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Psalms 59:1-3

Context
Psalm 59 1 

For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 2  a prayer 3  of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him. 4 

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

Protect me 5  from those who attack me! 6 

59:2 Deliver me from evildoers! 7 

Rescue me from violent men! 8 

59:3 For look, they wait to ambush me; 9 

powerful men stalk 10  me,

but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord. 11 

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

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 superscription to Pss 57-58, 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 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.

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

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

7 tn Heb “from the workers of wickedness.”

8 tn Heb “from men of bloodshed.”

9 tn Heb “my life.”

10 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.

11 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.



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