▼ 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.
For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; ▼▼ The Hebrew expression means “lily of the testimony.” It may refer to a particular music style or to a tune title. a prayer ▼ of David written to instruct others. ▼▼ Heb “to teach.” It was written when he fought against Aram Naharaim and Aram-Zobah. That was when Joab turned back and struck down ▼ 12,000 Edomites ▼▼ Heb “12,000 of Edom.” Perhaps one should read אֲרַם (’aram, “Aram”) here rather than אֱדוֹם (’edom, “Edom”). in the Valley of Salt. ▼ 1 O God, you have rejected us. ▼
You suddenly turned on us in your anger. ▼
▼ Heb “you broke out upon us, you were angry.”
Please restore us! ▼
▼ The imperfect verbal form here expresses the psalmist’s wish or prayer.
2 You made the earth quake; you split it open. ▼ ▼
▼ You made the earth quake; you split it open. The psalmist uses the imagery of an earthquake to describe the nation’s defeat.
Repair its breaches, for it is ready to fall. ▼
▼ 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.
3 You have made your people experience hard times; ▼
▼ Heb “you have caused your people to see [what is] hard.”
you have made us drink intoxicating wine. ▼
4 You have given your loyal followers ▼
▼ Heb “those who fear you.”a rallying flag,
so that they might seek safety from the bow. ▼
▼ There is a ray of hope in that God has allowed his loyal followers to rally under a battle flag. The translation assumes the verb is from the root נוּס (nus, “flee”) used here in the Hitpolel in the sense of “find safety for oneself” (HALOT 681 s.v. נוס) or “take flight for oneself” (BDB 630-31 s.v. נוּס). Another option is to take the verb as a denominative from נֵס (nes, “flag”) and translate “that it may be displayed” (BDB 651 s.v. II נסס) or “that they may assemble under the banner” (HALOT 704 s.v. II נסס). Here קֹשֶׁט (qoshet) is taken as an Aramaized form of קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”; BDB 905-6 s.v. קֶשֶׁת), though some understand the homonymic קֹשְׁטְ (qosht, “truth”) here (see Prov 22:21; cf. NASB). If one follows the latter interpretation, the line may be translated, “so that they might assemble under the banner for the sake of truth.”(Selah)
5 Deliver by your power ▼
▼ Heb “right hand.”and answer me, ▼
▼ The Qere (marginal reading) has “me,” while the Kethib (consonantal text) has “us.”
so that the ones you love may be safe. ▼
▼ Or “may be rescued.” The lines are actually reversed in the Hebrew text, “So that the ones you love may be rescued, deliver by your power and answer me.”
6 God has spoken in his sanctuary: ▼
▼ Heb “in his holy place.”
“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;
the Valley of Succoth I will measure off. ▼
▼ Shechem stands for the territory west of the Jordan, the Valley of Succoth for the region east of the Jordan.
7 Gilead belongs to me,
as does Manasseh! ▼
▼ Gilead was located east of the Jordan. Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan in the region of Bashan.
Ephraim is my helmet, ▼
▼ Heb “the protection of my head.”▼
▼ Ephraim, named after one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.
Judah my royal scepter. ▼
▼ Judah, like Ephraim, was the other major tribe west of the Jordan. The Davidic king, symbolized here by the royal scepter, came from this tribe.
8 Moab is my washbasin. ▼
I will make Edom serve me. ▼
▼ Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of,” i.e., “I will take possession of Edom.” Others translate עַל (’al) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.” ▼
9 Who will lead me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me to Edom? ▼
10 Have you not rejected us, O God?
O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.
11 Give us help against the enemy,
for any help men might offer is futile. ▼
▼ Heb “and futile [is] the deliverance of man.”
By God’s power we will conquer; ▼
he will trample down ▼ our enemies.
▼ Psalm 61. The psalmist cries out for help and expresses his confidence that God will protect him.
For the music director; to be played on a stringed instrument; written by David.12
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