What does Psalm 60:7 mean?
ESV: Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.
NIV: Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter.
NASB: Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet of My head; Judah is My scepter.
CSB: Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine, and Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.
NLT: Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
KJV: Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
NKJV: Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver.
Verse Commentary:
This is part of a declaration (Psalm 60:6), written by David, expressing the Lord's intent to rescue Israel (Psalm 60:1–5). The prior verse spoke of God being the one to parcel out the regions of Succoth (Genesis 33:17) and Shechem (Genesis 33:18–20). Those were important areas in Israel's history. Now, God makes similar assurances about other regions in the land of His chosen people.

Gilead was east of the Jordan River, while Manasseh stretched over both sides. Ephraim was centrally located in Israel and was a strong tribe. Often, after the kingdom of Israel was divided (1 Kings 12:16–20), decades after the battle referred to in this psalm, the name Ephraim was used to identify the northern kingdom of Israel. As God's "helmet," Ephraim would be Israel's defender.

The tribal name "Judah" signified the southern kingdom when the nation was split. Judah, called God's "scepter," was Israel's royal tribe. David came from the tribe of Judah, as did David's chief descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 49:10 prophesies the coming Messiah: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." When Jesus returns to earth and establishes His thousand-year reign, all nations will honor Him (Revelation 20:6). The restoration of both Judah and Ephraim at that future time is promised in Zechariah 10:6–7.
Verse Context:
Psalm 60:6–8 follows David's lament that the Lord had seemed to abandon His people. However, David believes God will provide a rallying point to which Israel can flee and escape the enemy. Now he delivers a message from God concerning lands He gave to the tribes of Israel. This is contrasted with the Lord's defeat of Israel's enemies.
Chapter Summary:
David addresses God with great dismay. He describes the territory of Israel as abandoned by God, broken, and shattered by an enemy invasion. Yet David speaks in terms of God's actions and God's ultimate control. The Lord responds with His intent to save Israel and crush the enemy. David wonders how this will happen but expresses trust that God will keep His word. This psalm corresponds to the military actions of David recorded in 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18.
Chapter Context:
This psalm appears to have been written when David was battling the Arameans and Ammonites (2 Samuel 8:3; 1 Chronicles 18:3). While the army was engaged in the north, Edomites attacked Israel from the south and inflicted heavy damage. The psalm entreats God to cause Israel to triumph over the Edomites. Scripture records that the prayer was successful. David sent Abishai, accompanied by Joab and a contingent of soldiers, who routed the enemy (1 Chronicles 18:12; 2 Samuel 8:13).
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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