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Psalm 3:1

ESV O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
NIV A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
NASB Lord, how my enemies have increased! Many are rising up against me.
CSB A psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom. Lord, how my foes increase! There are many who attack me.
NLT O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me.
KJV A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
NKJV {A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.} Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.

What does Psalm 3:1 mean?

David laments to the Lord that his enemies are numerous and increasing in their power against him. These formidable enemies had joined David's son Absalom in a rebellion against David. Second Samuel 15:1–6 tells how Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. With a substantial number of supporters, Absalom conspired against his father, King David. Upon hearing about the conspiracy, David and his servants fled from Jerusalem. David had become a fugitive in the wilderness as he was pursued by Absalom's military followers.

Second Samuel 17:1–3 tells us Ahithophel counseled Absalom to allow him to take 12,000 men to pursue David until David became tired and discouraged. Then they would strike David and return David's men to Absalom. This plan, Ahithophel said, would bring peace to Israel. Verse 4 informs us that this "advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel." Fortunately for David, his ally, Hushai, intervened and convinced Absalom to delay his attack, then warned David (2 Samuel 17:15–16).

This threat of pursuit, by thousands of determined enemies, is the background of David's plea in the psalm.
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