Yahweh saves and blesses his people (Ps 3:8-3:8)

“Deliverance belongs to Yahweh.

May your blessing be upon your people!

Selah”

Once again, David believed that he was saved by Yahweh. He was delivered from the forces of his son, who also died as indicated in 2 Samuel, chapter 18. David was upset about that. However, he did want Yahweh to bless all his people. The ending of this psalm has the “Selah” or musical interlude pause.

Yahweh defeats my enemies (Ps 3:7-3:7)

“Arise, Yahweh!

Deliver me!

O my God!

You strike all my enemies on the cheek.

You break the teeth of the wicked.”

David wanted Yahweh to wake up and deliver him. He wanted Yahweh to strike all his enemies on the cheek. He wanted him to break the teeth of all the wicked. Once again there was no pause or break. David wanted Yahweh to intervene on his behalf in this internal Israelite family struggle with his son. The wicked and the enemies were not other countries, but his own family and countrymen.

Yahweh sustains me (Ps 3:5-3:6)

“I lie down and sleep.

I wake again.

Yahweh sustains me.

I am not afraid of

Ten thousands of people.

I am not afraid of

Those who have set themselves against me all around.”

David was not afraid to sleep because he would awake. Yahweh was like his body guard and sustained him in all things. He was not afraid of 10,000 people even if they had him surrounded. He would still trust in Yahweh. There was no “Selah” or pause here as in the preceding verses.

Prayer to Yahweh (Ps 3:3-3:4)

“But you, Yahweh!

You are a shield around me!

You are my glory!

You are the one who lifts up my head.

I cry aloud to Yahweh.

He answers me from his holy hill.

Selah”

David prayed to Yahweh in a personal way with a great deal of trust. He addressed Yahweh directly. Yahweh was his shield and his glory. He lifted up his head. He would cry aloud to Yahweh. Even though he was not at the holy hill, Yahweh would respond to him from there. Once again there is a “Selah” or pause for a musical interlude. Clearly this psalm was used in liturgical prayer with all these musical pauses.

The foes rise up (Ps 3:1-3: 2)

A psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

Yahweh!

How many are my foes?

Many are rising against me.

Many are saying of me.

There is no help for you in God.

Selah”

In 2 Samuel, chapters 15-18, David fled from his son Absalom who wanted to take the throne away from him. Thus this Psalm 3 has an explicit mention of when David might have composed his psalm as he left Jerusalem. David addressed Yahweh in a complaining way. He had so many enemies, that even his son had rebelled against him. Many others were joining his son Absalom. They were saying that God would not help him. Then we have the “Selah,” which either means a pause or a musical interlude before the continuation of the psalm. This term “Selah” appears over 70 times in the various psalms.