Psalm 7:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 7:2, NIV: or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Psalm 7:2, ESV: lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.

Psalm 7:2, KJV: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

Psalm 7:2, NASB: Or he will tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is no one to rescue me.

Psalm 7:2, NLT: If you don't, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

Psalm 7:2, CSB: or they will tear me like a lion, ripping me apart with no one to rescue me.

What does Psalm 7:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse, David acknowledges what will happen if the Lord doesn't rescue him (Psalm 7:1). His enemies will tear him apart like a lion shredding its victim. The Hebrew term nephesh can be translated "soul," though in many contexts it refers to life (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 24:17; Psalm 31:13; Proverbs 29:10), as in this instance. In his early life, David had rescued his sheep from lions and bears (1 Samuel 17:34–36). Now he felt his enemies would devour him like a lion.

Believers often praise the Lord for protecting them. They acknowledge they would have fallen victim to harsh circumstances if it had not been for God's watchful care. The apostle Paul endured many trials: imprisonments, countless beatings, near-death experiences, lashings, beatings with rods, stoning, shipwreck, various dangers, sleeplessness, thirst, hunger, exposure to cold, and a narrow escape at Damascus, not to mention other cities he had to flee (2 Corinthians 11:23–33). In his letter to the Philippians, Paul testified: "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12–13).

Here, David is possibly concerned about the threat of Saul's men, who are pursuing him (1 Samuel 24:1–2). He may also be referring to slander and lies (Psalm 7:3–8). Those may be connected to Cush, who is briefly mentioned at the beginning of this passage (Psalm 7:1).