Psalms 33:17

17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.

Psalms 33:17 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.
The Message Bible (MSG)
17 Horsepower is not the answer; no one gets by on muscle alone.
American Standard Version (ASV)
17 A horse is a vain thing for safety; Neither doth he deliver any by his great power.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
17 Horses are not a guarantee for victory. Their great strength cannot help someone escape.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
17 The horse is a false hope for safety; it provides no escape by its great power.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
17 People can't trust a horse to save them either. Though it is very strong, it can't save them.

Psalms 33:17 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 33:17

A horse [is] a vain thing for safety
Though it is prepared for the day of battle, and is a very warlike creature, and of great service in war, yet safety only is of the Lord, ( Proverbs 21:31 ) ; this is put for all kinds of military preparations which men are apt to trust in, but should not, for they are "a lie" F9, as the horse is here said to be; that is, deceives and disappoints when trusted to; in like manner the olive is said "to lie", ( Habakkuk 3:17 ) ; when hope of fruit from it is disappointed; so "fundus mendax" in Horace F11;

neither shall he deliver [any] by his great strength;
in the time of battle; either by fighting for him, or fleeing with him.


F9 (rqv) "mendacium", Pagninus, Montanus; "fallax", V. L.
F11 Epod. l. 1. Ode 16. ver. 45. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 1. v. 30. "Spem mentita seges", ib. Epist. l. 1. ep. 7. v. 87.

Psalms 33:17 In-Context

15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Psalms 20:7; Proverbs 21:31
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