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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 59

Verses 1-17


The godly remnant of the Jews appeal to God to judge their external enemies, who, for their own selfish ends, have opposed the nation of Israel. Then will it be known that God rules in Jacob unto the ends of the earth (v. 13).

(vv. 1-5) The psalm opens with the suffering remnant looking to God for deliverance from, and defence against, iniquitous, violent, and mighty enemies that rise up against Israel, even though the nation has committed no wrong against the heathen. They look for the intervention of God in judgment, without mercy, upon those who have shewn no mercy to His people.

(vv. 6-8) Their enemies, like a dog roaming and howling at night, surround the city, breathing out malice against the people of God, without conscience; “For who, say they, doth hear?” Nevertheless, speaking after the manner of men, the Lord will hold such in derision.

(vv. 9-10) Conscious of the enemy's strength, and his own weakness, the righteous man waits upon God as his defence, in the firm conviction that God's loving-kindness will meet him in deliverance from all his enemies (JND).

(vv. 11-13) The psalmist would not have the enemy of Israel slain in a moment by the mighty power of God: he would rather see those who had prolonged the suffering of God's people come themselves to a lingering end, as an example to God's people of retributive justice.

The words of their lips betray the pride of their hearts. Their profanity and deceit call aloud for a judgment that will make manifest that God rules in Jacob unto the ends of the earth.

(vv. 14-17) Anticipating God's judgment, the godly view their enemies as balked of their prey, and howling like a hungry dog wandering up and down at night. But, when the long night of suffering is past, the godly man will sing of God's power and mercy in the morning. For God has been his defence against the enemy and his refuge from the storm in the day of trouble.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 59". "Smith's Writings". 1832.