Psalm 21:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.

New Living Translation
For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them.

English Standard Version
For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.

New American Standard Bible
For You will make them turn their back; You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces.

King James Bible
Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Instead, you will put them to flight when you aim your bow at their faces.

International Standard Version
Indeed, you will make them retreat, when you aim your bow at their faces.

NET Bible
For you make them retreat when you shoot your arrows at them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Put a scar within them and establish your preparation against their faces.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They turn their backs [and flee] because you aim your bow at their faces.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore shalt thou separate them; thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore shall you make them turn their back, when you shall make ready your arrows upon your strings toward their face.

American King James Version
Therefore shall you make them turn their back, when you shall make ready your arrows on your strings against the face of them.

American Standard Version
For thou wilt make them turn their back; Thou wilt make ready with thy bowstrings against their face.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For thou shalt make them turn their back: in thy remnants thou shalt prepare their face.

Darby Bible Translation
For thou wilt make them turn their back; thou wilt make ready thy bowstring against their face.

English Revised Version
For thou shalt make them turn their back, thou shalt make ready with thy bowstrings against the face of them.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thy arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.

World English Bible
For you will make them turn their back, when you aim drawn bows at their face.

Young's Literal Translation
For Thou makest them a butt, When Thy strings Thou preparest against their faces.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:7-13 The psalmist teaches to look forward with faith, and hope, and prayer upon what God would further do. The success with which God blessed David, was a type of the total overthrow of all Christ's enemies. Those who might have had Christ to rule and save them, but rejected him and fought against him, shall find the remembrance of it a worm that dies not. God makes sinners willing by his grace, receives them to his favour, and delivers them from the wrath to come. May he exalt himself, by his all-powerful grace, in our hearts, destroying all the strong-holds of sin and Satan. How great should be our joy and praise to behold our Brother and Friend upon the throne, and for all the blessings we may expect from him! yet he delights in his exalted state, as enabling him to confer happiness and glory on poor sinners, who are taught to love and trust in him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back; literally, their neck (comp. Psalm 18:40). The meaning is simply, "Thou shalt put them to flight." When thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. The Authorized Version, by supplying "when" and "thine arrows," expresses what the psalmist has left to the intelligence of the reader. The psalmist says, "Thou shalt put them to flight; thou shalt make ready upon thy strings against the face of them, no doubt meaning that the discharge of arrows would produce the hasty flight, but not saying it.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Therefore shall thou make them turn their back,.... Or flee and run away to private places, to hide themselves from the wrath of God and of the Lamb, though to no purpose; or "make them turn behind thy back": God will turn his back upon them, and be negligent and careless of them, and not regard them when they cry in their misery and destruction. Some Jewish interpreters (e) understand it of their being put together on one side, in one corner, and be separate from the people of God; to which sense the Targum inclines, rendering the word for "back" the "shoulder", which sometimes signifies unanimity and union, Zephaniah 3:9; and thus, being all together by themselves, the wrath of God shall be poured forth upon them, and they shall be destroyed at once: so the Christians were, by the providence of God, brought out of Jerusalem before its destruction; and the saints will be called out of Babylon before its fall; and the goats, the wicked, will be separated from the righteous, and set together at Christ's left hand; for they shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous: but the best sense of the words is, "thou shalt set them for a butt" or (f) "heap"; or, as it is in the Hebrew text, a shoulder; a butt to shoot at being so called, because it is earth heaped up like a shoulder; see Job 16:12; and to this agrees what follows:

when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them; that is, direct the arrows of his wrath and vengeance right against them; see Psalm 7:11.

(e) Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc. (f) "ponis eos metam", Cocceius; "humerum", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus; "velut tumulum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. turn their back—literally, "place them [as to the] shoulder."

against the face of them—The shooting against their faces would cause them to turn their backs in flight.

Psalm 21:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The King Rejoices in Your Strength!
11Though they intended evil against You And devised a plot, They will not succeed. 12For You will make them turn their back; You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces. 13Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power.
Cross References
Exodus 23:27
"I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.

Psalm 7:12
If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow.

Psalm 7:13
He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.

Psalm 18:40
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore shall you make them turn their back, when you shall make ready your arrows on your strings against the face of them.

therefore

Psalm 9:3 When my enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at your presence.

Psalm 44:10 You make us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil …

Psalm 56:9 When I cry to you, then shall my enemies turn back: this I know; …

make. or, set them as a butt

Job 7:20 I have sinned; what shall I do to you, O you preserver of men? why …

Job 16:12,13 I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder: he has also taken me …

Lamentations 3:12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

back [heb.] shoulder
thou shalt

Psalm 7:13 He has also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordains …

Psalm 18:14 Yes, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out …

Psalm 64:7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

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