What does Psalm 21:3 mean?
ESV: For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
NIV: You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
NASB: For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of pure gold on his head.
CSB: For you meet him with rich blessings; you place a crown of pure gold on his head.
NLT: You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
KJV: For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
NKJV: For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
Verse Commentary:
In this verse the congregation celebrates the blessings God has given their king, David. Not only did the Lord meet David with rich blessings but He also placed "a crown of fine gold" on his head. The reference to a crown likely means his victory in answer to prayer seemed like a second coronation. Although believers do not wear a visible crown, we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and we will receive the crown of righteousness when Jesus returns if we have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8) – if we are among those who will rejoice when He returns.

When Abram defeated the five kings who took hostages from Sodom, Melchizidek, priest of the Most High God, met him and blessed him. Later, the king of Sodom offered Abram a reward, but Abram refused. He said he had made an oath to the Lord, the possessor of heaven and earth, that he would not take anything from the king of Sodom so that the king could not say he had made Abram rich (Genesis 14:17–24). Before Joshua and his army won the battle of Jericho, the Lord met him (Joshua 5:13–15). Believers may rejoice in knowing that the Lord goes before us into battle (Matthew 28:19–20; John 10:4; 1 John 4:3–4).
Verse Context:
Psalm 21:1–7, much like the first part of Psalm 20, records the praise David and the congregation offer to the Lord for granting David victory over his enemy. This section precedes the congregation's confidence in what the Lord will do through David. Second Samuel 7:1–17 provides a background to these verses by reporting the covenant God made with David. Part of the covenant was an assurance that God would subdue David's enemies.
Chapter Summary:
Psalm 21 opens and closes with praise to the Lord for the strength He gave David and his army for gaining a victory over the enemy. In verses 1–7 David and the people extol God for answering their prayer and for giving David rich blessings. They rejoice in knowing the Lord is present, and they express their trust in the Lord. They feel safe knowing the Lord's love is unfailing. The people of the congregation voice their assurance that King David will defeat his enemies. David's enemies may plan evil and devise mischief against him, but they will not succeed. David will rout them, and his arrows will strike them. The closing verse of Psalm 21 is a prayer by David and the congregation—it is also a pledge to sing and praise the Lord God for His power.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is likely a follow-up to Psalm 20. In Psalm 20 the congregation of Israel and David prayed for victory in an upcoming battle. Psalm 21 offers thanks for the victory and expresses David's joy over the strength from the Lord that secured the victory. David also anticipates victory in future encounters. Second Samuel 7:4–16 contains the covenant God made with David.
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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