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Psalm 60[a]

Lament After Defeat in Battle

For the leader; according to “The Lily of.…” A miktam of David (for teaching), when he fought against Aram-Naharaim and Aram-Zobah; and Joab, coming back, killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.(A)


O God, you rejected us, broke our defenses;
    you were angry but now revive us.
You rocked the earth, split it open;(B)
    repair the cracks for it totters.
You made your people go through hardship,
    made us stagger from the wine you gave us.(C)
Raise up a banner for those who revere you,
    a refuge for them out of bow shot.
[b]Help with your right hand and answer us
    that your loved ones may escape.


[c]In the sanctuary God promised:
    “I will exult, will apportion Shechem;
    the valley of Succoth I will measure out.
Gilead is mine, mine is Manasseh;
    Ephraim is the helmet for my head,
    Judah, my own scepter.[d]
10 [e]Moab is my washbowl;
    upon Edom I cast my sandal.(D)
I will triumph over Philistia.”


11 Who will bring me to the fortified city?[f]
    Who will lead me into Edom?
12 Was it not you who rejected us, God?
    Do you no longer march with our armies?(E)
13 Give us aid against the foe;
    worthless is human help.
14 We will triumph with the help of God,
    who will trample down our foes.


  1. Psalm 60 The community complains that God has let the enemy win the battle (Ps 60:3–5) and asks for an assurance of victory (Ps 60:6–7). In the oracle God affirms ownership of the land; the invasion of other nations is not permanent and will be reversed ultimately (Ps 60:8–10). With renewed confidence, the community resolves to fight again (Ps 60:11). The opening lament is picked up again (Ps 60:12), but this time with new awareness of God’s power and human limitation.
  2. 60:7–12 These verses occur again as the second half of Ps 108.
  3. 60:8 I will…apportion…measure out: God lays claim to these places. The valley of Succoth: probably the lower stretch of the Jabbok valley.
  4. 60:9 Judah, my own scepter: an allusion to the Testament of Jacob, Gn 49:10.
  5. 60:10 Moab is my washbowl: Moab borders the Dead Sea, hence a metaphor for the country. Upon Edom I cast my sandal: an ancient legal gesture of taking possession of land.
  6. 60:11 The fortified city: perhaps Bozrah, the fortified capital of Edom, cf. Is 34:6; 63:1; Am 1:12.

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