Psalm 20 and 21 go together. Psalm 20 is an intercessory prayer for the king's safety before battle, and Psalm 21 is the prayer of thanksgiving for the king's safe return after the battle has been won.
I'd read about this a couple of months ago before beginning this series and was going to do something once these two psalms were reached. Then I promptly forgot about it. What that something would be — I have no idea.
The only thing I could have done was to write each of them in the same style as the other. As it turns out, one has lines of 12 syllables and the other has 11 syllables. Otherwise, my interpretation of them both is remarkably similar.
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
O LORD, in your strength the king's glad and inspired,
and in your salvation he's greatly rejoiced.
You've given whatever his heart has desired,
withheld no request that his lips ever voiced.
You welcomed him back — with good things he's been blest;
you placed on his head a crown wrought of pure gold.
He asked you for life, and you heard his request —
forever and ever his years are untold.
His glory is great through your vict'ries allowed;
such splendor and majesty you have bestowed!
With blessings forever has he been endowed;
your presence has filled him with joy overflowed.
Because the king trusts in the Almighty LORD,
the LORD's loving-kindness will keep him secure.
Your hand will lay hold of your enemy hoard;
your right hand will seize those who hate you for sure.
As if by a furnace, upon your return,
they'll all be destroyed in the blaze of your ire.
They'll all be engulfed in the LORD's wrath and burn,
consumed and devoured by his endless fire.
You'll make sure their children are gone from this world;
the lines from their children's descendants will fail.
Intending you harm with the plots they have hurled,
that cannot nor will not remotely prevail.
Therefore, you will cause them to turn and take flight
once they finally notice your bow has been raised.
Rise up, LORD Jehovah, because of your might;
we'll sing of your power and give you our praise.
O LORD, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!
(20:1 - NASB)
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.
(21:2 - ESV)
You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
(21:3 - NLT)
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him— length of days, for ever and ever.
(21:4 - NIV)
His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
(21:5 - ESV)
You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.
(21:6 - NLT)
The king trusts in the LORD Almighty; and because of the LORD’s constant love he will always be secure.
(21:7 - GNT)
Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes.
(21:8 - NIV)
When you appear for battle, you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath, and his fire will consume them.
(21:9 - NIV)
You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants.
(21:10 - NLT)
Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed.
(21:11 - NLT)
For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them.
(21:12 - NLT)
Rise up, LORD, because you are strong; we will sing and praise your power.
(21:13 - ISV)
NASB: New American Standard Bible • ESV: English Standard Version • NLT: New Living Translation • NIV: New International Version • Good News Translation • ISV: International Standard Version
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