Psalm Three – Translation of the Song


3, 1: A song by David, when he fled from the face of Absalom.


3, 2: Adonai, how abundant, my tormentors; abundant they who rise against me.


3, 3: Abundant [those] who speak of my soul: “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah.


3, 4: And You, Adonai, a shield for me; my glory and the One Who raises up my head.


3, 5: With my voice, I will call out to Adonai and He will answer me from His holy mountain. Selah.


3, 6: I lay down and I slept. I awoke, for Adonai will hold me up.


3, 7: No awe have I of tens of thousands – a nation – that, surrounding [me], set [themselves] upon me.


3, 8: Arise, Adonai! Deliver me, my God, for You have struck down all my enemies [on the] cheek, the teeth of the wicked You have broken.


3, 9: To Adonai deliverance [belongs]; upon Your nation, Your blessing. Selah.


Notes Psalm 3

3, 1: Although the usual translation is “from Absalom”, the literal translation is “from the face of Absalom”.  (For the story of David and Absalom, see 2 Samuel 15-19.)


3, 2: The literal translation of the Hebrew is “what abundant my tormentors”. We have substituted “how” to make the English comprehensible.


3, 3: The Hebrew for “deliverance” is here given an extra letter, “tav”: יְשׁוּעָתָה


3, 5: “With” is understood in the Hebrew but not explicitly written; the English requires it.


3, 5: The Hebrew word for “answer” – וַיַּעֲנֵנִי – has the same root as “anguish “ or “torture” – עִנּוּי . Perhaps the similarity hints at the hope that suffering will be answered, be assuaged. (See also Psalm 13, verse 4.)


3, 6: Both the Hebrew for “slept” –  וָאִישָׁנָה– and for “awoke” – הֱקִיצוֹתִי  – have a letter added to the usual spelling, as if to give these verbs an added dramatic emphasis.


3, 7: The suggestion implicit in Hebrew of the English “set upon” – שָׁתוּ  – is of the deployment of troops.


3, 9: The Hebrew contains no verbs in this line.


Click here to study “Literary analysis of Psalm 3”

King James Psalms 3 Translation:

[1] LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
[2] Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
[3] But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
[4] I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
[5] I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
[6] I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
[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.
[8] Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.