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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 25

 

 

Verses 1-22

This is the second of the 'acrostic' or 'alphabetic' Pss. (cp. 9, 10). As it now stands there are a few irregularities in the arrangement, some of which appear again in Psalms 34. The closing v. suggests the circumstances of the exile, but it is probably an addition, as the last letter of the alphabet is reached in Psalms 25:21. The rest of the Ps. contains nothing to indicate its date or authorship, and its value is independent of any view that may be taken as to these. Some have supposed that the writer speaks in the name of the nation, but much of the Ps. has a distinctly personal character. It falls into three parts—a humble prayer for defence, instruction, and forgiveness (Psalms 25:1-7); a meditation on the character and ways of God (Psalms 25:8-14); and a further prayer for deliverance from trouble (Psalms 25:15-21).

1. Aspiration reveals and determines character. The man who lifts up his soul to God stands contrasted with him who lifts up his soul to vanity (Psalms 24:4).

2. I trust in thee] RV 'in thee have I trusted.'

5. Lead (RV 'guide ') me in thy truth] i.e. 'in thy faithfulness.'

6, 7. Note the threefold use of remember. God's remembrance is sought, not for the Psalmist's sins, but for His own changeless character of grace, and, in accordance with that character, for the Psalmist himself. It has been suggested that the writer, living late in Israel's history, colours his personal prayer with the thought of the nation's early sins and of God's past deliverances.

7. Mercy] RV 'lovingkindness,' as in Psalms 25:6. So in Psalms 25:10.

8. Sinners] a truly evangelic thought. God's grace is not for those who have deserved it alone, but for all who seek it in penitence.

9. In judgment] in the principles of practical righteousness.

10. Covenant.. testimonies] God's law is viewed in the one case as the basis of His gracious contract with Israel, and in the other as a witness to His own character.

11. For thy name's sake.. pardon] Forgiveness is asked because it is God's nature to forgive. For it is great] The plea appears strange, but it is the utterance of deep penitence, combined with strong faith in the forgiving grace which is characteristic of God.

12. Teach in the way that he shall choose] God's instruction moulds the will, and directs it to right decisions and resolves.

13. Earth] RV 'land.' The promise of temporal blessing to the good man and his posterity is in harmony with the general thought of the OT.

14. Secret] RM 'counsel' or 'friendship'; confidential fellowship. The earthly blessing is crowned with a spiritual one.

15. The net] the entanglements and perplexities of trouble and sin.

21. There is a seeming inconsistency between the plea of integrity and uprightness and the confessions of sin in Psalms 25:7, Psalms 25:11. But what the Psalmist claims is not perfection, but a sincere love of goodness, and the humble dependence on God expressed in the words I wait on thee.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 25:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/psalms-25.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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