Psalm 60:8
Moab is my wash pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph you because of me.
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(8) Moab is my washpoti.e., probably the footbath, a figure expressing great contempt, which receives illustration from the story told of Amasis (Herod. ii. 172) and the golden footpan, which he had broken to pieces and made into an image of one of the gods—from base use made divine—as allegorical of his own transformation from a private person to a king. Others explain, from analogy of Arabic proverbs, that the conqueror would as it were wash his face white, i.e., acquire renown in Moab.

Possibly the comparison of Moab to a bath was suggested by its proximity to the Dead Sea, which might be said to be at the foot of Israel.

Over Edom . . .—The most natural explanation of this figure is that Edom is disgraced to the character of the slave to whom the conqueror tosses his sandals (na’al is collective), that they may be cleaned. (Comp. Matthew 3:11). The symbolic action of Ruth 4:7 had a different meaning, the transfer of a right of ownership, and so cannot be employed in illustration.

Of the “shoe,” as a figure of what is vilest and most common, Dr. J. G. Wetzstein quotes many Arabic proverbs. A covering for the feet would naturally draw to it such associations. (Comp. the use of footstool repeatedly in the Psalms, and Shakespeare’s use of foot,

“What my foot my tutor!”—Tempest.)

But the custom which Israel brought from Egypt (Exodus 3:3), of dropping the sandals outside the door of a temple, and even of an ordinary house, must have served still more to fasten on that article of dress, ideas of vileness and profanation.

Philistia, triumph thou because of me . . .—This cannot be the meaning intended by the clause, since it is quite out of keeping with the context, and in Psalms 108 we have the very opposite, “over Philistia will I triumph.” We must therefore change this reading so as to get, over Philistia is my triumph, or render the text as it stands, from analogy with Isaiah 15:4 : Upon (i.e., because of) me, Philistia, raise a mournful wail.

The LXX. and Vulg. indicate this meaning while translating the proper name, “the foreigners have been subdued to me.”

Psalm 60:8. Moab is my wash-pot — The wash-pot being a mean article of household stuff, for the use of the feet, (as the Syriac interprets it,) the lowest part of the body, it is a fit title for the Moabites, whom David intended to bring into the lowest degree of servitude, and to render contemptible, 2 Samuel 8:2. Over Edom — An old, proud, insolent, and cruel enemy of Israel; will I cast my shoe — I will use them like slaves. I will, as it were, trample upon them; a proverbial expression. Philistia, triumph thou because of me — Or, over me, as in former years thou didst use to triumph and insult over the poor Israelites. It is an ironical expression, signifying that her triumphs were to come to an end. Bishop Patrick gives a different interpretation to this clause, thus: “The Philistines likewise, whom I have begun to smite, shall add to my triumphs, and be forced to meet me as their conquering Lord.”60:6-12 If Christ be ours, all things, one way or another, shall be for our eternal good. The man who is a new creature in Christ, may rejoice in all the precious promises God has spoken in his holiness. His present privileges, and the sanctifying influences of the Spirit, are sure earnests of heavenly glory. David rejoices in conquering the neighbouring nations, which had been enemies to Israel. The Israel of God are through Christ more than conquerors. Though sometimes they think that the Lord has cast them off, yet he will bring them into the strong city at last. Faith in the promise will assure us that it is our Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom: But we are not yet made complete conquerors, and no true believer will abuse these truths to indulge sloth, or vain confidence. Hope in God is the best principle of true courage, for what need those fear who have God on their side? All our victories are from him, and while those who willingly submit to our anointed King shall share his glories, all his foes shall be put under his feet.Moab is my washpot - Moab was a region of country on the east of the Dead Sea, extending as far north as the river Arnon. See the notes at Isaiah 15:1-9. The words rendered wash-pot mean properly a pot or basin for washing, a wash-basin; and the expression is used here as one of contempt, as if he would use it as the meanest vessel is used. It implies that Moab was already subdued, and that the author of the psalm could make any use of it he pleased. It also implies that Moab was not regarded as adding much to his strength, or to the value of his dominions; but that, compared with other portions of his kingdom, it was of as little value as a wash-basin compared with the more valuable vessels in a house.

