“The King will drink from the stream by the road,
and strengthened, he will stand victorious.”
The above text is from the Good News Bible. I’ve been told that a Good News Bible is more of a paraphrase than a direct translation of the Holy Bible. While I think the phrase “paraphrase” is a bit disrespectful as a whole (when it comes to this). My curiosity is indeed piqued when it comes to this particular verse in Psalm 110. In part, that is because in other Holy Bibles, this verse does not appear to have the exact same message.
The New International Version says:
“He will drink from a brook beside the way,
[alternate phrase: The one who grants succession will set him in authority],
Therefore he will lift up his head.”
The alternate phrase here is listed in the footnotes. “The One” is our Lord.
The similarities here are that the king is drinking from a moving water source on the ground. The differences are whether the king stands strongly afterward, or does he simply lift his head?
Personally, the impact of the strength of this verse is more dynamic in the Good News Version. Perhaps the word victorious carries weight to it that is missing from the New International Version.
and then, of course, we have to see what the most traditional Holy Bible ever says about this:
The King James Version (Via a Gideon Bible)
“He shall drink of the brook in the way:
Therefore shall he lift up the head.”
I can admit that the alteration between the New International Version and the Authorized King James Version appears to vary slightly, but it’s a little more than slight in my eyes.
Since the KJV says that the brook is in the way, that highlights that the brook is something of a hinderance to the trip. If the brook is a metaphor, then this would say that the king takes what he needs from the obstacle in his way.
However, since a brook is technically a small and rocky stream, then the supposed obstacle is pretty tiny anyway. Especially since God is so strong with this person in the rest of the psalm, we know that any issue is a small issue to God.
The Good News Version says that he drinks from a “stream by the road” which indicates that he is about to go on a journey and he drinks before he moves on.
The last thing to highlight from the KJV is the part where he says THE head as opposed to HIS head, which are the words used in the New International Version.
In the book of Ephesians, we know that Christ/God is the head and so we can say that the KJV could mean that the lead character of this psalm lifts up GOD after he drinks.
If so, that is where the victory and strength in the Good News Version comes from.
The New International Version saying that he lifts up HIS head could be a bit arrogant if we think that he does everything on his own. But the alternate phrasing here provides a source of clarity, too. It is as though by drinking by the brook, he has instantly had his authority granted and so he feels the difference and he lifts up his head.
In my minds vision, this person lifts up their head and faces the sky and, looking toward the sun, he says “Thank you, God.”
Then, the journey continues in Psalm 111 and Psalm 112.
Thank you for reading. If you are wondering, all of my Holy Bible studies go this way LOL that’s why I loooove having different versions of The Holy Bible!
Thank you, God 🙂