What does Psalm 18:2 mean?
ESV: The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
NIV: The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
NASB: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my savior, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
CSB: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
NLT: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
KJV: The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
NKJV: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Verse Commentary:
David uses five metaphors in this verse to describe God's relationship with him. He views God as his rock, his fortress, his shield, the horn of his salvation, and his stronghold. These metaphors identify David as a warrior. As he fought his enemies, he relied on God for protection.

About twenty times in Psalms the Lord is referred to as a Rock because of the security He provides for those who trust in Him (for example, Psalm 19:14; 28:1; 62:2; 94:22).

As David's fortress, God was his refuge. A fortress is meant to protect against hostile enemies—no fortress built by human hands provided as much protection for David as the fortress that was the Lord.

The Lord was also David's shield (Psalm 3:3). As his shield, the Lord protected David from his foes. He covered David as a shield covers a soldier.

In David's era, horns were symbolic of strength, which is why they are often used as metaphors for kings and rulers (Daniel 7:8; Revelation 17:12). As David's horn of salvation, the Lord empowered and delivered him.

As David's stronghold, God provided protection, much as a high, safe place provides refuge and protection for a soldier. Believers today have the Lord Jesus Christ as our refuge and shield. The apostle Paul referred to our lives as "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
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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