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To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath. Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

56:1 man would swallow me up. This “michtam” of David (see note on Psalm 16: Title) was written while being pursued by Saul on one side and surrounded by the Philistines in the city of Goliath on the other. No wonder that he felt like he was about to be swallowed up. Nevertheless, he trusted God and was not afraid (Psalm 56:3-4,10-11,13).

56:8 tears into thy bottle. Ancient “tear bottles” (or wineskins) have been excavated by archaeologists in Israel, used to catch and preserve one’s tears during times of grief. It is probable that the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:38) was using the tears thus collected during many nights of sorrow, offering these in confession of her repentance and trust in Christ for forgiveness. David notes here that, in effect, God has a tear bottle for each of His children, for He cares about the occasions that bring tears to our eyes, whatever the cause.

56:8 in thy book. This is probably a reference to God’s “book of remembrance” (Malachi 3:16).

Psalm 57 (title) Al-taschith. Al-taschith” means “Destroy not.” It is used in the headings of Psalms 57, 58, 59 and 75. This historical reference in the title is to I Samuel 22:1-5, when David was in the cave of Adullam.

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