Psalm 14.7 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: who does he think he is?

Psalm 14.7 reads:

מִ֥י יִתֵּ֣ן מִצִּיֹּון֮ יְשׁוּעַ֪ת יִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל בְּשׁ֣וּב יְ֭הוָה שְׁב֣וּת עַמֹּ֑ו יָגֵ֥ל יַ֝עֲקֹ֗ב יִשְׂמַ֥ח יִשְׂרָֽאֵל׃

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad. [Psalm 14.7, NASB]

Alternatively, as Alexander represents it, with בְּשׁ֣וּב intransitive, as its form indicates it should be: 1

Oh may Israel's salvation (soon) come forth from Zion, in Jehovah's return to the captivity of his people! (In such a restoration) may Jacob (soon have reason to) exult and Israel (to) triumph!

What a wonderful cry from the heart that God would visit His people again, and restore them to freedom out of captivity. Personally, I see in it a Messianic hope and expectation that the Saviour would come and redeem His people. Moll speaks of ‘the Messianic hope which is active here’ 2, and Spurgeon writes on this verse: 3

Amen to that, since even if I am not personally inclined to understand Israel to represent the church here, it may do so in type and shadow I think.

Here are a few more translations:

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad. [NKJV]
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! [NIV]

Young gives the intransitive sense of ‘turn back’ as an option in square brackets:

Who doth give from Zion the salvation of Israel? When Jehovah doth turn back [To] a captivity of His people, Jacob doth rejoice -- Israel is glad! [Young's Literal Translation]
psalm 14.7 in the passion ‘bible’

Now let us look at how Brian Simmons twists and changes this verse of holy scripture: 4

What is going on here? First of all, who is it that is to be ‘rescued’? Instead of Israel in the first part of the verse, we have ‘their’ ‘time of rescue’ and ‘his very own’ that are to be saved and restored. Who does ‘their’ refer back to? Verse 6 concerns the poor and afflicted. Simmons has it as:

So in verse 7, it is the poor who are to be rescued, not Israel who is to receive salvation!

Simmons has God appearing and of God arising from the midst of what he calls His ‘Zion-people’. All this is invented and is not in the original. What does he mean by it? Why is he changing the inspired text? Who does he think he is??




  1. J. A. Alexander, ‘The Psalms’, Vol. I (New York: Baker & Scribner, 1850) p. 107. Support for Alexander’s view may be deduced from its addition as a supplementary comment by Charles Briggs to C. Moll, ‘The Psalms’ (New York: Scribner et al., 1872) at p. 114.
  2. C. Moll, ‘The Psalms’ (New York: Scribner et al., 1872) p. 114
  3. C. H. Spurgeon, ‘The Treasury of David, Vol. I (London: Marshall) p. 164. Link.
  4. Brian Simmons, ‘The Psalms: Poetry on Fire’ (BroadStreet Publishing, 2015) Link.

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Andrew Chapman

I live for Jesus. He is my life, my hope, my Saviour and Redeemer and Lord. Hallelujah! God has blessed me with a wonderful wife called Alison, and we serve the Lord together with gladness and joy. Pray for us that we may fulfill our calling and persevere to the end on the narrow path that leads to life.

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