Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 59:1-17. See on Ps 57:1, title, and for history, 1Sa 19:11, &c. The scope is very similar to that of the fifty-seventh: prayer in view of malicious and violent foes, and joy in prospect of relief.
1. defend me—(Compare Margin).
rise up … me—(Compare Ps 17:7).
Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
2. (Compare Ps 5:5; 6:8).
For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.
4, 5. prepare, &c.—literally, "set themselves as in array."
awake—(Compare Ps 3:7; 7:6), appeals to God in His covenant relation to His people (Ps 9:18).
Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
6, 7. They are as ravening dogs seeking prey, and as such,
belch out—that is, slanders, their impudent barkings.
Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
7. for who, say they—For the full expression with the supplied words, compare Ps 64:5.
But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
8. (Compare Ps 2:4; 37:13).
Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
9. By judicious expositors, and on good grounds, this is better rendered, "O my strength, on Thee will I wait" (Ps 59:17).
defence—(Compare Ps 18:3).
The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
10. prevent me—(Ps 21:3).
see my desire—in their overthrow (Ps 54:7).
enemies—as in Ps 5:8.
Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
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.
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.
12. let them even be … taken in their pride—while evincing it—that is, to be punished for their lies, &c.
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.
13. Though delayed for wise reasons, the utter destruction of the wicked must come at last, and God's presence and power in and for His Church will be known abroad (1Sa 17:46; Ps 46:10, 11).
And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
14, 15. Meanwhile let the rapacious dogs prowl, they cannot hurt the pious; yea, they shall wander famished and sleepless.
Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
15. grudge if, &c.—literally, "they shall stay all night," that is, obtain nothing.
But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
16, 17. Contrast the lot of God's servant, who employs his time in God's praise.
sing aloud … in the morning—when they retire famishing and disappointed, or it may denote delightful diligence in praise, as in Ps 30:5.
Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.