The Righteous Judge Returns

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Psalm 18
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said, I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
24 Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
25 With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright;
26 With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward.
27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Psalm 18 is really one of those EXTRA-SPECIAL psalms. Not to say any of the psalms are inferior, but it is notable that this psalm is THE ONLY ONE that is recorded as a crowning example out of all of David's psalms when the scribe was cataloging the summary of King David's life in II Samuel. One should naturally ask why he would have chosen this psalm above all the others David wrote. After all, we westerners would tend to rate the 23rd Psalm as his crowning achievement. Actually, from the way 18 reads in the King James Bible, we might look down on Psalm 18 as of lesser value. From its past tense, we tend to read it as if it was written from the perspective of someone with little compassion and tending to a self-righteous attitude. The truth of the matter is, this psalm is nothing at all like that! To begin to see why this was chosen as the chief example in II Samuel 22, one must first come from the memory that David was also a prophet. You might remember that David gave the future King Solomon the "blueprints" for building the temple. He drew them up through the working of the Spirit of God upon him (I Chronicles 28:19). So many of David's psalms are prophecies. Coming to Psalm 18, we find an incredible prophecy of the final coming in judgment of the Almighty from heaven! When we see that future view, the whole mystery of this psalm begins to unravel. In fact, it's downright exciting, if you ask me.

The following study of Psalm 18 will be following the Hebrew numbering with a literal translation of the psalm with a parallel of a literal translation of the same psalm found in II Samuel 22. In the Hebrew the book of Psalms is known as Tehillim, which beautifully enough means "praises". So we will be looking over Tehillim 18. I have included a detailed Hebrew interlinear and the parallel English of the psalm, as found in both places in the scripture, as additional appendixes at the end of this article. For those desiring to confirm the accuracy of the literal translation I provide, I would welcome you to take the additional time to carefully go over the interlinear and the parallel that follows. The significant difference you will find in my translation to the reading found in the King James reading, is in regards to the verb tenses. The King James translated as "perfect" or "past tense" the readings which are "imperfect", or in English would translate predominantly as "future tense". This results in a significant difference in meaning. So much so, that I perceive it ends in a totally different view in which one would see and understand Psalm 18.

After carefully comparing Psalm 18 and II Samuel 22, it is my conclusion the Psalm 18 edition was the fi nal form, while the copy the scribe used was the preliminary edition. There are slight variants between the copy, which I have made easily comparable in my parallel translation. Psalm 18 is defi nitely more refi ned. It doesn't indicate any less accuracy in the prophecies they detail, rather the one helps to verify the understanding of the other. I believe the differences are due to David going over his composition and improving it for predominantly musical reasons. After all his finalizing work, he presented it to the "chief musician" for temple use. One characteristic relatively easy to perceive is the combined use of both "God" and "Yahowah" in the verses. In the original in II Samuel 22, a number of the differences don't follow that "paired" usage. In the Psalm 18 version, we see that "paired" usage brought into more consistency. It would make more sense to develop and fi nalize a pattern in a musical composition than to break it out and remove it.

One final note, in my translation process I decided to translate the holy name of God in a direct transliteration of the Hebrew as it sits on the page. I tend to believe that is not the proper pronunciation, but for translation purposes in identifying the actual word used, I used the letters as vowel pointed. In reading the Hebrew this is a disputed point.

Part I
Preliminary Setting
Verse 1:
Introductory Background
1 To the chief musician to the servant of Yahowah -------------------------- to David who spoke to Yahowah these
And will speak --- David --------------- to Yahowah these
words of the song this in the day to rescue Yahowah him from the hand (palm) of all his enemies and from the
words of the song this in the day to rescue Yahowah him from the hand (palm) of all his enemies and from the
hand (fist) of Saul.
hand (PALM) of Saul.

The black copy is Psalm 18, red copy the II Samuel 22 passage. The verse breaks are for the Hebrew Psalm 18 passage only. In my translation I have followed the King James method of italicizing words not found in the original, but inserted to help in reading. Also, I have placed in ALL CAPS words that are different in the two passages. Again, for best comparison I recommend using Appendix II at the end of this booklet.

This opening verse gives the background for the song. It should be noted the II Samuel rendition is future. An important groundwork established in this verse, is the mental framework we approach the song with. We go into it with the perception David is singing the song in "recollection" format only. Such is not the case. It is obviously inspired over incidents David has gone through but it enters the Spirit in being prophetic. Even this opening verse brings this out.
It is also of note, the II Samuel reading was future, while Psalm 18, being the final version, delivered to Yahowah in the temple through the "chief musician" was "spoke". This having been completed after the original of II Samuel. Another important point, is the change of "palm" to "fist" of Saul. Allow me to hazard this supposition for the reason. In II Samuel, we are seeing an incomplete action at the time of its initial composition. Saul's persecution may not have been completed, therefore the hand of persecution was still open from Saul. At the time of submission to the chief musician in Psalm 18, Saul's persecution had been finalized. He was dead. The "palm" of "all his enemies" was not only still going on in David's life, but included those enemies of Israel unto the end of days - Armageddon.
That open hand had not, and still is not closed and finished in dealing out its wrath and hatred. We will see more of this as we cover the whole of this song. As I said, such can only be a deductive guess, but I felt it significant enough to warrant consideration.

Verses 2-3:
God of my Salvation (Praise)
2 And said
And said
I will love you tenderly Yahowah my strength.
3 Yahowah my rock (cliff) and my stronghold and my deliverer -------
Yahowah my rock (cliff) and my stronghold and my deliverer to me

