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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Psalms 61

Introduction

PSALM 61

THE ARGUMENT

The occasion of this Psalm was some great distress of David’s, either by Saul or by Absalom, though it might be composed some time after it was past.

David, in great danger, fleeth to God for deliverance, upon experience of his former love, Psalms 60:1-3, promising him perpetual service for hearing his prayers, Psalms 60:4,Psalms 60:5; and assuring himself a long life, he voweth thankfulness, Psalms 60:6-8.

Verse 2

Of the earth; or rather, of the land; to which David was driven by the tyranny of his enemies.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; convey me into some high and secure fortress, which I could not reach without thy succour, and where mine enemies cannot come at me. He alludes to their custom of securing themselves in rocks, 1 Samuel 13:6.

Verse 4

I shall, I doubt not, be restored to the tabernacle from which I am now banished, and, according to the desire of my heart, worship and enjoy thee there all my days. In the mean time, whilst I am in danger and trouble, I will cast myself upon thy protection with full confidence.

Verse 5

My vows; my fervent prayers, attended with many vows and promises, as was usual, especially in cases of great danger or difficulty, Genesis 28:20; Judges 11:30,Judges 11:31. Thou hast allotted me my portion with and amongst them that fear and worship thee, who are the

excellent ones, in whom is all my delight; and upon that account I must acknowledge it to thy praise, that the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage, Psalms 16:3,Psalms 16:6. Thou hast granted me this singular mercy, to live in God’s land, and to enjoy his presence and favour, and to worship in his tabernacle; which is the heritage that I and all that fear thee prize and desire above all things in the world.

Verse 6

The king’s life, i.e. my life. He calls himself king, either,

1. Because he was actually king, though Absalom usurped the throne; or,

2. Because he was designed and anointed to be king; and by calling himself

king, he supports himself under his present straits, and declares his confidence in God’s promise of the kingdom to him. Yet we must not think that David did commonly and publicly call or own himself to be king, which had neither been true nor convenient for his affairs; but this Psalm either was not composed whilst Saul lived, or at least was penned only for his private use and comfort, and not

committed to the chief musician; which indeed it could not be till David had the kingdom, and the inspection of the sacred music and service of the tabernacle.

His years, i.e. the years of my life and reign.

As many generations; as long as if I had a lease of it for many ages. Thus he speaks, partly because his kingdom was not like Saul’s, a matter of one age, expiring with his life, but established to him and his heirs for ever; and partly because Christ, his Son and Heir, should actually and in his own person possess the kingdom for ever.

Verse 7

He shall abide, or sit, to wit, in the throne, Jeremiah 13:13.

Before God; living and ruling as in God’s presence, and serving God with his royal power, and worshipping him in his tabernacle.

Prepare, or order, or appoint, as this word signifies, Jonah 1:17; Jonah 4:6.

Mercy and truth; either,

1. The graces of mercy or compassion, and truth or faithfulness; which are the great supporters of thrones, Proverbs 20:28; Proverbs 29:14. Or rather,

2. Thy mercy and truth, i.e. the effects of them; thy truth in giving me those mercies which thou hast promised to me, and thy mercy in giving me such further blessings as I need and thou seest fit to give me.

Verse 8

That so I may pay unto thee those services and sacrifices which I vowed to thee when I was in trouble.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 61". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/psalms-61.html. 1685.