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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 69

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-4

Psa 69:1-4

PRAYER OF ONE AFFLICTED FOR THE TRUTH

SUPERSCRIPTION: FOR THE CHIEF MUSICIAN; SET TO SHOSHANNIM.

A PSALM OF DAVID.

There is no convincing evidence in the psalm itself that David is not the author, although many scholars assume that David could not have written it. The reasons assigned for such opinions however are unconvincing; and the verses usually cited are capable of other interpretations which we shall note during the study of the text.

Addis thought that, "Maccabean times suit the situation best, but Maccabean origin is incapable of proof.” "Kirkpatrick made a sturdy defense of the notion that Jeremiah wrote it,” but as far as we can tell nobody agreed with him.

Leupold wrote, "Despite many other possibilities that have been suggested (regarding the authorship), we still feel that the suggestion offered by the Hebrew (superscription) has the most to commend it - `of David.’”

The most interesting thing about this psalm is that "More than any other in the whole Psalter, except Psalms 22, this psalm is quoted in the New Testament.”

"They hated me without a cause" (Psalms 69:4) was quoted by Jesus Christ in John 15:25.

"Zeal for thy house shall eat me up" (Psalms 69:9) is quoted in John 2:17.

"The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me" (Psalms 69:9 b), is quoted in Romans 15:3.

"Let their table before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, let it become a trap" (Psalms 69:22) is quoted in Romans 11:9.

"Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see" (Psalms 69:23) is quoted in Romans 11:10, where the apostle Paul applied it to the hardening of Israel.

"Let their habitation be desolate" (Psalms 69:25) is quoted in Acts 1:20, where it is applied to Judas Iscariot.

In Romans 11:9, the apostle Paul unequivocally recognized David as the author of this psalm; and our own opinion is that a single word from Paul is worth more than a whole library of critical denials that David wrote it.

"They gave me also gall for my food; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Psalms 69:21). Although this verse is not quoted in the New Testament, it is significant that all four of the gospels recorded the giving of vinegar to Christ on the cross (Matthew 27:48-50; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:36; and John 19:29). It is evident that all of the Gospel writers considered that action of giving Jesus vinegar to drink was a fulfillment in the Anti-Type of what had happened in the Type. Apparently, the motive for giving Christ vinegar on Calvary was different from what seems to be the motive here against David. The action of the Roman soldier who offered Christ vinegar is cited by Dummelow as an act of mercy designed to allay Jesus’ sufferings, a view which this writer has often accepted, but Luke seems to deny this, writing that, "The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, offering him vinegar" (Luke 23:36).

IS THE PSALM MESSIANIC?

In some degree, it most certainly is, but not in its entirety. The psalmist’s admission of his own sins means that the total poem cannot be applied to Christ; but David was indeed a type of Christ, and many of the things in the life of David find their echo and fulfillment in David’s Greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE PSALMIST DESCRIBES HIS SITUATION

Psalms 69:1-4

"Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul.

I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing;

I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

I am weary with my crying; my throat is dried:

Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;

They that would cut me off, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:

That which I took not away I have to restore."

The language here, at least in part, is figurative, because deep waters and mire simply do not belong in the same situation. To us, this language seems appropriate to the times of David’s fleeing before Saul. It fits that period better than any other with which we are familiar in the life of David. His foes were "mighty," able to compel him to restore things he had not taken, and who were determined to `cut him off.’ Even the ribald singing against him in the city gates mentioned a little later fits that period better than any other.

"They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head" (Psalms 69:4). Why was David hated without a cause? It all started with Saul’s jealous hatred; as the king of Israel, Saul had the ability to marshal all the resources of the kingdom against David; and human nature being what it is, countless people were willing to take sides with Saul against David. Saul’s enmity against David was the only motivation that the people needed to hate David.

The situation regarding the countless people who hated Jesus Christ without cause reflected perfectly the conditions that confronted David. The "false shepherds" of Israel (Zechariah 11:1-8), the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians, were extremely jealous of the meek and humble Jesus, whose life-style they viciously hated; and their position of leadership in Israel enabled them to rally practically the whole nation to their position of hating the Messiah. An outstanding example of that is their maneuvering the Jerusalem mob to cry out for a choice of Barabbas in the crucifixion scene.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:1. Waters in symbolic language means afflictions. Soul as used here refers to the whole being. David means he is "flooded" with afflictions.

