Psalm 18:38

ESV I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
NIV I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
NASB I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; They fell under my feet.
CSB I crush them, and they cannot get up; they fall beneath my feet.
NLT I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet.
KJV I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

What does Psalm 18:38 mean?

God gave David many victories over his enemies (1 Samuel 17:50; 2 Samuel 5:18–20; 2 Samuel 8:1–8). Over the last several verses, David has poetically described the ways in which God has empowered his success (Psalm 18:31–37). Here, David expands upon this description.

Years before he first wrote this song of praise (2 Samuel 22:1), David had slain the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17). It wasn't David's skill with a sword that won the battle. Rather, it was God's provision, acting through David's ability with a sling: a whip-like cord used to hurl rocks at high speed. David's stone was launched with such power and precision that it caved in the giant's skull. David seized the opportunity to rush at Goliath, using the enemy's own sword to cut off his head.

Later in life David, continued to show military skill in striking down Israel's enemies. Despite what's depicted in movies and television shows, few weapons—ancient or modern—cause instant death. Landing such a strike is devastating and impressive. Boxers competing in a match typically endure dozens of blows. To "thrust them through" is to land an immediately crippling strike. For a boxer, this is the "knockout" blow; in ancient warfare, it might literally mean piercing an enemy front-to-back with a blade.

While David's battles were often physical, the Devil is a Christian's main enemy (John 18:36; Ephesians 6:12). We can ward off his attacks by using "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). How skillfully do we use our "sword" (Hebrews 4:12)?
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