Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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).
Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
3. drink … wine of astonishment—literally, "of staggering"—that is, made us weak (compare Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17, 22).
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
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.
That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.
5. hear me—or, "hear us."
God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
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—
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
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.
Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
8. Moab—is a my washpot—the most ordinary vessel.
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").
Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
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.
Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
10. Wilt not thou?—or, "Is it not Thou?"
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
11, 12. Hence he closes with a prayer for success, and an assurance of a hearing.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.