Psalm 71
Matthew Poole's Commentary
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

The matter of this Psalm plainly showeth that it was written in a time of David’s great distress, and his old age, mentioned Psalm 71:9 and Psalm 71:18 which proves that it belongs not to Saul’s time, but rather to the time of Absalom’s rebellion, which happened in his old age.

The psalmist, in confidence of his faith, and in experience of past favours, prayeth unto God to deliver him, but consume his enemies, Psalm 71:1-13; promising constancy of hope in him, Psalm 71:14-16; praying for his persevering strength and power, Psalm 71:17,18; acknowledgeth his troubles to be from God, Psalm 71:19-21; Promiseth thankfulness to him for his deliverance, Psalm 71:22-24.

This verse and the next are taken out of Psalm 31:1,2.

Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
No text from Poole on this verse.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
Commandment; by which he understands God’s purpose and promise, and his providence watching to execute them; all which are as certain and powerful as a command.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
No text from Poole on this verse.

For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
No text from Poole on this verse.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.
From the womb, i.e. from the time when I came out of the womb.

My mother’s bowels, i.e. out of her womb; which he justly mentions as a great and wonderful, though a common and neglected, work of God’s power and goodness.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
A wonder, or prodigy; either,

1. Of mercy, for the wonderful protections and deliverances which God hath given me. Or rather,

2. Of judgment, for my many and sore calamities, as appears from the next words. They wondered both at the calamities themselves which befell me; which were great, and various, and strange; and that they should befall me, one who have made it the chief care and business of my life to please, and serve, and glorify God; and one whom God hath owned in so eminent a degree, and crowned with such a constant succession of blessings and deliverances from time to time. That such a man should be forsaken by so gracious a God; and persecuted even to death by his own son, whom he had so tenderly loved; and deserted by the body of his own people, who had generally expressed so great an opinion of him and affection to him, and had so many obligations to him, and such singular benefits by his wise, and just, and pious government; this was indeed cause of wonder.

But thou art my strong refuge; but although men desert me, and look askew at me, God is a sure refuge to me.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
Give me occasion to multiply my praises to thee, for delivering me out of my present distress.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
When I am most feeble, and most need thy help, and one who is grown old in thy service.

For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
Lay wait for my soul, or watch it, that they may find occasion to destroy it, and that it may not escape their hands.

Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
God hath forsaken him, for his adultery, and murder, and other wickednesses, and therefore we shall certainly prevail against him.

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
No text from Poole on this verse.

Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
No text from Poole on this verse.

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
For which I know thou wilt yet give me abundant occasion.

My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
i.e. Of thy salvations and mercies vouchsafed to me, which being innumerable, oblige me the more to celebrate thy praises.

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
I will not sit down in despair, but I will go on or proceed in my business courageously and cheerfully, in making necessary provisions for my own defence; relying only upon thy strength, and not upon my own military preparations.

Make mention; partly to praise and celebrate it, and partly to support and comfort myself with the remembrance of it.

Of thy righteousness; either,

1. Of thy mercy and goodness. Or rather,

2. Of thy faithfulness in making good all thy promises to me, as this word is commonly used in this book. Of thine only; not of my subjects’ and friends’, who are false and perfidious to thee and to me; nor of my own; for I have been most unfaithful to thee, and have broken my covenant with thee.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Taught me; partly by thy word and Spirit, convincing and assuring me; and partly by my own experience of thy righteousness last mentioned, the wondrous effects whereof I have received and declared from time to time, as it here follows.

Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
Thy strength; either,

1. This further act or instance of thy strength. Or rather,

2. Thy great power, which will more eminently appear in this than it hath done in former deliverances, as my danger is now greater, because this is a civil war, and the generality of mine own people are engaged against me, and my forces are very inconsiderable to theirs, and without thy help my case is desperate.

To every one that is to come, i.e. to all succeeding generations, to whom I will leave a lasting monument of this glorious example of all-sufficiency, such as this Psalm is.

Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
Very high, i.e. most eminent and evident, as high things are.

Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
i.e. From the grave; for I was like one dead and buried, and past all hope of deliverance, without thy almighty assistance.

Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
I am assured that thou wilt not only restore to me that royal majesty which my son hath invaded, but also increase my honour and power.

I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
No text from Poole on this verse.

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
No text from Poole on this verse.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.
No text from Poole on this verse.

Matthew Poole's Commentary

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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