The Meaning of Psalms 9:20 Explained

Psalms 9:20

KJV: Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

YLT: Appoint, O Jehovah, a director to them, Let nations know they are men! Selah.

Darby: Put them in fear, Jehovah: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

ASV: Put them in fear, O Jehovah: Let the nations know themselves to be but men. Selah

What does Psalms 9:20 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalm 9:1-20 - Confidence In The Righteous Judge
The Chaldee version adds to the inscription, "concerning the death of the champion who went out between the camps," referring to the death of Goliath. This is the first of the Acrostic or Alphabetical Psalms, of which there are nine: Psalms 9:1-20; Psalms 10:1-18; Psalms 25:1-22; Psalms 34:1-22; Psalms 37:1-40; Psalms 111:1-10; Psalms 112:1-10; Psalms 119:1-176; Psalms 145:1-21.
There is a predominant note of praise, Psalms 9:1-5; Psalms 9:11-12; Psalms 9:14. Let memory heap fuel on the altar of praise. In the resurrection of our Lord, God indeed rebuked our arch-enemy, and his strongholds are now wastes, Zechariah 3:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Colossians 2:15. But there is a corresponding note of trust, Psalms 9:7-12. Calamity drives us to God. The more we know the more we trust Him. Doubt is born of ignorance. Leave God to vindicate; He will not forget, Psalms 9:12. There is a petition for further help, Psalms 9:13; Psalms 9:19-20. We have been at the gates of death, Psalms 9:13; here are the gates of the Holy City, Psalms 9:14. Compare Psalms 9:15 and Esther 7:10. God does not forget; forget Him not, Psalms 9:12; Psalms 17:1-15. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 9

1  David praises God for executing judgment
11  He incites others to praise him
13  He prays that he may have cause to praise him

What do the individual words in Psalms 9:20 mean?

Put Yahweh in fear them [That] may know the nations men they [are] Selah
שִׁ֘יתָ֤ה יְהוָ֨ה ׀ מוֹרָ֗ה לָ֫הֶ֥ם יֵדְע֥וּ גוֹיִ֑ם אֱנ֖וֹשׁ הֵ֣מָּה סֶּֽלָה

שִׁ֘יתָ֤ה  Put 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: שִׁית  
Sense: to put, set.
יְהוָ֨ה ׀  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: Jehovah—used primarily in the combination ‘Lord Jehovah’.
מוֹרָ֗ה  in  fear 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֹורָא 
Sense: fear, reverence, terror.
יֵדְע֥וּ  [That]  may  know 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
גוֹיִ֑ם  the  nations 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: גֹּוי 
Sense: nation, people.
אֱנ֖וֹשׁ  men 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֱנׄושׁ 
Sense: man, mortal man, person, mankind.
הֵ֣מָּה  they  [are] 
Parse: Pronoun, third person masculine plural
Root: הֵם 
Sense: they, these, the same, who.
סֶּֽלָה  Selah 
Parse: Interjection
Root: סֶלָה  
Sense: to lift up, exalt.