It is easy to note the significant addition to the Psalm 18 rendition in verse 2. David adds the one thing above all, the love of God, to preface the entire song. What I suspect is in rearranging its structure to work in the music more efficiently, David had to sacrifice something in that first section to balance when he added the "love for God" line. He chose to cut the final line. That final line was important. The gist of its thought is covered in the preceding three lines. It was safe to leave off, BUT God did want us to see it. It was part of an important detail in the whole of the prophecy detailed in this song. We will see the Hebrew word used for "violence" pop up again in verse 49 in the singular form, as seen in the Psalm 18 rendition only. In II Samuel, it repeats the word as well, but in the plural. Because of its prophecy, God wanted it in the singular in verse 49. We will cover that more when we get to verse 49.
These verses are an introduction of praise. They focus on God's salvation in particular. There are many other points of praise of God, such as His power and glory, but the theme of this whole song rests on the bedrock of His salvation.
As I have said, pay attention to the pattern David starts using of both the title of deity, in the use of the term for "God", and the holy name of "God" in "Yahowah".
In the salvation praise, we should note the foundation of military defence David alludes to. All the items relate back to military strongholds and protection.
We must realize for such to mean anything, there must be an enemy from whom we are being saved. Our battle is not only against a sinful nature, it is also against an intelligent foe who is actively seeking to wipe us out.
The "horn of my salvation" gives a reference to the sacrificial aspect. The horns were on the corners of the altar and the sacrifice was tied to these horns. In this reference, David also recognizes the aspect of a substitutionary sacrifice being given as necessary for his salvation. One last point to consider on this passage, is the change in "rocks" David uses. At least in one aspect, it serves the purpose of Hebrew poetry. It forms the standard poetic style of parallelism in thought with similar words. That is why it couples with the name of God and His title.

my God my rock (boulder) I flee for protection in him
my God my rock (boulder) I flee for protection in him
my shield and horn of my salvation my stronghold.
my shield and horn of my salvation my stronghold
and my refuge to save me from violence will save me.

Verse 4:
Two ‘From' Positions
4 From to be praised I will proclaim Yahowah and from my enemies I will be saved. From to be praised I will proclaim Yahowah and from my enemies I will be saved.

Though the Hebrew word structure is naturally different to English, it doesn't take too much extra effort to figure out the thoughts being conveyed.
We all have our enemies and battles, if we serve God or are precious to Him. The enemy wants to do anything that will grieve God. David helps us to see the ground upon which we must stand in order to see God's deliverance. First, notice that this time David uses "Yahowah" only.
The position of true worship in praise and salvation can only come from the personal relationship with God, not the more distant title of deity expressed in the title of "God". Next, notice the ground for salvation from the enemies is found in the position of praising Yahowah. You may remember the victorious battle of Jehosophat when they went into war praising God. When they began to praise the LORD, God gave them the victory (II Chronicles 20:20-26)!

Verses 5-6:
5 ----------- Surround me PANGS OF TRAVAIL of death
Because surround me WAVES OF --- death
and torrent valley of Belial overtook me in sudden terror.
----- torrent valley of Belial overtook me in sudden terror.
6 Pangs of travail of Sheol round about me
Pangs of travail of Sheol round about me
come in front of me snare of death.
come in front of me snare of death.

Verses 5 and 6 take us into the details of David's personal sufferings. The preceding verses gave us a short synapsis of how God provided for his need. Here we get a glimpse of the depth of the suffering that came upon David, as well as the prophetic suffering to come upon his kingdom throughout the ages.
The jump from "waves of death" to "pangs of travail of death" takes us to a view of both the suffering as well as their overwhelming nature.
The "torrent valley" brings a graphic description of the suffering. A torrent valley is like an old dry river-bed. You are standing in it, when suddenly you see a wall of branches and junk being pushed at you swiftly by a wall of water. You will be swept to destruction before you can get out of the way!
"Belial" is a name for the devil. Next we see "Sheol". Sheol is the place one went to when one died. The righteous went to a portion, called Abraham's Bosom, where there was safety and comfort. The wicked went into the flames of torment. Those in the one section could see the other, but were protected from the flames. This was God's arrangement until Christ arose. Jesus Christ took all those in Abraham's Bosom to heaven, and the flames of hell are all that is in Sheol today. For David to refer to the "pangs of travail of Sheol" is to refer to the sufferings that follow death for the wicked. David's suffering, though still alive, was compared to the suffering of the wicked after death. When you consider all that Israel has had befall it, the death camps of Germany for instance, you can perceive the "travail of Sheol" while still in the flesh.

Verse 7:
Response to Suffering
7 In distress to me I will call out Yahowah
In distress to me I will call out Yahowah
and to my God I WILL CRY FOR HELP
and to my God I WILL CALL OUT
----- will hear from your sanctuary my voice
and will hear from your sanctuary my voice
and my crying out to his face shall enter in his ears.
and my crying out ----------------------------- in his ears.

Joyfully we can move on from the suffering to the prayer for help. In Psalm 18, David changed the word for "I will call out" to a more passionate word of "I will cry for help".
We can see the third line is directly addressing God, but the fourth line turns to a testimony of faith to those listening. David was distressed, but he didn't loose faith in that distress. David's response to trial was to cry to the Lord with FAITH! Simply crying in despair is not the same.

Verse 8:
God Arises to Answer in Vengeance
1. God's Response Shows First in the Creation
8 And she will push (quake) and she will shake the land
And she will push (quake) and she will shake the land
and the foundations of the MOUNTAINS they will tremble
and the foundations of THE HEAVENS they will tremble
and they will be pushed for to become angry to him.
and they will be pushed for to become angry to him.

At verse eight we see God arise to answer in vengeance upon the enemies of David. The "she" of eight is not referring to God, for He is ALWAYS referred to in the masculine. The "she" is referring to what is being pushed, shaken and trembling. The third line gives the reason for this incredible shaking. It is because of God's great anger when He arises in answer to the cry of David!
When God arises in judgment, we are shown the first effects are upon all of creation in the shaking of his might. Notice the important change of the second line. David wrote both versions under inspiration of the Spirit of God. Both are accurate. When God returns for his final answer in glory, both the heavens and the earth will be shaken:

4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. Isaiah 34:4

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:12-17

Verse 9:
God Arises to Answer in Vengeance
2. View of God as He Arises
9 Ascended smoke in his nostrils
Ascended smoke in his nostrils
and fire (shining) from his face (mouth) she will consume
and fire (shining) from his face (mouth) she will consume
coals he kindled from before him.
coals he kindled from before him.

