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Psalm chapter 70

What does Psalm chapter 70 mean?

This psalm is nearly identical to what David wrote at the end of Psalm 40 (Psalm 40:13–17). The only significant changes are in the terms used for God. Psalm 40 mostly uses YHWH, translated as "LORD" in most English versions, while Psalm 70 more often chooses Elohim, usually rendered as "God." It's likely that the end of Psalm 40 was used separately often enough that it was eventually treated as an independent psalm. Since David directly asks God to harm his enemies, this is considered one of the "imprecatory" psalms (Psalm 5; 10; 58; 69; 83; 109; 137; 140).

David begins with a plea for the Lord to act quickly. Scripture doesn't connect this psalm to any specific event in David's life. However, he was often in mortal danger. Here, enemies who lie and mock him are once again seeking his death. Their words are from the Hebrew heāh, meant here in the sneering way, as in the English "hah!" David's prayer is that God would turn those efforts around: so that ridiculing, vicious attackers would be themselves ashamed when their plans are frustrated. These opening verses are like Psalm 40:13–15 (Psalm 70:1–3).

Despite danger, David is still faithful. He calls on others to praise God, in anticipation of the rescue which is to come. David has no plans to let hardship dampen his faith (Psalm 40:16–17). Yet he is also humble. David thanks God for mercifully caring for him. David has nowhere else to turn so he once again asks God to bring relief quickly (Psalm 70:4–5).
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