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Psalms 55:9

    Psalms 55:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue; For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Send destruction on them, O Lord, make a division of tongues among them: for I have seen fighting and violent acts in the town.

    Webster's Revision

    Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue; For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    World English Bible

    Confuse them, Lord, and confound their language, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 55:9

    Destroy, O lord - Swallow them up - confound them.

    Divide their tongues - Let his counsellors give opposite advice. Let them never agree, and let their devices be confounded. And the prayer was heard. Hushai and Ahithophel gave opposite counsel. Absalom followed that of Hushai; and Ahithophel, knowing that the steps advised by Hushai would bring Absalom's affairs to ruin, went and hanged himself. See 2 Samuel 15, 16, and 17.

    Violence and strife in the city - They have been concerting violent measures; and thus are full of contention.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 55:9

    Destroy, O Lord - The word rendered "destroy," properly means to "swallow up;" to "devour" with the idea of greediness. Isaiah 28:4; Exodus 7:12; Jonah 1:17; Jeremiah 51:34. Then it is used in the sense of "destroy," Job 20:18; Proverbs 1:12. The reference here is to the persons who had conspired against David. It is a prayer that they, and their counsels, might be destroyed: such a prayer as people always offer who pray for victory in battle. It is a prayer that the may be successful in what they regard as a righteous cause; but this implies a prayer that their enemies may be defeated and overcome. That is, they pray for success in what they have undertaken; and if it is right for them to attempt to do the thing, it is not wrong to pray that they may be succesful.

    And divide their tongues - There is evident allusion here to the confusion of tongues at Babel Genesis 11:1-9; and as the language of those who undertook to build that tower was confounded so that they could not understand each other, so the psalmist prays that the counsels of those engaged against him might be confounded, or that they might be divided and distracted in their plans, so that they could not act in harmony. It is very probable that there is an allusion here to the prayer which David offered when he learned that Ahithophel was among the conspirators 2 Samuel 15:31; "And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness." This would tend to divide and distract; the purposes of Absalom, and secure his defeat.

    For I have seen violence and strife in the city - In Jerusalem. Perhaps he had learned that among the conspirators there was not entire harmony, but that there were elements of "strife" and discord which led him to hope that their counsels would be confounded. There was little homogeneoushess of aim and purpose among the followers of Absalom; and perhaps David knew enough of Ahithophel to see that his views, though he might be enlisted in the cause of the rebellion, would not be likely to harmonize with the views of the masses of those who were engaged in the revolt.