on Psalms 59 :5
O Lord God of hosts - This was a proper view to take of God. when Israel, a handful of poor distressed captives were surrounded and oppressed by the heathen chiefs above mentioned, and their several tribes. But Jehovah God of hosts, was the God of Israel; and hence Israel had little to fear.
Be not merciful to any wicked transgressors - Do not favor the cause of these wicked men. They are בגדי און bogedey aven, "changers of iniquity:" they go through the whole round of evil; find out and exercise themselves in all the varieties of transgression. How exactly does this apply to Nehemiah's foes! They sought, by open attack, wiles, flattery, foul speeches, fair speeches, threats, and ambuscades, to take away his life. Do not show them favor, that they may not succeed in their wicked designs. The prayer here is exactly the same in sentiment with that of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 4:4, Nehemiah 4:5. Hear, our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach upon their own heads; - cover not their iniquity, "and let not their sin be blotted out."
on Psalms 59 :5
Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts - God of armies: commanding all the armies of heaven - the angels, and the stars and constellations drawn out in the form of armies; thou, thus endowed with all power, and able to subdue all people though arrayed and combined for purposes of evil - awake to my help. On the meaning of the phrase "God of hosts," see the notes at Isaiah 1:9.
The God of Israel - The God of the Hebrew people - the descendants of Jacob or Israel - the Protector of thy people - awake to help me, one of those who, being of that covenant people, come under the promise of protection.
Awake to visit all the heathen - On the word here rendered "heathen" - גוים gôyim - see the notes at Psalm 2:1. It is from the use of this word in this verse and in Psalm 59:8, as remarked in the Introduction to the psalm, that DeWette infers that the psalm could not have been composed on the occasion referred to in the title, and argues, that this term could not be applied by David to Saul and his followers. This objection, however, will lose its force if the word is understood as denoting people who had the usual character of pagans, who were fierce, bloody, savage, cruel. In this sense the word might be employed with reference to those who were engaged in seeking the life of David. David, using the common word "heathen" or "nations," as denoting those who are wicked, cruel, harsh, prays that God would awake to visit them; that is, to visit them for purposes of punishment, or so to visit them as to prevent their carrying out their designs.
Be not merciful to any tricked transgressors - That is, Arrest and punish them "as" transgressors, or "being" transgressors. This prayer is not inconsistent with a desire that such people might be converted, and "thus" obtain mercy; but it is a prayer that God would not suffer them, being wicked people, to go at large and accomplish the work of wickedness which they designed. See General Introduction Section 6. (5) (e).
Selah - A musical pause. See the notes at Psalm 3:2.
on Psalms 59 :5
59:5 The God - A God in covenant with all true Israelites, whom thou hast promised to protect and bless. The heathen - Or, these heathens, who though they are Israelites by birth; yet in their dispositions they are mere Heathens. Be not - For indeed thou canst not according to thy word, be merciful to such incorrigible offenders.