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Psalm 60:3

ESV You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
NIV You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
NASB You have made Your people experience hardship; You have given us wine to drink that makes us stagger.
CSB You have made your people suffer hardship; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
NLT You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.
KJV Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

What does Psalm 60:3 mean?

When this psalm was composed, David's military was engaged in the north against the Arameans and Ammonites. At the same time, Israel was suddenly invaded, from the south, by the Edomites. This created a desperate situation (Psalm 60:1–2): Israel was being decimated in one area while unable to spare many soldiers from another. Eventually—after this psalm was written—David's forces crushed the Edomite invaders and secured the nation (2 Samuel 8:13–14; 1 Chronicles 18:12–13).

Though dismayed by news of the attack, David still speaks with the understanding that the Lord God is in control. Here, the effect is compared to being drunk. As can happen in battle, the forces of Israel experience confusion, weakness, and chaos (Isaiah 19:14; Job 12:25). In the initial moments of the assault from Edom, they are stunned into a nearly helpless state. David sees this as a form of the Lord's judgment. Long after David's life, God would prophecy using foreign nations to punish the nation of Israel (Isaiah 7:17; 9:12).

Other Old Testament passages mingle the concepts of God's judgment and intoxication (Psalm 75:8). Isaiah 51:17 mentions "the bowl, the cup of staggering," and verse 22 links it to the Lord's wrath. Jeremiah 25:16 says the nations that drink the wine of the Lord's wrath will "stagger and be crazed." Revelation 16:19 describes both an earthquake and wine in connection with the seventh bowl judgment of the great tribulation. John the apostle writes, "The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath."
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