1sn Psalm 59. The psalmist calls down judgment on his foreign enemies, whom he compares to ravenous wild dogs.

2tn Heb “do not destroy.” Perhaps this refers to a particular style of music, a tune title, or a musical instrument. These words also appear in the superscription to Pss 57-58, 75.

3tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew word מִכְתָּם (miktam), which also appears in the heading to Pss 16, 56-58, 60 is uncertain. HALOT 582-83 s.v. defines it as “inscription.”

4tn Heb “when Saul sent and they watched his house in order to kill him.”

sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm on the occasion when Saul sent assassins to surround David’s house and kill him in the morning (see 1 Sam 19:11). However, the psalm itself mentions foreign enemies (vv. 5, 8). Perhaps these references reflect a later adaptation of an original Davidic psalm.

5tn Or “make me secure”; Heb “set me on high.”

6tn Heb “from those who raise themselves up [against] me.”

7tn Heb “from the workers of wickedness.”

8tn Heb “from men of bloodshed.”

9tn Heb “my life.”

10tn The Hebrew verb is from the root גּוּר (gur), which means “to challenge, attack” in Isa 54:15 and “to stalk” (with hostile intent) in Ps 56:8.

11sn The point is that the psalmist’s enemies have no justifiable reason for attacking him. He has neither rebelled or sinned against the Lord.

12tn Heb “without sin.”

13tn Heb “they run and they are determined.”

14tn Heb “arise to meet me and see.” The Hebrew verb קָרָא (qara’, “to meet; to encounter”) here carries the nuance of “to help.”

15tn HebLord, God, Hosts.” One expects the construct form אֱלֹהֵי (’elohey) before צְבָאוֹת (ts˙vaot, “hosts”). See Ps 89:9, but יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים (y˙hvah elohim) precedes צְבָאוֹת (ts˙vaot) in Pss 80:4, 19; 84:8 as well.

16tn Heb “wake up to punish” (see Pss 35:23; 44:23).

17tn Or “howl”; or “bark.”

18tn Heb “go around.”

19tn Heb “look, they gush forth with their mouth, swords [are] in their lips.”

20tn The words “for they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The following question (“Who hears?”) is spoken by the psalmist’s enemies, who are confident that no one else can hear their threats against the psalmist. They are aggressive because they feel the psalmist is vulnerable and has no one to help him.

21sn Laugh in disgust. See Pss 2:4; 37:13.

22tn Or “scoff at”; or “deride”; or “mock” (see Ps 2:4).

23tc Heb “his strength, for you I will watch.” “His strength” should be emended to “my strength” (see v. 17). Some also emend אֶשְׁמֹרָה (’eshmorah, “I will watch”) to אֱזַמֵּרָה (’ezammerah, “I will sing praises [to you]”) See v. 17.

24tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

25tn Heb “the God of my [Qere (marginal reading); the Kethib (consonantal text) has “his”] loyal love will meet me.”

26tn Heb “will cause me to look upon.”

27tn Heb “those who watch me [with evil intent].” See also Pss 5:8; 27:11; 54:5; 56:2.

28tn Heb “do not kill them, lest my people forget.”

sn My people might forget the lesson. Swift, sudden destruction might be quickly forgotten. The psalmist wants God’s judgment to be prolonged so that it might be a continual reminder of divine justice.

29tn Heb “make them roam around by your strength and bring them down, O our shield, the Lord.”

30tn Heb “the sin of their mouth [is] the word of their lips.”

31tn Or “howl”; or “bark.”

32tn Heb “go around.”

33tn Heb “if they are not full, they stay through the night.”

34tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

35tn Heb “and my shelter in the day of my distress.”

36tn Heb “my strength, to you I will sing praises.”

37tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).

38tn Heb “the God of my loyal love.”