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Psalms 60:1-3

Context
Psalm 60 1 

For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 2  a prayer 3  of David written to instruct others. 4  It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down 5  12,000 Edomites 6  in the Valley of Salt. 7 

60:1 O God, you have rejected us. 8 

You suddenly turned on us in your anger. 9 

Please restore us! 10 

60:2 You made the earth quake; you split it open. 11 

Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall. 12 

60:3 You have made your people experience hard times; 13 

you have made us drink intoxicating wine. 14 

1 sn Psalm 60. The psalmist grieves over Israel’s humiliation, but in response to God’s assuring word, he asks for divine help in battle and expresses his confidence in victory.

2 tn The Hebrew expression means “lily of the testimony.” It may refer to a particular music style or to a tune title.

3 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56-59, is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

4 tn Heb “to teach.”

5 tn In Josh 8:21 and Judg 20:48 the two verbs “turn back” and “strike down” are also juxtaposed. There they refer to a military counter-attack.

6 tn Heb “12,000 of Edom.” Perhaps one should read אֲרַם (’aram, “Aram”) here rather than אֱדוֹם (’edom, “Edom”).

7 sn The heading apparently refers to the military campaign recorded in 2 Sam 10 and 1 Chr 19.

8 sn You have rejected us. See Pss 43:2; 44:9, 23.

9 tn Heb “you broke out upon us, you were angry.”

10 tn The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s wish or prayer.

11 tn The verb פָּצַם (patsam, “split open”) occurs only here in the OT. An Arabic cognate means “crack,” and an Aramaic cognate is used in Tg. Jer 22:14 with the meaning “break open, frame.” See BDB 822 s.v. and Jastrow 1205 s.v. פְּצַם.

sn You made the earth quake; you split it open. The psalmist uses the imagery of an earthquake to describe the nation’s defeat.

12 sn It is ready to fall. The earth is compared to a wall that has been broken by the force of the earthquake (note the preceding line) and is ready to collapse.

13 tn Heb “you have caused your people to see [what is] hard.”

14 tn Heb “wine of staggering,” that is, intoxicating wine that makes one stagger in drunkenness. Intoxicating wine is here an image of divine judgment that makes its victims stagger like drunkards. See Isa 51:17-23.



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