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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 61

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 61:0.

David fleeth to God upon his former experience: he voweth perpetual service unto him, because of his promises.

To the chief musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.

Title. נגינת על למנצח lamnatseach al neginath.] The occasion of this psalm is very doubtful. Mudge thinks that it was composed upon the same occasion with the former. In which view the two first verses, says he, are a prayer to God, that he would conduct him safe in his attempt upon the city, which was otherwise too strong for him; probably, seated on an almost impregnable rock. In the three next he acknowledges the divine protection in bringing him back safe into his country. The sixth and seventh are spoken by the priests, or a chorus of priests, praying for long life to the king. In the last, the king concludes with saying, that he would every day thus pay his vows, by visiting God's temple and praising his name.

Verse 2

Psalms 61:2. From the end of the earth From the extremity of the land will I cry unto thee, now, when my heart is sinking. Conduct me up to the rock which is too high for me. He calls Edom the extremity of the country, from whence he would direct his prayer to God, now his heart began to sink with reflecting on the danger of his enterprize. Mudge. Those who conceive the psalm to have been written during the time of David's flight from Absalom, suppose that the end of the land refers to Mahanaim, which lies beyond Jordan, in the remoter parts of Judea. See 2 Samuel 17:22.

Verses 4-5

Psalms 61:4-5. I will abide in thy tabernacle, &c.— David's danger seems to have been over before he had finished this psalm; and therefore, after a pause, he here begins to acknowledge how God had granted the petitions that he had made while he was in distress, and thankfully commemorates his mercy, in crowning his attempt, and giving him the heritage of those that fear his name; i.e. the possession of the country, which is the inheritance of his faithful people.

Verse 6

Psalms 61:6. Thou wilt prolong the king's life Thou wilt add days to the king's days; and to his years generation upon generation. The Chaldee paraphrase adds the word Christ. Thus, Thou shalt give unto Christ, the king, days upon days. His years shall be as the generations of this world, and the generations of the world to come. And so Theodoret observes, that the former part of the verse may agree very well with the Psalmist; but that the latter part of it is by no means applicable to him, but to Christ; who was, according to the flesh, to descend from him, and of whom the Psalmist was an eminent type.

Verse 8

Psalms 61:8. So will I sing praise, &c.— Thus will I sound thy name for ever, when I pay my vows every day.

REFLECTIONS.—In this psalm,

1. David looks up to God in his troubles; Hear my cry, O God, attend unto my prayer. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, to a place of present safety, but especially to the rock of ages, the promised Messiah, the hope of his afflicted people. Note; (1.) Wherever we are, a throne of grace is open; and the more we are removed from other means, the more diligent ought we to be in secret prayer. (2.) There is, blessed be God, a rock higher than we, on which if placed, we need not fear what earth or hell can do against us. (3.) Every day we need cry to God, to fix us more securely on this sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

2. From past experience he is encouraged to expect present help. Thou hast been a shelter, or a covert for me, and a strong tower from the enemy; therefore, in humble hope of the same needful protection, I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever; now taking refuge under thy protection, hoping shortly to return to thy tabernacle in Sion, and by and by to go to that heavenly hill, where God's glory is ever visible to his saints; and I will trust in the covert of thy wings, confident of safety there, when every prospect around me is most dark and threatening. Note; (1.) We should often remember what God has done for us, as an argument to encourage our hearts to hope for greater mercies. (2.) They are safe, whom God's almighty power keeps under his wing. (3.) If we abide faithful and constant in his worship and service below, we may comfortably look forward to an eternal mention in his better tabernacle above.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 61". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/psalms-61.html. 1801-1803.
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