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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 5

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-12

Psalms 5:6 . Leasing; a Gothic and primitive word equivalent to falsehood. They professed loyalty to the king, but were traitors in heart, as in Psalms 5:9.

Psalms 5:9 . Their throat is an open sepulchre, emitting a noxious effluvia.

Psalms 5:10 . Destroy them; for by the rebellion their lives and lands were forfeited.


This is a psalm adapted to Nehiloth, or a wind instrument. It seems to have been composed about the time of Absalom’s rebellion, when David’s person was surrounded with bloody and deceitful men.

In these troubles we find him, as usual, having recourse to God; and in fervent strains of early devotion. Prayers and tears relieve the soul of grief, and put it into a state meet for deliverance and salvation.

He was confident that the success of the wicked in the rebellion could not be lasting, for the foolish, (and the rebels were infatuated) could not stand before God. He abhors leasing and guile, and those who shed blood. This consideration should make a good man happy at the worst of times; for God is against his foes, and fighting on his behalf. Therefore the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment.

David’s faith anticipated deliverance. He knew how the battle would go; and charged his army to deal gently with the young man, even with Absalom. Hence he says, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies. In spirit he already celebrated the victory. Oh what advantages in trouble have the righteous over the wicked. When calamities come to a crisis, the one is all faith, and the other all fear.

The equity of God’s judgments on David’s enemies is apparent from their wickedness. They flattered him to the face; but presently filled all the land with lies against him, and excited his subjects to revolt. Their throat was an open sepulchre: the excess of their wickedness against the best of kings, might most obviously be traced to the original depravity of man. Lord cleanse and sanctify our souls, lest we fall by corruption in the day of temptation. From the greatness of their sin, and from the incurable character of their lives, David was impelled by the Spirit to pray for their destruction. So they pray in heaven, “Thrust in the sickle, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” And it is awful to add, that God presently heard his prayer. The swamp in the wood destroyed more of Absalom’s army than the battle. Sheba and most of his adherents perished in the siege. Thus the righteous shout for joy, for the Lord compasseth them about with favour as a shield.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 5". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-5.html. 1835.
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