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Psalm 3:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 But you, O Jehovah, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
But you, O Jehovah, are a shield about me. Not only in these dangers but in all dangers. The declaration here has a general form, as if he could trust in him at all times. It shows what his feelings were on the occasion here referred to, when dangers stood thick around him, and what his feelings habitually were in times of peril. The shield was a well-known part of ancient armor, of use, according to the ancient modes of warfare, when swords, and spears, and arrows were employed, but of use only then, since they would constitute no defense against a musket or cannonball. They were usually made of tough and thick hides, fastened to a rim, and so attached to the left arm that they could be readily thrown before the body when attacked, or so that, as they were usually held, the vital parts of the body would be protected. From this use of the shield, it was natural to speak of God as the shield or the Protector of his people—an appellation that is often given to him in the Scriptures (Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29; 2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 28:7; 119:114; 144:2; 33:20; 84:11; Prov. 30:5.
My glory. My honor, or the source of my honor. That is, he bestows upon me all the honor that I have, and it is my glory that I may put my trust in him. I regard it as an honor to be permitted, in times of danger and trouble, to rely on him—a sentiment in which every true child of God will unite.
And lifter up of my head. The head, in times of trouble and sorrow, is naturally bowed down as if overpowered with the weight of affliction. See Ps. 35:14: “I bowed down in sorrow, like one mourning for his mother;” Ps. 38:6: “I am completely bowed down and prostrate; all day I go about mourning.” Comp. Ps. 42:5; 44:25; 57:6; John 19:30. To lift up the head, therefore, or to raise one up, is to relieve his distress or to take away his troubles. Such a helper, David says, he had always found God to be, and he looks to him as one who is able to help him still. That is, he feels that God can so entirely take away his present griefs as to reinstate him in his former happy and honorable condition.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews