Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical

Psalms 70

Verses 1-5

             Psalm 70

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance

Make haste, O God, to deliver me;

Make haste to help me, O Lord.

2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul:

Let them be turned backward, and put to confusion,

That desire my hurt.

3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame

That say, Aha, aha.

4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee:

And let such as love thy salvation

Say continually, Let God be magnified.

5 But I am poor and needy;

Make haste unto me, O God:

Thou art my help and my deliverer;

O Lord, make no tarrying.


Its Contents and Title.—For its relation to Psalm 40:13 sq, vide the explanations there given. It is evident that we have here a fragment of that Psalm, for the reason that the imperative upon which the לcum infin. depends, is lacking and must be supplied; and there is no example to justify us in attaching it to the imperative which closes the verse. The change in the name of God points to a later and intentional separation. Instead of Jehovah, which is used throughout Psalm 40. we have here not only at the beginning but especially striking is the substitution of Elohim in Psalm 70:4 b., whilst here in the closing line Jehovah is used instead of the nominative Adonai, the latter in connection with an easier reading, which has been considered in connection with Psalm 40. The slight changes in Psalm 70:3 point in the same direction, to which we may add that in Psalm 70:2יַחַד as well as לִסְפּותָהּ are missing, whilst in Psalm 70:4 b. a וְ is added, and at the close of Psalm 70:4יְשׁוֹעָתֶךָ is used for תְשׁוּעָתֶךָ, and at the beginning of Psalm 70:5 c. עֶזְרִי for עֶזְרָתִי, the forms in Psalm 40 being fuller.

The contents, which are entirely complete in themselves, admit the Psalm to be a prayer of a persecuted Prayer of Manasseh, and the title contains a statement of its purpose, which fully accords with that of Psalm 38 which states that it is for a special liturgical use (comp. Introduction, § 6, No8), as well as general use, which is indicated by its being referred to the musical director. The place of this Psalm in the Second Book after Psalm 69 was occasioned by the relationship between Psalm 70:5 and Psalm 69:29, as well as by the changing use of the Divine name. The Psalm might be regarded as Davidic on account of its dependence on Psalm 40 But the changes that have been made are of such a character that it is more than doubtful to refer them to David. The same may be said of the supposition of those who regard Jeremiah as the author of Psalm 40. that he made these alterations (Hitzig). Redding observ. phil. crit. de psalmis bis editis, p61, gives a collection of ancient opinions. The ingenious attempt to regard this Psalm as an introduction to Psalm 71; and thus get a pair of Psalm of the advanced age of David (Hengstenberg), lacks sufficient confirmation.[FN1]


FN#1 - Yet there are many good reasos to be adduced in favor of this view. These are well stated by Hegstenberg and Wordsworth, e.g., (1) The fact that Psalm 71has no title in a book where all the Psalm have titles except1, 2, 10, 32, 43; 1,2being introductory to the Psalter, and10,43certainly belonging to the preceding Psalm,, 32in close relation to its predecessor. (2) Te fact that Psalm 70 is taken from Psalm 40, ad Psalm 71likewise is made up of a “collection of setences from various other Psalm (22, 25, 31, 35, 38, 40),” ad “being formed out of other Psalm, it serves the purpose of showig that David at the close of his life, ‘gathered up and set his seal to’ the sayings which he had uttered in the former Psalm” (Wordsworth). (3) The fact that corresponding thoughts ad petitions run throughout both Psalm, comp. Psalm 70:1; Psalm 70:5; Psalm 71:12; Psalm 70:2; Psalm 71:13; Psalm 71:24; Psalm 70:4; Psalm 71:6; Psalm 71:8; Psalm 71:14-16; Psalm 71:24, ad especially Isaiah 71:24 the believing confidence in the fulfilment of the petition begun in Psalm 70:1-2.—C. A. B.]

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Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Psalms 70". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". 1857-84.