As the old saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." So is the imagery of the smoke from His nostrils. It illustrates the rage and judgment that is coming. The smoke also tells of the smoldering rage that He is coming with. The phrasing of the second line is noticeable. I can't help but be reminded of the Shekinah glory of God. The reflection of that same Shekinah that radiated from the face of Moses. When God comes in glory and wrath, that shining will consume in judgment. The word used for "facemouth" could be understood for a match of the following found in the Revelation:

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. Revelation 19:11,12

In Revelation we see His eyes as a flame of fire as He comes in judgment. As He comes, the coals that are to be kindled before him will be those objects of his wrath. Verses 10-16: God Arises to Answer in Vengeance 3. His Coming 10 And stretch out heavens and will come down And stretch out heavens and will come down
and dark cloud beneath his feet.
and dark cloud beneath his feet.
11 And he will ride upon cherub and will fly
And he will ride upon cherub and will fly
and WILL FLY FAST upon the wings of the wind.
and TO BE SEEN (APPEAR) upon the wings of the wind.
12 ------To set darkness his covering round about his his succoths
And to set darkness his covering round about ----- his succoths
DARKNESSES waters dark clouds of fine dust.
COLLECTION OF WATERS waters dark clouds of fine dust.
13 From brightness over against him HIS DARK CLOUD CROSS OVER HIS
From brightness over against him CONSUME HIM
hail and coals of fire.
---------- coals of fire.
14 And will make sound of thunder IN the heavens Yahowah
----- Will make sound of thunder FROM the heavens Yahowah
and the most high will give his voice
and the most high will give his voice.
hail and coals of fire.
15 And will send forth his arrows and will disperse them
And will send forth ---- arrows and will disperse them
and LIGHTENINGS MANY and will put them in motion.
and SEND FORTH LIGHTNING and will put them in motion.
16 And they to be seen channels of WATERS
And they to be seen channels of SEA
and he will uncover the foundations of the world
----- he will uncover the foundations of the world
FROM YOUR rebukes Yahowah from breaths wind YOUR nostrils.
IN rebukes Yahowah from breaths wind HIS nostrils.

David turns to the details of God's coming. In stretching out the heavens, one might imagine the honor before an earthly king of rolling out the red carpet. David moves on to the details of the dark clouds beneath His feet, coming with angels, etc.
At this point, I believe it's of great advantage to read some other scriptures that bring out these details over the presence and coming of God:

11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. Deuteronomy 4:11

4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. Psalm 68:4

17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Psalm 68:17

3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Psalm 104:3

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13,14

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

We see the "chariots of God" and the angels are joined together, so we see this similar connection in Psalm 18:11. In verse 11, we see the parallel of the "cherub" to the "ride upon". If you look at the Hebrew interlinear, in Appendix I, you will notice that the Hebrew words are a combination of the same letters. That is a characteristic of Hebrew, showing the words are part of the same class of meanings. In Hebrew thought, the two have almost the same meaning at their base. The root word that "cherub" is based upon is the meaning, "to be near". The very name of "cherub" defines their ministry.
In verse 11, the "will fly fast" and the parallel in II Samuel of "to be seen (appear)" provide a lesson in God's providential preservation of His Word. The difference of the actual letters used, is the one uses a "resh" and the other a "daleth". Visually, the resh looks like the daleth except the little "tail" that hangs off the top to the right. The resh lacks this. That little "overhang" is what Jesus mentions in:

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18

Such is called the "tittle". Such a minor difference changes the whole meaning of the word, as we see in this passage. Both meanings are intended, just like all the other revisions we find throughout the song. Both readings together expound for our understanding of what is going to happen. They help define exactly what David is referring to.
As we see in a broader view of the scriptures on this subject, we see God will return with both speed and be seen by all.
In verse four, it is significant it refers to God's "succoths". The "Feast of Tabernacles (Succoths)" is prophetic of the Lord's setting His kingdom up on this earth. That is why the apostle Peter talked about building succoths when he saw the Lord glorified with Moses and Elijah upon the mount. In addition to this, it is of note that David did not call God's dwelling "heaven" or "house" or "temple". Such are fixed places. Succoths are mobile dwellings which is the prime characteristic of God's return.
In addition to all the other judgments that will befall at Armageddon, we see "hail and coals of fire" included. Such has been seen before in Egypt and at Sodom. The voice of God and the sound of thunder will be heard "in" the heavens and "from" the heavens.
The display of the lightenings, the roar of thunder and God's voice, the hail and coals of fire and on top of this, the arrows of God's artillery. Oh glorious day! There is one additional detail I want to look at in the 16th verse.
When we read that verse in the King James Bible, we read it visualizing what happened in history at the time of the deluge with Noah and the ark. Such did happen then, but this verse is future! Such exposure of these great subterranean water sources will be done again. When God returns, there will be such turmoil upon the earth, such as the mountains being brought low and the islands disappearing, now we can add one other item to the list. What remains of the great vaults of subterranean water will be brought out.
I doubt we can even begin to really comprehend the power that will be manifest the Day the Lord returns! When He returns, there will be no mistaking the point of what has taken place. Nothing in all of history has matched it, no nor shall match it again.

Part II
Man's Relationship With God
Verses 17-20:
The Sudden Catching Away
17 Will send forth from height and will take hold of me
Will send forth from height and will take hold of me
will draw me out from waters many.
will draw me out from waters many.
18 Will rescue me from my enemies strong
Will rescue me from my enemies strong
and from those who hate me for they were stronger who from me.
----- from those who hate me for they were stronger who from me.
19 Will go before me in day my distress
Will go before me in day my distress
and will be Yahowah to support to me.
and will be Yahowah --- support to me.
20 And will cause me to go out to large roomy expanse ------------ will deliver me
And will cause me to go out to large roomy expanse with (by) will deliver me
for delights in me.
for delights in me.

I have summarized this section as dealing with man's relationship with God. It encompasses verses 17-37. It is a continuation of God's return, but takes its turn in instructing us. It shows what happens to the God-fearing man in the Day of the Lord's wrath at his return. These words are exciting.
When God returns in his vengeance, He will actively "send forth" for his own. Verse 17 tells us He will send for his own from the height (ie. in the clouds of His return). He will take hold of his own on earth. He will draw me out from many waters. The scriptures repeatedly show the nations referred to as many waters.
God's own will be drawn out of the nations and snatched up to be with Him in the "height". No matter where His own will be found, God will snatch them away. No strong enemy, not even the grave, can keep hold of His beloved! Such will be the case of the dead rising up to be with the Lord at such a time.
Verse 19 serves as a poetic parallel to 18, but brings in the name of the One with whom we must have a relationship. Simply knowing He is God, is no more than the great waters of the nations know. When we know Him, on the "right side" as it were, we know Him as Yahowah!
When God gives that great call for His own, He indeed "will cause" us to be brought into the "large roomy expanse" found in the "height" in His holy presence overlooking the battle of all time - Armageddon!

