Psalm 59:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down.

New Living Translation
Don't kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield.

English Standard Version
Kill them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by your power and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!

New American Standard Bible
Do not slay them, or my people will forget; Scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

King James Bible
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not kill them; otherwise, my people will forget. By Your power, make them homeless wanderers and bring them down, Lord, our shield.

International Standard Version
Don't kill them! Otherwise, my people may forget. By your power make them stumble around; bring them down low, Lord, our Shield.

NET Bible
Do not strike them dead suddenly, because then my people might forget the lesson. Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down, O Lord who shields us!

New Heart English Bible
Do not kill them, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your power, and bring them down, Lord our shield.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not kill them, lest my people forget, but shake them by your power and chase them Lord Jehovah, my trust.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Do not kill them. Otherwise, my people may forget. Make them wander aimlessly by your power. Bring them down, O Lord, our shield,

JPS Tanakh 1917
Slay them not, lest my people forget, Make them wander to and fro by Thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

New American Standard 1977
Do not slay them, lest my people forget;
            Scatter them by Thy power, and bring them down,
            O Lord, our shield.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Slay them not lest my people forget; scatter them by thy power and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

King James 2000 Bible
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by your power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

American King James Version
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by your power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

American Standard Version
Slay them not, lest my people forget: Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

Douay-Rheims Bible
God shall let me see over my enemies: slay them not, lest at any time my people forget. Scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord, my protector:

Darby Bible Translation
Slay them not, lest my people forget; by thy power make them wander, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

English Revised Version
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

Webster's Bible Translation
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

World English Bible
Don't kill them, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your power, and bring them down, Lord our shield.

Young's Literal Translation
Slay them not, lest my people forget, Shake them by Thy strength, And bring them down, O Lord our shield.
Study Bible
Deliver Me from My Enemies, My God
10My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes. 11Do not slay them, or my people will forget; Scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield. 12On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be caught in their pride, And on account of curses and lies which they utter.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:9
"Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

Deuteronomy 6:12
then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 84:9
Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed.

Psalm 106:27
And that He would cast their seed among the nations And scatter them in the lands.

Psalm 144:6
Flash forth lightning and scatter them; Send out Your arrows and confuse them.

Isaiah 33:3
At the sound of the tumult peoples flee; At the lifting up of Yourself nations disperse.
Treasury of Scripture

Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by your power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

Slay

Genesis 4:12-15 When you till the ground, it shall not from now on yield to you her …

Judges 1:6,7 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, …

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any …

Ezekiel 12:15,16 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them …

Ezekiel 14:22,23 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought …

Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and …

scatter

Psalm 44:11 You have given us like sheep appointed for meat; and have scattered …

Psalm 52:5 God shall likewise destroy you for ever, he shall take you away, …

Leviticus 26:33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword …

Deuteronomy 4:27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be …

Deuteronomy 28:64 And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end …

Deuteronomy 30:3,4 That then the LORD your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion …

Ezekiel 12:15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them …

Luke 1:51,52 He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in …

Luke 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let …

bring

Job 40:12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down …

our shield

Psalm 3:3 But you, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and …

(11) Slay them not, lest my people forget . . .--The Spartans refused to allow the destruction of a neighbouring city, which had often called forth their armies, saying, "Destroy not the whetstone of our young men." Timon, in the play, is made to say--

"Live loath'd and long

You smiling smooth detested parasites,"

that the ruin of Athens might be complete, if deferred. National feeling, too, has often insisted on extreme modes of punishment, partly from vindictive feeling, partly for deterrent purposes. Witness the sequel to the Indian mutiny. But where is the parallel to the feeling that seems uppermost in the Psalmist's mind, viz., a wish for protracted retribution on the nations for the moral benefit of Israel?

Scatter them.--Better, make them wander: a word applied to Cain and to the Israelite wanderings in the wilderness.

