Psalm 118:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!

King James Bible
They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

American Standard Version
They compassed me about like bees; They are quenched as the fire of thorns: In the name of Jehovah I will cut them off.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They surrounded me like bees, and they burned like fire among thorns: and in the name of the Lord I was revenged on them

English Revised Version
They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: in the name of the LORD I will cut them off.

Webster's Bible Translation
They encompassed me like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

Psalm 118:12 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The Hodu-cry is addressed first of all and every one; then the whole body of the laity of Israel and the priests, and at last (as it appears) the proselytes (vid., on Psalm 115:9-11) who fear the God of revelation, are urgently admonished to echo it back; for "yea, His mercy endureth for ever," is the required hypophon. In Psalm 118:5, Israel too then begins as one man to praise the ever-gracious goodness of God. יהּ, the Jod of which might easily become inaudible after קראתי, has an emphatic Dagesh as in Psalm 118:18, and המּצר has the orthophonic stroke beside צר (the so-called מקּל), which points to the correct tone-syllable of the word that has Dechמ.

(Note: Vid., Baer's Thorath Emeth, p. 7 note, and p. 21, end of note 1.)

Instead of ענני it is here pointed ענני, which also occurs in other instances not only with distinctive, but also (though not uniformly) with conjunctive accents.

(Note: Hitzig on Proverbs 8:22 considers the pointing קנני to be occasioned by Dech, and in fact ענני in the passage before us has Tarcha, and in 1 Samuel 28:15 Munach; but in the passage before us, if we read במרחביה as one word according to the Masora, ענני is rather to be accented with Mugrash; and in 1 Samuel 28:15 the reading ענני is found side by side with ענני (e.g., in Bibl. Bomberg. 1521). Nevertheless צרפתני Psalm 17:3, and הרני Job 30:19 (according to Kimchi's Michlol, 30a), beside Mercha, show that the pointing beside conjunctive as beside disjunctive accents wavers between a& and a4, although a4 is properly only justified beside disjunctive accents, and צוּני also really only occurs in pause.)

The constructions is a pregnant one (as in Psalm 22:22; Psalm 28:1; Psalm 74:7; 2 Samuel 18:19; Ezra 2:62; 2 Chronicles 32:1): He answered me by removing me to a free space (Psalm 18:20). Both lines end with יהּ; nevertheless the reading במּרחביה is attested by the Masora (vid., Baer's Psalterium, pp. 132f.), instead of בּמּרחב יהּ. It has its advocates even in the Talmud (B. Pesachim 117a), and signifies a boundless extent, יה expressing the highest degree of comparison, like מאפּליה in Jeremiah 2:31, the deepest darkness. Even the lxx appears to have read מרחביה thus as one word (εἰς πλατυσμόν, Symmachus εἰς εὐρυχωρίαν). The Targum and Jerome, however, render it as we do; it is highly improbable that in one and the same verse the divine name should not be intended to be used in the same force of meaning. Psalm 56:1-13 (Psalm 56:10; Psalm 56:5, Psalm 56:12) echoes in Psalm 118:6; and in Psalm 118:7 Psalm 54:1-7 (Psalm 54:6) is in the mind of the later poet. In that passage it is still more clear than in the passage before us that by the Beth of בּעזרי Jahve is not meant to be designated as unus e multis, but as a helper who outweighs the greatest multitude of helpers. The Jewish people had experienced this helpful succour of Jahve in opposition to the persecutions of the Samaritans and the satraps during the building of the Temple; and had at the same time learned what is expressed in Psalm 118:7-8 (cf. Psalm 146:3), that trust in Jahve (for which חסה ב is the proper word) proves true, and trust in men, on the contrary, and especially in princes, is deceptive; for under Pseudo-Smerdis the work, begun under Cyrus, and represented as open to suspicion even in the reign of Cambyses, was interdicted. But in the reign of Darius it again became free: Jahve showed that He disposes events and the hearts of men in favour of His people, so that out of this has grown up in the minds of His people the confident expectation of a world-subduing supremacy expressed in Psalm 118:10.

