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Psalm 56[a]

For the music director, according to the yonath-elem-rekhoqim style;[b] a prayer[c] of David, written when the Philistines captured him in Gath.[d]

56 Have mercy on me, O God, for men are attacking me.[e]
All day long hostile enemies[f] are tormenting me.[g]

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 56:1 sn Psalm 56. Despite the threats of his enemies, the psalmist is confident the Lord will keep his promise to protect and deliver him.
  2. Psalm 56:1 tn The literal meaning of this phrase is “silent dove, distant ones.” Perhaps it refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a type of musical instrument.
  3. Psalm 56:1 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16 and 57-60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”
  4. Psalm 56:1 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm when the Philistines seized him and took him to King Achish of Gath (see 1 Sam 21:11-15).
  5. Psalm 56:1 tn According to BDB 983 s.v. II שָׁאַף, the verb is derived from שָׁאַף (shaʾaf, “to trample, crush”) rather than the homonymic verb “pant after.”
  6. Psalm 56:1 tn Heb “a fighter.” The singular is collective for his enemies (see vv. 5-6). The Qal of לָחַם (lakham, “fight”) also occurs in Ps 35:1.
  7. Psalm 56:1 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the continuing nature of the enemies’ attacks.

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