Verse 11. - Slay them not, lest my people forget; i.e. my true people - faithful Israel. The psalmist's "first thought is, that by lingering on in life for a while the wicked may be more edifying monuments of the Divine anger" (Cheyne). (For a parallel, see Exodus 9:16.) Scatter them by thy power; or, make them wanderers (comp. Genesis 4:12, 14). It has been often noted that David's curse seems to have passed on to the entire nation of the Jews. And bring them down, O Lord our Shield; i.e. "cast them down from their honourable positions bring them into misery and disgrace - O Lord, who art our Defense and Shield" (comp. Psalm 3:3; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 28:7). Slay thou not,.... Though they deserved to be slain, and the Lord seemed as if he was about to slay them, who was able to do it; he seemed to be whetting his glittering sword, and his hand to take hold of vengeance ready to execute it; wherefore intercession is made to spare them, which agrees with Christ's petition on the cross, Luke 23:34. The Targum adds, "immediately": slay them not directly, and at once; give them space for repentance; and so the Jews had: for it was forty years after the death of Christ before their destruction was: or the meaning may be, slay them not utterly; destroy them not totally: and so it was; for though multitudes were slain during the siege of Jerusalem, and at the taking of it, yet they were not all slain: there were many carried captive, and sent into different parts of the world, whose posterity continue to this day. The reason of this petition is,

lest my people forget: the Syriac version renders it, "lest they should forget my people"; or my people should be forgotten. David's people, the Jews by birth and religion, though not as yet his subjects, unless in designation and appointment, and Christ's people according to the flesh: now if these had all been slain at once, they had been forgotten, like dead men out of mind: or Christ's special and peculiar people; his chosen, redeemed, and called ones, who truly believe in him, and are real Christians; and then the sense is, if full vengeance had been taken of the Jews at once, and they had been cut off root and branch, so that none of them remained, Christ's people would have forgot them, and the vengeance inflicted on them for their rejection of the Messiah; but now they are a continued and lasting instance of God's wrath and displeasure on that account, and they and their case cannot be forgotten. The Arabic version renders it, "lest my people forget the law"; its precepts and sanction, its rewards and punishments;

scatter them by thy power; or let them wander up and down like fugitives and vagabonds in the earth, as Cain did, and as the Jews now do, being dispersed in the several parts of the world; and which was done by the power of God, or through the kingdom of God coming with power upon that people, Mark 9:1; or "by thine army" (x); the Roman army, which was the Lord's, being permitted by him to come against them, and being made use of as an instrument to destroy and scatter them, Matthew 22:7;

and bring them down; from their excellency, greatness, riches, and honour, into a low, base, mean, and poor estate and condition, in which the Jews now are;

O Lord, our shield; the protector and defender of his people, while he is the destroyer and scatterer of their enemies.

(x) "exercitu tuo", Michaelis, Vatablus. 11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

Psalm 59:11

"Slay them not, lest my people forget." It argues great faith on David's part, that even while his house was surrounded by his enemies he is yet so fully sure of their overthrow, and so completely realises it in his own mind, that he puts in a detailed petition that they may not be too soon or too fully exterminated. God's victory over the craft and cruelty of the wicked is so easy and so glorious that it seems a pity to end the conflict too soon. To sweep away the plotters all at once were to end the great drama of retribution too abruptly. Nay, let the righteous be buffeted a little longer and let the boasting oppressor puff and brag through his little hour, it will help to keep Israel in mind of the Lord's justice, and make the brave party who side with God's champion accustomed to divine interpositions. It were a pity for good men to be without detractors, seeing that virtue shines the brighter for the foil of slander. Enemies help to keep the Lord's servants awake. A lively, vexatious devil is less to be dreaded than a sleepy, forgetful spirit which is given to slumber. "Scatter them by thy power." Blow them to and fro, like chaff in the wind. Let the foemen live as a vagabond race. Make Cains of them. Let them be living monuments of divine power, advertisements of heaven's truth, to the fullest extent let divine justice be illustrated in them. "And bring them down." Like rotten fruit from a tree. From the seats of power which they disgrace, and the positions of influence which they pollute, let them be hurled into humiliation. This was a righteous wish, and if it be untempered by the gentleness of Jesus, we must remember that it is a soldier's prayer, and the wish of one who was smarting under injustice and malice of no ordinary kind. "O Lord, our shield." David felt himself to be the representative of the religious party in Israel, and therefore he says "our shield," speaking in the name of all those who make Jehovah their defence. We are in good company when we hide beneath the buckler of the Eternal; meanwhile he who is the shield of his people is the scatterer of their enemies.

