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Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 61

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

Psalms 61:1-8 -Two strophes separated by Selah. Prayer in extreme distress; confidence of safety under God's wings (Psalms 61:1-4); ground of confidence, namely, God has promised him an abiding throne (2 Samuel 7:1-29); let mercy and truth preserve him, that so he may sing praise forever (Psalms 61:5-8). The occasion was probably (cf. Psalms 61:2) when he was beyond Jordan in Absalom's rebellion.

Title. - Upon Neginah - Hebrew, nªgiynat (H5058); a different form from Nªginowt, Psalms 4:1-8 and Psalms 6:1-10, titles. The construct form requires the sense to be 'on David's instrumental music.' Compare Habakkuk 3:19, "To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." Also Amos 6:5, "invent instruments of music like David." At the same time the "of David" implies its authorship by him.

Hear my cry, O God.

Verse 2

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

From the end of the earth - remote from the place where, in Jerusalem, God manifests his presence. David being an exile from the Lord's land, felt himself as it were banished to "the end of the earth."

When my heart is overwhelmed (Psalms 102:1-28, title; Psalms 107:5; Psalms 77:3) - literally, 'is covered,' namely, with faintness and gloom.

Lead me to the Rook that is higher than I - too high for me to ascend by my natural powers.

Verse 3

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

For thou hast been a shelter for me - and always art so.

And a strong tower from the enemy - literally, 'from the face of the enemy' (Proverbs 18:10).

Verse 4

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever. So sure is he, by faith, of his prayer being answered, that he, even in his distant exile, confidently asserts his permanent dwelling in the Lord's tabernacle (Psalms 27:4). To abide in it is to have continual communion with Him. On the "for ever," cf. Psalms 21:4, wherein he remembers God's promise in 2 Samuel 7:1-29.

I will trust in the covert of thy wings - (Psalms 36:7.)

Verses 5-8

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

-Ground of his confidence-namely, the prophetic Word of God (2 Samuel 7:1-29), which guarantees to him eternal dominion.

Verse 5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows - i:e., my payers mixed with vows of thanksgiving. His prayers were what drew forth the promise of God by Nathan (2 Samuel 7:1-29; Psalms 21:2-4).

Thou hast given (me) the heritage of those that fear thy name. "The heritage" is explained in Psalms 61:6 the prolongation of the king's life, and the abiding kingdom of his posterity over Canaan, the land that belongs to the Israelites, whose feature of distinction from the Gentiles is, that they fear thy name. This gives the king confident (hope even in exile.

Verse 6. Thou wilt prolong the king's life - though now my days seem near their end. 'Thou wilt add days to the days of the king' (Isaiah 38:5; Psalms 21:4). He says "the king's" for my, because the promises belonged not merely to him as an individual, but as king and head of a royal line.

His years as many generations - literally, 'as generation and generation.' David lived in the person of his royal posterity for "many generations." But it is in Christ, the seed of David, that the promise finds its perfect fulfillment. He lives "after the power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16).

Verse 7. He shall abide before God forever - literally, 'he shall sit,' namely, upon the throne. Sitting is the symbol of reigning (Jeremiah 13:13). "Before God" - i:e., under His perpetually protecting grace (2 Samuel 7:29).

O prepare mercy and truth - Hebrew, 'appoint,' etc. "Mercy and truth" are God's ministers appointed by Him and sent (Psalms 43:3; Psalms 57:3) to preserve the Lord's anointed king and people.

Verse 8. So - as an acknowledgment of thy goodness.

Will I sing praise ... that I may daily perform my vows. Praise is the soul and spirit of every acceptable vow.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 61". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/psalms-61.html. 1871-8.
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