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.
Darby Bible Translation
Swallow them up, Lord; divide their tongue: 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.
Psalm 55:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Destroy, O Lord - The word rendered "destroy," properly means to "swallow up;" to "devour" with the idea of greediness. Isaiah 28:4; Exodus 7:12; Jonah 1:17; Jeremiah 51:34. Then it is used in the sense of "destroy," Job 20:18; Proverbs 1:12. The reference here is to the persons who had conspired against David. It is a prayer that they, and their counsels, might be destroyed: such a prayer as people always offer who pray for victory in battle. It is a prayer that the may be successful in what they regard as a righteous cause; but this implies a prayer that their enemies may be defeated and overcome. That is, they pray for success in what they have undertaken; and if it is right for them to attempt to do the thing, it is not wrong to pray that they may be succesful.
And divide their tongues - There is evident allusion here to the confusion of tongues at Babel Genesis 11:1-9; and as the language of those who undertook to build that tower was confounded so that they could not understand each other, so the psalmist prays that the counsels of those engaged against him might be confounded, or that they might be divided and distracted in their plans, so that they could not act in harmony. It is very probable that there is an allusion here to the prayer which David offered when he learned that Ahithophel was among the conspirators 2 Samuel 15:31; "And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness." This would tend to divide and distract; the purposes of Absalom, and secure his defeat.
For I have seen violence and strife in the city - In Jerusalem. Perhaps he had learned that among the conspirators there was not entire harmony, but that there were elements of "strife" and discord which led him to hope that their counsels would be confounded. There was little homogeneoushess of aim and purpose among the followers of Absalom; and perhaps David knew enough of Ahithophel to see that his views, though he might be enlisted in the cause of the rebellion, would not be likely to harmonize with the views of the masses of those who were engaged in the revolt.
Our study of the closing scenes of the life of our Lord begins at the point where He fell into the hands of the representatives of justice; and this took place at the gate of Gethsemane and at the midnight hour. On the eastern side of Jerusalem, the ground slopes downwards to the bed of the Brook Kedron; and on the further side of the stream rises the Mount of Olives. The side of the hill was laid out in gardens or orchards belonging to the inhabitants of the city; and Gethsemane was one of these. …
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.
"As a well keeps its waters fresh, So she keeps fresh her wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard in her; Sickness and wounds are ever before Me.
Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises.
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