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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 20

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 20:0.

The church blesseth the king in his exploits: her confidence in God's succour.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

Title. לדוד מזמור למנצח lamnatseach mizmor ledavid. This Psalm is supposed to have been written for the service of the tabernacle, and to be sung in parts by the congregation and David himself, (See the note on Psalms 20:9.) in order to pray for his good success in some great expedition; which it is probable, from Psalms 20:7., was against the Ammonites and Syrians, who came with great numbers of horsemen and chariots to fight with him. See 2 Samuel 6:8. 1 Chronicles 19:7. Mudge observes, that the three first verses seem to have been spoken by the people, or priests of the temple rather, upon the king's coming to offer sacrifice, before he set out upon his expedition. The five next, not by David, but by the high-priest, upon seeing the sacrifice promise well, by being happily consumed to ashes, joined perhaps with the other usual signals of favour; which makes him break out afresh in the 6th verse; Now know I, &c. The last verse was sung by the people or priests as a chorus.

Psalms 20:1. Defend thee Raise thee up. Houb.

Verse 3

Psalms 20:3. Accept thy burnt-sacrifice Burn to ashes, &c. Houbigant according to the original. See Leviticus 9:24. Jdg 6:21. 2 Chronicles 7:1. 1 Kings 18:38.

Verse 5

Psalms 20:5. We will set up our banners We shall set up our banners; "We shall have a triumphant procession upon thy victory with shouts and banners displayed." The LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac, render it, We shall be magnified.

Verse 6

Psalms 20:6. He will hear him from his holy heaven, &c.— He will answer him from his holy heavens, with the victorious prowess of his right arm. Mudge. Houbigant renders it, He will hear him from his holy heaven: the salvation of his right hand will be most powerful.

Verse 7

Psalms 20:7. Some trust in chariots, &c.— These their chariots, and those their horses; but we will celebrate the name of the Lord our God. Houbigant and Mudge.

Verse 9

Psalms 20:9. Save, Lord, &c.— Lord, save the king: He will hear us, when we call: Or, And hear us, when we call. Houbigant and Mudge.

REFLECTIONS.—We have here,

1. The matter of the people's requests: That in the day of trouble the Lord would defend their king, whether from secret conspiracies or open violence; and that Jacob's God, whose providential care of him was so eminent, would shew the same tender regard to their sovereign, strengthening him with spiritual might, and from his sanctuary send him forth conquering and to conquer: that all his sacrifices might be accepted, and his prayers graciously answered; every desire crowned with success, and every petition granted. Note; (1.) The highest dignity cannot guard off troubles, and crowns especially are often lined with thorns. (2.) None need our prayers more than those whose height of station exposes them to so many temptations. (3.) When we begin with a sacrifice of prayer, we may hope to end with songs of praise.

The King Messiah saw many days of trouble, from the cradle to the grave, and, when he cried, was heard and holpen. His God supported him; angelic hopes attended to strengthen him; his offering was a sacrifice of a sweet smell, well-pleasing to God; and all his heart's desire, respecting the salvation of the faithful, was thereupon granted.
2. They promise hereupon to rejoice before God: We will rejoice, when these petitions are granted; then the praise of all shall be ascribed to the glorious author of the salvation; and in his name we will triumphantly set up our banners.

The triumphs of Jesus are matters of greatest joy to the faithful; in his salvation they rejoice, see all their foes laid at their feet, and set up their triumphant banners: O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Thanks be to God that giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord; and at his feet the faithful believer's crown will be for ever laid, and shouting for joy he will ever cry, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive blessing and glory.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 20". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/psalms-20.html. 1801-1803.
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