What does Psalm 60:5 mean?
ESV: That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us!
NIV: Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
NASB: That Your beloved may be rescued, Save us with Your right hand, and answer us!
CSB: Save with your right hand, and answer me, so that those you love may be rescued.
NLT: Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power.
KJV: That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.
NKJV: That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and hear me.
Verse Commentary:
Just as there are varying interpretations of the prior verse (Psalm 60:4), this is either an appeal for God to provide a means of rescue, or more explanation of how the Lord is doing so. The Hebrew phrasing of verse 4 is obscure. The statement might be a grieving, sarcastic comment that God has rallied His people to failure. In that case, verse 5 could mean "but, Lord please give salvation." Alternatively, verse 4 might be a comment that the Lord's banner is the safe place to which His people can flee. That may imply verse 5 means "God is acting so that…"

Most translations render verse 5 as a request, and not an explanation. The phrase following the English word "that" seems to be aimed at the rescue of Israel, not the banner mentioned in verse 4. In either case, the point is that the Lord is in control of the situation.

Regardless of how desperate Israel's situation seemed, David knew Israel's people were God's beloved ones. They meant far too much to Him to let them perish at the hands of an enemy. The reference to God's right hand indicates power. David was certain God would answer prayer. Perhaps David prayed with the remembrance that God had covenanted to give him rest from all his enemies (2 Samuel 7:11). New Testament believers may face hard times, but like those Israelites who feared Him, they may be confident that God loves them too much to let the enemy triumph over them. Paul writes that Christians are "more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
Verse Context:
Psalm 60:1–5 expresses David's combination of dismay and faith. He is occupied with war in the north, so news of a southern invasion is a dangerous catastrophe. Yet he speaks only of God's power and work, including confidence that the Lord will provide a means of rescue. Events occurring after this psalm was written are recorded in 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18.
Chapter Summary:
David addresses God with great dismay. He describes the territory of Israel as abandoned by God, broken, and shattered by an enemy invasion. Yet David speaks in terms of God's actions and God's ultimate control. The Lord responds with His intent to save Israel and crush the enemy. David wonders how this will happen but expresses trust that God will keep His word. This psalm corresponds to the military actions of David recorded in 2 Samuel 8 and 1 Chronicles 18.
Chapter Context:
This psalm appears to have been written when David was battling the Arameans and Ammonites (2 Samuel 8:3; 1 Chronicles 18:3). While the army was engaged in the north, Edomites attacked Israel from the south and inflicted heavy damage. The psalm entreats God to cause Israel to triumph over the Edomites. Scripture records that the prayer was successful. David sent Abishai, accompanied by Joab and a contingent of soldiers, who routed the enemy (1 Chronicles 18:12; 2 Samuel 8:13).
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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