Psalms – Chapter 54

Let's Talk About Ziff

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

This Psalm addresses the people of the city of Ziff, who betrayed David to Saul in I Samuel 23. Saul is the ultimate human authority, so David can only turn to G-d for help. David asks that G-d judge him favorably and rescue him. He asks that G-d hear his prayers because treacherous people (the people of Ziff) have turned on him bodily and powerful people (like Doeg and Achitofel) threaten him spiritually.

G-d is David’s source of strength against such attacks. David prays that G-d will likewise be with those who are faithful to him. G-d should punish those who lay traps for David, because they refuse to acknowledge the truth, that G-d has made David king in Saul’s place.

David says he will offer sacrifices and sing songs of praise to show his gratitude to G-d, Who has rescued him from every peril. G-d has also allowed David to see his persecutors punished, which is a sign that a person deserves the salvation he has received. (Contrast this with Lot, who was rescued only because of Abraham. He was not permitted to see the punishment of Sodom and his wife was punished for attempting to do so.)

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