Bible Commentaries
Psalms 54

Ellicott's Commentary for English ReadersEllicott's Commentary



If this Psalm is the outcome of individual feeling, the traditional title will suit it as well as any that conjecture can supply. But it reads more like the cry of a people in distress, an oppressed race, powerless except in its religious hope. A stanza of five lines, with marked and elegant rhythm is followed by eight loosely connected lines.

Title.—See Notes to titles of Psalms 4, 32; and comp. 1 Samuel 23:19; 1 Samuel 26:1.

Verse 1

(1) By thy name.—See Note, Psalms 20:1. (Comp. Isaiah 30:27.)

Judge me by thy strengthi.e., in Thy power see that justice is done me.

Verse 3

(3) For strangers.—This verse, with some variations, occurs again (Psalms 86:14); some MSS. even reading here “proud,” instead of “strangers.” With the received reading we must understand by the word “foreign oppressors”—though, doubtless, the inscription of the Psalm may be defended by taking the word in a derived sense of those Israelites who have degenerated, and so deserve the name “aliens.”

Verse 4

(4) With them . . .—Better, is a supporter of my life. So LXX. and Vulgate.

Verse 5

(5) Cut them off.—Or, put them to silence.

In thy truth.—Or, according to thy faithfulness.

Verse 6

(6) I will freely sacrifice.—Better, I will offer a willing (or freewill) sacrifice.

For it is good.—Comp. Psalms 52:9.

Verse 7

(7) This verse does not actually state what has happened, but, according to a well-known Hebrew idiom should be rendered, When he shall have delivered, &c

Hath seen his desire.—Or, hath gloated on The Hebrews use the words seeing and looking very expressively, making the simple verb do almost what the eye itself can do: show hatred, love, triumph, defeat, wistfulness, disgust, &C (See Psalms 35:21; Psalms 52:6; Psalms 59:10; Psalms 92:11; Song of Solomon 6:13; &c)

Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 54". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.