Psalm 20: 1-9….Pronouns…urgh!

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favour your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king!

May he answer us when we call.

Comment: Sometimes I wish that the writer had used nouns not pronouns! In the first half of this psalm the ‘he’ obviously refers to God. But to whom does the ‘you’ refer? Is it the reader? Is it the king? Was it meant to be individualised by everyone taking part in the worship service at which this psalm was read or sung? Is it a Messianic Psalm and thus really a prayer for the Messiah whom God had promised to send?

In the second half we have ‘we’, which probably means all taking part in the reading or hearing of the Psalm. It calls for a pretty joyous and ecstatic celebration – with the raising of banners, exclamations of salvation, the use of the word ‘anointed’. It goes beyond the affairs of a small insignificant person with its talk about either trusting in chariots and horses, which sounds like national and war affairs, or trusting in God.

Does ‘ O LORD, save the king!‘ apply to King David or King Jesus? Or maybe to both!

Prayer: Teach me to pray, O Lord.

3 thoughts on “Psalm 20: 1-9….Pronouns…urgh!

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this Psalm. The use or pronouns does make it difficult to have an understanding of whom they refer to. “Some trust in chariots and horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God” is a good strong verse which speaks of God being the One in whom we can trust. God bless you.


  2. Barry, if you read this psalm in KJV where old English is used the word “you” is translated as “thee” which is 2nd person singular so the blessing would be to the person being blessed by theCovenant LORD


    1. David, thank you. I write these articles with different people in mind. I guess first up I want to encourage any one who reads it to think more deeply than most people in the world today. I particularly want to awaken the interest of non scripture readers to see that there are buckets full of good stuff hidden in the word. You will note that I have in my writing used it in the singular sense but asked who is the you? The reader, the individual listener in the worship area as the psalm is sung, David himself or are their Messianic overtones? At the end David changes the ‘you’, the ‘thee’ to ‘we’, so I suspect that we are all meant to include our selves in it, as a part of the people of God! It is indeed a beautiful psalm!


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