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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 60:1



O God, You have rejected us. You have broken us; You have been angry; O, restore us.

Adam Clarke Commentary

O God, thou hast cast us off - Instead of being our general in the battle, thou hast left us to ourselves; and then there was only the arm of flesh against the arm of flesh, numbers and physical power were left to decide the contest. We have been scattered, our ranks have been broken before the enemy, and thou hast caused the whole land to tremble at our bad success; the people are become divided and seditious. "Thou hast made the land to tremble, even the breaches of it, for it shaketh, it is all in commotion," Psalm 60:2.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

O God, thou hast cast us off - The word used here means properly to be foul, rancid, offensive; and then, to treat anything as if it were foul or rancid; to repel, to spurn, to cast away. See the notes at Psalm 43:2. It is strong language, meaning that God had seemed to treat them as if they were loathsome or offensive to him. The allusion, according to the view taken in the introduction to the psalm, is to some defeat or disaster which had occurred after the conquests in the East, or during the absence of the armies of David in the East 2 Samuel 5:20.

Thou hast been displeased - The word used here means “to breathe”; to breathe hard; and then, to be angry. See the notes at Psalm 2:12. God had treated them as if he was displeased or angry. He had suffered them to be defeated.

O turn thyself to us again - Return to our armies, and give us success. This might be rendered, “Thou wilt turn to us;” that is, thou wilt favor us - expressing a confident belief that God would do this, as in Psalm 60:12. It is more in accordance, however, with the usual structure of the Psalms to regard this as a prayer. Many of the psalms begin with a prayer, and end with the expression of a confident assurance that the prayer has been, or would certainly be heard.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible





Shushan Eduth. This is usually translated, "The Lily of the Testimony,"[1] which was the name of the tune or melody to which the singers fitted the words of this psalm. Psalms 45; Psalms 69; and Psalms 80 were also set to this tune.

Michtam of David. "Michtam" is thought to mean that this was a "Golden Psalm"; but some have supposed that it could have been another musical instruction for the singers. David, of course, is here indicated as the author. "There is nothing that stands in the way of accepting this claim of Davidic authorship."[2] "The Psalm itself has every characteristic of the Davidic style, namely, liveliness, rapid transitions, terse yet comprehensive language, strong metaphors, intense feeling and hopefulness."[3]

Regarding the occasion, Dummelow has this:

"The Psalm is clearly written after a lost battle, not after a victory. It has been suggested that while David was engaged in the north of Palestine subjugating Damascus and the Syrians, the Edomites in the south, saw their opportunity and attacked Israel, inflicting a serious military defeat."[4]

The superscription barely mentions this defeat, preferring rather to emphasize the retaliation of Israel in which a great victory was won over Edom, a victory accredited to Joab here, in which some 12,000 Edomites were killed. Of course, some writers have complained that the Bible has no full account of any such defeat of Israel, even dating to question the accuracy of the superscription on that basis. To us this is amusing. That type of critical mind would question the results of the Battle of San Jacinto because Santa Ana did not go back to Mexico and erect a monument celebrating that battle! Great defeats are seldom memorialized by the defeated. For this reason, the very abbreviated account in 2 Samuel 8; 1 Chronicles 18, etc., which relate the results of the Davidic wars, devoted no space at all to a description of the defeat which prompted this psalm.

Another unjustified criticism is that which seems offended by the fact that Joab in this superscription is accredited with the ensuing victory over Edom, whereas "In Chronicles the victory is ascribed to Joab's brother Abishai, and in 2 Samuel 8 to David."[5] This is easily explained since David the king was commander-in-chief; Joab was the ranking General of the Armies; and his brother Abishai was entrusted with the campaign in the Valley of Salt. It was correct to ascribe victory to each of these.

Could it be an error to describe President Bush, or Secretary of Defense Cheney, or General Norman Schwarzkopf, any one of the three, or all three, as victors in the recent war with Iraq?

The organization of the psalm suggested by Rawlinson is: (1) God is pleaded with (Psalms 60:1-5); (2) God is reminded of the promises he has made to Israel (Psalms 60:6-8); (3) God is pleaded with in the very strongest terms to give help to Israel (Psalms 60:9-11); and (4) God is praised and extolled as Israel's Helper who will give them final and complete victory (Psalms 60:12).


