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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.


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

you have been angry; now restore us!


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

repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.


You have made your people suffer hard things;

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



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

to rally to it out of bowshot. Selah


Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,

so that those whom you love may be rescued.



God has promised in his sanctuary:

“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,

and portion out the Vale of Succoth.


Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet;

Judah is my scepter.


Moab is my washbasin;

on Edom I hurl my shoe;

over Philistia I shout in triumph.”



Who will bring me to the fortified city?

Who will lead me to Edom?


Have you not rejected us, O God?

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


O grant us help against the foe,

for human help is worthless.


With God we shall do valiantly;

it is he who will tread down our foes.

8 Moab is my wash-pot In proceeding to speak of foreigners, he observes a wide distinction between them and his own countrymen. The posterity of Abraham he would govern as brethren, and not as slaves; but it was allowable for him to exercise greater severities upon the profane and the uncircumcised, in order to their being brought under forcible subjection. In this he affords no precedent to conquerors who would inflict lawless oppression upon nations taken in war; for they want the divine warrant and commission which David had, invested as he was not only with the authority of a king, but with the character of an avenger of the Church, especially of its more implacable enemies, such as had thrown off every feeling of humanity, and persisted in harassing a people descended from the same stock with themselves. He remarks, in contempt of the Moabites, that they would be a vessel in which he should wash his feet, the washing of the feet being, as is well known, a customary practice in Eastern nations. 394394     This office of washing the feet was in the East commonly performed by slaves, and the meanest of the family, as appears from what Abigail said to David when he took her to wife, “Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord,” 1 Samuel. 25:41; and from the fact of our Savior washing his disciples’ feet, to give them an example of humility, John 13:5. The word νιπτὴρ, used in this last passage, signifies in general a washing pot, and is put for the word ποδονιπτρον, the term which the Greeks, in strict propriety of speech, applied to a vessel for washing the feet. As this office was servile, so the vessels employed for this purpose were a mean part of household stuff. Gataker and Le Clerc illustrate this text from an anecdote related by Herodotus, concerning Amasis, king of Egypt, who expressed the meanness of his own origin by comparing himself to a pot for washing the feet in, (Herod., Lib. 2, c. 172.) When, therefore, it is said, ‘Moab is my washing-pot,’ the complete and servile subjection of Moab to David is strongly marked. This is expressed not by comparing Moab to a slave who performs the lowest offices, as presenting to his master the basin for washing his feet, but by comparing him to the mean utensil itself. See 2 Samuel 8:2; 1 Chronicles 18:1, 2, 12, 13 With the same view he speaks of casting his shoe over Edom. This is expressive of reproach, and intimates, that as it had once insulted over the chosen people of God, so now it should be reduced to servitude. 395395     Edom or Idumea was inhabited by the Edomites, or posterity of Edom, that is, Esau, (the elder brother of Jacob,) who, on account of his profanity in selling his birthright for a mess of red pottage — called in Hebrew Edom — had this name imposed upon him to the perpetual disgrace of himself and his posterity, (Genesis 25:30; 36:8, 9; Hebrews 12:16.) The expression, “Over Edom will I cast my shoe,” has been differently explained by interpreters. Some, as Gataker and Martin, read, “To Edom will I cast my shoe;” and suppose that the reference is to the custom which then prevailed, of the master employing his meanest servant to untie, take off, and cleanse his shoes, (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16;) and that David intimates, that the Edomites would become his menial slaves, who would perform to him the lowest offices. “And the prophet,” observes Martin, “uses the word throw, which marks an action done in a passionate and angry manner, in allusion to the circumstance that masters, when employing their servants with whom they are displeased to take off their shoes, hold out their feet to them with violence, as if they would thrust their feet against them.” The LXX. and Vulgate read, “will extend my shoe.” And Bishop Horne is of opinion, that the meaning is, “extending his shoe,” that is to say, putting his feet upon them; and this, it is well known, was the manner in which Eastern conquerors were wont to treat their captives. But there is another ancient custom to which others suppose the passage refers. The ancients were wont to throw their shoes and sandals, when soiled with dirt, into some obscure corner before they sat down to meat, and many might possibly have some mean place in their houses into which they commonly threw them; and, therefore, the throwing of the shoe over or on Edom might mean, as Bucer expounds it, “Edom will be as the place into which I cast my shoe.” But whatever may be the precise allusion, the meaning conveyed undoubtedly is, that David would make a complete conquest of Edom, that he would reduce it to the lowest subjection. And such was actually the case, as we learn from 2 Samuel 8:14. “Abu Walid would have נעל here to signify a fetter, — ‘I will cast my fetter or chain on him:’ and so Kimchi, in his roots; though in his comment here he interpret it in the notion of a shoe.” — Hammond What follows concerning Palestina is ambiguous. By some the words are taken ironically, as if David would deride the vain boastings of the Philistines, who were constantly assaulting him with all the petulance which they could command. 396396     “The apostrophe to Philistia is the language of irony and of defiance. — ‘Philistia, triumph thou over me!’ as if he had said, ‘Thou hast been used to insult and triumph over me; but circumstances are now reversed, and it is my turn to shout and triumph over thee.’ See Psalm 108:9.” Williams Cottage Bible. And the Hebrew verb רוע, ruang, though it means in general to shout with triumph, signifies also to make a tumult, as soldiers when they rush to battle. Others, without supposing any ironical allusion, take the words as they stand, and interpret them as meaning servile plaudits; that much and obstinately as they hated his dominion, they would be forced to hail and applaud him as conqueror. Thus in Psalm 18:44, it is said, “The sons of the strangers shall feign submission to me.” 397397     “Philistia, be thou glad of me, rather, Philistia, welcome we (as thy conqueror) with shouts; a hard task for the vanquished to perform.” — Cresswell Bishop Horne reads, “Over Philistia give a shout of triumph.” Horsley reads, “Over Philistia is my shout of triumph.” “I take,” says he, “התריעעי for a noun substantive, with the pronoun of the first person suffixed.”

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