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Ps 58:1-11. David's critical condition in some period of the Sauline persecution probably occasioned this Psalm, in which the Psalmist teaches that the innate and actual sinfulness of men deserves, and shall receive, God's righteous vengeance, while the pious may be consoled by the evidence of His wise and holy government of men.
1. O congregation--literally, "Oh, dumb"; the word used is never translated "congregation." "Are ye dumb? ye should speak righteousness," may be the translation. In any case, the writer remonstrates with them, perhaps a council, who were assembled to try his cause, and bound to give a right decision.
2. This they did not design; but
3-5. describe the wicked generally, who sin naturally, easily, malignantly, and stubbornly.
6. He prays for their destruction, under the figure of ravenous beasts (Ps 3:7; 7:2).
7. which run continually--literally, "they shall go to themselves,"
utterly depart, as rapid mountain torrents.
9. he shall take them away as with a whirlwind--literally, "blow him
10, 11. wash . . . wicked--denoting great slaughter. The joy of triumph over the destruction of the wicked is because they are God's enemies, and their overthrow shows that He reigneth (compare Ps 52:5-7; 54:7). In this assurance let heaven and earth rejoice (Ps 96:10; 97:1, &c.).