Psalm 59:8
But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
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(8) Laugh.—Comp. Psalm 2:4, Note. Probably the same contrast is intended in these clauses as in Psalm 59:5.

Psalm 59:8-9. But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them — Shalt disappoint their high confidence and hopeful designs, and then deride them, and make them ridiculous and contemptible to others. Because of his strength — That is, Saul’s strength, because he is too strong for me: or, as to his strength; will I wait on thee — Hebrew, אליךְ אשׁמרה, eeleicha eshmorah, I will observe, or look, to thee. “Saul’s soldiers give me no concern; mine eyes are toward thee;” for God is my defence — Hebrew, משׁגבי, mishgabbi, my high place, my refuge.

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.But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them - That is, God will hear them, and will have all their efforts in derision, or will treat them with contempt. See Psalm 2:4, note; Psalm 37:13, note.

Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision - All those referred to in this psalm - the enemies of David - who have the character, and who manifest the spirit of the pagan; that is, of those who are not actuated by true religion. See the notes at Psalm 59:5. This verse expresses the strong conviction of David, that all the efforts of his enemies would be vain; that God "would be" his Protector; and that he would save him from their evil designs.

8. (Compare Ps 2:4; 37:13).8 But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.

Psalm 59:8

"But thou, O Lord, shall laugh at them." He speaks to God as to one who is close at hand. He points to the liers in wait and speaks to God about them. They are laughing at me, and longing for my destruction, but thou hast the laugh of them seeing thou hast determined to send them away without their victim, and made fools of by Michal. The greatest, cleverest, and most malicious of the enemies of the church are only objects of ridicule to the Lord; their attempts are utterly futile, they need give no concern to our faith. "Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision." As if David had said - What are these fellows who lie in ambush? And what is the king their master, if God be on my side? If not only these but all the heathen nations were besetting the house, yet Jehovah would readily enough disappoint them and deliver me. In the end of all things it will be seen how utterly contemptible and despicable are all the enemies of the cause and kingdom of God. He is a brave man who sees this to-day when the enemy is in great power, and while the church is often as one shut up and besieged in his house.

Psalm 59:9

"Because of his strength will I wait upon thee." Is my persecutor strong? Then, my God, for this very reason I will turn myself to thee, and leave my matters in thy hand. It is a wise thing to find in the greatness of our difficulties a reason for casting ourselves upon the Lord.

"And when it seems no chance nor change

From grief can set me free,

Hope finds its strength in helplessness,

And, patient, waits on thee."

"For God is my defence," my high place, my fortress, the place of my resort in the time of my danger. If the foe be too strong for me to cope with him, I will retreat into my castle, where he cannot reach me.

Psalm 59:10

"The God of my mercy shall prevent me." God who is the giver and fountain of all the undeserved goodness I have received, will go before me and lead my way as I march onward. He will meet me in my time of need. Not alone shall I have to confront my foes, but he whose goodness I have long tried and proved will gently clear my way, and be my faithful protector. How frequently have we met with preventing mercy - the supply prepared before the need occurred, the refuge built before the danger arose. Far ahead into the future the foreseeing grace of heaven has projected itself, and forestalled every difficulty. "God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies." Observe that the words, "my desire," are not in the original. From the Hebrew we are taught that David expected to see his enemies without fear. God will enable his servant to gaze steadily upon the foe without trepidation; he shall be calm, and self possessed, in the hour of peril; and ere long he shall look down on the same foes discomfited, overthrown, destroyed. When Jehovah leads the way victory follows at his heels. See God, and you need not fear to see your enemies. Thus the hunted David, besieged in his own house by traitors, looks only to God, and exults over his enemies.

Disappoint their high confidences and hopeful designs, and then deride them, and make them ridiculous and contemptible to others.

But thou, O Lord, shall laugh at them,.... Disappoint their counsels, hinder them from performing their enterprise; send them back with shame and confusion, and expose them to the laughter and derision of others; as Saul's messengers were, when instead of David they found an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for its bolster, 1 Samuel 19:16; the same is said as here with respect to the enemies of Christ, Psalm 2:4;

thou shall have all the Heathen in derision: either David's enemies, who, though Israelites, yet acted like Heathens to him, as in Psalm 59:5; or the Gentiles that were gathered together against Christ, Psalm 2:1; or the antichristian states and powers, who will be triumphed over at the time of their ruin, Revelation 18:20; and even all the wicked at the last day, Proverbs 1:26.

But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
8. The verbs are the same as in Psalm 2:4 : cp. Psalm 37:13; Isaiah 37:22. The bold phrase “expresses generally the truth that the machinations of God’s enemies are not less absurd than wicked.” Speaker’s Comm.

For the meaning of ‘heathen’ or ‘nations,’ see note on Psalm 59:5.

