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Why did David pray for God to break his enemies’ teeth? (Psalm 3:7)

Why did David pray for God to break his enemies’ teeth? (Psalm 3:7)

7 
Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.

Psalms 3:7

ESV - 7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 19 2018 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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2
Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Prior to the rebellion of David's son Absalom (which David was speaking of in the psalm cited in the question), David had shown that he personally was not a vengeful man through such actions as sparing Saul on multiple earlier occasions. He had also specifically instructed his own men (in the case of Absalom) to deal gently with him, despite the fact that Absalom was seeking to overthrow David (2 Samuel 18:5). 

Also, in the passage cited in the question, David was not planning on, or speaking of, personally harming Absalom or those who were allied with him. Although he was praying for deliverance (which, I would say, was entirely proper for him to do, just as he had previously prayed for deliverance from Saul (as in Psalm 54)), he was leaving the defeat or destruction of his enemies, and the manner in which that defeat would be accomplished, in God's hands, which, in my opinion, is consistent with God saying that vengeance was His, and that He would repay (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19).

In my opinion, David was also not even necessarily speaking of the death of his enemies in the passage cited in the question, but was asking God in figurative language to frustrate their plans, or to make them powerless to harm him, just as we speak metaphorically today of the removal of a threat by saying that the threat has had its teeth pulled. (And, in fact, David later mourned grievously when he was informed that Absalom had been killed (2 Samuel 18:31-19:4).)

December 20 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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