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Psalm chapter 20

What does Psalm chapter 20 mean?

Psalm 20 features two main parts, as both the assembled people and King David pray for victory in an impending battle.

First, the people pray that God would bless the king during the fight: "the day of trouble." They pray that God would provide support for David, both spiritually—"from the sanctuary"—and militarily—"from Zion." Zion is another name for the city of Jerusalem. Their prayer is that David's pleas for victory would be granted. The people look forward to celebrating the victory God brings through their king (Psalm 20:1–5).

Next, David prays to describe his confidence in God. He refers to the "might of [God's] right hand," implying the full power of the Lord. This is contrasted with the only power available to worldly kingdoms: horses and chariots, common symbols of war. By comparison, David and the people of Israel are trusting in something far more potent, and reliable, than human armies (Psalm 20:6–8).

The psalm ends in the same way it began: with a sincere prayer from the people to give David victory in his battle (Psalm 20:9).
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