Psalm 20 "trouble he doth send" versus "trouble"

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Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
"Jehovah hear thee in the day
when trouble he doth send:
And let the name of Jacob’s God
thee from all ill defend."

"The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee"

Thoughts on the differences?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
All trouble is ultimately sent by the Lord. I can't speak to the question of if the metrical version is a more literal rendering of the Hebrew, or is just expressed like that - truthfully enough - to scan better.

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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The language of the song (metricized) isn't as strict as the translation.

One has to conclude that the "background" element of divine sovereignty over the whole situation is made explicit in the song.

In other words, "the day of trouble" might be viewed by some--and the Psalmist doesn't present it as more than this on the surface--as simply the circumstance in which the Psalmist (David) may find himself.

But a bit of reflection will remind the one meditating that God is not simply a reactor to trouble that slipped past his attention. God is not just powerful enough to rescue, but can prevent the day of trouble in the first place. So, the cry for help is lifted to the one who is certainly capable of help, for he allowed/sent the trouble in the first place. The believer's hope for help is not bounded by any awareness (conscious or subliminal) of an exigency that God may not have an answer for.

So, the song-version contains a latent theological reflection that is made explicit. Depending on how strict one takes his Psalmody--and I've met some brothers with such a bent--that version of Ps.20 would be set by as inadequate if a stricter, more literal version was available.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
I wonder if "the day of trouble" is a noun phrase that should be preserved. Bonar says of this Psalm that it is "the prayer which the church might be supposed offering up, had all the redeemed stood by the Cross or in Gethsemane, in full consciousness of what was doing there." The phrase is found in at least ten other places, including in the Psalms.


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