Psalms 60:1-5

"O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast broken us down;

Thou hast been angry; oh restore us again.

Thou hast made the land to tremble; thou hast rent it:

Heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Thou hast showed thy people hard things:

Thou hast made us to drink the wine of staggering.

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee,

That it may be displayed because of the truth.

(Selah That thy beloved may be delivered,

Save with thy right hand, and answer us."

"Thou hast cast us off ... broken us down ... been angry" (Psalms 60:1). "This psalm conveys the sense of national humiliation resulting from a wholly unseen military reverse."[6] Notice also that God's anger with Israel is also mentioned. This was no doubt due to the sins and rebellions of the Chosen People, the same being characteristic of that nation throughout its history.

"Thou hast made the land to tremble ... rent it... it shaketh" (Psalms 60:2).

Was this a real earthquake, or is the military defeat merely compared to an earthquake? We believe it is probably the latter, but earthquakes were by no means uncommon occurrences in Israel.

"The wine of staggering" (Psalms 60:3). This does not mean that God had actually given Israel such a deadly potion, but that God's providence had allowed it. The metaphor of drugged wine is used in describing the sins of the Great Harlot in Revelation; and here it is a metaphor of the stunning effect of that surprising military defeat. "The nation had been rendered unable to function."[7]

Psalms 60:4 is not easily translated; and one possible meaning is that, "Israel had indeed raised the God-given banner; but it proved to be not so much a rallying point as a signal for dispersion."[8]

"That thy beloved may be delivered" (Psalms 60:5). This recalls the tremendous fact of God's loving Israel, thus injecting a strong feeling of encouragement and hope into the passage.

"Save with thy right hand, and answer us" (Psalms 60:5). This double cry for God's help emphasizes the great lesson of the psalm, namely, that no matter how discouraging and difficult any given situation may appear to be, the answer is always, inevitably, and certainly, "Take it to the Lord in prayer."

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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O God, thou hast cast us off,.... What is said in this verse, and Psalm 60:2, are by some applied to times past; to the distress of the people Israel by their neighbours in the times of the judges; to their being smitten by the Philistines, in the times of Eli and Samuel; and to the victory they obtained over them, when Saul and his sons were slain; and to the civil wars between the house of Saul and David; but rather the whole belongs to future times, which David, by a prophetic spirit, was led to on the occasion of the victory obtained, when before this the nation had been in bad circumstances. This refers to the casting off of the Jews as a church and nation, when they had rejected the Messiah and killed him, persecuted his apostles, and despised his Gospel; of which see Romans 11:15;

thou hast scattered us; as they were by the Romans among the various nations of the world, and among whom they are dispersed to this day; or "thou hast broken us"F11פרצתנו "rupisti nos", Montanus, Michaelis; "disrupisti", Gejerus; so Ainsworth. , as in Psalm 80:12; not only the walls of their city were broken by the battering rams of the Romans, but their commonwealth, their civil state, were broke to pieces by them. Jarchi applies this to the Romans; his note is this;

"when Edom fell by his hand (David's), he foresaw, by the Holy Ghost, that the Romans would rule over Israel, and decree hard decrees concerning them;'

thou hast been displeased; not only with their immorality and profaneness, with their hypocrisy and insincerity, with their will worship and superstition, and the observance of the traditions of their elders; but also with their rejection of the Messiah, and contempt of his Gospel and ordinances;

O turn thyself to us again; which prayer will be made by them, when they shall become sensible of their sins, and of their state and condition, and shall turn unto the Lord; and when he will turn himself to them, and turn away iniquity from them, and all Israel shall be saved, Romans 11:25; or "thou wilt return unto us"F12תשובב לנו "reverteris ad nos", Pagninus, Montanus; "reduces ad nos", Gussetius, p. 836. ; who before were cast off, broken, and he was displeased with; or others to us.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"To the chief Musician upon a Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with b Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand." O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast c scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

(a) These were certain songs after the note of which this psalm was sung.

