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Psalms 52:1-3

Context
Psalm 52 1 

For the music director; a well-written song 2  by David. It was written when Doeg the Edomite went and informed Saul: “David has arrived at the home of Ahimelech.” 3 

52:1 Why do you boast about your evil plans, 4  O powerful man?

God’s loyal love protects me all day long! 5 

52:2 Your tongue carries out your destructive plans; 6 

it is as effective as a sharp razor, O deceiver. 7 

52:3 You love evil more than good,

lies more than speaking the truth. 8  (Selah)

1 sn Psalm 52. The psalmist confidently confronts his enemy and affirms that God will destroy evildoers and vindicate the godly.

2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.

3 tn Heb “when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, ‘David has come to the house of Ahimelech.’”

sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm during the period when Saul was seeking his life. On one occasion Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s head shepherd (1 Sam 21:7), informed Saul of David’s whereabouts (see 1 Sam 21-22).

4 tn Heb “Why do you boast in evil?”

5 tn Heb “the loyal love of God [is] all the day.” In this context, where the psalmist is threatened by his enemy, the point seems to be that the psalmist is protected by God’s loyal love at all times.

6 tn Heb “destruction your tongue devises.”

7 tn Heb “like a sharpened razor, doer of deceit.” The masculine participle עָשָׂה (’asah) is understood as a substantival vocative, addressed to the powerful man.

8 tn Or “deceit more than speaking what is right.”



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