Over Edom will I cast out my shoe - Edom or Idumea was the country which still remained unsubdued. This David was anxious to possess, though the conquest had been delayed and prevented by the adverse circumstances to which allusion has already been made in the notes at the psalm. On the situation of Idumea, see the notes at Isaiah 34. It was a region whose possession was necessary to complete the acquisition of territory that properly pertained to the promised land; and David was now intent on acquiring it. He here expresses the utmost confidence that he would succeed in this, notwithstanding the adverse events which had occurred. It is supposed that there is allusion in the expression "I will cast out my shoe," to the custom, when transferring a possession, of throwing down a shoe on the ground as a symbol of occupancy. Compare Ruth 4:7. In the middle ages this was expressed by throwing down a glove; in the time of Columbus, by solemnly taking possession and setting up a cross; in other times, by erecting a standard, or by building a fort. Compare Rosenmuller, Das alte und neue Morgenland, No. 483. The idea is, that he would take possession of it, or would make it his own.

Philistia, triumph thou because of me - On the situation of Philistia, see the notes at Isaiah 11:14. In the margin this is, "triumph thou over me, by an irony." It may be regarded as irony, or as a taunt, meaning that Philistia was no longer now in a situation to triumph over him; or it may be understood as referring to the exultation and shouting which would ensue on the reception of its sovereign. The former seems to be the most probable interpretation, as the language is undoubtedly intended to denote absolute subjection, and not the voluntary reception of a king. The language in the entire passage is that of triumph over foes.

8. Moab—is a my washpot—the most ordinary vessel.

over—or, "at"

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").

Moab is my wash-pot, in which I shall wash my feet. I shall bring them into the lowest degree of servitude, and make them contemptible and miserable. See 2 Samuel 8:2.

Over Edom, an old, and proud, and insolent, and cruel enemy of Israel,

will I cast out my shoe, i.e. I will use them like slaves; either holding forth my shoes, that they may pluck them off; or throwing my shoes at them, either in anger or contempt, as the manner of many masters was and is in such cases. Or, I will take possession of them; which was done by treading upon their land. Or, I will tread upon their necks; as they did in like case, Joshua 10:24. But these notions suit not with this phrase of casting or throwing the shoe.

Philistia, triumph thou because of me; or, over me, as thou didst in former years use to triumph and insult over the poor Israelites. It is an ironical expression, signifying that her triumphs were come to an end. Moab is my washpot,.... To wash hands and feet in: and so the Syriac version, "and Moab the washing of my feet"; a vessel for low and mean service, and so denotes the servile subjection of the Moabites to David; see 2 Samuel 8:2; and as the words may be rendered, "the pot of my washing" (r). Great numbers of the Moabites might be at this time servants to the Israelites, and to David and his court particularly; and might be employed, as the Gibeonites were, to be drawers of water, to fill their pots, in which they washed their hands and feet, and their bathing vessels, in which they bathed themselves: Aben Ezra explains it,

"I wilt wash their land as a pot;''

and so may not only signify the very great subjection of the Gentiles, even the chief among them, to Christ and his church, Isaiah 49:23; but as Moab was begotten and born in uncleanness, and his posterity an unclean generation, it may design the washing, cleansing, sanctifying, and justifying of the Gentiles in the name of Christ, and by his Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:11;

over Edom will I cast out my shoe; as a token of possessing their land, Ruth 4:7; so some; or of subduing them; putting the feet on which the shoe is upon the necks of them, Joshua 10:24. So Kimchi interprets it,

"the treading of my foot;''

to which the Targum agrees, paraphrasing it thus;

"upon the joint of the neck of the mighty men of Edom I have cast my shoe.''

It may allude to a custom (s) in confirming a bargain, or taking possession, to pluck off the shoe in token of it, may be rendered "my glove"; as it is by the Targum on Ruth 4:7; for, as the shoe encloses and binds the foot, so the glove the hand: and the allusion may be thought to be to a custom used by kings, when they sat down before any strong city to besiege it, to throw in a glove into the city; signifying they would never depart from the city until they had took it. Hence the custom, which still continues, of sending a glove to a person challenged to fight. And indeed the custom of casting a shoe was used by the emperor of the Abyssines, as a sign of dominion (t). Take the phrase in every light, it signifies victory and power; that he should be in Edom as at home, and there pluck off his shoe, and cast it upon him; either to carry it after him, as some think, which was the work of a servant, to which the Baptist alludes, Matthew 3:11; or rather to clean it for him; for as Moab was his washpot, to wash his hands and feet, in Edom was his shoe cleaner, to wipe off and remove the dirt and dust that was upon them (u); all which denotes great subjection: and this was fulfilled in David, 2 Samuel 8:14; and may refer to the spread of the Gospel in the Gentile world, and the power accompanying that to the subduing of many sinners in it, carried thither by those whose feet were shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace;

