Fighting mad

Here’s Psalm 78:65-66 as found in the NIV:
  Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    as a man wakes from the stupor of wine.
  He beat back his enemies;
    he put them to everlasting shame.

Here’s the same passage from the ESV:
  Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    like a strong man shouting because of wine.
  And he put his adversaries to rout;
    he put them to everlasting shame.

And the NASB:
  Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep,
    Like a warrior overcome by wine.
  He drove His adversaries backward;
    He put on them an everlasting reproach.

How about the KJV:
  Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep,
    and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
  And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts:
    he put them to a perpetual reproach.

Did the NIV really get it that wrong? If so, how? I generally hear very positive feedback on the NIV’s translation of the Psalms. I can’t help but guess that someone didn’t like the Lord being compared to an imbibing warrior.

4 Comments

  1. Paul Baxter
    Oct 23, 2003

    The more I’ve been reading it, the more I like the NJB (with a couple of minor quibbles). Here’s what they have:
    The Lord arose as though he had been asleep,
    like a strong man fighting-mad with wine,
    He struck his enemies on the rump,
    and put them to everlasting shame.

    I suppose this is now the only portion of the bible where God is said to (pardon my french) kick some ass.

  2. Jay
    Oct 23, 2003

    Sort of reminds me of this classic.

  3. Greg Horne
    Oct 23, 2003

    I wonder if I am related to anybody here. Father grew up in a military family, high school in Florida. Mother grew up in Ballard Washington.

    Who knows!?

  4. Paul Baxter
    Oct 24, 2003

    Classic movie!