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Psalms 57:1-11

Context
Psalm 57 1 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 2  a prayer 3  of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave. 4 

57:1 Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me!

For in you I have taken shelter. 5 

In the shadow of your wings 6  I take shelter

until trouble passes.

57:2 I cry out for help to the sovereign God, 7 

to the God who vindicates 8  me.

57:3 May he send help from heaven and deliver me 9 

from my enemies who hurl insults! 10  (Selah)

May God send his loyal love and faithfulness!

57:4 I am surrounded by lions;

I lie down 11  among those who want to devour me; 12 

men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

whose tongues are a sharp sword. 13 

57:5 Rise up 14  above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth! 15 

57:6 They have prepared a net to trap me; 16 

I am discouraged. 17 

They have dug a pit for me. 18 

They will fall 19  into it! (Selah)

57:7 I am determined, 20  O God! I am determined!

I will sing and praise you!

57:8 Awake, my soul! 21 

Awake, O stringed instrument and harp!

I will wake up at dawn! 22 

57:9 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Master!

I will sing praises to you before foreigners! 23 

57:10 For your loyal love extends beyond the sky, 24 

and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

57:11 Rise up 25  above the sky, O God!

May your splendor cover the whole earth! 26 

Psalms 59:1-17

Context
Psalm 59 27 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 28  a prayer 29  of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him. 30 

59:1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God!

Protect me 31  from those who attack me! 32 

59:2 Deliver me from evildoers! 33 

Rescue me from violent men! 34 

59:3 For look, they wait to ambush me; 35 

powerful men stalk 36  me,

but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord. 37 

59:4 Though I have done nothing wrong, 38  they are anxious to attack. 39 

Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me! 40 

59:5 You, O Lord God, the invincible warrior, 41  the God of Israel,

rouse yourself and punish 42  all the nations!

Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers! (Selah)

59:6 They return in the evening;

they growl 43  like a dog

and prowl around outside 44  the city.

59:7 Look, they hurl insults at me

and openly threaten to kill me, 45 

for they say, 46 

“Who hears?”

59:8 But you, O Lord, laugh in disgust at them; 47 

you taunt 48  all the nations.

59:9 You are my source of strength! I will wait for you! 49 

For God is my refuge. 50 

59:10 The God who loves me will help me; 51 

God will enable me to triumph over 52  my enemies. 53 

59:11 Do not strike them dead suddenly,

because then my people might forget the lesson. 54 

Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down,

O Lord who shields us! 55 

59:12 They speak sinful words. 56 

So let them be trapped by their own pride

and by the curses and lies they speak!

59:13 Angrily wipe them out! Wipe them out so they vanish!

Let them know that God rules

in Jacob and to the ends of the earth! (Selah)

59:14 They return in the evening;

they growl 57  like a dog

and prowl around outside 58  the city.

59:15 They wander around looking for something to eat;

they refuse to sleep until they are full. 59 

59:16 As for me, I will sing about your strength;

I will praise your loyal love in the morning.

For you are my refuge 60 

and my place of shelter when I face trouble. 61 

59:17 You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you! 62 

For God is my refuge, 63  the God who loves me. 64 

Psalms 75:1-10

Context
Psalm 75 65 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 66  a psalm of Asaph; a song.

75:1 We give thanks to you, O God! We give thanks!

You reveal your presence; 67 

people tell about your amazing deeds.

75:2 God says, 68 

“At the appointed times, 69 

I judge 70  fairly.

75:3 When the earth and all its inhabitants dissolve in fear, 71 

I make its pillars secure.” 72  (Selah)

75:4 73 I say to the proud, “Do not be proud,”

and to the wicked, “Do not be so confident of victory! 74 

75:5 Do not be so certain you have won! 75 

Do not speak with your head held so high! 76 

75:6 For victory does not come from the east or west,

or from the wilderness. 77 

75:7 For God is the judge! 78 

He brings one down and exalts another. 79 

75:8 For the Lord holds in his hand a cup full

of foaming wine mixed with spices, 80 

and pours it out. 81 

Surely all the wicked of the earth

will slurp it up and drink it to its very last drop.” 82 

75:9 As for me, I will continually tell what you have done; 83 

I will sing praises to the God of Jacob!

75:10 God says, 84 

“I will bring down all the power of the wicked;

the godly will be victorious.” 85 

1 sn Psalm 57. The psalmist asks for God’s protection and expresses his confidence that his ferocious enemies will be destroyed by their own schemes.

2 tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the heading to Pss 58-59, 75.

3 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56, 58-60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

4 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when he fled from Saul and hid in “the cave.” This probably refers to either the incident recorded in 1 Sam 22:1 or to the one recorded in 1 Sam 24:3.

5 tn Heb “my life has taken shelter.” The Hebrew perfect verbal form probably refers here to a completed action with continuing results.

6 sn In the shadow of your wings. The metaphor likens God to a protective mother bird (see also Pss 17:8; 36:7).

7 tn Heb “to God Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Ps 47:2.