Psalms 69:2. This is along the same line as the preceding verse. Mire and waters are used figuratively. No standing means it is all mire with no solid footing.

Psalms 69:3. These strong expressions are descriptive of the intense feeling David had because of his many persecutions. He had not lost faith in the Lord, but the flesh is weak and often gives way to sighing and lamentation.

Psalms 69:4. More than the hairs is a figure of speech used for emphasis. It is something like Genesis 13:16; Genesis 22:17. David never did resent any punishment that was due him, but these people were hating him without a cause. Although he had been falsely accused of fraud, he gave to his ac. cusers the property they claimed. In other words, rather than cause unnecessary friction he was willing to suffer himself to be defrauded as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 6:7.

Verses 5-6

Psa 69:5-6

Psalms 69:5-6

A PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE

"O God, thou knowest my foolishness;

And my sins are not hid from thee.

Let not them that wait for thee be put to shame through me, O Lord Jehovah of hosts.

Let not those that seek thee be brought to dishonor,

O God of Israel."

"My sins are not hid from thee" (Psalms 69:5). Statements of this kind forbid the application of the psalm in its entirety to the sinless Christ.

"Them that wait for thee ... those that seek thee" (Psalms 69:6). These were the faithful Israelites, the "true seed of Abraham" as distinguished from the great majority of the people. Such devout souls, of course, were praying for David’s survival, but as the partisans of Saul closed in upon the fugitive, David recognized that, if he were to be destroyed, the faithful of the whole kingdom also would have been hunted down and destroyed by Saul. Therefore, David prayed that God would not allow such a thing to happen.

By the time of David’s flight from the presence of King Saul, the evil character of that king had already alienated the true followers of God from his support. He had named a son after the pagan god Baal; and there were not any of the true "seed of Abraham" in Israel at that time who could have been unaware that Saul would have to be removed from the kingship if faith in the true God was to survive in Israel.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:5. This was an admission of the general weakness of the human being. There was no specific sin of which he was guilty at that time. How ever, we should note the statement that a man’s sins are not hid from God.

Psalms 69:6. To wait on. God means to rely on him and to expect divine help David was being shamefully treated by the enemies of righteousness. He was concerned lest the condition might embarrass those who were waiting on God and possibly cause them to be hindered in their devotion. The prayer was in behalf of those persons, that they would not let David’s afflictions affect them. It was a thought similar to that expressed by Paul in 2 Timothy 1:8.

Verses 7-12

Psa 69:7-12

Psalms 69:7-12

THE CAUSE OF DAVID’S SUFFERING

"Because for thy sake I have borne reproach;

Shame hath covered my face.

I am become a stranger to my brethren,

And an alien to my mother’s children.

For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up;

And the reproaches of them that reproach thee are fallen upon me.

When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting,

That was to my reproach.

When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword unto them.

They that sit in the gate talk of me;

And I am the song of the drunkards."

"For thy sake I have borne reproach" (Psalms 69:7). In all probability, this sheds light upon the reason behind Saul’s malignant enmity against David. David’s devout life, indicated by the fasting and wearing of sackcloth (Psalms 69:10-11) on appropriate occasions would have been construed by a man of Saul’s temperament as an open rebuke of his life-style. Also, in the fight against Goliath, David had refused to wear Saul’s armor, thus denying Saul any share in the victory. No wonder Saul hated him.

"Stranger unto my brethren ... alien unto my mother’s children" (Psalms 69:8). This is easily understood. David, was classified by the king as an outlaw, and the object of an all-out hunt, as of a wild animal; and therefore David’s brothers would have been mortally afraid either to help him or to be seen in his presence ... This situation, as far as we know, cannot be referred to any other period of the life of David, except that during his flight from Saul’s implacable jealousy.

"The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up" (Psalms 69:9). Now, upon this verse is laid the burden of declaring some other authorship besides that of David. But why? It fits David perfectly. Of course, "house" here is not a reference to the temple (constructed in the next generation), as we have repeatedly pointed out. As in many other scriptural references, the reference here is to the tabernacle. Had David been zealous for that? Certainly! Where did he take the sword of Goliath following his God-given victory over the Giant of Gath? He took it to the Lord’s house, the tabernacle where Abimelech was the high priest. That action, along with the sackcloth, the fasting, and the other acts of devotion that went along with such things adequately establish the truth that David did indeed exhibit a genuine "zeal for God’s house."

