Psalms 60 Commentary

Psalm 60 Victory over Edom

In the war outlined in 2 Samuel 8:3-14 (and dealt with in more detail in 2 Samuel 10:1-19) David fought on many fronts. The present psalm concerns Israel’s victory in a battle against Edom. Because of


the widespread military activity, a number of people and places are named in the accounts in 2 Samuel and in the heading to this psalm. Also three different leaders are named as bringing victory to Israel. The first is David, who was the supreme commander in Israel. The second is Joab, who was the army commander-in-chief. The third is Abishai, who was the leader of the army unit involved in the particular battle that is mentioned here (cf. heading to Ps 60 with 2 Sam 8:13; 1 Chron 18:12).

While Israel has been fighting to the north and east, Edom and its allies have attacked from the rear (i.e. the south). Israel’s forces have suffered such heavy losses it appears God has deserted them. They have been thrown into confusion, as if hit by an earthquake. They stagger like a person who is drunk (1- 3). Since they are God’s people, will he not reverse this disaster and lead them to victory (4-5)? Surely he will, for he has given them his promise. All the enemy-occupied areas, whether west of Jordan or east, will be liberated, for they belong to Israel by God’s appointment. The southern attackers – Moab, Edom and Philistia – will be overthrown and made to serve Israel (6-8).

Why then should God’s people doubt him? He has not forgotten them. He will indeed lead them against the enemy strongholds and give them victory (9-12).

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