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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 54

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-7

Title.—(RV) ’For the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. Maschil of David: when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?’ Whatever be the value of the title there is nothing in the Ps. to make us reject it, unless it be the allusion in Psalms 54:3 to the Ziphites as ’strangers.’ For the historical incident see 1 Samuel 23:19; 1 Samuel 26:1. The Ps. consists of a prayer for deliverance from enemies (Psalms 54:1-3), and an expression of confidence and praise (Psalms 54:4-7). For Maschil see on Psalms 32. The Ps. is used on Good Friday.

1. Judge me] Do justice to me. By thy strength] RV ’in thy might.’ God’s ’judgment’ is a practical vindication of His people’s cause.

3. Strangers] In Psalms 86:14 this v. is repeated, with the substitution of ’the proud’ for ’strangers,’ and possibly we should read ’the proud’ here. The difference depends on the interchange of two very similar Heb. letters. ’Strangers,’ if not applicable to the Ziphites, may refer to the’men of Keilah, who were perhaps Canaanites. Oppressors seek] RV ’violent men have sought.’

4. The Lord] here ’Adonai,’ not ’Jehovah.’

5. Reward evil] RV ’requite the evil’ that they have done. Thy truth] thy faithfulness, or righteous self-consistency.

6. Freely] RV ’with a freewill offering’ (Numbers 15:3); LXX ’with free will.’ O Lord] the one occurrence of ’Jehovah’ in this Elohistic Ps.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 54". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-54.html. 1909.
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