Verses 21-25:
Why He is to be Taken Away
21 Will carry me Yahowah AS MY RIGHTEOUSNESS
Will carry me Yahowah AS MY RIGHTEOUSNESSES
as cleanness of my hand (working) will return to me.
as cleanness of my hand (working) will return to me.
22 For I kept path of Yahowah
For I kept path of Yahowah
and not I wickedly from my God.
and not I wickedly from my God.
23 For all his judgments to be before me
For all his judgments to be before me
and his statutes not depart from me.
and his statutes not depart from me.
24 And I to be upright WITH HIM and I will take heed from my iniquity.
And I to be upright TO HIM and I will take heed from my iniquity.
25 And will return Yahowah to me AS MY RIGHTEOUSNESS
And will return Yahowah to me AS MY RIGHTEOUSNESSES
as ---- cleaness my hands to go before his eyes.
as my cleaness ------------- to go before his eyes.

There are many Christians who rejoice in the message of the preceding verses of God's coming and His glory manifest upon this wicked world. The following verses, though, seem alien to many of them. So much so, ah, can I really call them "Christian"? I fear not! The following verses tell us critical information as to who God will bring up to be with Him.
Verse 21 is troublesome for many to accept. They find it offensive in David's confident confession of having walked in righteousness with clean hands. The Psalm and the Samuel account help us see the full scope of what David is saying. One has the singular form of "righteousness", the other the plural form of "righteousnesses".
What is the difference? In Christ Jesus we are given the righteousness of God in Christ:

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. I Corinthians 1:30,31

The "righteousness" - singular of Christ is applied to those who stand by faith in Him. The "righteousnesses" are the fruit that flows from abiding in Christ. You might notice the bringing forth fruit of righteousness until that coming day of God's vengeance in the following:

10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:10,11

David clearly expresses the necessary position of standing in God's righteousness as well as walking according to it. No way would David condone the flimsy statement, "I'm no different to the rest of the world, I'm just a sinner like the next guy, just saved by grace." Nor would David condone a statement like, "I'm a servant of God now, but I disobey Him all the time. He tells me to do this or that and I just can't help myself. All His servants disobey Him all the time and how dare you say otherwise!" Sorry, David knows the correct position and "world-view". Instead of correcting David, why don't we let him correct us?
There will be those thinking David also was a sinner. Remember Bathsheba and Uriah? Look at the words of David himself:

5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Psalm 69:5

David didn't deny being a sinner and he didn't claim to be "self" righteous. I believe verses 24 and 25 give the answer to this difficulty.
In the parallel with II Samuel, we see David accounted his righteousness to be "with him" and "to him". That is the only way it can be. "With him" in God's provided righteousness, that being in Christ. "To him" being found in answer via Philippians 1:10,11. David continued verse 24 with another important admission. With that ending, he was declaring (in that very same Psalm in which he had declared his righteousness) that he had the root of iniquity within him. The issue wasn't that he was without sin, it was that he abode in God, and he kept a distrusting eye upon his own fallen nature. He knew he could not turn his back on it for a moment. He had made that error before!
In verse 25, we find both the singular and plural of "righteousness". In short, verse 25 tells us he is righteous in God as well as follows God's provided righteousness in bearing fruit. Upon this, he can confidently affirm his hands are clean. After looking at this complex confession of David, we need to remember its context. God will "snatch" him away when He returns for vengeance because he has taken upon himself the righteousness God provided and walked accordingly. His salvation was not by works, nor maintained by works, but he did bring forth fruit meet for repentance. He stood by both faith and repentance. Upon that ground, he was bringing forth fruits of obedience and walking with clean hands.

Verses 26-28:
The Law of God's Dealing with Mankind
26 With merciful to show yourself merciful
With merciful to show yourself merciful
with man of strength upright will show yourself upright.
with man of strength upright will show yourself upright.
27 With pure will show yourself pure
With pure will show yourself pure
and with perverse (twisted) will show yourself false.
and with perverse (twisted) will show yourself false.
28 FOR YOU people afflicted (poor) you will deliver
AND (SPECIFIC) people afflicted (poor) you will deliver
AND EYES TO BE LOFTY you will make low.
AND YOUR EYES UPON TO BE HIGH you will make low.

David outlines a principal upon which God will deal with all men when He returns in His wrath. As you can see, the principal of "grace" is not unconditionally dished out. There are conditions for receiving grace from God. We see God will show mercy to the merciful, but realize that unrighteous mercy is sheer mockery of justice. The righteous Judge will not overlook this wickedness that's to be punished as well.
Consider the following illustration of the kind of twisting some teach on Divine justice:

You are talking about eternal things with a thief. He has said "the prayer" so feels assured God will show him mercy. You ask him how he justifies his thieving lifestyle. His answer is that he doesn't judge anybody. He knows that in the same way he judges, he will be judged. He doesn't condemn people so he won't be condemned. He actually shows you his great biblical knowledge by quoting the words of Christ:

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luke 6:37

Let me ask you, what is your response? Is he correct? My answer:

21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:21-29

What God is looking for is the one who is circumcised in the heart. The hardness has been removed and replaced with humility. The one who remembers righteous justice, but also is ready for dispensing mercy. Mercy trumps retribution, but this can only be in the face of repentant humility.
The second line of verse 26, shows God is looking for the person who is mighty to stand for what is right. Not just the one who will do what is right because that is the way the crowd is going. God is looking for the one who stands for right when no-one is going that direction. The man or woman who is accounted a fool and wicked because of resistance to current "politically approved" views and behaviors.
David makes it clear in verse 27 that God takes note of true purity. Following some manmade taboo, such as "don't drink coffee", doesn't make one pure. Such taboos further the devil's agenda. Such followers actually play into the devil's trap. They usually become twice the stench in God's nostrils than they were before. They move towards the "holier than thou" position while they commit impurity in heart. Just look at the filthy lyrics of songs they choose to listen to. They fool themselves, believing they are pure because they don't break the "purity taboo" some false prophet laid upon them.
Consider this frightening passage from Isaiah:

2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; 3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. 6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, Isaiah 65:2-6

The second line of verse 27 needs some explanation. The showing of God as "false" is in reference to how He will be in the eyes of the perverse. They are like that confident thief I mentioned.
He had peace of mind that all would be well. Woe unto him! In the day of God's wrath, he will find his hope and expectation proved false. His hope was false. It was not that God was false, but he falsely hoped upon God in an unrepentant heart. As we have seen at this coming of God, it will be in response to coming in judgment due to the prayer for help of the afflicted.
The wicked inevitably afflict the poor. God is a holy and just judge. (For a sample of a righteous judge on such issues see Psalm 72.)
The differences between the second lines of verse 28, give two lessons. Read the differences carefully. Psalm 18 shows God will bring down those "with haughty eyes". II Samuel shows us God "is looking upon" those who are seeking to be high. This teaches there are always two sets of eyes, ours and Gods.
Finally, there is another passage found in the last chapter of Revelation, the last book of the Bible:

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is 13 filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:11-14

Verses 29-31:
Victory and Strength to Those Who Flee to Him
29 For you will shine my lamp ------------
For you ------------- my lamp Yahowah
----- Yahowah my God to illuminate my darkness.
and Yahowah ----------- to illuminate my darkness.
30 For in you I will run a troop
For in you I will run a troop
and in my God I will leap over a wall.
and in my God I will leap over a wall.
31 The God upright his way
The God upright his way
words of Yahowah to test
words of Yahowah to test
shield he to all who flee for protection in him.
shield he to all who flee for protection in him.

In verses 29-31, David shows what God does, and will do, with those who walk in the way he has previously described in the song. In verse 29, we see a two-fold lesson in the first line comparison.
The Psalm 18 version tells us David has a lamp that God will be the light of. The II Samuel version tells us that Yahowah Himself is that lamp. From this, we see David's light is none of himself. If we have any righteousness and light, it must be all of God and none of ourself. In line with this compare:

9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. Psalm 36:9

We see the dual "upgrade" in using both the name of "Yahowah" and the title of "God" in the Psalm 18 version.
Verse 30 is an interesting jump from 29. Before we are ready for battle, we must have the light. When we have the light, we are prepared to be the mighty warrior and will be able to route all the forces of the enemies. In line with this, reflecting on what will happen when God returns in vengeance, there is an enlightening verse addressing this battle ability and David:

8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. Zechariah 12:8

The Zechariah passage is in reference to the day of the Lord's vengeance.
In verse 31 we see the combination of "God" and "Yahowah".
Consider the following verses in regards to verse 31:

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31,32

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge 14 the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. John 12:47-50

From such passages, we see the words of Jesus test us. We must all answer to what did HE say, not what did someone who claimed to be a "Christian" say or do. There have been multitudes who have adorned His name upon themselves, who have never been his disciples at all. Such are those who have murdered a multitude of victims.
Those who pass the testing nature of the words of Yahowah are those who enter under the shield of His protection. Note the distinct use of the word "in" used in the last line of verse 31. The Hebrew could have used a word for "to", but didn't. That difference is important. We don't just flee "to" Christ, we flee "into" Him. A true Christian is one who enters into the body of Christ by the supernatural working of the Spirit of God upon him. When one truly is "born again", one enters the body of Christ, so is clothed in the righteousness of Christ and receives the light and radiates the light from God.

Verse 32:
Who God Is
32 For who is GOD (ELOHA) from beside Yahowah
For who THESE from beside Yahowah
and who rock (boulder) WITH THE EXCEPTION OF our God?
and who rock (boulder) BESIDES our God?

After all the important ground covered through verse 31, we step on a final grand plateau. I suspect most readers of the Psalm read the next verse lightly, not seeing its great significance. Actually, it is a crux of the matter.
If one does not come from this position, all the rest is misplaced in one's life.
Why is it so important? It defines what deity it is we must be looking to. If we fail this, we will be looking to a false deity, which is idolatry.
The first line draws a greater distinction, so we will have no question as to what David is talking about. He changed the "these" into "God".
Two distinctions to note:
Psalm 18 did not use the most common term for God of "Elohim". That is a singular plural word using a specific vowel configuration telling us the plurality is not like one would use of a multitude of people like, "who are these people?". The plural is distinctly that used for a plural as of pairs, like a pair of socks. In Psalm 18, the term is "Eloha".
This is a difference with a reason. The "God", let there be no confusion, is "Yahowah". The original rendition from II Samuel brings us back to the plurality of the being called "Eloha" in Psalm 18. You see, David is pointing at the same God of verse 31. The God whose way is upright and the Yahowah whose words test us. This God "Eloha" are "these" of II Samuel. "Who are THESE other than Yahowah!" These both are one God.
In essence, he poses the question, "Who is God other than the one who has presented Himself under the name of Yahowah?" The implied answer is that there is no other God beside Him. Further, it tells us something we might tend to overlook. Simple, but important. If we should point and say, "Look, there is Yahowah", we are also saying, "Look, there is God, the ONLY God". Conversely, if we say, "Look, there is God", we are also saying, "Look, there is Yahowah". The word used for "rock" in the second line, is the same as that used for "rock" in the second line of verse 3. We saw in verse 3, that David fled for protection "in" Him (not to Him) who is both "God" and the salvation "rock". This salvation "rock" David flees "into" is both God and Yahowah. The full of verse 32 lays out a mathematical equation that locks down the facts.
The salvation rock we must flee "into" is both Yahowah and God. Jesus is that rock which defines Him as both God and Yahowah. Here are some important verses about that "rock":

15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. 18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. Deuteronomy 32:15-18

13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. 19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:13-20

The mystery of the rejection of most of Israel of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), is seen in this passage from Isaiah. Modern Judaism does not speak according to the law or to the testimony, it speaks according to such as the traditions of the "oral law" recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud. I beg of you, who are physical descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, go back to the law and to the testimony, for they tell the truth of the Messiah. Forsake the "oral traditions".
One last quote from the New Testament about that Rock who is the Messiah:

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. I Corinthians 10:1-4

Verses 33-37:
His Salvation - What He is to Me
33 The God who is THE GIRDER OF MY strength
The God who is MY FORTRESS strength
AND GIVES upright MY way.
34 Places my feet as hinds
Places HIS feet as hinds
and upon my high places he will make me to stand.
and upon my high places he will make me to stand.
35 Taught my hand to war
Taught my hand to war
and press down bows of brass my strengths.
and press down bows of brass my strengths.
36 And give to me a shield your salvation
And give to me a shield your salvation
and your right hand to support me and your meekness will increase me.
----------------------------------------------- and your meekness will increase me.
37 To enlarge my step (stride) under me
To enlarge my step (stride) under me
and not he has slipped my ankles.
and not he has slipped my ankles.

