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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 59

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 59:1 « To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. » Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

Al-taschith] Destroy not, preserve me from this ambush. See Psalms 57:1, title.

When Saul sent, and they watched the house] But were disappointed by Michal shifting him out of the way, preferring a husband before a father, though she had otherwise no great goodness in her. The glory of this deliverance David wholly ascribeth to God, and seeketh help of him.

Ver. 1. Deliver me from mine enemies, O God] This psalm is the same in substance with those aforegoing, viz. David’s desire to be delivered from Saul’s craft and cruelty.

Defend me from them] Heb. Set me on high, far out of their reach.


Verse 2

Psalms 59:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

Ver. 2. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity] Saul’s assassins and bloodhounds, hired to despatch me.


Verse 3

Psalms 59:3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not [for] my transgression, nor [for] my sin, O LORD.

Ver. 3. The mighty are gathered aqainst me] The seven sons of Saul, say the Rabbis, who were afterwards hanged, 2 Samuel 21:1-9, with a company of cut-throats attending them (R. Obad. Gaon in loc.).


Verse 4

Psalms 59:4 They run and prepare themselves without [my] fault: awake to help me, and behold.

Ver. 4. They run and prepare themselves] At Saul’s command, never inquiring into the cause, right or wrong; but taking his will for warrant good enough.

Awake to help me] Heb. to meet me, sc. in mercy, Ut occurras et succurras mihi, or, at my calling, as some render it.

And behold] {See Trapp on "Psalms 34:15"}


Verse 5

Psalms 59:5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.

Ver. 5. Awake to visit all the heathen] These pagan Israelites, who might have some heathens also among them, Saul’s slaughtermen, men fleshed in blood.

Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors] Heb. that treacherously work iniquity, that do it consulto et data opera, desperadoes, reprobates, destined to eternal destruction.


Verse 6

Psalms 59:6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

Ver. 6. They return at evening] sc. To mine house at Gibeah of Saul, hoping to find me then at home again; as if, like the hunted hare, I must needs return to my old form.

They make a noise like a dog] When coming the second night also they missed of David they barked and howled like mad dogs, ready to take every one they met by the throat.

And go round about the city] Ferreting and searching after him in all places, and perhaps surrounding the city to surprise him.


Verse 7

Psalms 59:7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords [are] in their lips: for who, [say they], doth hear?

Ver. 7. Behold, they belch out with their mouth] Calling me traitor wherever they come, and seeking to double murder him, viz. by detraction, and by deadly practice. As a fountain casteth out waters, so do graceless men wickedness, Jeremiah 6:7.

Swords are in their lips] Or, to their lips they add swords; they word it not only, but are armed and well-appointed. But it is well that they blurt out their bloody purposes, and so give warning, Hunc tibi pugionem mittit Senatus; detexit facinus fatuus, et non implevit.

For who, say they, doth hear?] i.e. Who, that we need care for? David’s friends, they thought, durst not utter their discontent; and for God they took no great thought, Psalms 10:3; Psalms 55:20.


Verse 8

Psalms 59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

Ver. 8. But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them] q.d. Thou not only hearest, but jeerest, at their madness, and wilt bring all their purposes to nought with little ado; and, as it were, playing and sporting. See Psalms 2:4.


Verse 9

Psalms 59:9 [Because of] his strength will I wait upon thee: for God [is] my defence.

Ver. 9. Because of his strength will I wait on thee] The stronger Saul is the more will I adhere to thee. Or thus, His strength will I reserve to thee; that is, I will turn him over to thee, who act far stronger, to take an order with him; to put a hook into his nose, and a bridle into his jaws, and to bring me at length to the kingdom.

For God is my defence] Heb. my high place; therefore what need I fear him, or his emissaries.


Verse 10

Psalms 59:10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see [my desire] upon mine enemies.

Ver. 10. The God of my mercy shall prevent me] Or, God will prevent me with his mercy, sc. before I ask or think; howsoever, in the opportunity of time he will not fail me.

God shall let me see, &c.] See Psalms 54:7.


Verse 11

Psalms 59:11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

Ver. 11. Slay them not, lest my people forget] Marcet sine adversario virtus, the natural heat decayeth if it have not wherewith to wrestle. Carthage was not to be destroyed, that Rome might not want an adversary. The saints have the relics of corruption left in them for exercise of their graces. "Slay them not," saith David; and the Chaldee addeth, statim, forthwith, or outright, but by degrees rather; "lest my people," my followers and fellow soldiers, forget their skill in arms or thy judgments on the enemies.

Scatter them by thy power] That they may wander, as Cain did, and be restless. Or, shake them to and fro, as meal is shaken in a sieve; let them be dissipated, and by degrees wasted, that they may be as so many standing monuments of the divine justice, ut eo sint illustriora et testatiora tun iudicia, as the dejected people of the Jews are today.


Verse 12

Psalms 59:12 [For] the sin of their mouth [and] the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying [which] they speak.

Ver. 12. For the sin of their mouth, &c.] The Arabians have this proverb, Take heed lest thy tongue cut thy throat. Many a man’s mouth is a purgatory to the master. Hard words must be reckoned for, 1:15; the Jews find it so, and will do.

And for cursing, &c.] Cursing men are cursed men.


Verse 13

Psalms 59:13 Consume [them] in wrath, consume [them], that they [may] not [be]: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

Ver. 13. Consume them in wrath, &c.] But by degrees, as Psalms 59:11, slowly, but surely and severely; that they may feel themselves wasted. There may be much poison in little drops, paulatim seu gradatim et in fine penitus corruant (Kimchi).

And let them know] Know to their cost; or, let men know.


Verse 14

Psalms 59:14 And at evening let them return; [and] let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.

Ver. 14. And at evening let them return, &c.] Let these backsliders in heart be filled with their own ways; run about for hunger, as before they did for malice, Psalms 59:6. Here the prophet mindeth to mock them, saith an interpreter, Revertantur famelici (Vat.). Sit poena eorum sicur peccatum (Kimchi).


Verse 15

Psalms 59:15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

Ver. 15. Let them wander up and down for meat] Sicut mendici de ostio ad ostium faciunt, as beggars do from door to door, saith Kimchi.

And grudge if they be not satisfied] Murmur against God and men, howling against heaven, as hungry wolves, Isaiah 8:21. Others understand it thus, Let them run to and fro for meat, that is, to devour me, as Psalms 27:2; but surely they shall not be satisfied, but miss their design, though they tarry all night, watching for me.


Verse 16

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

Ver. 16. In the morning] That time wherein they thought to have surprised me, 1 Samuel 19:11, but thou hast secured me. See Isaiah 65:14.


Verse 17

Psalms 59:17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God [is] my defence, [and] the God of my mercy.

Ver. 17. O my strength] All David’s strength was derivative; in himself he was weak as water.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 59:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-59.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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