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 Replies to “Fighting mad”

  1. 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.

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