How had it eaten him up? It had precipitated the murder of the high priest and his entire family (close friends of David), and it had launched Saul’s entire army, or some large contingent of it, in their ruthless hunt to seek out and kill David. Now, where is there anything else that suits what is said here any better than that?

"Fasting ... sackcloth" (Psalms 69:10-11). We have commented on these above.

"I am the song of drunkards" (Psalms 69:12). Various readings of these words are: "Those sitting in the gate composed a song against me; winebibbers made me a theme for their lyrics; playing on stringed instruments, drunkards and carousers sang of me"

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:7. David set an example of the courage he desired others to manifest. He had endured the reproaches of the enemies because of his love for God.

Psalms 69:8-9. Again the inspired mind saw a fitting place to make a prediction of an experience that was to come upon the illustrious descendant of David. Unknown to him (perhaps) he passed from his own experiences to those of Christ, and the prediction is cited in John 2:16 and Romans 15:3.

Psalms 69:10. This means that his enemies reproached or made fun of David when they saw him grieving over his persecutions.

Psalms 69:11. Sackcloth is a coarse fabric of which gunny sacks are made. It was worn in ancient times when the person was undergoing a period of grief or anxiety. When the enemies saw it they spoke in proverbs about it. That is, they made him the target for their jeers and tried to humiliate him.

Psalms 69:12. This verse names persons of two opposite ranks. Those who sat in the gate were representative men because that was the point for diplomatic conversations. Of course it is understood that drunkards were of the very inferior rank. Both of these classes showed disrespect for David in his afflictions or persecutions.

Verses 13-18

Psa 69:13-18

Psalms 69:13-18

AN INTENSIFIED APPEAL TO GOD

"But as for me, my prayer is unto thee,

O Jehovah, in an acceptable time:

O God, in the abundance of thy lovingkindness,

Answer me in the truth of thy salvation.

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink:

Let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Let not the waterflood overwhelm me,

Neither let the deep swallow me up;

And let not the pit shut its mouth upon me.

Answer me, O Jehovah, for thy lovingkindness is good:

According to thy tender mercies turn thou unto me.

And hide not thy face from thy servant;

For I am in distress; answer me speedily.

Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it:

Ransom me because of mine enemies."

"In an acceptable time" (Psalms 69:13). This expresses a hope that his prayer may come to God in an acceptable time, rather than an assertion that it was an acceptable time. If it was the latter, then, "It may have been revealed to him as other things were.”

"The abundance of thy lovingkindness" (Psalms 69:13; Psalms 69:16). This is almost the equivalent of a Davidic signature.

"The mire ... the deep waters ... the waterflood ... the pit" (Psalms 69:14-15). Those who try to find Jeremiah in this psalm point out that he was indeed cast into a pit, but the pit into which Jeremiah was cast was a literal pit, there was no flood, and the floodwaters were not a danger. Furthermore, that pit was not threatening to "shut its mouth" upon that prophet. The pit here was in no sense whatever a literal pit. It means Sheol, or the grave, and is a word frequently used with that denotation in the Old Testament. The floodwaters and "the deep" were also metaphors, just like, the pit. The real trouble is merely represented by all these figures of speech. What was the real trouble? Them that hate me... that would cut me off ... mine enemies" (Psalms 69:4). These are also named again in Psalms 69:14; Psalms 69:18.

"Hide not thy face from me" (Psalms 69:17). "David often complained that God was far from him (Psalms 10:1; Psalms 22:19; Psalms 38:21; Psalms 71:12; etc.)."

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:13. These persecutions did not discourage David from his devotions to God. He continued to make his prayer to the Lord. In an acceptable time was said in about the same sense as we mean when we say. "If it be thy will." Truth of thy salvation indicates that the salvation coming from God is according to truth.

Psalms 69:14. Mire and water, as in previous verses, are used figuratively referring to David’s many trials at the hands of his enemies.

Psalms 69:15. This verse is more along the same line as the others mentioned. Let it be noted that David did not ask to escape all difficulty. He prayed only to be saved from being overwhelmed and completely defeated as his enemies intended.