From verse 33 through 37, we see David focus on what God does for, or with, him. David expounds upon how it is his hands that work righteousness. Look at 33 and its parallel in II Samuel. "The girder of my strength" and "my fortress strength" are different things. The one, backbone of the strength by which he wars. The other, the impenetrable defensive wall that protects him. David accredits God to being both these to him.
Further, "and gives upright my way" as opposed to "and will cause to let loose upright his way" teaches a lot. For God to give "upright my way" declares loudly that one walks in an upright way, as an act of God doing it through us. This is not will-power to do right. It necessitates our being in the right relationship with God. We are able to walk uprightly, because He is free to pour out His righteousness through us.
The parallel makes a significant change from "my" to "his". This shows our ability to walk uprightly is via God's releasing His ability through an appropriate vessel.
Verse 34 continues this "my" and "his" again telling us our doing is because He is doing. David's "high places" are not referring to some idolatrous place of worship. It refers to the place the "hinds" are upon in the rocky mountain heights. If you've ever seen mountain goats on the sides of mountains, you will get the idea of what David is picturing. He stands safely in those "easy to fall to one's death" heights, because God Himself is secure in such a place. So then is David, as he stands by God's ability.
Verse 35 takes us into past tense. We see why from its content. David's position comes from having been trained by God. He became strong for the battle and for standing in the high places, because God had been training him. The King James Bible has the bow being broken (v.34 KJV - v.35 Hebrew numbering). The word used indicates the bow is simply pressed down as in use or for stringing. I did some research to find if David would have actually used a brass bow. The earliest record I found of a brass bow was a legendary one that was made as a gift for one of the Huns. It was apparently light weight and very efficient, but ‘one of a kind' and not made until centuries after Christ. I found further information on one of the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs. He hired artisans to make bows for his army. To find out if the potential artisan really knew his stuff or was just some poor workman he would test the bow. The document told how they made targets of brass about the thickness of the palm of the hand. There were several targets made and waiting. He rode up and took the bow. As he rode in his chariot, he shot as he passed. The report said the arrow actually broke the brass targets in two, the one after the other. Such was the demonstration of the strength of such a bow. Now, if one wonders how such could even be possible, read the following. I believe it may also hold the answer as to what David meant by the "trained" hands for war and the "brass" in connection with the bow. Read on:

"The Chevalier Cliardin, in his travels, which were performed in the 17th century says, "The young Persians learn to shoot the bow; the art of which consists in holding it firm, drawing and letting go the string smoothly. At first they practice with a weak bow; and afterwards, by degrees, with those which are stronger. The persons who give instructions in this art, direct the young pupils to shoot with ease and agility, in every direction, before them, behind, on either side, elevated in the air, or low on the ground; in short, in every different posture. Some of their bows are exceedingly strong; and the method they make use of to know their power, is by fastening them to a support driven into the wall, and suspending weights to the string at the point where the arrow is placed, when going to shoot. The strongest require 500 pounds weight, to draw them up to the arrow's point. "When the pupils can manage the common bow, they then have another given them, which they make heavier and heavier, by means of large iron rings which are placed on the string; some of these bows are an hundredweight. The pupils draw, string and unstring their bows, while they leap and move about; sometimes while they stand on one leg, sometimes on their knees, or while running about." Source: The Archer's Guide: Containing Full Instructions For The Use Of That Ancient & Noble Instrument The Bow, 1833, Chapter 1.

Verse 36 brings us that famous metaphor of God's salvation pictured as a shield. Indeed, its purpose is to stop the weapons of destruction assailed our way.
Again, these weapons are clear demonstration of an active enemy who is seeking to destroy us. A hard hat does help protect from accidents, but you never see construction workers carrying shields! (Except in Nehemiah and Ezra, but that's another story.)
The second line of verse 36, has an important expansion in the Psalm 18 rendition. The mention of God's "right hand" is more than indicating support from the generally stronger of ones two arms. It specifically refers to the Messiah! God's support, He has provided, is told of throughout scripture:

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. 7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. 8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. 9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? 10 Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Isaiah 51:-5-10

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:1-6

One can see how God pleads with Israel in the face of all its sufferings. The call found in them is pertinent to the fearful situation Israel is facing today. It is like reading a letter straight from heaven, addressed to Israel in the 21st century. The arm, who was given for our salvation, is the Messiah, the arm of Yahowah.
Isaiah 53 goes into great detail describing just how He would work his salvation. The sufferings of the Messiah are precisely laid out as they befell Him almost 2,000 years ago.
From the right hand, look to the "and your meekness will increase me" at the end of verse 36. The Messiah humbled Himself to take on the form of a man. It was His meekness in coming in such a manner that "increases" all who look to Him. Let me ask you, how else could God's meekness increase us? What possible meekness could it be talking about? Remember, meekness is for men.
We are imperfect and weak. God is perfect and all-powerful, so there is no place for meekness... unless He put on the form of a servant for the sake of man to bring His salvation. Glory be to God, He became meek so we may be "increased"!
Verse 37 shows the final mighty warrior that results from God's work with David. A soldier who has a strong stride into battle and whose feet are fit for the task. His life depended upon the reliability of his ankles when undergoing greater stress than they would normally be put through, but in God, he is another "mighty man".

