Psalm 18:42 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 18:42, NIV: I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets.

Psalm 18:42, ESV: I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

Psalm 18:42, KJV: Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

Psalm 18:42, NASB: Then I beat them fine like the dust before the wind; I emptied them out like the mud of the streets.

Psalm 18:42, NLT: I ground them as fine as dust in the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt.

Psalm 18:42, CSB: I pulverize them like dust before the wind; I trample them like mud in the streets.

What does Psalm 18:42 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Hyperbole is the literary term which means "exaggerating for effect." This was an extremely common practice in ancient literature. A modern equivalent would be someone saying, "I've told you a million times," or "this suitcase weighs a ton!" The speaker doesn't mean it literally, and the one hearing them understands the metaphor.

Still praising God's intervention, David writes that he beat his enemies "fine as dust before the wind." Dust is no match for the wind. The wind blows dust swiftly and far according to its velocity.

David's disdain for his enemies was equivalent to what he felt about trash or useless waste. Just as people swept garbage or grime into the gutter, David flung his enemies aside like waste. Dust and dirt thrown into the street are trampled and completely ignored by those who walk on them (Matthew 5:13). Although God loves everyone and gave His Son to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), someday He will cast aside for eternity all who reject His offer of salvation (John 3:36). Revelation 20:11–15 pictures the great white throne judgment: a moment at the beginning of eternity which reveals that all whose names are not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire.