Bible Commentaries
Psalms 56

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Destroy not. Suffer me not to be destroyed, (Challoner; Menochius) or I will not allow my men to destroy an implacable foe, (Haydock) as they entreat me to do. This conduct is worthy of eternal memory. (Worthington) --- The words may also be an admonition to the reader, not to alter this piece, Apocalypse xxii. 18. (Calmet) --- Al tashcheth, (or thosseth.; Haydock) is supposed to be an instrument, or a favourite song, such as that of Moses, (Deuteronomy ix. 26.) which begins thus. But the point is uncertain. The same words occur, Psalm lviii., lix., (Berthier) and lxxiv. They are put in the mouth of Christ suffering, by St. Hilary, &c. --- Cave of Odollam, or rather of Engaddi. (Calmet)

Verse 2

In thee. This obliges God to take pity, Psalm xlvi. 11. --- Wings, as a chicken retires to the hen, Ruth ii. 12., and Matthew xxiii. 37.

Verse 4

Sent his mercy, &c., (Calmet) above the power of man. (Worthington) --- Reproach. Saul was forced to entreat David to preserve his family, as he had just spared his own life; which would, no doubt, mortify his pride, (1 Kings xxiv. 18, 22.; Calmet) and seem a reproach to him. (Worthington)

Verse 5

Lions. Poetry gives life to all things. It represents mercy and truth as God’s messengers; and Saul as a young lion. He might have entered the cave with his men, and destroyed David: but Providence caused him to enter alone, so that David had an opportunity to cut off the hem of his garment, and to shew his clemency. --- Sword. Thus were the Jews armed, to demand Christ’s death. (Eusebius) (Calmet) --- The persecutors use artificial weapons, and excite one another to fury, 1 Kings xxii. 16. (Worthington)

Verse 7

Down. Hebrew, "my soul was bowed down," (Berthier) or "to bow down my soul." (St. Jerome) (Haydock) --- Saul strove many ways to destroy his rival, sending him to fight the Philistines, who, nevertheless, proved the ruin of Saul, 1 Kings xviii. 17., and xxxi. 1. (Worthington)

Verse 8

My. This and the following verses, from the 107th psalm. (Calmet)

Verse 9

Glory. Soul, tongue, or rather instruments of music, (Calmet) and spirit of prophecy. (St. Athanasius)

Verse 10

Nations. the psalms are now recited, (Worthington) in every language, and the wonders wrought by Christ are proclaimed. (Calmet)

Verse 11

Clouds. They are exceedingly great. (Haydock) --- Christ has mounted to the highest heavens, and his apostles have preached (Calmet) his saving truths, which, like clouds, render the earth fruitful in good works. (Haydock)

Verse 12

Earth. It is just thy mercy should be extolled. (Menochius; ver. 6.)

Verse 13


The prophet prays in his affliction, and praises God for his delivery.

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 56". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.