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Psalm 60

Prayer for National Victory after Defeat

To the leader: according to the Lily of the Covenant. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he struggled with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

1

O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;

you have been angry; now restore us!

2

You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;

repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.

3

You have made your people suffer hard things;

you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.

 

4

You have set up a banner for those who fear you,

to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah

5

Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,

so that those whom you love may be rescued.

 

6

God has promised in his sanctuary:

“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,

and portion out the Vale of Succoth.

7

Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet;

Judah is my scepter.

8

Moab is my washbasin;

on Edom I hurl my shoe;

over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

 

9

Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?

10

Have you not rejected us, O God?

You do not go out, O God, with our armies.

11

O grant us help against the foe,

for human help is worthless.

12

With God we shall do valiantly;

it is he who will tread down our foes.


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Ps 60:1-12. Shushan-eduth—Lily of testimony. The lily is an emblem of beauty (see on Ps 45:1, title). As a description of the Psalm, those terms combined may denote a beautiful poem, witnessing—that is, for God's faithfulness as evinced in the victories referred to in the history cited. Aram-naharaim—Syria of the two rivers, or Mesopotamia beyond the river (Euphrates) (2Sa 10:16). Aram-zobah—Syria of Zobah (2Sa 10:6), to whose king the king of the former was tributary. The war with Edom, by Joab and Abishai (2Ch 18:12, 25), occurred about the same time. Probably, while doubts and fears alternately prevailed respecting the issue of these wars, the writer composed this Psalm, in which he depicts, in the language of God's people, their sorrows under former disasters, offers prayer in present straits, and rejoices in confident hope of triumph by God's aid.

1-3. allude to disasters.

cast … off—in scorn (Ps 43:2; 44:9).

scattered—broken our strength (compare 2Sa 5:20).

Oh, turn thyself—or, "restore to us" (prosperity). The figures of physical, denote great civil, commotions (Ps 46:2, 3).

3. drink … wine of astonishment—literally, "of staggering"—that is, made us weak (compare Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17, 22).

4, 5. Yet to God's banner they will rally, and pray that, led and sustained by His power (right hand, Ps 17:7; 20:6), they may be safe.

5. hear me—or, "hear us."

6-10. God hath spoken in—or, "by."

his holiness—(Ps 89:35; Am 4:2), on the pledge of His attributes (Ps 22:3; 30:4). Taking courage from God's promise to give them possession (Ex 23:31; De 11:24) (and perhaps renewed to him by special revelation), with triumphant joy he describes the conquest as already made.

Shechem, and … Succoth—as widely separated points, and—

7. Gilead … and Manasseh—as large districts, east and west of Jordan, represent the whole land.

divide … and mete out—means to have entire control over.

Ephraim—denotes the military (De 33:17); and—

Judah—(the lawgiver, Ge 49:10), the civil power. Foreign nations are then presented as subdued.

8. Moab—is a my washpot—the most ordinary vessel.

over—or, "at"

Edom—(as a slave) he casts his shoe.

Philistia, triumph, &c.—or, rather, "shout."

for me—acknowledges subjection (compare Ps 108:9, "over Philistia will I triumph").

9, 10. He feels assured that, though once angry, God is now ready to favor His people.

who will lead me—or, who has led me, as if the work were now begun.

10. Wilt not thou?—or, "Is it not Thou?"

11, 12. Hence he closes with a prayer for success, and an assurance of a hearing.




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