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Psalm 118:12

12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them down.

Read Psalm 118:12 Using Other Translations

They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD .

What does Psalm 118:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 118:12

They compassed me about like bees
In great numbers F23; as a swarm of bees, which, being irritated and provoked, will fly upon persons in a body, and with great fury; to which the Amorites and the Assyrian army were compared, ( Deuteronomy 1:44 ) ( Isaiah 7:18 ) . They will attack horses and kill them, as Aristotle F24 says; and places besieged have been delivered by throwing out hives of bees among the besiegers F25: and yet as they are feeble creatures, so by striking they lose their sting; and either die very quickly, or however become useless. All which denotes the numbers of the enemies of David and of Christ, and of his church and people, and the wrath and fury of them against them, as well as their fruitless and unsuccessful attempts upon them; for though they rage, what they contrive and endeavour to put in execution are vain things, and in the issue end in their own ruin and destruction;

they are quenched as the fire of thorns;
which make a blaze, a noise, for a while; but are soon consumed, and leave only a few ashes behind. Wicked men are often compared to thorns, they being like them, unfruitful in themselves, unprofitable to others, harmful to the saints, and whose end is to be burnt; and whose destruction is certain and sudden, and easily effected as the burning of thorns; see ( Psalms 58:9 ) ( Ecclesiastes 7:6 ) . The Targum renders it,

``they burned as fire among thorns;''

which is easily kindled and soon quenched: and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions; as if it was expressive of their wrath and fury, which was soon over; which agrees with what follows:

or "but", or "verily" F26,

in the name of the Lord I will destroy them;
(See Gill on Psalms 118:10) and (See Gill on Psalms 118:11).


F23 (hute eynea melissa wn) , Homer. Iliad. 2. v. 87, Vid. Virgil. Aeneid. 12. v. 587.
F24 Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 40.
F25 Vid. Dieteric. Antiqu. Biblic. p. 478.
F26 (yk) "sed", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "certe utique", Polus; "quod certissime", Michaelis.
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