(b) Also called Sophene, which stands by Euphrates.

(c) For when Saul was not able to resist the enemy, the people fled here and there: for they were not safe in their own homes.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.O God! thou hast cast us off. With the view of exciting both himself and others to a more serious consideration of the goodness of God, which they presently experienced, he begins the psalm with prayer; and a comparison is instituted, designed to show that the government of Saul had been under the divine reprobation. He complains of the sad confusions into which the nation had been thrown, and prays that God would return to it in mercy, and re-establish its affairs. Some have thought that David here adverts to his own distressed condition: this is not probable. I grant that, before coming to the throne, he underwent severe afflictions; but in this place he evidently speaks of the whole people as well as himself. The calamities which he describes are such as extended to the whole kingdom; and I have not the least doubt, therefore, that he is to be considered as drawing a comparison which might illustrate the favor of God, as it had been shown so remarkably, from the first, to his own government. With this view, he deplores the long-continued and heavy disasters which had fallen upon the people of God under Saul’s administration. It is particularly noticeable, that though he had found his own countrymen his worst and bitterest foes, now that he sat upon the throne, he forgets all the injuries which they had done him, and, mindful only of the situation which he occupied, associates himself with the rest of them in his addresses to God. The scattered condition of the nation is what he insists upon as the main calamity. In consequence of the dispersion of Saul’s forces, the country lay completely exposed to the incursions of enemies; not a man was safe in his own house, and no relief remained but in flight or banishment. He next describes the confusions which reigned by a metaphor, representing the country as opened, or cleft asunder; not that there had been a literal earthquake, but that the kingdom, in its rent and shattered condition, presented that calamitous aspect which generally follows upon an earthquake. The affairs of Saul ceased to prosper from the time that he forsook God; and when he perished at last, he left the nation in a state little short of ruin. The greatest apprehension must have been felt throughout it; it was become the scorn of its enemies, and was ready to submit to any yoke, however degrading, which promised tolerable conditions. Such is the manner in which David intimates that the divine favor had been alienated by Saul, pointing, when he says that God was displeased, at the radical source of all the evils which prevailed; and he prays that the same physician who had broken would heal.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes


Michtam, a prayer.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalms 60:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 60:1 « To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand. » O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Upon Shushan-eduth] An instrument so called, or to the tune of some song so called. The words signify the lily of the testimony; or, of kingly ornament; whereof many make manifold constructions, but they are all conjectural.

Michtam of David, to teach] The Hebrews have a proverb, Lilmod lelammed, Men must, therefore, learn that they may teach. David here imparteth what he had learned of God’s goodness; and would teach others, especially when they go to war, as 3:2, 2 Samuel 1:18, to call upon God, and to lean upon his promises; as himself had done with singular success.

When he strove with Aram-naharaim] Cum rixaretur, contenderet. Mesopotamia, called here Aram-naharaim, lay between those two famous rivers, Euphrates and Tigris; and so seemeth to have been a part of that earthly paradise, Genesis 2:10-14, whereof since Adam’s fall and Noah’s flood, cecidit rosa, mansit spina, saith one, the rose is gone, the thorn only remaineth. A country fruitful beyond belief, as Herodotus hath it; but inhabited by such as here joined with the Ammonites and other enemies of the Church; and were, therefore, sought by David, and at length vanquished. See 1 Chronicles 19:1-19.

And with Aram-zobah] Or, Coelesyria, whereof Damascus was the metropolis.

When Joab returned] sc. From the slaughter of the Syrians.

And smote of Edom] That is, of the Edomites, who had set upon Israel in the south, when Joab with the army was fighting against the Syrians in the east. Joab, therefore, at his return took them to do; and slew twelve thousand, after that Abishai had first slain six thousand of them, all which eighteen thousand are said to have been slain by David, as being Rex et Radix victoriae, saith Kimchi, the king and root of the victory, 2 Samuel 8:13.

