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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Psalms 59

Verses 1-17

Psalms 59:0

Psalms 59:1 (To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.) Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

Psalms 59:1 “Michtam of David” Word Study on “Michtam” - Strong says the Hebrew word “michtam” ( מִכְתָּם ) (H4387) literally means, “an engraving,” and as a technical term, “a poem.” He says this word comes from a Hebrew root word ( כָּתַם ) (H3799), which means “to carve, or engrave.” Therefore, some translations prefer to use a poetic term ( NLT, Rotherham), while others prefer a more literal translation ( DRC, LXX, VgClem).

NLT, “A psalm of David”

Rotherham, “A Precious Psalm of David”

DRC, “The inscription of a title to David himself”

LXX, “ Στηλογραφία τῷ Δαυιδ

VgClem, “Tituli inscriptio, ipsi David”

Comments - A similar Hebrew word ( כֶּתֶם ) (3800) means, “something carved out, i.e. ore; hence, gold.” Peter Craigie tells us that some scholars translate the title “A Golden Psalm” from “early rabbinical interpretations.” [82] Therefore, we get a variety of translations that carry the idea of treasure or gold.

[82] Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol. 19, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc., 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 154.

LITV, YLT, “A Secret Treasure of David”

Luther, “Ein gülden Kleinod David”

There are six so called “Michtam Psalms” (16, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60), which open with the phrase “Michtam of David.” A similar title “the writing of Hezekiah” is used as the title for the psalm of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:9-20, which uses a similar Hebrew word ( מִכְתָּב ) (H4385), means “a writing, the characters of something written, or a document such as a letter, a copy, an edict, or a poem.”

Psalms 59:1 “when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him” Comments - The story of Psalms 59:0 is found in 1 Samuel 19:11-18.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 59". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/psalms-59.html. 2013.