(depending on one's understanding of biblical authority) rightly or wrongly so taught.11
Frequency of references to enemies is one factor which has created a situation in which studies of enemies in the Old Testament are focused almost exclusively on the Psalms. The second factor in this focus is the problem that the enemies are very difficult to identify. Since the psalmists most often speak simply of various enemies and evildoers, but almost never identify them explicitly,12 commentators traditionally suggest various identities.
Many suggestions have been advanced in efforts to identify the personal enemies in the individual laments. The earliest suggestions are witnessed in the scattered historical notes of some of the psalm titles.13 Of course,
11 Cf. J. Laney, "A Fresh Look at the Imprecatory Psalms," Bibliotheca Sacra 138 (1981), 35-45; F. Hesse, "The Evaluation and Authority of Old Testament Texts," trans. by J. Wharton in Essays on Old Testament Hermeneutics, ed. by C. Westermann, English trans. ed. by J. Maya (2nd ed., Richmond: John Knox Press, 1964), pp. 285-313; J. Bright, The Authority of the Old Testament (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967), pp. 234-241.
12 Although this is especially true with regard to the individual laments, it is also true in national laments as in Psalm 124. In the royal psalms it is equally difficult to decide. Who are the enemies in Psalms 18:38-46 and 89:43? Granted that they are national geopolitical enemies, but given the history of the Israelite state, that could be almost anybody from Egypt to Mesopotamia.
13 Suggested enemies are Absalom in Psalm 3; Cush a Benjaminite in Psalm 7; all (David's) enemies and Saul in Psalm 18; Abimelech in Psalm 34; Doeg the Edomite in