In the valley of Salt] Where Abraham had once fought with the four victorious kings, Genesis 14:9; Genesis 14:14-15, and afterwards Amaziah with the Edomites. likewise slaying ten thousand, 2 Kings 14:7, In the midst of these conflicts and bustles David is thought to have written this psalm, together with Psalms 44:1-26, Psalms 108:1-13

Ver. 1. O God, thou hast cast us off] Some gather from this sad complaint that David was sometimes worsted in these wars, though it be not particularly so recorded in the Scriptures (Aben Ezra). Dubia est martis alea, Kοινος ενυαλιος, 2 Samuel 11:25; the best cause hath not always the best success, 20:21; 20:25. Others think that the psalmist here complaineth of the sad condition of the Israelites after that Saul was slain in Mount Gilboa, and the Philistines tyrannized at their pleasure, 1 Samuel 21:7. Whereupon also followed these civil dissensions and seditions, while some of the tribes set up Ishbosheth, and others went after David. These miseries he here mentioneth the rather that God’s goodness in the present settlement of the kingdom might the better appear. Hence most interpreters read the words in the preterpluperfect, Thou hadst cast us off, thou hadst scattered us, &c.; but now it is well with us for the present, and better yet it will be.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 60.

David complaining to God of former judgment, now, upon better hope, prayeth for deliverance: comforting himself in God's promises, he requesteth that help whereon he trusteth.

To the chief Musician upon Shushan-eduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-naharaim, and with Aram-zobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom, in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand.

Title. עדות שׁושׁן על al shushan eduth. Upon Shushan-eduth, &c.] See on Psalms 22. Houbigant renders it, Upon the hexachord of the testimony. Others render it, Upon the lily of the testimony; Michtam, or golden psalm of David. We here subjoin some further remarks on the titles of the Psalms by the author of the Observations. D'Herbelot, says he, observes, that "the works of seven of the most excellent Arab poets who flourished before the times of Mohammedanism, were called Al Moallacat, because they were successively fixed by way of honour to the gate of the temple of Mecca; and also Al-Modhahebat; which signifies gilded or golden, because they were written in letters of gold upon Egyptian paper:" and in a following page the same writer informs us, that the Arabs, when they would praise any one's poems, were wont to say, "These are the golden verses of such or such a one;" which he seems to suppose was derived from the writing of these poems in letters of gold. Now, might not the present psalm, and those five others which are distinguished by the same epithet, be called golden, on account of their having been, on some occasion or other, written in letters of gold, and hung up in the sanctuary, or elsewhere? Not (it may be) on account of their being judged to have a superior excellence to the other hymns of this collection, absolutely speaking, but on account of their being suited to some particular circumstances which might occasion their being treated with this distinction. Hezekiah, we know, went up to the house of the Lord, and spread the letter of Sennacherib before him there; Isaiah 37:14 hung it up, it may be, before the Lord. What Hezekiah did with a paper of threatening, other princes might do with these psalms of encouragement and hope. Some have imagined that they were called golden psalms merely on account of their distinguished excellence. That distinguished excellence, however, doth not appear; and what is more, the ancient Jews, it is certain, had a different way of marking this out: as, The song of songs, which is Solomon's; not the golden song of Solomon. Ainsworth supposes the word מכתם michtam to signify a golden jewel. That the affixing such a title to a psalm would have been agreeable enough to the eastern taste anciently, we may believe, from what appears in these modern times. D'Herbelot has actually mentioned a book intitled bracelets of gold, containing an account of all that history had mentioned relating to a month sacred among the Arabs. I cannot, however, easily admit that this is the true meaning of the word michtam, because there are several psalms which have this word prefixed to them; whereas, if it signified a jewel of gold, it would have been intended, if we may judge by modern titles of eastern books, to have distinguished one psalm from all the rest. To which may be added, that some of these psalms have another name given them; the 56th being called the dove dumb in distant places; and the present, the lily of the testimony. I will only farther add, that this writing in letters of gold still continues in the east. Maillet, speaking of the royal Mohammedan library in Egypt, which was so famous, and was afterwards destroyed by Saladine, says, "The greatest part of there books were written in letters of gold, such as the Turks and Arabs, even of our time, made use of in the titles of their books." And a little after, speaking of the ignorance of the modern Egyptians, as to the burnishing of gold, so that their gilding has nothing of the ancient splendour, he adds, "It is true, to make up this defect, they have preserved the art of making gold liquid, and fit for ink. I have seen some of their books written with this gold, which were extremely beautiful." See Observations, p. 318.

