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59 Written by David at the time King Saul set guards at his home to capture and kill him. (1 Samuel 19:11)

O my God, save me from my enemies. Protect me from these who have come to destroy me. Preserve me from these criminals, these murderers. They lurk in ambush for my life. Strong men are out there waiting. And not, O Lord, because I’ve done them wrong. Yet they prepare to kill me. Lord, waken! See what is happening! Help me! (And O Jehovah, God of heaven’s armies, God of Israel, arise and punish the heathen nations surrounding us.) Do not spare these evil, treacherous men. At evening they come to spy, slinking around like dogs that prowl the city. I hear them shouting insults and cursing God, for “No one will hear us,” they think. Lord, laugh at them! (And scoff at these surrounding nations too.)

O God my Strength! I will sing your praises, for you are my place of safety. 10 My God is changeless in his love for me, and he will come and help me. He will let me see my wish come true upon my enemies. 11 Don’t kill them—for my people soon forget such lessons—but stagger them with your power and bring them to their knees. Bring them to the dust, O Lord our shield. 12-13 They are proud, cursing liars. Angrily destroy them. Wipe them out. (And let the nations find out, too, that God rules in Israel and will reign throughout the world.) 14-15 Let these evil men slink back at evening and prowl the city all night before they are satisfied, howling like dogs and searching for food.

16 But as for me, I will sing each morning about your power and mercy. For you have been my high tower of refuge, a place of safety in the day of my distress. 17 O my Strength, to you I sing my praises; for you are my high tower of safety, my God of mercy.

Psalm 59[a]

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

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;(B)
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.(C)
Deliver me from evildoers(D)
    and save me from those who are after my blood.(E)

See how they lie in wait for me!
    Fierce men conspire(F) against me
    for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong,(G) yet they are ready to attack me.(H)
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!(I)
You, Lord God Almighty,
    you who are the God of Israel,(J)
rouse yourself(K) to punish all the nations;(L)
    show no mercy to wicked traitors.[c](M)

They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,(N)
    and prowl about the city.
See what they spew from their mouths(O)
    the words from their lips are sharp as swords,(P)
    and they think, “Who can hear us?”(Q)
But you laugh at them, Lord;(R)
    you scoff at all those nations.(S)

You are my strength,(T) I watch for you;
    you, God, are my fortress,(U)
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](V)
    or my people will forget.(W)
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.(X)
12 For the sins of their mouths,(Y)
    for the words of their lips,(Z)
    let them be caught in their pride.(AA)
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.(AB)
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob.(AC)

14 They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food(AD)
    and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing(AE) of your strength,(AF)
    in the morning(AG) I will sing of your love;(AH)
for you are my fortress,(AI)
    my refuge in times of trouble.(AJ)

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 59:1 In Hebrew texts 59:1-17 is numbered 59:2-18.
  2. Psalm 59:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 59:5 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 13.
  4. Psalm 59:11 Or sovereign

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