Psalm 70
Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
Cry of a Persecuted One for Help

This short Psalm, placed after Psalm 69 on account of the kindred nature of its contents (cf. more especially v. 6 with Psalm 69:30), is, with but few deviations, a repetition of Psalm 40:14. This portion of the second half of Psalm 40 is detached from it and converted into the Elohimic style. Concerning להזכּיר, at the presentation of the memorial portion of the mincha, vid., Psalm 38:1. It is obvious that David himself is not the author of the Psalm in this stunted form. The לדוד is moreover justified, if he composed the original Psalm which is here modified and appropriated to a special liturgical use.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.
We see at once at the very beginning, in the omission of the רצה (Psalm 40:14), that what we have here before us is a fragment of Psalm 40, and perhaps a fragment that only accidentally came to have an independent existence. The להצּילני, which was under the government of רצה, now belongs to הוּשׁה, and the construction is without example elsewhere. In Psalm 70:3 ( equals Psalm 40:15) יחד and לספּותהּ are given up entirely; the original is more full-toned and soaring. Instead of ישׁמּוּ, torpescant, Psalm 70:4 has ישׁוּבוּ, recedant (as in Psalm 6:11, cf. Psalm 9:18), which is all the more flat for coming after יסגו אחור. In Psalm 70:4, after ויאמרים the לי, which cannot here (cf. on the contrary, Psalm 35:21) be dispensed with, is wanting.

Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
ויאמרו instead of יאמרו is unimportant. But since the divine name Jahve is now for once chosen side by side with Elohim, it certainly had a strong claim to be retained in Psalm 70:5. Instead of תּשׁועתך we have ישׁועתך here; instead of עזרתי, here עזרי. And instead of אדני יחשׁב לי we have here אלהים חוּשׁה־לּי - the hope is turned into petition: make haste unto me, is an innovation in expression that is caused by the taking over of the לי.

But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.
Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch [1857-78].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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