Psalms 59

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.

1 [a][b]Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.
3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, LORD.
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.[c]
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.
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,[d]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.
14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.

Images for Psalms 59

Psalms 59 Commentary

Chapter 59

David prays for deliverance from his enemies. (1-7) He foresees their destruction. (8-17)

Verses 1-7 In these words we hear the voice of David when a prisoner in his own house; the voice of Christ when surrounded by his merciless enemies; the voice of the church when under bondage in the world; and the voice of the Christian when under temptation, affliction, and persecution. And thus earnestly should we pray daily, to be defended and delivered from our spiritual enemies, the temptations of Satan, and the corruptions of our own hearts. We should fear suffering as evil-doers, but not be ashamed of the hatred of workers of iniquity. It is not strange, if those regard not what they themselves say, who have made themselves believe that God regards not what they say. And where there is no fear of God, there is nothing to secure proper regard to man.

Verses 8-17 It is our wisdom and duty, in times of danger and difficulty, to wait upon God; for he is our defence, in whom we shall be safe. It is very comfortable to us, in prayer, to look to God as the God of our mercy, the Author of all good in us, and the Giver of all good to us. The wicked can never be satisfied, which is the greatest misery in a poor condition. A contented man, if he has not what he would have, yet he does not quarrel with Providence, nor fret within himself. It is not poverty, but discontent that makes a man unhappy. David would praise God because he had many times, and all along, found Him his refuge in the day of trouble. He that is all this to us, is certainly worthy of our best affections, praises, and services. The trials of his people will end in joy and praise. When the night of affliction is over, they will sing of the Lord's power and mercy in the morning. Let believers now, in assured faith and hope, praise Him for those mercies, for which they will rejoice and praise him for ever.

Cross References 36

  • 1. Psalms 143:9
  • 2. S Psalms 20:1
  • 3. Psalms 14:4; Psalms 36:12; Psalms 53:4; Psalms 92:7; Psalms 94:16
  • 4. S Psalms 26:9; Psalms 139:19; Proverbs 29:10
  • 5. S Psalms 56:6
  • 6. Psalms 119:3
  • 7. Matthew 5:11; Psalms 35:19,23
  • 8. S Psalms 13:3
  • 9. Psalms 69:6; Psalms 80:4; Psalms 84:8
  • 10. S Psalms 44:23
  • 11. S Psalms 9:5; S Isaiah 10:3
  • 12. Jeremiah 18:23
  • 13. ver 14; Psalms 22:16
  • 14. Psalms 94:4; Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 15:2,28
  • 15. S Psalms 55:21; Psalms 57:4
  • 16. S Job 22:13; Psalms 10:11
  • 17. Psalms 37:13; Proverbs 1:26
  • 18. Psalms 2:4
  • 19. S Psalms 18:1
  • 20. Psalms 9:9; Psalms 18:2; Psalms 62:2; Psalms 71:3
  • 21. Psalms 3:3; Psalms 84:9
  • 22. Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 6:12
  • 23. Psalms 89:10; Psalms 106:27; Psalms 144:6; Isaiah 33:3
  • 24. Psalms 10:7
  • 25. Psalms 64:8; Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 12:13
  • 26. Isaiah 2:12; Isaiah 5:15; Zephaniah 3:11
  • 27. Psalms 104:35
  • 28. Psalms 83:18
  • 29. Job 15:23
  • 30. Psalms 108:1
  • 31. S 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalms 21:13
  • 32. Psalms 5:3; Psalms 88:13
  • 33. Psalms 101:1
  • 34. S 2 Samuel 22:3
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 4:30; Psalms 46:1
  • 36. ver 10

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 59:1-17 is numbered 59:2-18.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 13.
  • [d]. Or "sovereign"

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. The history of Saul's sending messengers to watch the house of David, and to kill him when he rose in the morning, is in 1 Samuel 19:11; which was the occasion of his writing this psalm; though the title of the Syriac version of it is, "David said or composed this, when he heard that the priests were slain by Saul:" and in the same is added, "but unto us it declares the conversion of the Gentiles to the faith, and the rejection of the Jews." And which perhaps is designed in Psalm 59:5; and some interpreters are of opinion that the whole psalm is to be understood of Christ, of whom David was a type, especially in his sufferings; and there are some things in it which better agree with him than with David, as particularly his being without sin, Psalm 59:3.

Psalms 59 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.