Psalms 59:6

6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city.

Psalms 59:6 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
New Living Translation (NLT)
6 They come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets.
The Message Bible (MSG)
6 They return when the sun goes down, They howl like coyotes, ringing the city.
American Standard Version (ASV)
6 They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go round about the city.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
6 They return in the evening. They howl like dogs. They prowl the city.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs and prowling around the city.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
6 My enemies are like a pack of barking dogs that come back to the city in the evening. They prowl around the city.

Psalms 59:6 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 59:6

They return at evening
It was at evening Saul sent messengers to watch David's house, that they might take him in the morning; but missing him, perhaps after a fruitless search for him all the day, returned at evening to watch his house again; or they might come, and go and return the first evening. So it was night when Judas set out from Bethany, to go to the chief priests at Jerusalem, to covenant with them, and betray his master; and it was in the night he did betray him, after he had eaten the passover at evening with him. Or, "let them return" F16, as in ( Psalms 59:14 ) ; with shame and confusion, as David's enemies, when they found nothing but an image in the bed, which they reported to Saul; and as Judas returned to the chief priests with confusion and horror. Or, "they shall return" F17; which being prophetically said, had its accomplishment, both in the enemies of David and of Christ; and will be true of all the wicked, who will return from their graves and live again, and give an account of themselves at the evening of the day of the Lord, which is a thousand years; in the morning of which day the dead in Christ will rise, but the rest will not rise until the end of the thousand years;

they make a noise like a dog:
which is a very noisy creature, and especially some of them, which are always yelping and barking; though indeed there are some that are naturally dumb, and cannot bark: such there are in the West Indies, as we are told F18; and to which the allusion is in ( Isaiah 56:10 ) ; and which may serve to illustrate the passage there: but those referred to here are of another kind; and this noise of theirs either respects their bark in the night, as some dogs do continually, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; or to their howling, as the Syriac and Arabic versions. Wicked men are compared to dogs, ( Matthew 7:6 ) ( Revelation 22:15 ) ; and particularly the enemies of Christ, ( Psalms 22:16 Psalms 22:20 ) , in allusion either to hunting dogs, who make a noise all the while they are pursuing after the game; or hungry ravenous ones, who make a noise for want of food; and this character agrees not only with the Roman soldiers, who were Gentiles, and whom the Jews used to call by this name, ( Matthew 15:26 ) ; but the Jews also, even their principal men, as well as the dregs of the people, who were concerned in the death of Christ; and may be truly said to make a noise like dogs when they cried Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas, crucify him, crucify him; for which they were instant and pressing with loud voices, and their voices prevailed, ( Luke 23:18 Luke 23:21 Luke 23:23 ) ;

and go round about the city;
as Saul's messengers, very probably, when they found David had made his escape from his house, searched the city round in quest of him; and there was much going about the city of Jerusalem at the time of our Lord's apprehension, trial, and condemnation; after he was taken in the garden: they went with him first to Annas's house, then to Caiaphas's, then to Pilate's, and then to Herod's, and back again to Pilate's, and from thence out of the city to Golgotha. The allusion is still to dogs, who go through a city barking F19 at persons, or in quest of what they can get; so informers and accusers may be called city dogs, as some sort of orators are by Demosthenes F20.


F16 (wbwvy) "revertantur", Gejerus, Schmidt.
F17 "Convertentur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; so Sept. Syr. Ar.
F18 P. Martyr. Decad. Ocean decad. 1. l. 3. & de Insulis Occid. Ind. Vid. Iguatii Epist. ad Eph. p. 124.
F19 (kunhv ana ptolin wruontai) . Theocrit. Idyll. 2. v. 35.
F20 Apud Salmuth. in Pancirol. Memorub. Rer. par. 2. tit. 2. p. 97.

Psalms 59:6 In-Context

4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight!
5 You, LORD God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors.
6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city.
7 See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?”
8 But you laugh at them, LORD; you scoff at all those nations.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 14; Psalms 22:16
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