Psalms 59:11

11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[a]or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down.

Psalms 59:11 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
English Standard Version (ESV)
11 Kill them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by your power and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!
New Living Translation (NLT)
11 Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield.
The Message Bible (MSG)
11 Don't make quick work of them, God, lest my people forget. Bring them down in slow motion, take them apart piece by piece.
American Standard Version (ASV)
11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
11 Do not kill them. Otherwise, my people may forget. Make them wander aimlessly by your power. Bring them down, O Lord, our shield,
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
11 Do not kill them; otherwise, my people will forget. By Your power, make them homeless wanderers and bring them down, Lord, our shield.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
11 Lord, you are like a shield that keeps us safe. Don't kill my enemies all at once. If you do, my people will forget about it. Use your power to make my enemies wander around. Destroy them.

Psalms 59:11 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 59:11

Slay thou not
Though they deserved to be slain, and the Lord seemed as if he was about to slay them, who was able to do it; he seemed to be whetting his glittering sword, and his hand to take hold of vengeance ready to execute it; wherefore intercession is made to spare them, which agrees with Christ's petition on the cross, ( Luke 23:34 ) . The Targum adds, "immediately": slay them not directly, and at once; give them space for repentance; and so the Jews had: for it was forty years after the death of Christ before their destruction was: or the meaning may be, slay them not utterly; destroy them not totally: and so it was; for though multitudes were slain during the siege of Jerusalem, and at the taking of it, yet they were not all slain: there were many carried captive, and sent into different parts of the world, whose posterity continue to this day. The reason of this petition is,

lest my people forget:
the Syriac version renders it, "lest they should forget my people"; or my people should be forgotten. David's people, the Jews by birth and religion, though not as yet his subjects, unless in designation and appointment, and Christ's people according to the flesh: now if these had all been slain at once, they had been forgotten, like dead men out of mind: or Christ's special and peculiar people; his chosen, redeemed, and called ones, who truly believe in him, and are real Christians; and then the sense is, if full vengeance had been taken of the Jews at once, and they had been cut off root and branch, so that none of them remained, Christ's people would have forgot them, and the vengeance inflicted on them for their rejection of the Messiah; but now they are a continued and lasting instance of God's wrath and displeasure on that account, and they and their case cannot be forgotten. The Arabic version renders it, "lest my people forget the law"; its precepts and sanction, its rewards and punishments;

scatter them by thy power;
or let them wander up and down like fugitives and vagabonds in the earth, as Cain did, and as the Jews now do, being dispersed in the several parts of the world; and which was done by the power of God, or through the kingdom of God coming with power upon that people, ( Mark 9:1 ) ; or "by thine army" F24; the Roman army, which was the Lord's, being permitted by him to come against them, and being made use of as an instrument to destroy and scatter them, ( Matthew 22:7 ) ;

and bring them down;
from their excellency, greatness, riches, and honour, into a low, base, mean, and poor estate and condition, in which the Jews now are;

O Lord, our shield;
the protector and defender of his people, while he is the destroyer and scatterer of their enemies.


F24 (Klyxb) "exercitu tuo", Michaelis, Vatablus.

Psalms 59:11 In-Context

9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress,
10 my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter,
13 consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Psalms 3:3; Psalms 84:9
  • 2. Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 6:12
  • 3. Psalms 89:10; Psalms 106:27; Psalms 144:6; Isaiah 33:3

Footnotes 1

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