Psalms 69:16-17. David believed that God was always just in his dealings. But he also believed that God was merciful and it was on that basis that he could expect relief from his persecutions.

Psalms 69:18. David did not mean his soul from the standpoint of spiritual danger. He used the word as applying to his present existence; his life had been threatened.

Verses 19-21

Psa 69:19-21

Psalms 69:19-21

A SAD COMPLAINT

"Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor:

Mine adversaries are all before thee.

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:

And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none;

And for comforters, but I found none.

They gave me also gall for my food;

And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

"Thou knowest ... mine adversaries" (Psalms 69:19). These lines say that God knows all of the circumstances, both those regarding David, and those concerning his enemies. Nothing is hidden from God, hence the psalmist’s plea that God will judge the situation and help him.

"My heart is broken ... none to pity ... no comforters ... gall and vinegar for food and drink" (Psalms 69:20-21). It is difficult to conceive of any time in the life of David when he actually ate gall and drank vinegar. The meaning might be that with all of his sorrows pressing upon him, even his meals became repulsive to him. Also, it may be that these words spoken "in the Spirit of God" (Matthew 22:43) were a prophecy of what would actually occur in. the life of the Blessed Messiah. At least, all of the Gospel writers seemed to think so.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:19. David would not presume to offer information to God. But rather, the form of speech was his way of acknowledging the complete wisdom of the Lord.

Psalms 69:20. The intensity of David’s persecutions was being more definitely described. The mind of inspiration was getting ready to pass again to a prediction concerning the great Descendant of David.

Psalms 69:21. This and several following verses are in reference to the persecutions of Christ and also the fate called for upon his persecutors. This present prediction was fulfilled while Jesus was on the cross. See Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23; Luke 23:36; John 19:29 for the record of fulfillment of this noted prophecy.

Verses 22-28

Psa 69:22-28

Psalms 69:22-28

PRAYER FOR THE OVERTHROW OF UNGODLY ENEMIES

"Let their table before them become a snare;

And when they are in peace, let it become a trap.

Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see;

And make their loins continually to shake.

Pour out thine indignation upon them,

And let the fierceness of thine anger overtake them.

Let their habitation be desolate;

Let none dwell in their tents.

For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten;

And they tell of the sorrow of those whom thou hast wounded.

Add iniquity unto their iniquity;

And let them not come into thy righteousness.

Let them be blotted out of the book of life,

And not be written with the righteous."

Up to this point in the psalm, "Christ and his passion have been foreshadowed,” but here the impassable gulf between the Type and the Antitype, between David and Christ, begins to widen before us. Christ prayed for his enemies; David cursed his; Christ was not willing that any should perish, but here David actually prayed for his enemies to be blotted out of the Book of Life.

We should not judge David too harshly. He lived before the Great Atonement was made on Calvary. He could not possibly have known all of the horrible terrors that would be involved in one’s being cast out of God’s Book of Life; but Jesus knew all things; and from an infinitely higher level he gave his Life that all men might be saved from eternal death.

From the human standpoint, David’s enemies fully deserved the imprecations heaped upon them; and the infinitely sad thing is that, as proved by Paul’s use of these very words, the wicked persecutors of Jesus indeed suffered the full measure of David’s imprecations upon the wicked in this passage.

"Snare ... trap" (Psalms 69:22). These prophetic words were applied by the apostle Paul to the hardening of Israel in the times of Christ. He added the word "stumbling-block"; but as John Murray stated it, "All three of these words are closely related, and precise distinctions of meaning are not to be pressed.”

The meaning that Paul assigned to the passage is that, their `table’ was such things as the Law of Moses, and the religious institution of Israel, and that such privileges were misused by Israel, not for teaching the Gentiles the knowledge of God, but for the nourishment of Jewish conceit

Exactly what David meant by these words as applied to the enemies of his times is not known. One possibility is that "the table" refers to the privileges of the kingship, which became a trap for Saul and his followers through their abuse of such privileges in the persecutions of David.

"Pour out thine indignation upon them ... let thine anger overtake them ... let their habitation be desolate ... let them not come into thy righteousness ... let them be blotted out of the book of life" (Psalms 69:24-28). It is impossible to think of a more terrible curse than this one. Rather than meditate upon this line by line, we shall rejoice that Christ has indeed taught us a more wonderful reaction to the resentment one naturally feels against those who hate and persecute us without cause.

