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Psalm 59

For the worship leader. A prayer[a] of David to the tune “Do Not Destroy,”[b] when Saul sent assassins to David’s house.

Psalm 59 was inspired by the time there was a plan to kill David that was thwarted by David’s wife, Michal, who was Saul’s own daughter. She warned her husband, lowered him out of a window, and then deceived her father’s officers into believing David was bedridden with illness (1 Samuel 19:11–17).

Rescue me! Save me, O my God, from my enemies;
    set me in a safe place, far above any who come to attack me.
Rescue me from those malicious people,
    and save me from blood-thirsty murderers.

They have staked out my life; they are going to ambush me!
    Those brutes are aligned, ready to attack me
For no good cause, my Eternal One.
    I have not crossed them.
I’ve done nothing wrong, yet they rush ahead to start the assault.
    I beg You to help me; come and see for Yourself!
I plead with You, Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, True God of Israel,
    to get up and punish these people;
    do not let any betrayer off the hook; show no mercy to malicious evildoers!


Treacherous souls return to the city in the evening;
    they prowl about,
    howling like dogs.
Watch them! Snarling, dribbling their malicious insults.
    Their words cut loose from their lips like swords,
    and in their backstabbing they say, “Who’s listening anyway?”

But You, O Eternal One, laugh at them;
    You make fun of all the nations.
I will watch for You, for You keep me strong.
    God, You are my security!
10 My God is one step ahead of me with His mercy;
    He will show me the victory I desire over my enemies.
11 Don’t wipe them out, or my people may one day forget.
    Instead, use Your power to scatter and bring them to ruin.
    O Lord, You are our protection.
12 Sin pours from their mouths, cruel words from their lips.
    May they be caught in their pride.
For their foul curses and lies,
13     devour them with Your wrath,
    eat them up, leave no one alive.
Then people will surely know that the one True God rules over Jacob,
    even to the far ends of the earth.


14 Treacherous souls return to the city in the evening;
    they prowl about,
    howling like dogs.
15 They search through the city, scavenging for meat
    as they growl and grumble in dissatisfaction.

16 But me? I will sing of Your strength.
    I will awake with the sun to sing of Your loving mercy
Because in my most troubled hour,
    You defended me. You were my shelter.
17 I will lift my voice to sing Your praise, O my Strength—
    for You came to my defense.
    O God, You have shown me Your loving mercy.


  1. 59:title Hebrew, miktam, meaning is uncertain.
  2. 59:title Hebrew, al-tashheth, meaning is uncertain.
  3. 59:5 Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”

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