Part III
Armageddon Arrives
Verses 38-43:
The Battle and Conquest
38 I will pursue my enemies AND I WILL OVERTAKE THEM
I will pursue my enemies AND I WILL DESTROY THEM
and not return until they are finished.
and not return until they are finished.
39 ------------------------------- I will severely wound them and not they will be able to STAND
And I will destroy them I will severely wound them and not ------------------------- THEY TO STAND
----- they will fall beneath my feet.
and they will fall beneath my feet.
40 And you will gird me with strength to war
And you will gird me with strength to war
you will cause to bow down those who rise up against me they beneath me.
you will cause to bow down those who rise up against me they beneath me.
41 And my enemies you give to me neck
And my enemies you give to me neck
and those who hate me ----- I will destroy them.
----- those who hate me and I will destroy them.
42 They cry for help and not to save
They cry for help and not to save
UPON Yahowah and no answer.
TO Yahowah and no answer.
43 And I will reduce them to dust as dust UPON FACE OF WIND
And I will reduce them to dust as dust LAND
as dirt streets ------------------------------------ I WILL POUR THEM OUT.
as dirt streets I will break them in pieces I WILL TREAD THEM DOWN.

Verses 38-43 takes us to the continuation from the position of what will happen for the God-fearing man after he is snatched from his enemies. Strangely enough he returns after his enemies! Notice the important time element.
We keep reading "I will" not "I did". Remember the opening verse on this Psalm. It seems to be yet another reason it was included in II Samuel 22. It is a song that gives tribute to God for His having kept David throughout life. In the final reading though, we see it is still presented in the "imperfect" tense. It is still "future".
In David's later years, he was physically unable to go out to war anymore. Age had naturally weakened him, yet we see David "looking forward" to being the mighty warrior still in some future time.
The variation of verse 38 is important. Consider that in today's popular system of "justice", many murderers are "overtaken" in that they are captured, but once having been caught, they are not "destroyed".

Example: In news out of Canada, a woman was tried for having strangled her 13 year old daughter to death. She was tried and found guilty, but was sentenced to 1 and half years probation and to mandatory counseling. She did not even serve time.

David not only talks of "overtaking", he talks of "destroying". We can see the importance in the differences in the combined reading.
The second half of verse 38 is a wonderful addition. When God returns with His armies, we know it is for a complete and glorious victory over the nations who have scoffed in His face. They will not escape!
I see the variations of verse 39 due to a musical or poetical style improvement. The message seems identical.
Verses 39 and 40 show the glorious victory of that wonderful war that is to come. You wonder, "Did he just say ‘wonderful war'?" Yes, "wonderful"! Ah yes, it is even a holy war! When Christians dutifully call to God, "Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!", such is the desire. If it isn't, one really doesn't desire for the return of Jesus Christ.
To "give to me neck" is an expression denoting the position of a conqueror who stands above his conquered enemy with his foot on his neck. Here is an example seen in Joshua:

24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. Joshua 10:24-26

Note David says he will destroy "those who hate him". He doesn't say, "those I hate". The whole issue has always been such. Just like Cain hated Abel and murdered him. It was not the other way around. It also shows us that the enemies are not neutral ‘Switzerlands'.
Ultimately, such is never possible. You either love God and His people, or you hate Him and His people. Like Jesus said:

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matthew 12:30

I suspect a lot of people would find verse 42 offensive. It says they call upon Yahowah and He refuses to hear. Yes, there is a time when God will not listen to prayers for mercy. Isn't this more of a reason for one to turn to God now while there's still time? This is the fear of the Lord.
The following passage from Isaiah is a word of prophecy directly in a conversation between the Messiah, who is named as "Holy One", and another who is clearly named "Yahowah". Whether you be of the seed of Abraham or one of the Gentiles, hear the following and the glorious hope that we still have. It is not too late to be one of those who will not suffer "hunger nor thirst" in the eternity to come:

5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. 6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. 8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. 10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. Isaiah 49:5-10

Verse 42, of Psalm 18, shows the ones being destroyed are calling intensely upon Yahowah. They are really eager for Him to hear, but it will be too late. Notice the difference of the word "upon" and "to". We can address someone in the less dependent "to" easily enough. Such doesn't necessarily indicate true humility in addressing God. Such could easily enough be a simple call for a "truce". A settlement of peace in the face of defeat in battle.
In the upgrade of Psalm 18 to "upon", no doubt can be had as to a more humbling position of ‘falling upon'. As they see their destiny written in stone, they might change to a desperate position of humility, but none-the-less, it will be too late on that day. Verse 43 is breath-taking; especially as we compare the Psalm 18 and II Samuel 22 version.
Those who are too late, having taken the position of the enemies of God and of his beloved, will be trodden underfoot by the armies of God. So obliterated and broken down that they will be as dust upon the face of the street. The wind will easily enough blow what remains of them away.
David is saying he will be the doer of such. David knows it will not only be God, but the armies of God, of which he will be an active participant. For those who truly know the fear of the Lord and bear the testimony of His son Jesus Christ, this will also be a day for us to take part in. Pay careful attention to the words in the following Psalm. They are a few more of the rejoicing the righteous will be doing on this very day of wrath:

9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. 10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. Psalm 58:9-11

Verses 44-46:
David to Reign as Chief of Nations
44 ------You will deliver me from strife of ---- people
And you will deliver me from strife of my people
YOU WILL MARK ME to chief of the nations
YOU WILL KEEP ME to chief of the nations
people not have known me they will serve me.
people not have known me they will serve me.
45 To hear ear they will hear to me
Sons of stranger they will deny to me
sons of stranger they will deny to me.
to hear ear they will hear to me.
46 Sons of stranger they will wither AND THEY WILL TREMBLE from their borders.
Sons of stranger they will wither AND THEY WILL BE STRAITENED from their borders.

To understand verses 44-46, it is important to understand the prophecies of the following:

8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Jeremiah 30:8,9

22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. Ezekiel 34:22-24

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Ezekiel 37:24,25

Only by knowing David will reign over Israel once again, can we understand how clearly the words of Psalm 18 are referring to that return of God.
It is an interesting change David made in verse 44 in deleting "my" from the song. "My" is a limiting factor that opened a broader scope by simply removing it. It also makes it clear that the strifes David knew to inevitably rise up, are always both internal and external. Such is the history of the Church and of Israel as a nation.
The second line of verse 44 shows appointment as well as preservation. The starting and the continuing. It tells us, under the new order, all nations will be in subservience to Israel. There will be a global system, but the nations will still be individual. If such were not the case, David could not be appointed and maintained as "chief of the nations".
An interesting thing took place in verse 45. The words of the two lines did not change, but they did get switched. For some reason, David must have felt the ‘listening to his commands' was best before the foreign nations ‘denying themselves' in order to obey. Possibly the rhythm in the song worked better with that switch.
Verse 46 itemizes the fact nations will be maintained as separate entities and not set up as a single government. Though they will remain separate entities, they will be under rule of God through such as David and the Messiah Jesus. Remember the subjection to God's Son shown in Psalm 2:

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Psalm 2:6-12

Verse 47:
47 Alive Yahowah and bless my rock (boulder)
Alive Yahowah and bless my rock (boulder)
and let be lifted up God of -------------------------------------- my salvation.
and let be lifted up God of rock (pebble; cutting stone) my salvation.

