Psalm 55:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.

New Living Translation
Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city.

English Standard Version
Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city.

New American Standard Bible
Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

King James Bible
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Lord, confuse and confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city;

International Standard Version
Confound them, Lord, and confuse their speech, because I have seen violence and strife in the city.

NET Bible
Confuse them, O Lord! Frustrate their plans! For I see violence and conflict in the city.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Lord Jehovah, drown the conversation of their tongues, for I have seen fighting and judgment in the city.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Completely confuse their language, O Lord, because I see violence and conflict in the city.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

King James 2000 Bible
Destroy, O Lord, and confuse their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

American King James Version
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

American Standard Version
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue; For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Cast down, O Lord, and divide their tongues; for I have seen iniquity and contradiction in the city.

Darby Bible Translation
Swallow [them] up, Lord; divide their tongue: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

English Revised Version
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Webster's Bible Translation
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

World English Bible
Confuse them, Lord, and confound their language, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Young's Literal Translation
Swallow up, O Lord, divide their tongue, For I saw violence and strife in a city.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

55:9-15 No wickedness so distresses the believer, as that which he witnesses in those who profess to be of the church of God. Let us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the church on earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains of one that had been very industrious against him. God often destroys the enemies of the church by dividing them. And an interest divided against itself cannot long stand. The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken by Divine vengeance. And this prayer is a prophecy of the utter, the everlasting ruin, of all who oppose and rebel against the Messiah.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 9-15. - With a sudden transition, the writer passes from his own suffering, fears, and longings, to imprecations on his enemies, and a description of their wicked proceedings. In the course of his description he singles out one individual for special remark - one who had been his own guide, companion, and friend - but who had turned against him, and joined the company of his adversaries (vers. 12-14). Verse 9. - Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues. The second clause contains a reference to the confusion of tongues at Babel (Genesis 11:7). "Introduce confusion into their counsels, and disperse them, as thou didst with the wicked ones who were forced to leave off to build the Tower." For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Such quarrels and broils, i.e., as usually precede revolutionary disturbance.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Destroy, O Lord,.... Or "swallow up" (s), as Pharaoh and his host were swallowed up in the Red sea; or as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, were swallowed up in the earth; so all the enemies of Christ and his church will be destroyed; and death, the last of them, will be swallowed up in victory, Isaiah 25:8. The Targum interprets it, "destroy", or "scatter their counsel": but this seems to be intended in the next clause;

and divide their tongues: as at the confusion of languages at Babel, to which the allusion is: this had its accomplishment in Absalom's counsellors according to David's wish, 2 Samuel 15:31; and in the Jewish sanhedrim in Christ's time, and in the witnesses they produced against him, Luke 23:51; and of which there is an instance in the council of the Jews, held on account of the Apostle Paul, Acts 23:7;

for I have seen violence and strife in the city: in the city of Jerusalem, now left by David, and possessed by Absalom, by whom "violence" was done to David's wives, through the advice of Ahithophel; and "strife", contention, and rebellion, were fomented among the people: this David saw, understood, and perceived, by the intelligence brought him from time to time: and in the times of Christ the kingdom of heaven suffered "violence" in this place, and he endured the "contradiction" of sinners against himself.

(s) "degluti", Montanus, Tigurine version; "absorbe", Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.

The Treasury of David

9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.

11 Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

Psalm 55:9

"Destroy, O Lord." Put mine enemies to the rout. Let them be devoured by the sword, since they have unsheathed it against me. How could we expect the exiled monarch to offer any other prayer than this against the rebellious bands of Absalom, and the crafty devices of Ahithophel? "Divide their tongues." Make another Babel in their debates and councils of war. Set them at cross purposes. Divide the pack that the hunted one may escape. The divisions of error are the hope of truth. "For I have seen violence and strife in the city." The rabble and their leaders were plotting and planning, raging and contending against their king, running wild with a thousand mad projects: anarchy had fermented among them, and the king hoped that now it might come to pass that the very lawlessness which had exiled him would create weakness among his foes. Revolution devours its own children. They who are strong through violence, will sooner or later find that their strength is their death. Absalom and Ahithophel may raise the mob, but they cannot so easily rule it, nor so readily settle their own policy as to remain firm friends. The prayer of David was heard, the rebels were soon divided in their councils; Ahithophel went his way to be hanged with a rope, and Absalom to be hanged without one.

Psalm 55:10

"Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof." The city, the holy city had become a den of wickedness: conspirators met in the dark and talked in little knots in the streets even in broad daylight. Meanwhile the country was being roused to revolt, and the traitors without threatened to environ the city, and act in concert with the rebels within. No doubt there was a smothered fire of insurrection which Absalom kindled and fanned, which David perceived with alarm some time before he left Jerusalem; and when he quitted the city it broke out into an open flame. "Mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it." Unhappy capital to be thus beset by foes, left by her monarch, and filled with all those elements of turbulence which breed evil and trouble. Unhappy king to be thus compelled to see the mischief which he could not avert laying waste the city which he loved so well. There was another King whose many tears watered the rebellious city, and who said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

Psalm 55:11

"Wickedness is in the midst thereof." The very heart of the city was base. In her places of authority crime went hand in hand with calamity. All the wilder and more wicked elements were uppermost; the canaille were commanders; the scum floated uppermost; justice was at a discount; the population was utterly demoralised; prosperity had vanished and order with it. "Deceit and guile depart not from her streets." In all the places of concourse crafty tongues were busy persuading the people with cozening phrases. Crafty demagogues led the people by the nose. Their good king was defamed in all ways, and when they saw him go away, they fell to reviling the governors of their own choosing. The forum was the fortress of fraud, the congress was the convention of cunning. Alas, poor Jerusalem, to be thus the victim of sin and shame! Virtue reviled and vice regnant! Her solemn assemblies broken up, her priests fled, her king banished, and troops of reckless villains parading her streets, sunning themselves on her walls, and vomiting their blasphemies in her sacred shrines. Here was cause enough for the sorrow which so plaintively utters itself in these verses.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. Destroy—literally, "swallow" (Ps 21:9).

divide their tongues—or, "confound their speech," and hence their counsels (Ge 11:7).

the city—perhaps Jerusalem, the scene of anarchy.

Psalm 55:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Cast Your Cares on the Lord
8"I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest." 9Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.…
Cross References
Genesis 11:9
That is why it was called Babel --because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Psalm 11:5
The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.

Psalm 55:10
Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.

Jeremiah 6:7
As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; her sickness and wounds are ever before me.

Habakkuk 1:3
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Treasury of Scripture

Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

divide. That is, `Distract their counsels; and let their devices be confounded;'--and the prayer was heard

Genesis 11:7-9 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they …

2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators …

2 Samuel 17:1-14 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve …

John 7:45-53 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they …

Acts 23:6-10 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the …

I have

Jeremiah 6:7 As a fountain casts out her waters, so she casts out her wickedness: …

Jeremiah 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: …

Matthew 23:37,38 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them …

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