Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
“Psalm 59 part 2”
Augustine breaks Psalm 59 into two segments. Though he made reference to verse 12 in the first segment, he backs up slightly here to continue with the concept of verses 11-13 (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327283). Here David asks, on the one hand, that God would not slay his enemies, but, on the other hand, that God would consume them. The Jews remained as an ethnic identity in Augustine’s time, but he reminds his readers that they were criticized by Jesus for obeying the actions required in the Law, but ignoring the more important concepts. Augustine attempts to explain the idea of consuming them but not slaying them by saying God would destroy their wrongdoing but not them (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327292). As the evil opponents had Christ put to death, they saw even their sin being put to death. This should result in their confession and pardon. The contrast, then, according to Augustine, is a change from being consumed by God to having a relationship with God consummated (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327302).
Augustine observes that there is an ongoing anger, but it is one thing when someone is being consumed and another thing when a person is being fulfilled (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327321). In that of fulfillment it is a cleansing activity. Augustine ties this idea to a caution against the Jews. They considered themselves superior to Gentiles, but this could be a sign of pride and denial of their own weakness (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327338).
In the last day, though, “at evening” (v. 14), there will be a move of conversion (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327340). Sinners will be humbled and scattered and will end up turning to Christ as His servants. All come together in Christ. Augustine refers to this restoration as a morning, a dawn of light (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327359).