Psalm 3

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1: Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. edit

2: Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. edit

3: But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. edit

4: I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. edit

5: I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. edit

6: I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. edit

7: Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. edit

8: Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. edit

The written context of the Psalm is David crying out to God while fleeing from his son Absalom. While the general context of the Psalm could be any person with many enemies, probably in battle, anytime in the first or second temple periods, it seems unlikely to actually be Davidic because of mentioning God’s “holy mountain”. Such language would be likely to be a temple reference, which was not built at the time of David. Probably the psalm was written to be both meaningful to the psalmist in his situation, in the manner of David’s psalms, such as when he was fleeing Absalom.

Summary: The psalmists enemies have increased in number and in ferocity. The psalmist confidently relies upon Yahweh as his protection and so has no anxiety. The psalmist calls upon Yahweh to act on his behalf.

My soul— The psalmist is referring to his whole self, not a particular part of his inner being in accord to a Platonic division.

"There is no deliverance"—This is a cry of derision against the psalmist, claiming that the ruler of the heavens doesn't care what happens to the psalmist.

Selah— Unknown meaning. Possibly a musical note, indicating the heightening of music or singing at a dramatic point.

You are a shield about me— Yahweh is a full protector, as a shield who protects his whole person, from all sides.

With my voice— The psalmist makes his request out loud.

Holy mountain— Probably Zion, the mountain of the Temple. If Davidic, possibly Sinai, the place of the giving of the law.

Arise, Yahweh— Command form, presenting a strong request.

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