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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 21

Verses 1-6

Speaking of himself in the third person, King David gave thanks to God for giving him victory over another king and his kingdom. He acknowledged that it was the Lord’s strength, not his own, that had brought him salvation in the battle. God had given David victory as a gift. The crown (Psalms 21:3) may refer to the literal crown of his enemy that victorious kings appropriated for themselves in David’s time. Metaphorically it could refer to a fresh coronation that David believed he had received from the Lord by granting him this victory. David’s life was safe, and much glory and joy had come to him as a result of the victory.

Verses 1-7

1. Joy in God’s strength 21:1-7

Verses 1-13

Psalms 21

This royal psalm of thanksgiving is a companion to the preceding one in that it records David’s thanksgiving for the victory that he anticipated in Psalms 20.

Verse 7

David saw his victory as a reward for his trust in Yahweh. Because the Most High King was faithful to His promises, David could be confident that he would remain securely on his throne.

Verses 8-10

The change in person indicates that David’s subjects now addressed him. Because he trusted in the Lord and received victory, the people were sure he would continue to defeat his enemies. The right hand refers symbolically to power and authority. David’s enemies would perish as in a fiery oven and as by a hungry animal. Scripture often uses fire as a metaphor for the wrath of God (e.g., Exodus 19:18; Hebrews 12:29; Revelation 1:14; et al.). God would cut off the posterity of the enemies, so the defeat of David’s foes would be final.

Verses 8-12

2. Anticipation of further blessing 21:8-12

Verses 11-12

Even though David’s enemies opposed him, they would fail. David would make them flee in retreat and would hand them a devastating defeat-described as shooting them in the face with his arrows.

Verse 13

3. Vow to praise 21:13

Evidently David joined his people in lifting up the Lord because of His strength. They promised continued worship for His power that had brought victory.

When God’s people experience victory over their spiritual enemies, they should acknowledge that their success is the work of God for them. We can look forward to future victories in the will of God because God is loyal to His promises and strong enough to overcome every foe.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 21". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.