In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
Verse 1. - In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust let me never be put to confusion; rather, as in Psalm 31:1, "let me never Be ashamed;" or, let me never be put to shame (Cheyne).
Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
Verse 2. - Deliver me in thy righteousness. Identical with the last clause of Psalm 31:1. And cause me to escape. The danger seems to be pressing, and such as characterized Absalom's rather than Adonijah's rebellion. Incline thine ear unto me, and save me (comp. Psalm 31:2).
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.
Verse 3. - Be thou my strong Habitation; literally, be thou to me for a Rock of habitation; i.e. a rock upon which I may take up my abode. Whereunto I may continually resort. Exegetical of the preceding clause, habitation" Thou hast given "a rock of commandment to save me. It is in thy counsels that I am to be helped and saved - not left to the will of my enemies (comp. Psalm 68:28). This conviction lies at the root of the psalmist's faith and trust. For thou art my Rock and my Fortress (comp. Psalm 18:2; Psalm 61:2, 3, etc.).
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
Verse 4. - Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand (rather, grasp) of the unrighteous and cruel man. it is characteristic of David to single out from his adversaries an individual man, from whom he especially asks to be delivered (comp. Psalm 13:2; Psalm 17:13; Psalm 18:17, 48; Psalm 35:8; Psalm 41:6, 9, 11; Psalm 55:13, 14, etc.).
For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
Verse 5. - For thou art my Hope, O Lord God (comp. Psalm 39:7; Jeremiah 14:8; Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 50:7). Thou art my Trust from my youth (comp. Psalm 40:4).
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.
Verse 6. - By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels (comp. Psalm 22:9, 10, of which this is plainly an echo or reminiscence). My praise shall be continually of thee (see vers. 14-16, 22-24).
I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
Verse 7. - I am as a wonder unto many; or, as a portent, a prodigy - something montrous. Some explain, "as an object of God's singular favour from his youth" (Kay, Cheyne); others, "as a marvellous example of God's punishments" (Schultens, Hengstenberg, Professor Alexander, Canon Cook). The latter explanation is supported by Deuteronomy 28:46, and, on the whole, seems preferable. But thou art my strong Refuge (see above, ver. 3, ad fin.).
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
Verse 8. - Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Praise alternates with complaint and prayer, even in this first portion of the psalm, preparing the way for the sustained praise of the second portion.
Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
Verse 9. - Cast me not off in the lime of old age. This expression, combined with the allusion to old age and grey hairs in ver. 18, indicates that the writer was drawing near to the natural term of human life, and already felt the infirmities of old age creeping upon him. This note of date suits better the time of Adonijah's rebellion than that of Absalom's. Forsake me not when my strength faileth. An appeal to the Divine compassion. If God was his "Rock and Fortress" (ver. 3), his "strong Refuge" (ver. 7), when he was in his full vigour, much more will he support and befriend him when be is weak and helpless.
For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
Verse 10. - For mine enemies speak against me. The psalmist's weakness encourages his enemies to make their attacks. They begin by speaking against him - calumniating him (2 Samuel 15:3, 4), and shortly they will proceed to acts. And they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together; or, "they that watch for my soul" (Revised Version).
Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
Verse 11. - Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. Compare the words of Ahithophel, "Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue alter David this night; and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only" (2 Samuel 17:1, 2). It no doubt appeared to Absalom's party generally, as it did to Shimei, that God had "forsakes" David, and turned against him (2 Samuel 16:8).
O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
Verse 12. - O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help (comp. Psalm 22:19; Psalm 35:22).
Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
Verse 13. - Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt (comp. Psalm 35:4; Psalm 40:14; Psalm 70:2).
