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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 31



Verses 1-24

The writer of this Ps. gratefully records God's past deliverances (Psalms 31:1-8), appeals to God for help against the enemies who assail him in the present (Psalms 31:9-18), and ends with fervent thankfulness and serene assurance (Psalms 31:19-24). The language suggests a later age than David's, and has many parallels with the book of Jeremiah, the most evident being in the words 'terror on every side' (Psalms 31:13, Jeremiah 20:10). These parallels are mostly in the central section (Psalms 31:9-18), and possibly this is an insertion in the middle of an earlier Davidic Ps. In the closing vv. there are several resemblances to Psalms 27.

3. For thy name's sake] see Psalms 23:2, Psalms 23:3.

4. Strength] RV 'stronghold.'

5. The first clause of this v. formed one of the Sayings of our Lord on the Cross (Luke 23:46). The Psalmist's attitude in life was Christ's attitude in death. God of truth] i.e. of faithfulness, of changeless consistency of character. God is always true to Himself. 6. Have hated] RV 'hate.' Lying vanities] idols: see Jeremiah 8:19; Jeremiah 10:8.

7. Considered (RV 'seen'). . known] with sympathy, followed by succour.

8. Large room] RV 'large place,' the opposite of 'straits.'

9. Belly] RV 'body.'

10. Iniquity] As it stands this clause traces the Psalmist's sufferings to his sin. But the LXX and some other versions read 'affliction,' which agrees better with the context.

11. Cp. Jeremiah 20:7, Jeremiah 20:8.

12. A broken vessel] a thing altogether neglected.

13. This whole verse is closely parallel to Jeremiah 20:10. Fear was on every side] cp. Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 20:3 mg 10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29; Lamentations 2:22.

15. My times] all the occasions of my life.

16. Make thy face to shine] Smile upon me in Thy favour: see Numbers 6:25.

17. This repetition of the prayer of Psalms 31:1 may suggest that after all the Ps. is a unity: cp. Psalms 25:2-3; Jeremiah 17:18. The grave] RV 'Sheol.'

19. Wrought.. before the sons of men] i.e. openly.

20. The same thought as in Psalms 27:5. Even a desert tent may be a protection if its owner is powerful. Secret] RV 'covert.'

Pride] RV 'plottings.'

21. A strong city] RM 'a fenced city.' A change of figure from the tent of Psalms 31:20. If literally understood the words might refer to Jeremiah's experiences during the siege of Jerusalem.

22. Haste] RM 'alarm.' Fear is rebuked by God's answer to prayer.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 31:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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