Verse 8. - But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them (comp. Psalm 2:4). Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision (see the comment on ver. 5, and particularly the explanation there given of "all the heathen"). Psalm 59:8First part. As far as Psalm 59:4 we recognise strains familiar in the Psalms. The enemies are called מתקוממי as in Job 27:7, cf. Psalm 17:7; עזּים as shameless, עזּי פנים or עזּי נפשׁ; as in Isaiah 56:11, on account of their bold shameless greediness, dogs. On לא in a subordinate clause, vid., Ewald, ֗286, g: without there being transgression or sin on my side, which might have caused it. The suffix (transgression on my part) is similar to Psalm 18:24. בּליּ־עון (cf. Job 34:6) is a similar adverbial collateral definition: without there existing any sin, which ought to be punished. The energetic future jeruzûn depicts those who servilely give effect to the king's evil caprice; they run hither and thither as if attacking and put themselves in position. הכונן equals התכונן, like the Hithpa. הכּסּה, Proverbs 26:26, the Hothpa. הכּבּס, Leviticus 13:55., and the Hithpa. נכּפּר, Deuteronomy 21:8. Surrounded by such a band of assassins, David is like one besieged, who sighs for succour; and he calls upon Jahve, who seems to be sleeping and inclined to abandon him, with that bold עוּרה לקראתי וּראה, to awake to meet him, i.e., to join him with His help like a relieving army, and to convince Himself from personal observation of the extreme danger in which His charge finds himself. The continuation was obliged to be expressed by ואתּה, because a special appeal to God interposes between עוּרה and הקיצה. In the emphatic "Thou," however, after it has been once expressed, is implied the conditional character of the deliverance by the absolute One. And each of the divine names made use of in this lengthy invocation, which corresponds to the deep anxiety of the poet, is a challenge, so to speak, to the ability and willingness, the power and promise of God. The juxtaposition Jahve Elohim Tsebaoth (occurring, besides this instance, in Psalm 80:5, 20; Psalm 84:9), which is peculiar to the Elohimic Psalms, is to be explained by the consideration that Elohim had become a proper name like Jahve, and that the designation Jahve Tsebaoth, by the insertion of Elohim in accordance with the style of the Elohimic Psalms, is made still more imposing and solemn; and now צבאות is a genitive dependent not merely upon יהוה but upon יהוה אלהים (similar to Psalm 56:1, Isaiah 28:1; Symbolae, p. 15). אלהי ישׂראל is in apposition to this threefold name of God. The poet evidently reckons himself as belonging to an Israel from which he excludes his enemies, viz., the true Israel which is in reality the people of God. Among the heathen, against whom the poet invokes God's interposition, are included the heathen-minded in Israel; this at least is the view which brings about this extension of the prayer. Also in connection with the words און כּל־בּגדי the poet, in fact, has chiefly before his mind those who are immediately round about him and thus disposed. It is those who act treacherously from extreme moral nothingness and worthlessness (און genit. epexeg.). The music, as Sela directs, here becomes more boisterous; it gives intensity to the strong cry for the judgment of God; and the first unfolding of thought of this Michtam is here brought to a close.

The second begins by again taking up the description of the movements of the enemy which was begun in Psalm 59:4, Psalm 59:5. We see at a glance how here Psalm 59:7 coincides with Psalm 59:5, and Psalm 59:8 with Psalm 59:4, and Psalm 59:9 with Psalm 59:6. Hence the imprecatory rendering of the futures of Psalm 59:7 is not for a moment to be entertained. By day the emissaries of Saul do not venture to carry out their plot, and David naturally does not run into their hands. They therefore come back in the evening, and that evening after evening (cf. Job 24:14); they snarl or howl like dogs (המה, used elsewhere of the growling of the bear and the cooing of the dove; it is distinct from נבח, Arab. nbb, nbḥ, to bark, and כלב, to yelp), because they do not want to betray themselves by loud barking, and still cannot altogether conceal their vexation and rage; and they go their rounds in the city (like סובב בּעיר, Sol 3:2, cf. supra Psalm 55:11), in order to cut off their victim from flight, and perhaps, what would be very welcome to them, to run against him in the darkness. The further description in Psalm 59:8 follows them on this patrol. What they belch out or foam out is to be inferred from the fact that swords are in their lips, which they, as it were, draw so soon as they merely move their lips. Their mouth overflows with murderous thoughts and with slanders concerning David, by which they justify their murderous greed to themselves as if there were no one, viz., no God, who heard it. But Jahve, from whom nothing, as with men, can be kept secret, laughs at them, just as He makes a mockery of all heathen, to whom this murderous band, which fears the light and in unworthy of the Israelitish name, is compared. This is the primary passage to Psalm 37:13; Psalm 2:4; for Psalm 59 is perhaps the oldest of the Davidic Psalms that have come down to us, and therefore also the earliest monument of Israelitish poetry in which the divine name Jahve Tsebaoth occurs; and the chronicler, knowing that it was the time of Samuel and David that brought it into use, uses this name only in the life of David. Just as this strophe opened in Psalm 59:7 with a distich that recurs in Psalm 59:15, so it also closes now in Psalm 59:10 with a distich that recurs below in v. 18, and that is to be amended according to the text of that passage. For all attempts to understand עזּי as being genuine prove its inaccuracy. With the old versions it has to be read עזּי; but as for the rest, אשׁמרה must be retained in accordance with the usual variation found in such refrains: my strength, Thee will I regard (1 Samuel 26:15; observe, 2 Samuel 11:16), or upon Thee will I wait (cf. ל, Psalm 130:6); i.e., in the consciousness of my own feebleness, tranquil and resigned, I will look for Thine interposition on my behalf.

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