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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Psalms 13



The occasion of this Psalm was David’s deep and long-continued distresses, from which he prays for deliverance.

David complaineth to God of his delay to help, Psalms 13:1,

and the enemies’ triumph, Psalms 13:2.

He, praying for preventing grace, Psalms 13:3,Psalms 13:4

professeth his trust in God, Psalms 13:5,

and boasteth of Divine mercy, Psalms 13:6.

Verse 1

How long wilt thou forget, i.e. neglect or disregard, me? for ever I

how long wilt thou withdraw thy favour and assistance?

Verse 2

How long shall I be in such perplexities and anxieties of mind, not knowing what course to take, nor how to get out of my troubles?

Verse 3

Lighten mine eyes; either,

1. Because I find my counsel insufficient, Psalms 13:2, do thou enlighten my mind, and guide me by thy counsel and Spirit into the right way of obtaining thy mercy and help. So this phrase is used Psalms 19:8; Ephesians 1:18. Or,

2. Do thou revive, and comfort, and deliver me from the darkness of death, which is ready to come upon me and to close mine eyes. Nothing is more common than to express great dangers and calamities by darkness, and great comforts and deliverances by light, as Job 15:22; Job 17:13; Job 30:26, and by an enlightening of the eyes, as Ezra 9:8. Compare Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 29:13.

Lest I sleep the sleep of death, i.e. lest I sink under my burden and die; for death is oft called a sleep in Scripture, as Job 3:13; Job 14:12; Psalms 76:5; John 11:11.

Verse 4

I have prevailed against him, to wit, by my art or strength; which will reflect dishonour upon thee, as if thou wept either unfaithful and unmindful of thy promises, or unable to make them good. Therefore repress this their arrogancy and blasphemy, and maintain thine own honour.

When I am moved; or, stumble, or fall, to wit, into mischief.

Verse 5

Neither their threats and brags, nor my own dangers, shall shake my confidence in thy mercy promised to me.

Verse 6


1. In giving me that support and assurance of his favour which for the present I enjoy. Or,

2. In giving me that mercy which he hath freely promised me; it being a common thing for David and other prophets to speak of future deliverances as if they were already come, that so they may signify both the infallible certainty of the thing, and their firm assurance thereof. But the words may be rendered, when he shall have

dealt bountifully with me. This verb properly signifies to requite, or reward, (as it may be taken here, for there is a reward of grace as well as of debt, Romans 4:4) but here it signifies a free and bountiful giving, as it doth also Psalms 119:17; Psalms 142:7.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 13". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.