Verse 47 follows the victory section with a verse of praise. We hear "the LORD liveth" and perceive it as a simple praise statement.
It is clear that Yahowah is the true and living God, but we must also remember that as the Messiah was crucified and raised from the dead, so Yahowah is not defeated in death. Truly the rock of my salvation is alive!
We see Psalm 18 left out the word for "rock (pebble; cutting stone)" from its form. The term that was used is not the same for a rock that is a "cliff or fortification", neither that for a "boulder". It is that which is turned into a cutting stone. Such is a rock that works for my salvation.

Verses 48-49:
God Will Give Victory Over Enemies
48 The God to be delivered up vengeances to me
The God to be delivered up vengeances to me
AND WILL DECLARE peoples they beneath me.
AND WILL CAUSE TO GO DOWN peoples they beneath me
49 ------ I WAS DELIVERED from my enemies but also ---- from those who rise up against me you will raise me up
And TO CAUSE ME TO GO FORTH from my enemies --------- and from those who rise up against me you will raise me up
from man VIOLENCE (INJUSTICE) you will rescue me.
from man VIOLENCES (INJUSTICES) you will rescue me.

In a simple view, verses 48 and 49 almost seem to be a restatement of those preceding the verse of praise, verse 47.
If you are at all aware of what is going on in Israel today, and the great amount of anti-semitism spreading, you will gain a greater perception of the significance of verses 48 and 49. Today there are many enemies of Israel. They are literally surrounded by them. Iran is on the verge of finishing a nuclear bomb they would love to use to annihilate Israel. Daily, the Jews in Israel live in fear of terrorists strapping bombs to themselves and walking into public places to murder innocent victims, or some such heinous crime. In the longterm prophecy of David, he sang of the day this will be stopped. I believe we are looking at one of the great and wonderful prophecies hidden so long. Before I present the following, consider that for a king, as was David, to attack Israel was to attack him. To attack any of his people was to attack him.
At verse 3, we found the statement of God delivering David from the violent man in the II Samuel 22 rendition. It is here we see it retained in Psalm 18.
It pops up at the conclusion of God's returning in wrath and establishing the people under David. It is here we see a wonderful promise for the people of Israel. The Hebrew word translated as "violence" is the word "hamas".
If you know anything about those people, who have been going around with bombs strapped upon them, you will recognize that very word, "hamas". Hamas is an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement", in Arabic of course. The acronym in Arabic means "zeal". In those Muslim terrorist eyes, they are zealous for their religion. In Hebrew the word "hamas" means "violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice". Again, look at the last part of verse 49. "From man Hamas You will rescue me." This is more than a coincidence. It is prophecy. God will return in His wrathful vengeance and will deal with Hamas!

Part IV
Happily Ever After
Verses 50-51:
Conclusion: From David Reigning Again
In Israel Unto Eternity
50 Upon this I will thank you in the nations Yahowah
Upon this I will thank you Yahowah in the nations
and to your name I will melody you.
and to your name I will melody you.
51 To make great salvations his king
To make great salvations his king
and does mercy to his anointed
and does mercy to his anointed
to David and to his seed
to David and to his seed
until eternity.
until eternity.

I see the final two verses as the concluding section to the psalm. This is the "happily ever after" ending to a wonderful song.
In the Hebrew of the Psalm 18 version, we find the initial letter enlarged. I tried to illustrate this in the English with the large "U". There isn't an explanation given along with it. It is not enlarged in the II Samuel 22 edition. Its reason is only a hazarded guess, but for those who like guessing, the Hebrew letter enlarged is the letter "ayin" which also means "eye". Have at it!
Another difference between the two editions is the transposition of "in the nations" and "Yahowah". The one might be taken to emphasize the aspect of God's thanks being publicized for His glory amongst all the nations, while the other emphasizes the heart-felt "thank you" to Yahowah.
The second line of verse 50 is actually a little bit of a code. The Hebrew musical system has two key notes that "melody" to the actual name of "Yahowah". The two symbols used in the temple were tuned to these two notes. Such is a subject of greater depth for which I would recommend reading Dennis McCorkle's book on the musical instruments of the Bible. He has a chapter in it on this very point of "melodying" to the name of Yah. You can also find it online at
In these two final verses we see David's two "I wills" of verse 50. I will thank You and I will melody to You.
In 51 David switches to two things God does for him. "Great salvations" and "mercy". From these David moves to the final set of two being "David" and "his seed" to be sealed with the final capstone "until eternity".
With these final two verses, we see a clear orderly procession of praise. As to why it uses "his seed" instead of the first person of "my seed", I believe that was because this was for use in public song. It would have sounded rather strange if the singing Levites sang out "my seed". By using the third person of "his", it safeguarded against the misunderstanding of whose seed it was referring to.
We have covered a lot of ground as we went through this Psalm. It is, after all, 51 verses long. We have had a privileged look at when God does return in His wrath. We have the opportunity to consider where that places us in relation to God. Are we ready and eagerly awaiting that Day, or are we totally unprepared? Maybe we are looking forward to the Day truly ignorant that we have been closely approaching that Day unprepared.
Resting in a false sense of security, only to find out when it is too late, we were simply believing a lie as to our true state before God. With that, ponder the significance of Amos' words:

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? 21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:18-24

God is not fooled by religion and song. He is looking for repentance. Turning from walking in wickedness and trusting to his mercy provided in His Son. As Psalm 2 said:

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Put your trust in Him, kiss the Son and serve Yahowah with fear, then you will be able to "rejoice with trembling". Until then, all you will have is trembling.

Please see the .pdf for the appendix.

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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