Philistia, triumph thou because of me: some take this to be an ironic expression, like that in Ecclesiastes 11:9; so R. Moses in Aben Ezra, and also Kimchi. Triumph now as thou usedst to do, or if thou canst: but rather they are seriously spoken, seeing they had reason to rejoice and be glad, because they had changed hands and masters for the better, being subject to David, 2 Samuel 8:1, with this compare Psalm 108:9, and may very well be applied to the Gentiles, subdued and conquered by Christ, who triumph in him; and because delivered out of the hands of sin, Satan, and the world, through his victorious arms.

(r) "olla lotionis meae", Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis, Gejerus; so Tigurine version, Musculus, Vatablus. (s) Elias in Tishbi, fol. 267. (t) R. Immanuel apud Castell. Lex. Polygott. col. 2342. (u) Vid. Bynaeum de Calceis Heb. l. 2. c. 8. Gusset. Ebr. Comment p. 520.

Moab is my {k} washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: {l} Philistia, triumph thou because of me.

(k) In most vile subjection.

(l) For you will lie and pretend you were glad.

8. The neighbouring nations are reduced to servitude. In strong contrast to the honour assigned to Ephraim and Judah is the disgrace of Moab and Edom. Moab, notorious for its pride (Isaiah 16:6), is compared to the vessel which is brought to the victorious warrior to wash his feet when he returns from the battle. The old enemy of God and His people is degraded to do menial service: in other words, it becomes a subject and a vassal.

In close connexion with this metaphor the next line may be rendered, Unto Edom will I cast my shoe: Edom is like the slave to whom the warrior flings his sandals to carry or to clean. Haughty and defiant Edom (Obadiah 1:3 f.) must perform the duty of the lowest slave (cp. Matthew 3:11). The R.V. renders, Upon Edom will I cast my shoe. This would mean, ‘I will take possession of Edom,’ in allusion to an Oriental custom of taking possession of land by casting the shoe upon it; but the first explanation agrees best with the context.

Philistia, triumph thou because of me] R.V., shout thou because of me. Mighty Philistia must raise the shout of homage to its conqueror. Cp. Psalm 2:11; Psalm 18:44; Psalm 47:1. This rendering is preferable to that of A.V. marg. (with its explanatory note) ‘triumph thou over me (by an irony)’: and to the rendering, ‘cry aloud in terror.’ But perhaps we should alter the vocalisation and read: Over Philistia shall be my shout of triumph, or adopt the reading of Psalm 108:9, Over Philistia will I shut in triumph.Verse 8. - Moab is my washpot. A term of extreme contempt (see Herod., 2:172). The subjugation of Moab was prophesied by Balaam (Numbers 24:17), and effected by David (2 Samuel 8:2). Over Edom will I cast out my shoe. The reference to Ruth 4:7, 8, which is commonly made, is very doubtful. Probably no more is intended than that Edom will be a slave of so low a rank as only to clean the shoes of its master. The subjugation of Edom, like that of Moab, had been prophesied by Balaam (Numbers 24:18). Philistia, triumph thou because of me. The context will not allow of this rendering, since Philistia, like the other enemies of Israel, must be triumphed over, and not triumph. Translate, over Philistia is my triumphing (comp. Psalm 108:9). This first strophe contains complaint and prayer; and establishes the prayer by the greatness of the need and Israel's relationship to God. The sense in which פּרצתּנוּ is intended becomes clear from 2 Samuel 5:20, where David uses this word of the defeat of the Philistines, and explains it figuratively. The word signifies to break through what has hitherto been a compact mass, to burst, blast, scatter, disperse. The prayer is first of all timidly uttered in תּשׁובב לנוּ in the form of a wish; then in רפה (Psalm 60:4) and הושׁיעה (Psalm 60:7) it waxes more and more eloquent. שׁובב ל here signifies to grant restoration (like הניח ל, to give rest; Psalm 23:3; Isaiah 58:12). The word also signifies to make a turn, to turn one's self away, in which sense, however, it cannot be construed with ל. On פּצמתּהּ Dunash has already compared Arab. fṣm, rumpere, scindere, and Mose ha-Darshan the Targumic פּצּם equals פרע, Jeremiah 22:14. The deep wounds which the Edomites had inflicted upon the country, are after all a wrathful visitation of God Himself - reeling or intoxicating wine, or as יין תּרעלה (not יין), properly conceived of, is: wine which is sheer intoxication (an apposition instead of the genitive attraction, vid., on Isaiah 30:20), is reached out by Him to His people. The figure of the intoxicating cup has passed over from the Psalms of David and of Asaph to the prophets (e.g., Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 51:21). A kindred thought is expressed in the proverb: Quem Deus perdere vult, eum dementat. All the preterites as far as השׁקיתנוּ (Psalm 60:5) glance back plaintively at that which has been suffered.

