Psalm 18:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 18:5, NIV: The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.

Psalm 18:5, ESV: the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

Psalm 18:5, KJV: The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

Psalm 18:5, NASB: The ropes of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.

Psalm 18:5, NLT: The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path.

Psalm 18:5, CSB: The ropes of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

What does Psalm 18:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

At times, when Saul was pursuing David in the wilderness (1 Samuel 23:15), David felt doomed. Here, he echoes the same imagery used in the prior verse (Psalm 18:4). The feeling of being trapped, tied up, or entangled in ropes parallels David's sense of being helplessly caught by his enemies. The term Sheol is derived from an ancient term for "hollowness," but it came to mean "the underworld or the grave, the realm of all the dead." David was so hemmed in by Saul's men that he felt the grave was reaching out for him.

Years later, the prophet Jonah would report a similar feeling of entrapment and terror. He cried out to the Lord from the belly of a great fish and said, "I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice" (Jonah 2:2).

For a Christian death poses no ultimate threat. By His death and resurrection Jesus removed the sting of death. When born-again Christians die, they simply pass from life on earth with all its troubles and trials to heaven with all its joys and blessings. The apostle Paul regarded death not as loss, but as gain (Philippians 1:21).