New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Complaint Against Bloodthirsty Enemies
2 Rescue me from my enemies, my God;
lift me out of reach of my foes.
3 Deliver me from evildoers;
from the bloodthirsty save me.
4 They have set an ambush for my life;
the powerful conspire against me.
For no offense or misdeed of mine, Lord,
5 for no fault they hurry to take up arms.
Come near and see my plight!
6 You, Lord God of hosts, are the God of Israel!
Awake! Punish all the nations.
Have no mercy on these worthless traitors.
7 Each evening they return,
growling like dogs, prowling the city.(B)
8 Their mouths pour out insult;
sharp words are on their lips.
They say: “Who is there to hear?”[c]
9 But you, Lord, laugh at them;
you deride all the nations.(C)
10 My strength, for you I watch;
you, God, are my fortress,
11 my loving God.
May God go before me,
and show me my fallen foes.
12 Slay them, God,
lest they deceive my people.
Shake them by your power;
Lord, our shield, bring them down.
13 For the sinful words of their mouths and lips
let them be caught in their pride.
For the lies they have told under oath(D)
14 destroy them in anger,
destroy till they are no more.
Then people will know God rules over Jacob,
yes, even to the ends of the earth.(E)
15 Each evening they return,
growling like dogs, prowling the city.
16 They roam about as scavengers;
if they are not filled, they howl.
17 But I shall sing of your strength,
extol your mercy at dawn,
For you are my fortress,
my refuge in time of trouble.
18 My strength, your praise I will sing;
you, God, are my fortress, my loving God.
- Psalm 59 A lament in two parts (Ps 59:2–9, 11b–17), each ending in a refrain (Ps 59:10, 18). Both parts alternate prayer for vindication (Ps 59:2–3, 4b–5, 11b–14) with vivid depictions of the psalmist’s enemies (Ps 59:4–5a, 7–8, 15–16). The near curse in Ps 59:12–13 is not a crude desire for revenge but a wish that God’s just rule over human affairs be recognized now.
- 59:1 Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the Psalm was to be sung.
- 59:8 Who is there to hear?: a sample of the enemies’ godless reflection. The answer is that God hears their blasphemies.