When he strove with Adram-naharaim That is Syria of the rivers, or that part of it which is called Mesopotamia, as lying between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates. The Syrians, both here and in other places, were called Aram, because they were the descendants of Aram, the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22. Aram-Zobah is that part of Syria which was called Zobah. 2 Samuel 8:5. As David's victory over Idumea was different from that over the Syrians, the next clause should be rendered literally, And Joab returned.

This conquest of Joab's is to be looked upon as distinct from that of Abishai, mentioned 2 Samuel 8:13 and 1 Chronicles 18:12. After Abishai had slain eighteen thousand of the Idumeans, Joab fell upon them again; and, as the title of this psalm particularly informs us, smote in the same place twelve thousand more, and afterwards destroyed them entirely. See 1 Kings 11:15-16. The Valley of Salt, is in Idumaea, near the Black Sea.

Psalms 60:1. Thou hast scattered us See 1 Samuel 1:7. Mudge renders these words, Thou hast made a breach upon us.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary


In this Psalm the sacred writer is led out to a devout acknowledgment of God's hand, both in prosperity and adversity. He takes refuge in God's promises, and in them acts faith with full confidence of victory over all his enemies.

To the chief musician upon Shushan-edith, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-naharaim, and with Aram-zobah, when Joab returned and smote of Edom in the valley of Salt twelve thousand.

The title of this Psalm will find great light thrown upon it by a reference to that part of the scripture history, where the events to which the Psalmist alludes are recorded. See 2Sa 5; 8 and the parallel history, 1Ch 18. But what I more particularly request the Reader to remark in this title, and above all, is that this Psalm is among the Michtams, the golden memorandums, the precious jewels of David. And, Reader, you will find it among your Michtams also, if so be the Holy Ghost graciously leads out your soul to eye your David in all his conflicts, and in all his triumphs for you and your salvation!

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible


Shushan-eduth: this, like the rest, seems to be the name of an instrument, or song, or tune, then well known, but now quite unknown and forgotten; it may be and is by some rendered, the lily or rose of thy testimony or oracle; but why it was so called is a matter of mere conjecture, and of small importance to us to know. To teach, to wit, in an eminent manner; or for the special instruction of God’s church and people in some points of great moment; as, concerning the grievous calamities to which God’s church and people were obnoxious, Psalms 60:1-3, and concerning the certainty of God’s promises, and of their deliverance out of them, upon condition of their faith and obedience; which doctrines were of great moment, especially to the Israelites, who were, and were likely to be, exercised in the same manner, and with the same variety and vicissitudes of condition, under which their ancestors had been. Or whereas other songs were to be learned only by the Levites, or by some of them, this possibly was one of them, which the people also were to be taught, and were to sing upon occasion, because of the public and general concernment which they all had in the matter herein contained.

Aram-naharaim; or, the Syrians (so called from Aram, the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22) of the two rivers, or of Mesopotamia, the country between those two great and famous rivers, Tigris and Euphrates. Aram-zobah, or, the Syrians of Zobah, part of Syria so called, 2 Samuel 8:5,12.

This report seems not to agree with the histories to which this Psalm is supposed to relate, 2 Samuel 8:13 1 Chronicles 18:12, neither in the persons slain, who are Edomites 1 Chronicles 18:12, but Syrians here, and 2 Samuel 8:13; nor in their numbers, which are here only twelve thousand, and there eighteen thousand; nor in the persons to whom this victory is ascribed, who is Joab here, David 2 Samuel 8:13, and Abishai 1 Chronicles 18:12. But these difficulties may easily be resolved by these considerations:

1. That David being king, and Joab lord-general of all his forces, and Abishai his lieutenant-general as to a considerable part of his army, the same victory may well be ascribed to any or every one of them; as it is usually done in like cases in the Roman and Grecian histories.

