What does Psalm 18:10 mean?
ESV: He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
NIV: He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
NASB: He rode on a cherub and flew; And He sped on the wings of the wind.
CSB: He rode on a cherub and flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.
NLT: Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.
KJV: And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
NKJV: And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.
Verse Commentary:
David depicts his rescue from enemies, thanks to the Lord, as rapid. He pictures the Lord as coming to his defense and riding on a cherub and on the wings of the wind. This portrayal views God as a mighty warrior in a chariot charging the enemy swiftly.

In Scripture, cherubim—the plural term for a cherub—are angels that guard God's holiness. Modern culture tends to use terms like "angel" and "cherub" to describe something wholesome or cute. Angels like cherubim, however, are spiritual beings of incredible power. God appointed cherubim to guard the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24), making it impossible for our first parents to return to the tree of life.

Ezekiel 10:8–14 describes the cherubim as having hands like human hands, wings, and four faces. Ezekiel 10:15 calls them, "living creatures." This identification seems to identify them as the living creatures the apostle John saw around God's throne and heard saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:6–8). Two golden cherubim were mounted on top of the ark of the covenant with their faces looking down on the mercy seat and their wings spread over its top (Exodus 25:17–22). Hebrews 9:5 refers to them as "the cherubim of glory." Cherubim were also woven into the curtain of the tabernacle and the veil (Exodus 26:1, 31).
Verse Context:
Psalm 18:1–19 expresses David's love for the Lord and his praise to God for delivering him from his enemies. This is very similar—perhaps an updated version—of David's song of praise recorded in 2 Samuel chapter 22. Psalms 3—5 recall David's prayer for deliverance from his foes and his trust in the Lord to deliver him from them. Psalms 48:1; 96:4; 145:3; and 150 also express praise to the Lord. An account of David's deliverance from his enemies is found in 2 Samuel 19—21. Other passages of Scripture that reveal God's deliverance of His people include Exodus 14; Joshua 10; Judges 7; 2 Kings 19:20–37; and Revelation 19:11–21.
Chapter Summary:
In 2 Samuel chapter 22, David expresses praise for all the times in his life where God gave him victory. That prayer or song is copied almost identically here. Psalm 18, itself, might have been adapted for use in public worship. David remembers dire situations where God rescued him. He dramatically recounts how God provided rescue and power. David also credits God with rewarding his obedience by making him a powerful and successful military leader. For these reasons, David commits himself to the praise and worship of the Lord.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is David's prayer to the Lord in which David praises the Lord for making him victorious over his enemies. Second Samuel 5, 8, and 10 are companion chapters, and 2 Samuel 22 provides another version of this psalm. Second Samuel 22:1 tells us David composed Psalm 18 on the day the Lord delivered him from his enemies and Saul. Second Samuel 19 reports David's victorious return to Jerusalem after David vanquished his enemies.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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