Jesus taught us to "go the second mile," to "give the cloak also," to "turn the other cheek," to "pray for them that despitefully use us," and to "overcome evil with good." May God help his children to walk in the way of the Master.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:22-23. The Jews rejected Jesus and plotted his death. As a result they were destined to be rejected by the Lord. We do not have to guess at the application of this prophecy, for Paul cites it in connection with his remarks about the Jewish nation and the shortcomings charged against it. (Romans 11:9-10.)

Psalms 69:24. This verse is in the form of a prayer, but it is a prediction of the judgment of God upon that wicked nation for its disrespect of the divine law.

Psalms 69:25. The nation as a whole was considered guilty of the death of Christ. However, the agent in the wicked deed was Judas. This prediction also is clearly interpreted in the New Testament. In Acts 1:20. Peter quoted it when he was preparing to find a man to take the place of Judas as an apostle. The plural form of the pronoun need not confuse us. Judas was the actor for the nation and it was appropriate to speak of the tragedy in that manner.

Psalms 69:26. It was God’s will that Jesus be smitten (Isaiah 53:4), but that did not justify the motives of those who fulfilled that part of the Lord’s plan. God gave his Son over into the hands of wicked men, then they persecuted him with a bitter hatred.

Psalms 69:27. The original for iniquity is defined by Strong as, "perversity, i.e. (moral) evil." In the King James version it has been translated by punishment (or iniquity) as well as by just iniquity. Hence this verse is a prayer for God to add the punishment of iniquity to the wicked Jews for their practice of iniquity. The last clause of the verse means for God not to favor them with a reward of righteousness.

Psalms 69:28. This verse practically means for the wicked Jews to be forgotten and left out of the record. That would cut them off from all sharing with the righteous.

Verse 29

Psa 69:29

Psalms 69:29

A SIGH FOR HELP

"But I am poor and sorrowful:

Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high."

Here David longed to live on a higher plane than that which had been provided by the reciprocal hatred that brought only sorrow to his broken heart. Instinctively, this great Old Testament saint recognized that Divine help alone could benefit him; and here he did what all men should do, he prayed for God’s help. To live on that higher plane all of us desperately need the assistance of the Eternal God.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:29. Poor and sorrowful is a phrase with mixed meaning. The first word is not literal, for David had much of this world’s goods. He was poor in that he was "depressed," which is the leading word in Strong’s definition of the original. That would give to the last word of the phrase a literal meaning.

Verses 30-33

Psa 69:30-33

Psalms 69:30-33

ASSURANCE OF BEING ANSWERED

"I will praise the name of God with a song,

And will magnify him with thanksgiving.

And it will please Jehovah better than an ox,

Or a bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

The meek have seen it, and are glad:

Ye that seek after God, let your heart live.

For Jehovah heareth the needy,

And despiseth not his prisoners."

"A song ... thanksgiving ... will please Jehovah better than an ox" (Psalms 69:30-31). As Matthew Henry noted, "This is a plain intimation that in the days of Messiah an end should be put to animal sacrifices.” There is no disparagement here of the sacrifices which God commanded under the Law of Moses, but a declaration of David’s inability to offer any kind of the prescribed sacrifices, due to his being denied access to the tabernacle; he would nevertheless honor God with song and thanksgiving instead of the sacrifices which he was not able to offer.

The most bizarre, unreasonable and fantastic interpretation of this passage which we have encountered is that of Taylor who offered the following:

"Here the psalmist rated an offering of song and thanksgiving higher than one of animal flesh; and perhaps it was such a point of view which had incited so many of his fellows against him ... He did not mean to abolish the temple; he just wanted to put first things first, subordinating traditional rites to the exercise of spiritual worship.”

The imagination of Hans Christian Andersen was not any better than that! The fantasy indulged by many critics that the more perceptive prophets disapproved of animal sacrifices is totally incorrect. All of the passages that are cited as alleged proof of such a notion, namely, Amos 5:21-24; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Psalms 40:6; Psalms 50:8-14; Psalms 51:16-17, are absolutely devoid of any such teaching. See our comments upon all of these passages en loco. What was always disapproved in those passages was animal sacrifice offered without the true devotion, praise and thanksgiving which were intended to accompany them.

