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Psalms 120:4

    Psalms 120:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, With coals of juniper.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Sharp arrows of the strong, and burning fire.

    Webster's Revision

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, With coals of juniper.

    World English Bible

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 120:4

    Sharp arrows - The Chaldee has, "The strong, sharp arrows are like lightning from above, with coals of juniper kindled in hell beneath." On the juniper, see the note on Job 30:4, where this passage is explained. Fiery arrows, or arrows wrapped about with inflamed combustibles, were formerly used in sieges to set the places on fire. See my notes on Ephesians 6:16 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 120:4

    Sharp arrows of the mighty - This is an answer to the question in Psalm 120:3. The consequence - the effect - of such a use of the tongue must be like sharp and piercing arrows, or like intensely burning coals. The "sharp arrows of the mighty" are the arrows of the warrior - as war was conducted mainly by bows and arrows. Those arrows were, of course, sharpened to make them piercing, penetrating, more deadly.

    With coals of juniper - On the word here rendered "juniper," see the notes at Job 30:4. The idea here is, that coals made from that would be intensely hot, and would cause severer pain than if made from other wood. The word refers to a species of broom or shrub growing in the deserts of Arabia, with yellowish flowers and a bitter root. See "Robinson's Biblical Researches," vol. i., p. 299. Burchardt says that he found the Bedouin of Sinai burning the roots into coal, and says that they make the best charcoal, and throw out the most intense heat. The shrub sometimes grows so large as to furnish a shade to those exposed to the heat of the sun in the desert, 1 Kings 19:4; "Land and the Book" (Thomson), vol. ii., pp. 438, 439. The cut given below will give an idea of this plant.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 120:4

    120:4 Arrows - The wrath and vengeance of the mighty God, which in scripture is often compared to arrows, and here to coals of juniper, which burn very fiercely and retain their heat for a long time.