + perfect) are most naturally taken as narrational. When the psalmist received an assuring word from the Lord, he was able to sleep calmly. Because the Lord was protecting him, he awoke safely from his sleep.
- Psalm 3:5 tn Or “supports”; “sustains.” In this explanatory causal clause the imperfect verbal form probably has a habitual or present progressive nuance, for the psalmist is confident of God’s continual protection (see v. 3). Another option is to take the verb as a preterite, “for the Lord protected me.” In this case, the psalmist focuses specifically on the protection God provided while he slept.
- Psalm 3:6 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s continuing attitude as he faces the crisis at hand.
- Psalm 3:6 tn Or perhaps “troops.” The Hebrew noun עָם (ʿam) sometimes refers to a military contingent or army.
- Psalm 3:6 tn Heb “who all around take a stand against me.”