a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

Psalm 59

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader: Do Not Destroy. Of David. A Miktam, when Saul ordered his house to be watched in order to kill him.


Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;

protect me from those who rise up against me.


Deliver me from those who work evil;

from the bloodthirsty save me.



Even now they lie in wait for my life;

the mighty stir up strife against me.

For no transgression or sin of mine, O L ord,


for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.


Rouse yourself, come to my help and see!


You, L ord God of hosts, are God of Israel.

Awake to punish all the nations;

spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah



Each evening they come back,

howling like dogs

and prowling about the city.


There they are, bellowing with their mouths,

with sharp words on their lips—

for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?”



But you laugh at them, O L ord;

you hold all the nations in derision.


O my strength, I will watch for you;

for you, O God, are my fortress.


My God in his steadfast love will meet me;

my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.



Do not kill them, or my people may forget;

make them totter by your power, and bring them down,

O Lord, our shield.


For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,

let them be trapped in their pride.

For the cursing and lies that they utter,


consume them in wrath;

consume them until they are no more.

Then it will be known to the ends of the earth

that God rules over Jacob. Selah



Each evening they come back,

howling like dogs

and prowling about the city.


They roam about for food,

and growl if they do not get their fill.



But I will sing of your might;

I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.

For you have been a fortress for me

and a refuge in the day of my distress.


O my strength, I will sing praises to you,

for you, O God, are my fortress,

the God who shows me steadfast love.

11 Slay them not, lest my people forget David very properly suggests this to his own mind, as a consideration which should produce patience. We are apt to think, when God has not annihilated our enemies at once, that they have escaped out of his hands altogether; and we look upon it as properly no punishment, that they should be gradually and slowly destroyed. Such being the extravagant desire which almost all, without exception, have, to see their enemies at once exterminated, David checks himself, and dwells upon the judgment of God to be seen in the lesser calamities which overtake the wicked. It is true, that were not our eyes blinded, we would behold a more evident display of divine retribution in cases where the destruction of the ungodly is sudden; but these are so apt to fade away from our remembrance, that he had good reason to express his desire that the spectacle might be one constantly renewed, and thus our knowledge of the judgments of God be more deeply graven upon our hearts. He arms and fortifies himself against impatience under delays in the execution of divine judgment, by the consideration that God has an express design in them, as, were the wicked exterminated in a moment, the remembrance of the event might speedily be effaced. There is an indirect censure conveyed to the people of Israel for failing to improve the more striking judgments of God. But the sin is one too prevalent in the world even at this day. Those judgments which are so evident that none can miss to observe them without shutting his eyes, we sinfully allow to pass into oblivion; so that we need to be brought daily into that theater where we are compelled to perceive the divine hand. This we must never forget when we see God subjecting his enemies to a gradual process of destruction, instead of launching his thunders instantly upon their head. He prays that God would make them to wander, as men under poverty and misery, who seek in every direction, but in vain, for a remedy to their misfortunes. The idea is still more forcibly described in the word which follows, make them descend, or, cast them down. He wished that they might be dragged from that position of honor which they had hitherto occupied, and thrown to the ground, so as to present, in their wretchedness and degradation, a constant illustration of the wrath of God. The word בחילך, becheylcha, which we have translated, in thy power, some render, with thy army, understanding the people of God. But it is more probable that David calls to his assistance the power of God for the destruction of his enemies, and this because they deemed themselves invincible through those worldly resources in which they trusted. As a further argument for obtaining his request, he intimates in the close of the verse that he was now pleading the cause of the whole Church, for he uses the plural number, O God our shield Having been chosen king by divine appointment, the safety of the Church stood connected with his person. The assault made upon him by his enemies was not an assault upon himself merely as a private individual, but upon the whole people, whose common welfare God had consulted in making choice of him. And this suggested another reason why he should patiently submit to see the judgments of God measured out in the manner which might best engage their minds in assiduous meditation.

VIEWNAME is study