2. That the Edomites and Syrians were united in this war.

3. That twelve thousand might be slain in the pitched battle, and the rest by the pursuers in their flight.

4. That these several places may speak of several fights. See more of this business See Poole "2 Samuel 8:13".

The psalmist, complaining of former sad judgments, Psalms 60:1-3, acknowledgeth God’s present mercy, Psalms 60:4. Comforting himself in the promises, he prayeth for help, and therein trusteth, Psalms 60:5-12.

Cast us off; or, rejected or forsaken us, as to thy gracious and powerful presence, not only in the time of the judges, but also during Saul’s reign.

Scattered us, Heb. broken us; partly by that dreadful overthrow by the Philistines, 1Sa 31, and partly by the civil war in our own bowels, between me and Ishbosheth.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Thou hast cast us off—The first three verses are a complaint but feebly relieved by prayer. Sorrow, disappointment, and astonishment prevail.

Faith seems staggered. Compare Psalms 44:9-26. The resemblance of Psalms 60:1 to Psalms 44:9, shows that the latter is borrowed from the former.

Thou hast scattered us—Thou hast broken us down. The word denotes a forcible breaking down, or breaking through; a rending of what was trusted in as safe and firm. Hence they were totally baffled and humbled. The language throughout is highly impassioned.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 60:1. O God, thou hast cast us off — So highly had our sins provoked thy divine majesty, that thou didst reject or forsake us, so as to withdraw thy gracious and powerful presence from us, and no longer to go forth with our armies. Thus the Psalm begins with a melancholy memorial of the many disgraces and disappointments with which God had, for some years past, chastised the people. For, during the reign of Saul, especially in the latter part of it, and during David’s struggle with the house of Saul, while he reigned over Judah only, the affairs of the kingdom were much perplexed, and the neighbouring nations were very vexatious to them. Thou hast scattered us — Hebrew, פרצתנו, peratztanu, thou hast broken us; partly by that dreadful overthrow by the Philistines, 1 Samuel 31., and partly by the civil war in our own country between Judah and Israel. Thou hast been displeased — And thy displeasure, caused by our sins, has been the source of all our sufferings. Whatever our trouble may be, and whoever may be the instruments of it, we must own the righteous hand of God in it. O turn thyself to us again — Be at peace with us; smile upon and take part with us, and we shall again have prosperity.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hymns. This denotes either the female musicians, or the instruments. (Calmet) --- David, under persecution, (Ferrand) the captains, (Ven. Bede; Calmet) or any one in the Church of Christ, (St. Augustine) may adopt this psalm, (Berthier) to thank God. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Title. Michtam. App-65.

when, &c. See 2 Samuel 8:13-14.

Aram-naharaim, &c. = Mesopotamia or Syria. See 1 Chronicles 18:5, and note below on "twelve thousand".

twelve thousand. In 2 Samuel 8:13, and 1 Chronicles 18:12, it is David"s and Abishai"s exploit, which was 18,000. Here, it is Joab"s exploit, and his share was 12,000, but he took six months longer in finishing up his task (1 Kings 11:15, 1 Kings 11:16). David"s 22,000 in 1 Chronicles 18:5 were in a Syrian campaign. See notes on 2 Samuel 8:12, 2 Samuel 8:13.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

See introduction to Psalms 44:1-26, the sister psalm. Three strophes, four verses in each.

Psalms 60:1-12.-The covenant peoples affliction; the full healing of the breach anticipated, already healed in part (Psalms 60:1-4); confidence, grounded on God's Word assuring Israel of possession of Canaan and triumph over the pagan (Psalms 60:5-8); conquest of Edom, against which he was marching, anticipated, through God's help (Psalms 60:9-12).

Title. - Upon Shushan-eduth - i:e., 'upon the lily of testimony.' The lily expresses loveliness (note on Psalms 45:1-17, title). God's promise of Canaan to Israel (Psalms 60:6), is the lovely testimony of which assurance was already given in a partial deliverance (Psalms 60:4-5).

Michtan - `secret,' (cf. note on title, Psalms 16:1-11.)

