Psalm 72:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!

King James Bible
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

American Standard Version
He will judge the poor of the people, He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He shall judge the poor of the people, and he shall save the children of the poor: and he shall humble the oppressor.

English Revised Version
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

Webster's Bible Translation
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

Psalm 72:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The thought of this proclamation so thoroughly absorbs the poet that he even now enters upon the tone of it; and since to his faith the deliverance is already a thing of the past, the tender song with its uncomplaining prayer dies away into a loud song of praise, in which he pictures it all to himself. Without Psalm 71:19-21 being subordinate to עד־אגיד in Psalm 71:18, וצדקתך is coupled by close connection with בגורתך. Psalm 71:19 is an independent clause; and עד־מרום takes the place of the predicate: the righteousness of God exceeds all bounds, is infinite (Psalm 36:6., Psalm 57:11). The cry כמוך מי, as in Psalm 35:10; Psalm 69:9, Jeremiah 10:6, refers back to Exodus 15:11. According to the Chethb, the range of the poet's vision widens in Psalm 71:20 from the proofs of the strength and righteousness of God which he has experienced in his own case to those which he has experienced in common with others in the history of his own nation. The Ker (cf. on the other hand Psalm 60:5; Psalm 85:7; Deuteronomy 31:17) rests upon a failing to discern how the experiences of the writer are interwoven with those of the nation. תּשׁוּב in both instances supplies the corresponding adverbial notion to the principal verb, as in Psalm 85:7 (cf. Psalm 51:4). תּהום, prop. a rumbling, commonly used of a deep heaving of waters, here signifies an abyss. "The abysses of the earth" (lxx ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς, just as the old Syriac version renders the New Testament ἄβυσσος, e.g., in Luke 8:31, by Syr. tehūmā') are, like the gates of death (Psalm 9:14), a figure of extreme perils and dangers, in the midst of which one is as it were half hidden in the abyss of Hades. The past and future are clearly distinguished in the sequence of the tenses. When God shall again raise His people out of the depth of the present catastrophe, then will He also magnify the גּדלּה of the poet, i.e., in the dignity of his office, by most brilliantly vindicating him in the face of his foes, and will once more (תּסּוב, fut. Niph. like תּשׁוּב ekil .h above) comfort him. He on his part will also (cf. Job 40:14) be grateful for this national restoration and this personal vindication: he will praise God, will praise His truth, i.e., His fidelity to His promises. בּכלי נבל instead of בּנבל sounds more circumstantial than in the old poetry. The divine name "The Holy One of Israel" occurs here for the third time in the Psalter; the other passages are Psalm 78:41; Psalm 89:19, which are older in time, and older also than Isaiah, who uses it thirty times, and Habakkuk, who uses it once. Jeremiah has it twice (Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:5), and that after the example of Isaiah. In Psalm 71:23, Psalm 71:24 the poet means to say that lips and tongue, song and speech, shall act in concert in the praise of God. תּרנּנּה with Dagesh also in the second Nun, after the form תּקוננּה, תּשׁכּנּה, side by side with which we also find the reading תּרנּנּה, and the reading תּרנּנה, which is in itself admissible, after the form תּאמנה, תּעגנה, but is here unattested.

(Note: Heidenheim reads תּרנּנּה with Segol, following the statement of Ibn-Bil'am in his טעמי המקרא and of Mose ha-Nakdan in his דרכי הנקוד, that Segol always precedes the ending נּה, with the exception only of הנּה and האזנּה. Baer, on the other hand, reads תונּנּה, following Aben-Ezra and Kimchi (Michlol 66b).)

The cohortative after כּי (lxx ὅταν) is intended to convey this meaning: when I feel myself impelled to harp unto Thee. In the perfects in the closing line that which is hoped for stands before his soul as though it had already taken place. כי is repeated with triumphant emphasis.

Psalm 72:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He shall judge

Psalm 72:12-14 For he shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him that has no helper...

Psalm 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth...

Ezekiel 34:15,16 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, said the Lord GOD...

Zechariah 11:7,11 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took to me two staves; the one I called Beauty...

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up...

break

Psalm 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Psalm 94:5 They break in pieces your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage.

Job 19:2 How long will you vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?

Job 34:24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.

Proverbs 20:26 A wise king scatters the wicked, and brings the wheel over them.

Jeremiah 51:20-23 You are my battle ax and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms...

the oppressor

Isaiah 9:4 For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

Isaiah 51:12,13 I, even I, am he that comforts you: who are you, that you should be afraid of a man that shall die...

Daniel 2:34,35 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay...

Zechariah 9:8-10 And I will encamp about my house because of the army, because of him that passes by, and because of him that returns...

Revelation 18:6-8,20,24 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double to her double according to her works...

Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication...

Cross References
Psalm 2:9
You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

Psalm 72:12
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.

Proverbs 29:14
If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.

Isaiah 11:4
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Isaiah 42:3
a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

Jeremiah 22:3
Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

Zechariah 7:10
do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart."

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