The clauses Psalm 118:10, Psalm 118:11, and Psalm 118:12, expressed in the perfect form, are intended more hypothetically than as describing facts. The perfect is here set out in relief as a hypothetical tense by the following future. כּל־גּוים signifies, as in Psalm 117:1, the heathen of every kind. דּברים (in the Aramaic and Arabic with )ז are both bees and wasps, which make themselves especially troublesome in harvest time. The suffix of אמילם (from מוּל equals מלל, to hew down, cut in pieces) is the same as in Exodus 29:30; Exodus 2:17, and also beside a conjunctive accent in Psalm 74:8. Yet the reading אמילם, like יחיתן Habakkuk 2:17, is here the better supported (vid., Gesenius, Lehrgebude, S. 177), and it has been adopted by Norzi, Heidenheim, and Baer. The כּי is that which states the ground or reason, and then becomes directly confirmatory and assuring (Psalm 128:2, Psalm 128:4), which here, after the "in the name of Jahve" that precedes it, is applied and placed just as in the oath in 1 Samuel 14:44. And in general, as Redslob has demonstrated, כּי has not originally a relative, but a positive (determining) signification, כ being just as much a demonstrative sound as ד, ז, שׁ, and ת (cf. ἐκεῖ, ἐκεῖνος, κει'νος, ecce, hic, illic, with the Doric τηνεί, τῆνος). The notion of compassing round about is heightened in Psalm 118:11 by the juxtaposition of two forms of the same verb (Ges. 67, rem. 10), as in Hosea 4:18; Habakkuk 1:5; Zephaniah 2:1, and frequently. The figure of the bees is taken from Deuteronomy 1:44. The perfect דּעכוּ (cf. Isaiah 43:17) describes their destruction, which takes place instantly and unexpectedly. The Pual points to the punishing power that comes upon them: they are extinguished (exstinguuntur) like a fire of thorns, the crackling flame of which expires as quickly as it has blazed up (Psalm 58:10). In Psalm 118:13 the language of Israel is addressed to the hostile worldly power, as the antithesis shows. It thrust, yea thrust (inf. intens.) Israel, that it might fall (לנפּל; with reference to the pointing, vid., on Psalm 40:15); but Jahve's help would not suffer it to come to that pass. Therefore the song at the Red Sea is revived in the heart and mouth of Israel. Psalm 118:14 (like Isaiah 12:2) is taken from Exodus 15:2. עזּי (in MSS also written עזּי) is a collateral form of עזּי (Ew. 255, a), and here signifies the lofty self-consciousness which is united with the possession of power: pride and its expression an exclamation of joy. Concerning זמרת vid., on Psalm 16:6. As at that time, the cry of exultation and of salvation (i.e., of deliverance and of victory) is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of Jahve - they sing - עשׂה חיל (Numbers 24:18), practises valour, proves itself energetic, gains (maintains) the victory. רוממה is Milra, and therefore an adjective: victoriosa (Ew. 120 d), from רמם equals רוּם like שׁומם from שׁמם. It is not the part. Pil. (cf. Hosea 11:7), since the rejection of the participial Mem occurs in connection with Poal and Pual, but not elsewhere with Pilel (רומם equals מרומם from רוּם). The word yields a simpler sense, too, as adject. participle Kal; romēmā́h is only the fuller form for ramā́h, Exodus 14:8 (cf. rā́mah, Isaiah 26:11). It is not its own strength that avails for Israel's exultation of victory, but the energy of the right hand of Jahve. Being come to the brink of the abyss, Israel is become anew sure of its immortality through Him. God has, it is true, most severely chastened it (יסּרנּי with the suffix anni as in Genesis 30:6, and יהּ with the emphatic Dagesh, which neither reduplicates nor connects, cf. Psalm 118:5, Psalm 94:12), but still with moderation (Isaiah 27:7.). He has not suffered Israel to fall a prey to death, but reserved it for its high vocation, that it may see the mighty deeds of God and proclaim them to all the world. Amidst such celebration of Jahve the festive procession of the dedication of the Temple has arrived at the enclosure wall of the Temple.

Psalm 118:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

like bees

Deuteronomy 1:44 And the Amorites, which dwelled in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir...

quenched

Psalm 83:14,15 As the fire burns a wood, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire...

Ecclesiastes 7:6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

Isaiah 27:4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

Nahum 1:10 For while they be entwined together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

in the name

Psalm 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 20:1,5 The LORD hear you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend you...

1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield...

2 Samuel 23:6 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:

1 Chronicles 14:10,11,14-16 And David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? And will you deliver them into my hand...

2 Chronicles 14:11,12 And Asa cried to the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with you to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power...

2 Chronicles 16:7-9 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria...

2 Chronicles 20:17-22 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand you still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you...

2 Chronicles 22:7,8 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come...

destroy them. Heb. cut them down

Cross References
Luke 21:20
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.

Deuteronomy 1:44
Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do and beat you down in Seir as far as Hormah.

Psalm 58:9
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

Ecclesiastes 7:6
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity.

Isaiah 43:17
who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:

Nahum 1:10
For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.

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