Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
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.
2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul:
Let them be turned backward, and put to confusion,
That desire my hurt.
3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame
That say, Aha, aha.
4 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.
5 But I am poor and needy;
Make haste unto me, O God:
Thou art my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, make no tarrying.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
ITS CONTENTS AND TITLE.—For its relation to Ps. 40:13 sq., vide the explanations there given. It is evident that we have here a fragment of that Psalm, for the reason that the imperative upon which the לcum infin. depends, is lacking and must be supplied; and there is no example to justify us in attaching it to the imperative which closes the verse. The change in the name of God points to a later and intentional separation. Instead of Jehovah, which is used throughout Ps. 40. we have here not only at the beginning but especially striking is the substitution of Elohim in Psalm 70:4b., whilst here in the closing line Jehovah is used instead of the nominative Adonai, the latter in connection with an easier reading, which has been considered in connection with Ps. 40. The slight changes in Psalm 70:3 point in the same direction, to which we may add that in Psalm 70:2יַחַד as well as לִסְפּותָהּ are missing, whilst in Psalm 70:4b. a וְ is added, and at the close of Psalm 70:4יְשׁוֹעָתֶךָ is used for תְשׁוּעָתֶךָ, and at the beginning of Psalm 70:5c. עֶזְרִי for עֶזְרָתִי, the forms in Ps. 40 being fuller.
The contents, which are entirely complete in themselves, admit the Psalm to be a prayer of a persecuted man, and the title contains a statement of its purpose, which fully accords with that of Ps. 38 which states that it is for a special liturgical use (comp. Introduction, § 6, No. 8), as well as general use, which is indicated by its being referred to the musical director. The place of this Psalm in the Second Book after Psalm 69 was occasioned by the relationship between Psalm 70:5 and Psalm 69:29, as well as by the changing use of the Divine name. The Psalm might be regarded as Davidic on account of its dependence on Ps. 40 But the changes that have been made are of such a character that it is more than doubtful to refer them to David. The same may be said of the supposition of those who regard Jeremiah as the author of Ps. 40. that he made these alterations (Hitzig). Redding observ. phil. crit. de psalmis bis editis, p. 61, gives a collection of ancient opinions. The ingenious attempt to regard this Psalm as an introduction to Psalm 71; and thus get a pair of Psalms of the advanced age of David (Hengstenberg), lacks sufficient confirmation.1
[Yet there are many good reasos to be adduced in favor of this view. These are well stated by Hegstenberg and Wordsworth, e.g., (1) The fact that Ps 71 has no title in a book where all the Psalms have titles except 1, 2, 10, 32, 43; 1 and 2 being introductory to the Psalter, and 10 and 43 certainly belonging to the preceding Psalms, and 32 in close relation to its predecessor. (2) Te fact that Ps 70 is taken from Ps 40, ad Ps 71 likewise is made up of a “collection of setences from various other Psalms (22, 25, 31, 35, 38, 40),” ad “being formed out of other Psalms, it serves the purpose of showig that David at the close of his life, ‘gathered up and set his seal to’ the sayings which he had uttered in the former Psalms” (Wordsworth). (3) The fact that corresponding thoughts ad petitions run throughout both Psalms, comp. Ps. 70:1, 5 and 71:12; 70:2 and 71:13, 24; 70:4 and 71:6, 8, 14–16, 24, ad especially is 71:24 the believing confidence in the fulfilment of the petition begun in 70:1, 2.—C. A. B.]
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.