"It will please Jehovah better than ... a bullock that hath horns and hoofs" (Psalms 69:31). The pagans who offered such animals to their gods, frequently decorated them by polishing or gilding their horns and hoofs and by placing garlands of flowers upon their necks as they were led to the slaughter. Adam Clarke believed that the mention of "horns and hoofs here" actually referred to such gilding. The meaning of these words would then be, "A song and thanksgiving would please Jehovah better than a bull all decorated for a sacrifice." Clarke noted that, "The horns, etc., of consecrated animals are thus ornamented in the east till the present time.”

"The meek have seen it and are glad... Jehovah heareth the needy" (Psalms 69:32-33). "Here the psalmist feels that the most amazing fact of experience is not distress, frustration, conflict, misunderstanding, retribution, or even death itself; it is that, the Lord hears the needy.”

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:30. Songs and other poetical compositions were a prominent manner with David in expressing his sentiments. Magnify him meant to recognize the greatness of God.

Psalms 69:31. Animal sacrifices were required by the law and were pleasing to God. However, they were material things and in comparison did not equal spiritual praise.

Psalms 69:32. The humble would include those too poor to present a costly sacrifice like a bullock. But when they saw that God was pleased with such services as sincere praise, which was something that the poorest could offer, then they were made glad. Heart shall live means they would have the heart to seek God when they saw that what they had to offer was pleasing to him.

Psalms 69:33. Despiseth means to belittle or think lightly of another. If the poor are in the prison or other distress the Lord will consider their case nevertheless.

Verses 34-36

Psa 69:34-36

Psalms 69:34-36

A HOPEFUL OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE

"Let heaven and earth praise him,

The seas and everything that moveth therein.

For God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah;

And they shall abide there, and have it in possession.

The seed also of his servants shall inherit it;

And they that love his name shall dwell therein."

"Let heaven and earth ... the sea and everything ... praise God (Psalms 69:34).

EVERYWHERE

"Where myriad waterfowl with thunderous wings

Ascending climb dawn’s flaming stair,

The oratorio of all created things

Is heard upon the morning air.

Where velvet footsteps march beneath the shade

Of giant trees, and move along

The resinous forest’s colonnade,

God hears this thrilling glory song.

Where countless life-forms teem the ocean floor,

Is sung God’s glory in the sea.

A mighty chores shore to shore,

They justify their right to be.

Where Pleiades and Morning Star adorn

The arch of heaven, even there,

From Creation’s birthday more,

God’s glory sings, and EVERYWHERE."

- James Burton Coffman, 1962.

"For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah" (Psalms 69:35). This, of course is the verse, which according to Dummelow, "Points to a date long after the age of David." Of course, Dummelow was thinking of the times of Zedekiah; but others find that this verse allegedly points to the times of "Nehemiah and Ezra," or "The times of the Maccabees.”

We reject such opinions in full confidence of their error. It seems never to have occurred to such scholars that they are misinterpreting the word "build," reading it instead as "rebuild," which is simply not in the Hebrew at all. Even though the RSV, apparently for the purpose of supporting such false views, has without authority changed the word to rebuild, the Douay Version and the Septuagint (LXX) both support the American Standard Version (our version) in rendering the word "build," not "rebuild."

Rawlinson gave the proper meaning of the term as follows: "`Build the cities of Judah’ means to maintain them, and to keep them from decay and ruin.”

At the time David wrote this, many of the "cities of Judah had never been built." It was only after David became king that Jerusalem itself was secured as a bastion of Israel’s power; and what David prophesied here was not that the cities of Judah would be rebuilt after having been destroyed, but that they would be constructed for the first time.

"The seed of his servants shall inherit it" (Psalms 69:36). This is a reference to God’s children, the seed of the kingdom.

"And they that love his name shall dwell therein" (Psalms 69:36). This line, according to the genius of Hebrew poetry has the same meaning as the preceding line, enabling us more certainly to determine the meaning of both.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 69:34. Inanimate things like the earth and sea cannot actually praise God. The thought is that God should be praised because of these works of creation.

Psalms 69:35. Zion was the capital of Judah and God’s interest in them was such that he would defend them against all enemies.

Psalms 69:36. This verse is a prediction that the land of Judah would be possessed by future generations. But that was on condition that they love his name.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Psalms 69". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/psalms-69.html.
 
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