Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 69:1-36. Upon Shoshannim—(See on Ps 45:1, title). Mingling the language of prayer and complaint, the sufferer, whose condition is here set forth, pleads for God's help as one suffering in His cause, implores the divine retribution on his malicious enemies, and, viewing his deliverance as sure, promises praise by himself, and others, to whom God will extend like blessings. This Psalm is referred to seven times in the New Testament as prophetical of Christ and the gospel times. Although the character in which the Psalmist appears to some in Ps 69:5 is that of a sinner, yet his condition as a sufferer innocent of alleged crimes sustains the typical character of the composition, and it may be therefore regarded throughout, as the twenty-second, as typically expressive of the feelings of our Saviour in the flesh.
1, 2. (Compare Ps 40:2).
come in unto my soul—literally, "come even to my soul," endanger my life by drowning (Jon 2:5).
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
3. (Compare Ps 6:6).
mine eyes fail—in watching (Ps 119:82).
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
4. hate me, &c.—(Compare Joh 15:25). On the number and power of his enemies (compare Ps 40:12).
then I restored … away—that is, he suffered wrongfully under the imputation of robbery.
O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
5. This may be regarded as an appeal, vindicating his innocence, as if he had said, "If sinful, thou knowest," &c. Though David's condition as a sufferer may typify Christ's, without requiring that a parallel be found in character.
Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
6. for my sake—literally, "in me," in my confusion and shame.
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
7-12. This plea contemplates his relation to God as a sufferer in His cause. Reproach, domestic estrangement (Mr 3:21; Joh 7:5), exhaustion in God's service (Joh 2:17), revilings and taunts of base men were the sufferings.
I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
10. wept (and chastened) my soul—literally, "wept away my soul," a strongly figurative description of deep grief.
I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
12. sit in the gate—public place (Pr 31:31).
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
13-15. With increasing reliance on God, he prays for help, describing his distress in the figures of Ps 69:1, 2.
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
16-18. These earnest terms are often used, and the address to God, as indifferent or averse, is found in Ps 3:7; 22:24; 27:9, &c.
And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
19, 20. Calling God to witness his distress, he presents its aggravation produced by the want of sympathizing friends (compare Isa 63:5; Mr 14:50).
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
21. Instead of such, his enemies increase his pain by giving him most distasteful food and drink. The Psalmist may have thus described by figure what Christ found in reality (compare Joh 19:29, 30).
Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
22, 23. With unimportant verbal changes, this language is used by Paul to describe the rejection of the Jews who refused to receive the Saviour (Ro 11:9, 10). The purport of the figures used is that blessings shall become curses, the "table" of joy (as one of food) a "snare," their
welfare—literally, "peaceful condition," or security, a "trap." Darkened eyes and failing strength complete the picture of the ruin falling on them under the invoked retribution.
Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
23. continually to shake—literally, "to swerve" or bend in weakness.
Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
24, 25. An utter desolation awaits them. They will not only be driven from their homes, but their homes—or, literally, "palaces," indicative of wealth—shall be desolate (compare Mt 23:38).
Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
26. Though smitten of God (Isa 53:4), men were not less guilty in persecuting the sufferer (Ac 2:23).
talk to the grief—in respect to, about it, implying derision and taunts.
wounded—or, literally, "mortally wounded."
Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
27, 28. iniquity—or, "punishment of iniquity" (Ps 40:12).
come … righteousness—partake of its benefits.
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
28. book of the living—or "life," with the next clause, a figurative mode of representing those saved, as having their names in a register (compare Ex 32:32; Isa 4:3).
But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
29. poor and sorrowful—the afflicted pious, often denoted by such terms (compare Ps 10:17; 12:5).
set me … high—out of danger.
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
30, 31. Spiritual are better than mere material offerings (Ps 40:6; 50:8); hence a promise of the former, and rather contemptuous terms are used of the latter.
This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
32, 33. Others shall rejoice. "Humble" and poor, as in Ps 69:29.
your heart, &c.—address to such (compare Ps 22:26).
For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
33. prisoners—peculiarly liable to be despised.
Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
34-36. The call on the universe for praise is well sustained by the prediction of the perpetual and extended blessings which shall come upon the covenant-people of God. Though, as usual, the imagery is taken from terms used of Palestine, the whole tenor of the context indicates that the spiritual privileges and blessings of the Church are meant.
For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.