Psalm 9:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You.

King James Bible
When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

Darby Bible Translation
When mine enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished at thy presence:

World English Bible
When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish in your presence.

Young's Literal Translation
In mine enemies turning backward, they stumble and perish from Thy face.

Psalm 9:3 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

When mine enemies are turned back - Who these enemies were, the psalmist does not say. It is clear, however, as was remarked in the introduction, that the psalm was composed:

(a) in view of a victory which had been achieved over some formidable enemies; and

(b) in view of some dangers still impending from a similar source.

The literal meaning of the passage here is, "In the turning of my enemies back;" that is, in their retreat, defeat, overthrow. So far as the Hebrew form of expression is concerned, this may either refer to what had been done, or to what would be; and may imply either that they had been turned back, or that the psalmist hoped and believed that they would be; for in either case the fact would show the divine perfections, and give occasion for gratitude and praise. The verbs with which this is connected - "they shall fall and perish" - are indeed in the Hebrew, as in our version, in the future tense; but this does not necessarily determine the question whether the psalmist refers to what had occurred or what would occur. His attitude is this: he contemplates his enemies as mighty and formidable; he sees the danger which exists when such enemies surround one; he looks at the interposition of God, and he sees that whenever it occurs it would be followed by this consequence, that they would stumble and fall before him. But while this verse does not determine the question whether he refers to what has been, or to what would be, the subsequent verses Psalm 9:4-6 seem to settle it, where he speaks as if this were already done, and as if God had interposed in a remarkable manner in defeating his foes. I regard this, therefore, as a reflection on what had occurred, and as expressing what was then actually a ground of praise and thanksgiving.

They shall fall and perish - A general statement in view of what had occurred, meaning that this would always be the case.

At thy presence - Before thee; that is, when thou dost manifest thyself. This was the reason why they would stumble and fall, and is equivalent to saying, that "whenever mine enemies are turned back, the reason why they stumble and fall is "thy presence." It is the interposition of thy power. It is not to be traced to the prowess of man that they thus turn back, and that they fall and perish; it is to be traced to the fact that thou art present - that thou dost interpose." It is thus an acknowledgment of God as the author of the victory in all cases.

Psalm 9:3 Parallel Commentaries

Cry we Therefore with the Spirit of Charity...
26. Cry we therefore with the spirit of charity, and until we come to the inheritance in which we are alway to remain, let us be, through love which becometh the free-born, not through fear which becometh bondmen, patient of suffering. Cry we, so long as we are poor, until we be with that inheritance made rich. Seeing how great earnest thereof we have received, in that Christ to make us rich made Himself poor; Who being exalted unto the riches which are above, there was sent One Who should breathe
St. Augustine—On Patience

Jesus, My Rock.
When the storm and the tempest are raging around me, Oh! where shall I flee to be safe from their shock? There are walls which no mortal hands built to surround me, A Refuge Eternal,--'Tis JESUS MY ROCK! When my heart is all sorrow, and trials aggrieve me, To whom can I safely my secrets unlock? No bosom (save one) has the power to relieve me, The bosom which bled for me, JESUS MY ROCK! When Life's gloomy curtain, at last, shall close o'er me, And the chill hand of death unexpectedly knock, I will
John Ross Macduff—The Cities of Refuge: or, The Name of Jesus

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Justice of God
The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one entire essence. Well, then, concerning God's justice. Deut 32:4. Just and right is he.' Job 37:23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Psalm 27:2
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.

Psalm 56:9
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.

Psalm 64:8
So they will make him stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who see them will shake the head.

Psalm 68:2
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish before God.

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