But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
Verses 14-24. - Regarding his prayers as heard, and their fulfilment as certain, the psalmist now betakes himself to praise and thanksgiving, He will never cease to hope; he will praise God more and more (ver. 14). He will spend the whole day in telling of God's righteousness and salvation (ver. 15). The mighty acts of the Lord shall form his theme, together with the righteousness of God, and of none other (ver. 16). As God has enabled him to declare his praise in the past (ver. 17), so he trusts to be still upheld and enabled to proclaim the same to the new generation (ver. 18). God's righteousness is "very high," and there is none like him (ver. 19). When he. brings men into trouble, it is only to "turn again and comfort them" (vers. 20, 21). In conclusion, the writer promises that his hymns of praise shall not only be said, but sung, and accompanied with the melody of music (ver. 22). His lips and soul shall both rejoice together (ver. 23); and the praise of God shall employ his tongue without ceasing (ver. 24). Verse 14. - But I will hope continually; literally, but as for me, I will hope, etc. The phrase, "as for me," almost always marks a transition. And will yet praise thee more and more; literally, I will add to all thy praise; i.e. "I will add to all my past praises of thee further praises in the future."
My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
Verse 15. - My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day. Salvation is inseparable from righteousness. It is as being righteous himself that God accepts the righteous, and as faithful to his promises, which is a part of his righteousness, that he pardons penitents. For I know not the numbers thereof (comp. Psalm 40:5). God's acts of pardoning mercy, by which he brings about the salvation of penitents, are innumerable.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
Verse 16. - I will go in the strength of the Lord God; literally, I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord God (Revised Version); i.e. I will bring these acts forward, and make mention of them in my songs of praise. I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. I will attribute my deliverance to no strength, or efforts, or righteousness of my own (see Psalm 20:7; Psalm 44:3, 6), but to thy righteousness - i.e. thy faithfulness and truth - only.
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Verse 17. - O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Hitherto, i.e., have I always had thy guidance and instruction, and hitherto have I always had occasion to praise thy Name. Hence I am confident with respect to the future.
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.
Verse 18. - Now also when! am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not. Surely, then, thou wilt not forsake me when my youth has fled, and my time of weakness and decay has arrived, so that I need thee all the more. At the time of Adonijah's rebellion, David was "old and stricken in years" (1 Kings 1:1) - nearly, if not quite, seventy years of age (2 Samuel 5:4). Until I have showed thy strength (literally, thine own) unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. The psalmist calls on God to sustain him in his old age, not for his own sake, but that he may impress on the rising generation God's might and marvellous acts.
Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
Verse 19. - Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high; or, reaches to the height (comp. Psalm 7:7; Psalm 10:5; Psalm 18:16, etc.). Who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! (comp. Psalm 35:10; Psalm 89:6, 8).
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.
Verse 20. - Thou, which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again; or, according to another reading, which hast showed us - shalt deliver us. The change of number may be ascribed to the desire of the psalmist to unite his people with himself in the hopes of deliverance which he is expressing. And shalt bring me up again (rather, shalt bring us up again) from the depths of the earth. 'The "depths of the earth" is a metaphor for the extreme of misery and depression (comp. Psalm 88:6; Psalm 130:1).
Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
Verse 21. - Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. The psalmist feels that the trial now laid upon him is the last - that henceforth his greatness and majesty will increase instead of diminishing, and that God will turn and comfort him (comp. 1 Chronicles 29:28).
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.
Verse 22. - 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. (On the psaltery, and its use as a devotional instrument, see the comment on Psalm 33:2.) The conjunction of the psaltery and harp seems to imply that the "praise," of which the writer here speaks, is to be public praise in the sanctuary, accompanied by the usual sacred music.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
Verse 23. - My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. Not my mouth only, but my heart and spirit, will "rejoice," or "sing out thy praise" (Cheyne), when the time comes, and my "redemption," or deliverance, has been accomplished.
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.
Verse 24. - My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long. The musical utterance of praise can only be occasional, but the tongue can "talk" of God continually (see ver. 15). For they are confounded and brought unto shame, that seek my hurt (comp. Psalm 35:4; Psalm 40:14; Psalm 70:2).