Psalm 59:12

"For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride." Such dreadful language of atheism and insolence deserves a fit return. As they hope to take their victims, so let them be taken themselves, entangled in their own net, arrested in the midst of their boastful security. Sins of the lips are real sins, and punishable sins. Men must not think because their hatred gets no further than railing and blasphemy that therefore they shall be excused. He who takes the will for the deed, will take the word for the deed and deal with men accordingly. Wretches who are persecutors in talk, burners and stabbers with the tongue, shall have a reckoning for their would-be transgressions. Pride though it show not itself in clothes, but only in speech, is a sin; and persecuting pride, though it pile no fagots at Smithfield, but only revile with its lips, shall have to answer for it among the unholy crew of inquisitors. "And for cursing and lying which they speak." Sins, like hounds, often hunt in couples. He who is not ashamed to curse before God, will be sure to lie unto men. Every swearer is a liar. Persecution leads on to perjury. They lie and swear to it. They curse and give a lying reason for their hate. This Shall not go unnoted of the Lord, but shall bring down its recompense. How often has it happened that while haughty speeches have been fresh in the mouths of the wicked they have been overtaken by avenging providence, and made to see their mischief recoil upon themselves!

Psalm 59:13

"Consume them in wrath." As if he had changed his mind and would have them brought to a speedy end, or if spared would have them exist as ruins, he cries, "consume them," and he redoubles his cry, "consume them," nay, he gives a triple note, "that they may not be." Revilers of God whose mouths pour forth such filth as David was on this occasion obliged to hear, are not to be tolerated by a holy soul; indignation must flame forth, and cry to God against them. When men curse the age and the place in which they live, common humanity leads the righteous to desire that they may be removed. If they could be reformed it would be infinitely better; but if they cannot, if they must and will continue to be like mad dogs in a city, then let them cease to be. Who can desire to see such a generation perpetuated'? "And let them know;" i.e., let all the nations know, "that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth." He whose government is universal fixes his headquarters among his chosen people, and there in special he punishes sin. So David would have all men see. Let even the most remote nations know that the great moral Governor has power to destroy ungodliness, and does not wink at iniquity in any, at any time, or in any place. When sin is manifestly punished it is a valuable lesson to all mankind. The overthrow of a Napoleon, is a homily for all monarchs, the death of a Tom Paine a warning to all infidels, the siege of Paris a sermon to all cities. Selah. Good cause there is for this rest, when a theme so wide and important is introduced. Solemn subjects ought not to be hurried over; nor should the condition of the heart while contemplating themes so high be a matter of indifference. Reader, bethink thee. Sit thou still awhile and consider the ways of God with man. 11. Slay them not—at once (Jud 2:21-23); but perpetuate their punishment (Ge 4:12; Nu 32:13), by scattering or making them wander, and humble them.59:8-17 It is our wisdom and duty, in times of danger and difficulty, to wait upon God; for he is our defence, in whom we shall be safe. It is very comfortable to us, in prayer, to look to God as the God of our mercy, the Author of all good in us, and the Giver of all good to us. The wicked can never be satisfied, which is the greatest misery in a poor condition. A contented man, if he has not what he would have, yet he does not quarrel with Providence, nor fret within himself. It is not poverty, but discontent that makes a man unhappy. David would praise God because he had many times, and all along, found Him his refuge in the day of trouble. He that is all this to us, is certainly worthy of our best affections, praises, and services. The trials of his people will end in joy and praise. When the night of affliction is over, they will sing of the Lord's power and mercy in the morning. Let believers now, in assured faith and hope, praise Him for those mercies, for which they will rejoice and praise him for ever.
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