Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 69

Verses 1-36

This whole Ps. should be compared with Psalms 22, 31, 35, 38,, 40. It is the prayer of one who is in deep distress, wrongfully persecuted by enemies, and conscious that, though he is sinful, his sufferings are due to his fidelity to God (Psalms 69:1-12). He pleads for deliverance (Psalms 69:13-20) and calls upon God to take the severest vengeance on his adversaries (Psalms 69:21-28). The Ps. closes with a triumphant strain of praise (Psalms 69:29-36). Psalms 69:35 points to a date long after the age of David—either during the exile, or, more probably, in the last years of the Jewish monarchy (see Jeremiah 33:10; Jeremiah 34:7).

The situation of the writer closely resembles that of Jeremiah, and the numerous parallels between the Ps. and his prophecies give colour to the conjecture that he may have been its author. This Ps. is more frequently quoted in the NT. than any other, except Psalms 22.

Title.—Shoshannim] see on Psalms 45.

1. Are come in unto my soul] threaten my very life.

2. Mire.. deep waters] to be understood figuratively of danger and distress.

3. Weary of] RV 'weary with.'

4. I restored, etc.] RM 'I had to restore,' etc., possibly a proverbial phrase for unjust treatment.

7. Cp. Jeremiah 15:15.

8. Cp. Jeremiah 12:6.

9. The zeal, etc.] The Psalmist was consumed by his devotion to God's cause. Thine house] either the actual Temple, profaned by idolatry, or the Jewish nation, fallen from its high ideal. For the latter sense, see Jeremiah 11:15; Jeremiah 12:7; Jeremiah 23:11. The clause is quoted in John 2:17.

The reproaches, etc.] see Jeremiah 6:10; Jeremiah 20:8. The words are applied to Christ in Romans 15:3.

11. Sackcloth] the sign of mourning. A proverb] or byword.

12. The gate] the open space beside the city gate where worthless loafers gathered.

13. In an acceptable time] lit. 'in a time of good pleasure,' i.e. at the time thou pleasest.

The truth of thy salvation] the faithfulness of Thy saving grace.

15. The pit] may be, like the waters, a general metaphor for trouble, but it is more likely that the grave is meant.

18. Cp. Jeremiah 15:21.

19. Thou hast known] RV 'thou knowest': cp. Jeremiah 12:3; Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 18:23.

20. Hath broken my heart] cp. Jeremiah 23:9.

21. Gall] some bitter and poisonous plant, perhaps the poppy. Vinegar] wine become sour and undrinkable. The language is figurative, and perhaps proverbial, for cruel mockery of one in trouble. In spite of the verbal coincidence in Matthew 27:34, the treatment of Christ by the soldiers had not this character, but was intended to allay His sufferings; and, except as to the fact of His thirst (John 19:28), there is no direct reference in the Gospels to this v.

22. And that which.. welfare] RV 'and when they are in peace.' This v. is quoted freely along with Psalms 69:23 in Romans 11:9.

23. A prayer that blindness and paralysis may fall upon the Psalmist's enemies.

25. This v. is quoted freely (from LXX) in Acts 1:20.

26. Talk to the grief] RV 'tell of the sorrow.' LXX 'add to the sorrow.'

27. Add iniquity, etc.] cause their guilt to be filled up, rather than forgiven. Into thy righteousness] into the salvation which God's righteousness secures for His people.

28. The book of the living] RV 'of life,' the list of the righteous who are to be preserved alive. The reference is not to the future but to the present life.

31. Praise is the truest sacrifice: cp. Psalms 50:13, Psalms 50:14. Hath horns and hoofs] is full grown as well as ceremonially clean (Leviticus 11:3).

33. His prisoners] perhaps an allusion to the victims of the first captivity (2 Kings 24:10-16).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 69". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.