8 tn Or “avenges in favor of.”

9 tn Heb “may he send from heaven and deliver me.” The prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives expressing the psalmist’s prayer. The second verb, which has a vav (ו) conjunctive prefixed to it, probably indicates purpose. Another option is to take the forms as imperfects expressing confidence, “he will send from heaven and deliver me” (cf. NRSV).

10 tn Heb “he hurls insults, one who crushes me.” The translation assumes that this line identifies those from whom the psalmist seeks deliverance. (The singular is representative; the psalmist is surrounded by enemies, see v. 4.) Another option is to understand God as the subject of the verb חָרַף (kharaf), which could then be taken as a homonym of the more common root חָרַף (“insult”) meaning “confuse.” In this case “one who crushes me” is the object of the verb. One might translate, “he [God] confuses my enemies.”

11 tn The cohortative form אֶשְׁכְּבָה (’eshkÿvah, “I lie down”) is problematic, for it does not seem to carry one of the normal functions of the cohortative (resolve or request). One possibility is that the form here is a “pseudo-cohortative” used here in a gnomic sense (IBHS 576-77 §34.5.3b).

12 tn The Hebrew verb לָהַט (lahat) is here understood as a hapax legomenon meaning “devour” (see HALOT 521 s.v. II להט), a homonym of the more common verb meaning “to burn.” A more traditional interpretation takes the verb from this latter root and translates, “those who are aflame” (see BDB 529 s.v.; cf. NASB “those who breathe forth fire”).

13 tn Heb “my life, in the midst of lions, I lie down, devouring ones, sons of mankind, their teeth a spear and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword.” The syntax of the verse is difficult. Another option is to take “my life” with the preceding verse. For this to make sense, one must add a verb, perhaps “and may he deliver” (cf. the LXX), before the phrase. One might then translate, “May God send his loyal love and faithfulness and deliver my life.” If one does take “my life” with v. 4, then the parallelism of v. 5 is altered and one might translate: “in the midst of lions I lie down, [among] men who want to devour me, whose teeth….”

14 tn Or “be exalted.”

15 tn Heb “over all the earth [be] your splendor.” Though no verb appears, the tone of the statement is a prayer or wish. (Note the imperative form in the preceding line.)

16 tn Heb “for my feet.”

17 tn Heb “my life bends low.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).

18 tn Heb “before me.”

19 tn The perfect form is used rhetorically here to express the psalmist’s certitude. The demise of the enemies is so certain that he can speak of it as already accomplished.

20 tn Or perhaps “confident”; Heb “my heart is steadfast.” The “heart” is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s volition and/or emotions.

21 tn Heb “glory,” but that makes little sense in the context. Some view כָּבוֹד (kavod, “glory”) here as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kÿvediy, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 16:9; 30:12; 108:1, as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:90. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”

22 tn BDB 1007 s.v. שַׁחַר takes “dawn” as an adverbial accusative, though others understand it as a personified direct object. “Dawn” is used metaphorically for the time of deliverance and vindication the psalmist anticipates. When salvation “dawns,” the psalmist will “wake up” in praise.

23 tn Or “the peoples.”

24 tn Heb “for great upon the sky [or “heavens”] [is] your loyal love.”

25 tn Or “be exalted.”

26 tn Heb “over all the earth [be] your splendor.” Though no verb appears, the tone of the statement is a prayer or wish. (Note the imperative form in the preceding line.)

27 sn Psalm 59. The psalmist calls down judgment on his foreign enemies, whom he compares to ravenous wild dogs.

28 tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the superscription to Pss 57-58, 75.

29 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56-58, 60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

30 tn Heb “when Saul sent and they watched his house in order to kill him.”

sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when Saul sent assassins to surround David’s house and kill him in the morning (see 1 Sam 19:11). However, the psalm itself mentions foreign enemies (vv. 5, 8). Perhaps these references reflect a later adaptation of an original Davidic psalm.

31 tn Or “make me secure”; Heb “set me on high.”

32 tn Heb “from those who raise themselves up [against] me.”

33 tn Heb “from the workers of wickedness.”

34 tn Heb “from men of bloodshed.”

35 tn Heb “my life.”

36 tn The Hebrew verb is from the root גּוּר (gur), which means “to challenge, attack” in Isa 54:15 and “to stalk” (with hostile intent) in Ps 56:8.

37 sn The point is that the psalmist’s enemies have no justifiable reason for attacking him. He has neither rebelled or sinned against the Lord.

38 tn Heb “without sin.”

39 tn Heb “they run and they are determined.”

40 tn Heb “arise to meet me and see.” The Hebrew verb קָרָא (qara’, “to meet; to encounter”) here carries the nuance of “to help.”

41 tn HebLord, God, Hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי (’elohey) before צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot, “hosts”). See Ps 89:9, but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (yÿhvahelohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (tsÿvaot) in Pss 80:4, 19; 84:8 as well.

42 tn Heb “wake up to punish” (see Pss 35:23; 44:23).

