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Psalm 60:4

ESV You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah
NIV But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.
NASB You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah
CSB You have given a signal flag to those who fear you, so that they can flee before the archers. Selah
NLT But you have raised a banner for those who fear you — a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude
KJV Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

What does Psalm 60:4 mean?

Despite dismayed shock at the havoc Edom was inflicting on Israel (Psalm 60:1–3), David also sees God's mercy and deliverance. His words, thus far, have credited God with everything that has happened. Normally, such context would be helpful in interpreting the meaning of a verse. In this case, however, the original Hebrew language is obscure and subject to frequent debate. The two main interpretations offered both reflect God's sovereignty. One continues David's lament over Israel's dire situation. The other has this verse beginning the section where David anticipates the Lord's victory.

Banners are large flag-like objects often used to issue signals on a battlefield (Isaiah 5:26). One interpretation of this verse involves tragic sarcasm: implying that God has arranged His chosen people's army under a "banner" of defeat and loss. The other rendering suggests that those who honor God are given a rallying point in which they are safe (Psalm 20:5). In either case, David clearly credits God with control over these events.

Exodus 17:8–13 describes a lengthy battle between Amalek and the Israelites. Joshua led the Israelites in the fight, and so long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed. When Moses grew weary, Aaron and Hur held up his hands. God gave Israel the victory, and Moses built an altar and called it, "The Lᴏʀᴅ is My Banner" (Exodus 17:15). Jeremiah 4 predicts an invasion of Judah from the north that intends to make Judah's land a waste and leave her cities in ruin. It was time for Judah to blow the trumpet, raise a standard toward Zion, and flee to it for safety (Jeremiah 5—6).

The Hebrew word selah is not explicitly defined. It most likely means a musical pause, possibly meant as a time of reflection.
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