What to do with this psalm of David?
“Rescue me from my enemies, O my God; Protect me from those rising up against me.” (Ps 59:1)
“Rescue me from those who act wickedly, And save me from violent men. Look! They wait to ambush me; Strong men attack me But not because I have revolted or sinned, O Jehovah.” (v 2-3)
Not THIS time. But that time was to come—after than bit of carrying on with Bathsheba and bumping off her husband to cover it up.
Here’s what makes him trouble in particular this time:
“Awake to turn your attention to all the nations. Do not show mercy to any malicious traitors.” (Vs 5)
Traitors. I don’t like em.
“They return each evening; They growl like dogs and prowl around the city. Look what pours forth from their mouth; Their lips are like swords, For they say: “Who is listening?” (v 6-7)
You know, dog’s don’t get their due in the Bible. ‘Man’s best friend?’ You wouldn’t know it here. What about that fellow who kept a lamb which was like a child to him and the king slaughtered it to feed his guest? A dog—a dog is what comes to be like a child. These days people will keep a dog instead of a child. Speaking of her dog, my need-greater friend said it would never say it hated her, would never say it was doing drugs, and would never tell her it was gay.
“Do not kill them, so that my people may not forget.” (v 11)
Usually the knee-jerk is to finish off traitors.
By your power make them wander about; Cause their downfall, O Jehovah, our shield. (vs 11, cont)
“For the sin of their mouth, the word of their lips, May they be trapped by their pride, Because of the cursing and deception that they speak. Finish them off in your wrath; Finish them off, so that they are no more; Make them know that God is ruling in Jacob and to the ends of the earth.” (v 12-13)
“Let them return in the evening; Let them growl like dogs and prowl around the city.” (v 14)
Again with the dogs! It almost reads as a ‘Bring them on!’ taunt.
Do other translations reflect that tone? A quick check of Biblegateway.com. Some do and some don’t.
The King James does, for example: “And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.”
But others, like the New International Version, just says they come whether you let them or not:
“They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city.”
Usually it’s the translation with the most detail, if verified by others, that you give the nod to.
“Let them wander about for something to eat; Do not let them be satisfied or find a lodging place. But as for me, I will sing about your strength; In the morning I will joyfully tell about your loyal love. For you are my secure refuge And a place for me to flee in my time of distress. O my Strength, to you I will sing praises, For God is my secure refuge, the God who shows loyal love to me.” (v 15-17)
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