Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 27

Verses 1-14

This Ps. falls naturally into two parts, Psalms 27:1-6 and Psalms 27:7-14, which are in such marked contrast as to make it probable that here, as in Psalms 19, two independent poems have been combined. The one breathes a spirit of fearless and triumphant confidence in the face of hostile armies, while the other, though trustful, is the prayer of one in deep distress, orphaned and beset by false accusers. The warlike tone of Psalms 27:1-6 is in favour of ascribing them to David, and Psalms 27:5-6 do not necessarily imply a reference to the Temple, which would be inconsistent with this view.

1. Strength] in the sense of 'stronghold': see Psalms 18:2.

2. To eat up my flesh] like wild beasts of prey. They stumbled and fell] Past victories inspire present confidence: cp. David's words to Saul (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

3. In this] RV 'even then.'

4. Dwell in the house of the lord] as the guest of Jehovah: see Psalms 23:6. The figure suggests constant fellowship with God.

Beauty] RM 'pleasantness,' the gracious aspect of the divine Host. To enquire in his temple (or palace)] to find out all that such intercourse with God can teach.

5. The abode of Jehovah, like the tent of a desert chieftain, affords protection as well as hospitality. The figure of Psalms 27:4-5 may have been based on the visible dwelling-place of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and if so the words used need imply nothing more than the temporary structure erected by David.

8. The original is condensed, but the words in italics express the thought. This v. gives the essence of all divine revelation and of all human response to it. Seek ye my face] as a visitor seeks access to the presence of an Oriental king. The figure is continued in Psalms 27:9.

10. RV 'For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but,' etc.

11. A plain path] not a path clearly marked, but one that is level and safe.

13. I had fainted] is a phrase supplied to complete the sense of the abbreviated original. The land of the living] as opposed to Sheol, the state of the dead—an illustration of the value of the present life for OT. faith.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 27". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-27.html. 1909.