To the choirmaster leader, according to Do Not Destroy, a psalm of Asaph, a song
“We give thanks to you!
We give thanks!
Your name is near!
People tell of your wondrous deeds.”
Psalm 75 is psalm of thanksgiving set to the tune of “Do Not Destroy,” the same as Psalm 57,58, and 59. Like the preceding and following psalm it is a song of Asaph, the Temple Singer. Here there is also a mention of a choirmaster leader. Clearly this is a thanksgiving to God because his name is near. This could be a reference to the Temple. People spoke about the wonderful things that he has done.
To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David
“Hear my voice!
In my complaint!
Preserve my life
From the dreaded enemy.
From the secret plots of the wicked.
From the scheming of evildoers.
They whet their tongues like swords.
They aim bitter words like arrows.
They shoot from an ambush at the blameless.
They shoot suddenly.
They shoot without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose.
They talk of laying snares secretly.
‘Who can see us?
Who can search out our crimes?
We have thought out
A cunningly conceived plot.’
The human heart and mind are deep!”
Psalm 64 is a choral psalm of David. Once again David wanted to save his life from his enemies. He wanted to be hidden from the secret plots of the wicked and the schemes of the evildoers. Their tongues were like swords. Their words were like arrows from a bow and arrow. They shot suddenly and without fear from various ambushes. They laid secret snares for David with their evil purposes. They thought that no one saw them. No one was going after their crimes. They thought that they had a great cunning plan. Finally David notes that the human heart and mind are deep. This is a little bit like Psalm 58.
“The righteous will rejoice
When they see the vengeance done.
They will bathe their feet
In the blood of the wicked.
People will say.
There is a reward
For the righteous.
There is a God
Who judges on earth.’”
This psalm concludes with the righteous winning out. They would rejoice when they saw that vengeance against the wicked ones had been carried out. They would bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked ones. What a cruel metaphor. This was the reward for the righteous because God was the true judge who ruled the earth.
Break the teeth in their mouths!
Tear out the fangs of the young lions!
Let them vanish
Like water that runs away!
Let them be
Like grass trodden down and wither!
Let them be
Like the snail that dissolves into slime!
Let them be
Like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots
Can feel the heat of thorns,
Whether green or ablaze,
May he sweep them away!”
If the description was harsh, so much more so is this brutal curse to the wicked. He wanted God, Yahweh, to do his dirty work. David wanted their teeth broken. He wanted their fangs taken out. He wanted the wicked to vanish like water than just flows away. He wanted them to be like grass that was trodden down and then withered away. He wanted them to be like a snail that turned to slime. He wanted them to be aborted or still born so that they would never see the sun. He wanted them swept away. This was no simple curse, but a demand for Yahweh to get rid of the wicked ones altogether.
“The wicked go astray from the womb.
They err from their birth.
They speak lies.
They have venom
Like the venom of a serpent.
They have venom
Like the deaf adder that stops its ear.
Thus it does not hear
The voice of charmers.
It does not hear
The voice of the cunning enchanter.”
David then went into a diatribe description of the wicked ones. He maintained that the wicked peopple were so from their time in the womb, from their birth. This was the nature of the wicked, since there was no question of nurture. They were snakes with their deadly venom whether it be a serpent or an adder group of snakes. This adder venomous snake seems to be smarter or more cunning since it covers its ears so that the snake charmer cannot influence it. This is odd, but not out of line with the thinking that the snake, the adder, or serpent was evil.
To the choirmaster leader, according to Do Not Destroy, a Miktam of David
“Do you indeed
Decree what is right?
Do you indeed
Judge people fairly?
In your hearts
You devise wrongs.
Deal out violence
Like Psalm 57, Psalm 58 has the melody “Do Not Destroy” to this choral song Miktam of David. However, there is no indication of a particular event in the life of David. David seems to be lamenting against the bad judges on earth. Somehow these judges were acting like mini-gods. They were not decreeing what was right. They were not judging people fairly. In their hearts, they knew that they were wrong. Their hands dealt out violence here on earth.