43 tn Or “howl”; or “bark.”

44 tn Heb “go around.”

45 tn Heb “look, they gush forth with their mouth, swords [are] in their lips.”

46 tn The words “for they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The following question (“Who hears?”) is spoken by the psalmist’s enemies, who are confident that no one else can hear their threats against the psalmist. They are aggressive because they feel the psalmist is vulnerable and has no one to help him.

47 sn Laugh in disgust. See Pss 2:4; 37:13.

48 tn Or “scoff at”; or “deride”; or “mock” (see Ps 2:4).

49 tc Heb “his strength, for you I will watch.” “His strength” should be emended to “my strength” (see v. 17). Some also emend אֶשְׁמֹרָה (’eshmorah, “I will watch”) to אֱזַמֵּרָה (’ezammerah, “I will sing praises [to you]”) See v. 17.

50 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

51 tn Heb “the God of my [Qere (marginal reading); the Kethib (consonantal text) has “his”] loyal love will meet me.”

52 tn Heb “will cause me to look upon.”

53 tn Heb “those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 27:11; 54:5; 56:2.

54 tn Heb “do not kill them, lest my people forget.”

sn My people might forget the lesson. Swift, sudden destruction might be quickly forgotten. The psalmist wants God’s judgment to be prolonged so that it might be a continual reminder of divine justice.

55 tn Heb “make them roam around by your strength and bring them down, O our shield, the Lord.”

56 tn Heb “the sin of their mouth [is] the word of their lips.”

57 tn Or “howl”; or “bark.”

58 tn Heb “go around.”

59 tn Heb “if they are not full, they stay through the night.”

60 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

61 tn Heb “and my shelter in the day of my distress.”

62 tn Heb “my strength, to you I will sing praises.”

63 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

64 tn Heb “the God of my loyal love.”

65 sn Psalm 75. The psalmist celebrates God’s just rule, which guarantees that the godly will be vindicated and the wicked destroyed.

66 tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the superscription to Pss 57-59.

67 tn Heb “and near [is] your name.”

68 tn The words “God says” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to clarify that God speaks in vv. 2-3.

69 tn Heb “when I take an appointed time.”

70 tn Heb “I, [in] fairness, I judge.” The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically executes fair judgment as he governs the world. One could take this as referring to an anticipated (future) judgment, “I will judge.”

71 tn Heb “melt.”

72 tn The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically prevents the world from being overrun by chaos. One could take this as referring to an anticipated event, “I will make its pillars secure.”

73 tn The identity of the speaker in vv. 4-6 is unclear. The present translation assumes that the psalmist, who also speaks in vv. 7-9 (where God/the Lord is spoken of in the third person) here addresses the proud and warns them of God’s judgment. The presence of כִּי (ki, “for”) at the beginning of both vv. 6-7 seems to indicate that vv. 4-9 are a unit. However, there is no formal indication of a new speaker in v. 4 (or in v. 10, where God appears to speak). Another option is to see God speaking in vv. 2-6 and v. 10 and to take only vv. 7-9 as the words of the psalmist. In this case one must interpret כִּי at the beginning of v. 7 in an asseverative or emphatic sense (“surely; indeed”).

74 tn Heb “do not lift up a horn.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Here the idiom seems to refer to an arrogant attitude that assumes victory has been achieved.

75 tn Heb “do not lift up on high your horn.”

76 tn Heb “[do not] speak with unrestrained neck.” The negative particle is understood in this line by ellipsis (note the preceding line).

sn The image behind the language of vv. 4-5 is that of a powerful wild ox that confidently raises its head before its enemies.

77 tn Heb “for not from the east or from the west, and not from the wilderness of the mountains.” If one follows this reading the sentence is elliptical. One must supply “does help come,” or some comparable statement. However, it is possible to take הָרִים (harim) as a Hiphil infinitive from רוּם (rum), the same verb used in vv. 4-5 of “lifting up” a horn. In this case one may translate the form as “victory.” In this case the point is that victory does not come from alliances with other nations.

78 tn Or “judges.”

79 tn The imperfects here emphasize the generalizing nature of the statement.

80 tn Heb “for a cup [is] in the hand of the Lord, and wine foams, it is full of a spiced drink.” The noun מֶסֶךְ (mesekh) refers to a “mixture” of wine and spices.

81 tn Heb “and he pours out from this.”

82 tn Heb “surely its dregs they slurp up and drink, all the wicked of the earth.”

sn The psalmist pictures God as forcing the wicked to gulp down an intoxicating drink that will leave them stunned and vulnerable. Divine judgment is also depicted this way in Ps 60:3; Isa 51:17-23; and Hab 2:16.

83 tn Heb “I will declare forever.” The object needs to be supplied; God’s just judgment is in view.

84 tn The words “God says” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation to clarify that God speaks in v. 10.

85 tn Heb “and all the horns of the wicked I will cut off, the horns of the godly will be lifted up.” The imagery of the wild ox’s horn is once more utilized (see vv. 4-5).



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