But Psalm 60:6 cannot be thus intended; for to explain with Ewald and Hitzig, following the lxx, "Thou hast set up a banner for those who reverence Thee, not for victory, but for flight," is inadmissible, notwithstanding the fact that מפּני קשׁת nuwc is a customary phrase and the inscribed ללמּד is favourable to the mention of the bow. For (1) The words, beginning with נתתּ, do not sound like an utterance of something worthy of complaint - in this case it ought at least to have been expressed by עך להתנוסס (only for flight, not for victory); (2) it is more than improbable that the bow, instead of being called קשׁת (feminine of the Arabic masculine kaus), is here, according to an incorrect Aramaic form of writing, called קשׁט, whereas this word in its primary form קשׁט (Proverbs 22:21) corresponds to the Aramaic קוּשׁטא not in the signification "a bow," but (as it is also intended in the Targum of our passage) in the signification "truth" (Arabic ḳisṭ of strict unswerving justice, root קש, to be hard, strong, firm; just as, vice versa, the word ṣidḳ, coming from a synonymous root, is equivalent to "truth"). We therefore take the perfect predication, like Psalm 60:4, as the foundation of the prayer which follows: Thou hast given those who fear Thee a banner to muster themselves (sich aufpanieren), i.e., to raise themselves as around a standard or like a standard, on account of the truth - help then, in order that Thy beloved ones may be delivered, with Thy right hand, and answer me. This rendering, in accordance with which Psalm 60:6 expresses the good cause of Israel in opposition to its enemies, is also favoured by the heightened effect of the music, which comes in here, as Sela prescribes. The reflexive התנוסס here therefore signifies not, as Hithpal. of נוּס, "to betake one's self to flight," but "to raise one's self" - a signification on behalf of which we cannot appeal to Zechariah 9:16, where מתנוססות is apparently equivalent to מתנוצצות "sparkling," but which here results from the juxtaposition with נס (cf. נסה, Psalm 4:7), inasmuch as נס itself, like Arab. naṣṣun, is so called from נסס, Arab. naṣṣ, to set up, raise, whether it be that the Hithpo. falls back upon the Kal of the verb or that it is intended as a denominative (to raise one's self as a banner, sich aufpanieren).

(Note: This expression wel illustrates the power of the German language in coining words, so that the language critically dealt with may be exactly reproduced to the German mind. The meaning will at once be clear when we inform our readers that Panier is a banner of standard; the reflexive denominative, therefore, in imitation of the Hebrew, sich aufpanieren signifies to "up-standard one's self," to raise one's self up after the manner of a standard, which being "done into English" may mean to rally (as around a standard). We have done our best above faithfully to convey the meaning of the German text, and we leave our readers to infer from this illustration the difficulties with which translators have not unfrequently to contend. - Tr.])

It is undeniable that not merely in later (e.g., Nehemiah 5:15), but also even in older Hebrew, מפּני denotes the reason and motive (e.g., Deuteronomy 28:20). Moreover Psalm 44 is like a commentary on this מפּני קשׁט, in which the consciousness of the people of the covenant revelation briefly and comprehensively expresses itself concerning their vocation in the world. Israel looks upon its battle against the heathen, as now against Edom, as a rising for the truth in accordance with its mission. By reason of the fact and of the consciousness which are expressed in Psalm 60:6, arises the prayer in Psalm 60:7, that Jahve would interpose to help and to rescue His own people from the power of the enemy. ימינך is instrumental (vid., on Psalm 3:5). It is to be read ענני according to the Ker, as in Psalm 108:7, instead of עננוּ; so that here the king of Israel is speaking, who, as he prays, stands in the place of his people.

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