To teach. It is a national psalm to be taught to the people (Deuteronomy 31:19). Psalms 44:1-26 was sung by the sons of Korah To teach. It is a national psalm to be taught to the people (Deuteronomy 31:19). Psalms 44:1-26 was sung by the sons of Korah in the midst of Edom's invasion of Israel during David's absence at the Euphrates. Our psalm was composed by David subsequently, when victory had been gained in part.

When he strove with Aram-naharaim - `when he had beaten down Aram (Syria) of the two floods' (Hengstenberg). So the Hebrew, Jeremiah 4:7. Compare the history, 2 Samuel 8:1-18; 2 Samuel 10:1-19; 1 Chronicles 18:1-17.

And with Aram-zobah - the Syrians of Zobah, the region between the Orontes and the Euphrates (2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8) under King Hadadezer, or Hadarezer, who came to help his vassals, the Syrians (Aram) of Mesopotamia (the region between the Tigris and Euphrates) (2 Samuel 10:16; 2 Samuel 10:19).

When Joab returned. This he did not do until he had, at the head of the main army, fully conquered the Syrians; so that Hengstenberg's translation must be adopted, 'when he had beaten down' or 'laid waste Aram-naharaim and Aramzobah.' Psalms 60:4 alludes to this victory, and to that over Edom in the valley of Salt, as the token that the expedition for occupying Edom, in revenge for his invasion of Israel, would succeed.

And smote of Edom in the valley of Salt. Here also was the scene of Amaziah's victory over Edom long subsequently (2 Kings 14:7; 2 Chronicles 25:11-12) - the plain at the south end of the Dead Sea, where terminates the Ghor, or valley of the Jordan. The Khasm Usdum (a mount of rock-salt) is in its northwest corner. David as king, Joab as commander-in-chief, and Abishai, under Joab, smote Edom (cf. 2 Samuel 8:13; 2 Samuel 10:10, with 1 Chronicles 18:12).

Twelve thousand. Instead, we find 18,000 mentioned both in 2 Samuel 8:13 and 1 Chronicles 18:12. Yarchi and Kimchi explain by supposing that Abishai first slew 6,000, and afterward Joab 12,000, when he returned from smiting Syria.

O God, thou hast cast us off - (Psalms 43:2; Psalms 44:9).

Thou hast scattered us - literally, 'thou hast made a breach in us:' a Davidic phrase (2 Samuel 5:20; 2 Samuel 6:8; cf. Judges 21:15; Job 16:14). The reference here is to the losses sustained already in the war with the Syrians and especially through the invasion of Edom.

O turn thyself to us again - rather present, 'thou turnest to us again in compassion.' So the Septuagint, Vulgate, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions. As Psalms 60:2-3 expand the first part of the verse, as to the effects of God's displeasure, so Psalms 60:4 expands this clause concerning God's now returning to comfort His people; literally, 'thou causest (our former prosperity) to return to us.'

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Hast scattered us.—Literally, hast broken us. A word used of a wall or fence, Psalms 80:12, but in 2 Samuel 5:20 applied to the rout of an army, an event which gave its name to the locality, “plain of breaches.” So in English:

“And seeing me, with a great voice he cried,

They are broken, they are broken.”—


On the other hand, the two succeeding verses seem to refer to a political convulsion rather than a military defeat, and it has been conjectured that the breach between the two kingdoms is here indicated. (See the use of perez=breach, in Judges 21:15.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
A. M. 2964. B.C. 1040. (Title.) {Shu-shan-eduth.} Probably a hexachord harp, or lute; for {âiduth} appears to be the same as the Arabic {ôod,} a harp or lute; concerning {shushan,} see on Ps 45; 80, titles
or, a golden Psalm.
59:1; *title
when he strove
2 Samuel 8:3,12,13; 10:16; 1 Chronicles 18:3,12,13; 19:16-19
2 Kings 14:7; 2 Chronicles 25:11
O God
10; 44:9; 74:1; 89:38; 108:11; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Romans 11:1,2
Heb. broken.
59:11; 1 Samuel 4:10,11,17; 13:6,7,11,19-22; 31:1-7
O turn
79:9; 89:3,7,19; 85:4; 90:13; Lamentations 3:31,32; Zechariah 10:6

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 60:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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