Psalm 18:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.

King James Bible
He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

American Standard Version
He bowed the heavens also, and came down; And thick darkness was under his feet.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He bowed the heavens, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

English Revised Version
He bowed the heavens also, and came down, and thick darkness was under his feet.

Webster's Bible Translation
He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

Psalm 18:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

(Heb.: 18:2-4) The poet opens with a number of endearing names for God, in which he gratefully comprehends the results of long and varied experience. So far as regards the parallelism of the members, a monostich forms the beginning of this Psalm, as in Psalm 16:1-11; Psalm 23:1-6; Psalm 25 and many others. Nevertheless the matter assumes a somewhat different aspect, if Psalm 18:3 is not, with Maurer, Hengstenberg and Hupfeld, taken as two predicate clauses (Jahve is..., my God is...), but as a simple vocative-a rendering which alone corresponds to the intensity with which this greatest of the Davidic hymns opens-God being invoked by ה, ה, אלי, and each of these names being followed by a predicative expansion of itself, which increases in fulness of tone and emphasis. The ארחמך (with ā, according to Ew. ֗251, b), which carries the three series of the names of God, makes up in depth of meaning what is wanting in compass. Elsewhere we find only the Piel רחם of tender sympathising love, but here the Kal is used as an Aramaism. Hence the Jalkut on this passages explains it by רחמאי יתך "I love thee," or ardent, heartfelt love and attachment. The primary signification of softness (root רח, Arab. rḥ, rch, to be soft, lax, loose), whence רחם, uterus, is transferred in both cases to tenderness of feeling or sentiment. The most general predicate חזפי (from חזק according to a similar inflexion to אמר, בּסר, עמק, plur. עמקי Proverbs 9:18) is followed by those which describe Jahve as a protector and deliverer in persecution on the one hand, and on the other as a defender and the giver of victory in battle. They are all typical names symbolising what Jahve is in Himself; hence instead of וּמפלּטי it would perhaps have been more correct to point וּמפלטי (and my refuge). God had already called Himself a shield to Abram, Genesis 15:1; and He is called צוּר (cf. אבן Genesis 49:24) in the great Mosaic song, Deuteronomy 32:4, Deuteronomy 32:37 (the latter verse is distinctly echoed here).

סלע from סלע, Arab. sl‛, findere, means properly a cleft in a rock (Arabic סלע,

(Note: Neshwn defines thus: Arab. 'l-sal‛ is a cutting in a mountain after the manner of a gorge; and Jkt, who cites a number of places that are so called: a wide plain (Arab. fḍ') enclosed by steep rocks, which is reached through a narrow pass (Arab. ša‛b), but can only be descended on foot. Accordingly, in סלעי the idea of a safe (and comfortable) hiding-place preponderates; in צוּרי that of firm ground and inaccessibility. The one figure calls to mind the (well-watered) Edomitish סלע surrounded with precipitous rocks, Isaiah 16:1; Isaiah 42:11, the Πέτρα described by Strabo, xvi. 4, 21; the other calls to mind the Phoenician rocky island צור, Ṣûr (Tyre), the refuge in the sea.))

then a cleft rock, and צוּר, like the Arabic sachr, a great and hard mass of rock (Aramaic טוּר, a mountain). The figures of the מצוּדה (מצודה, מצד) and the משׂגּב are related; the former signifies properly specula, a watch-tower,

(Note: In Arabic maṣâdun signifies (1) a high hill (a signification that is wanting in Freytag), (2) the summit of a mountain, and according to the original lexicons it belongs to the root Arab. maṣada, which in outward appearance is supported by the synonymous forms Arab. maṣadun and maṣdun, as also by their plurals Arab. amṣidatun and muṣdânun, wince these can only be properly formed from those singulars on the assumption of the m being part of the root. Nevertheless, since the meanings of Arab. maṣada all distinctly point to its being formed from the root Arab. mṣ contained in the reduplicated stem Arab. maṣṣa, to suck, but the meanings of Arab. maṣâdun, maṣsadun, and maṣdun do not admit of their being referred to it, and moreover there are instances in which original nn. loci from vv. med. Arab. w and y admit of the prefixed m being treated as the first radical through forgetfulness or disregard of their derivation, and with the retention of its from secondary roots (as Arab. makana, madana, maṣṣara), it is highly probable that in maṣâd, maṣad and maṣd we have an original מצד, מצודה, מצוּדה. These Hebrew words, however, are to be referred to a צוּד in the signification to look out, therefore properly specula. - Fleischer.)

and the latter, a steep height. The horn, which is an ancient figure of victorious and defiant power in Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Samuel 2:1, is found here applied to Jahve Himself: "horn of my salvation" is that which interposes on the side of my feebleness, conquers, and saves me. All these epithets applied to God are the fruits of the affliction out of which David's song has sprung, viz., his persecution by Saul, when, in a country abounding in rugged rocks and deficient in forest, he betook himself to the rocks for safety, and the mountains served him as his fortresses. In the shelter which the mountains, by their natural conformations, afforded him at that time, and in the fortunate accidents, which sometimes brought him deliverance when in extreme peril, David recognises only marvellous phenomena of which Jahve Himself was to him the final cause. The confession of the God tried and known in many ways is continued in Psalm 18:5 by a general expression of his experience. מהלּל is a predicate accusative to יהוה: As one praised (worthy to be praised) do I call upon Jahve, - a rendering that is better suited to the following clause, which expresses confidence in the answer coinciding with the invocation, which is to be thought of as a cry for help, than Olshausen's, "Worthy of praise, do I cry, is Jahve," though this latter certainly is possible so far as the style is concerned (vid., on Isaiah 45:24, cf. also Genesis 3:3; Micah 2:6). The proof of this fact, viz., that calling upon Him who is worthy to be praised, who, as the history of Israel shows, is able and willing to help, is immediately followed by actual help, as events that are coincident, forms the further matter of the Psalm.

Psalm 18:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He bowed. Jehovah is here represented as a mighty warrior going forth to fight the battles of David, When He descended to the engagement, the very heavens bowed to render his descent more awful: His military tent was substantial darkness; the voice of His thunder was the warlike alarm which sounded to battle; the chariot in which He rode was the thick clouds of heaven, conducted by cherubs, and carried on by the irresistible force and rapid wings of an impetuous tempest; and the darts and weapons He employed were thunder-bolts, lightnings, fiery hail, deluging rains, and stormy winds! No wonder that when God arose all His enemies were scattered, and those that hated Him fled before Him.

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

Psalm 144:5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

Deuteronomy 33:26 There is none like to the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heaven in your help, and in his excellency on the sky.

2 Samuel 22:10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke...

Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake...

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light...

Hebrews 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise...

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away...

darkness

Deuteronomy 5:22,23 These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the middle of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness...

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.

Cross References
Psalm 68:8
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.

Psalm 97:2
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

Psalm 144:5
Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!

Isaiah 19:1
An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.

Isaiah 64:1
Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence--

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