New English Translation
8 Gilead belongs to me,
as does Manasseh.[a]
Ephraim is my helmet,[b]
Judah my royal scepter.[c]
9 Moab is my washbasin.[d]
I will make Edom serve me.[e]
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”
10 Who will lead me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me to Edom?[f]
- Psalm 108:8 tn Gilead was located east of the Jordan River. Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan in the region of Bashan.
- Psalm 108:8 tn Heb “the protection of my head.”sn Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan River. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.
- Psalm 108:8 sn Judah, like Ephraim, was the other major tribe west of the Jordan River. The Davidic king, symbolized here by the royal scepter, came from this tribe.
- Psalm 108:9 sn The metaphor of the washbasin, used to rinse one’s hands and feet, suggests that Moab, in contrast to Israel’s elevated position (vv. 7-8), would be reduced to the status of a servant.
- Psalm 108:9 tn Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of.” Others translate עַל (ʿal) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.
- Psalm 108:10 sn The psalmist speaks again and acknowledges his need for help in battle. He hopes God will volunteer, based on the affirmation of sovereignty over Edom in v. 9, but he is also aware that God has seemingly rejected the nation of Israel (v. 11).