Bible Commentaries
Psalms 60

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-12

Psalms 60:1-12. Title. " Shushan-eduth " seems to mean, ’ a psalm of testimony set to an instrument of six strings.The psalm was intended to testify, and teach, the danger of opposing the servants of God, and the happiness of uniting with them. " Aram-naharalm" or Syria of the two rivers, that is, Syria between the Tygris and the Euphrates, denotes Mesopotamia; and Aram-zobah, Syria

to the west of the Euphrates. (Notes, Genesis 24:10 2 Samuel 8:13-14.)Valley of salt.] Marg. Ref. 100:

V. 1- 3. When Saul and his sons were slain, the Philistines triumphed, and the Israelites were scattered and dismayed. (Note, 1 Samuel 31:7 The setting up of Ishbosheth over the ten tribes, and the consequent division and civil war, made the land to tremble, broke its force, and exposed it to the common enemy. Thus the people of God, for their sins, were shewed " hard things," and made to drink the wine of astonishment, as if they had been his enemies. (Notes,Psalms 75:3. Isaiah 51:17-23. Jeremiah 25:15-17. Lamentations 4:21-22. Habakkuk 2:15-17. Matthew 20:20-23; Matthew 26:36-39.) For the wound made by a skilful surgeon may be as painful, as that made by a mortal foe; though it be given with a contrary intention, and save life instead of destroying it. (Notes, Job 5:18-19. Is. 30: 26.

Hosea 6:1-3.) When the Israelites supported Saul, whom God had rejected, and who was evidently given up to the most furious passions, and to adopt the most ruinous mea-sures ; when to please him they concurred in persecuting David, the Lord’s anointed, whose wisdom and courage, as well as exemplary piety, loyalty, and patriotism, entitled him to their highest esteem and confidence; and when after Saul’s death they, at Abner’s instance, adhered to Ishbosheth, and carried on war against David, in direct opposition to the known will of God ; they seemed to be perfectly infatuated, as if they had drunk some intoxicating poison, which had bereaved them of their senses, and so fillet! thc-in with terror and amazement, that they knew not what they did. (Note, 2 Samuel 2:9-13; 2 Samuel 3:17-21; 2 Samuel 5:1-2.)

V. 4. David, as anointed by God and advanced to the throne, was a banner given to the pious remnant of Israel : and it was displayed, that they mignt resort to it, and under his authority and command, expect the performance of the Lord’s faithful promises, and the triumphing of his truth. (Notes, Psalms 20:5. Exodus 17:15-16.) In this especially he was a type of Christ, and his kingdom and salvation. (Notes, Isaiah 11:11-16; Isaiah 49:22-23; Isaiah 59:16-19; Isaiah 62:10-12. John 12:27-33; John 5:32.)

V. 5. David was beloved of God, as his name signifies : (Notes, 1 Samuel 16:10-11. Ezekiel 34:23-31 ;) and lie was a type of his " beloved Son, in whom lie is well "leased." But the words in the original are plural, and evidently relate to Israel as the Lord’s chosen and beloved people : (Marg. Ref.) and the verse contains the intercession of David for his subjects ; prefiguring, in this, our heavenly Advocate, who never fails to plead in behalf of all, however heretofore rebellious, who bow to the sceptre of his grace, and come to God by him.

(Note, Hebrews 7:23-25. 1 John 2:1-2.)

V. 6-12. (Notes,Psalms 89:19-37. Psalms 108:6-13. 2 Samuel 7:1-29:) God had, by ordering David to be anointed, as Saul’s successor in the kingdom, virtually promised him the throne over all Israel ; as he had to Israel the dominion over the adjacent countries. The promises had been iu part fulfilled, as they related to David. Shechem, Succoth, Gilead, and Manasseh, were in his possession. These had been subject to Ishbosheth ; who had also been supported by Ephraim, that powerful tribe, which was now become the guardian of David’s government and person : the legislative authority was transferred to the tribe of Judah, where it would continue till the coming of the Messiah : and while Israel, being willingly subject to David’s equitable government, shared its blessings ; the neighbouring nations were about to be forced into submission. Moab would soon be reduced to bondage, and employed in the lowest menial services. David also fully expected in a short time to vanquish Edom, and take possession of it, by casting his shoe over it; or treading it under his feet and crushing its strength, as it had been predicted : (Marg Ref. b.:) and let Philistia now triumph over Israel as in times past, if it could. This appears to be an ironical challenge and defiance, (Marg.) These conquests, however, were not yet completed. Bozrali of Edom, or some other strong city, (perhaps Kabbah of the Ammonites,) yet remained unsubdued : but David would not rely on his own valour and conduct, nor on those of his captains or allies, tor completing his conquests ; but on the Lord, who had before " cast off his people," but was now returned to them, and fought for them : and their enemies would soon perceive the difference between the armies of David, which JEHOVAH accompanied to the battle, and those of Saul, wheu JEHOVAH had doomed him to destruction.


The anger of God against sin is the sole cause of all misery, personal or publick, in families, churches, and nations, which has been, is, or shall be endured, in time or to eternity. Professing churches are often cast off, and deprived of their privileges for their sins; nations tremble and are broken for the same cause ; yea, the earth, and creation itself, groans under the load of man’s guilt. (Note, Romans 8:18-23.) Even the true believer, when he commits iniquity, will sometimes be shewed heavy things, and made to drink of the wine of astonishment, till anguish and dismay for a time seize upon him. In all these cases, there is no remedy, but by returning to the Lord with repentance, faith, and prayer ; and beseeching him to return to us, and heal the breaches which sin has made. Blessed be liis name, " he hath given a banner," in the cross of Christ, to those who fear his name ; that resorting thither, and receiving mercy, they may enlist under him who now fills the mediatorial throne, and so wage successful war against the enemies of their souls. Oh, may this banner be every where displayed, that all nations on the face of the earth may embrace the truth, and experience the faithfulness of God to his promises ! He, who exalted the Saviour by his own right hand to the throne of glory, will hear his intercession for all who pray in his name, and who are beloved for his sake ; and save them also by his almighty power. He, who is in Christ a new creature, may rejoice in all the precious promises, which God " hath " spoken in his holiness," and by his Holy One ; and may consider the whole ransomed inheritance as his own reversion ; and the present privileges to which he is called, and the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Spirit which he experiences, are the sure earnests of heavenly glory. If Christ be our’s, all tilings are our’s ; mercy, grace, peace, wisdom, righteousness, strength, and victory, life and death, angels and men, earth and heaven are our’s; and all things shall, in one way or other, be rendered subservient to our eternal good. (Notes, Romans 8:28-39. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23.) We are not, however, as yet made complete conquerors ; and no true believer will abuse these truths, to the allowed indulgence of sloth or vain confidence. We are still called to put on, and use our spiritual armour, and to prepare for fresh conflicts, perhaps more trying than any which we have yet experienced : (Notes, Ephesians 6:10-18:) trusting, however, in God to lead us forth and support us, and to give us strength in every time of trouble, we may do valiantly and tread down all our enemies, and we shall ere long obtain the conqueror’s crown. But vain is the help or salvation of man, or of creatures, even far more in things spiritual and eternal, than in our temporal concerns : so that those who trust and pray to saints and angels, and expect salvation from them ; will be overcome by the enemy and finally perish. But our Mediator, through whom we come to the Father, and trust in him, is " Emmanuel," God over all " blessed for " evermore ; " and believers, when strong in faith, " can " do all things, through Christ who strengthenetli them." (Notes, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Philippians 4:10-13.) The church also, over whicli oppressors have so often insulted, as if the Lord had cast her off, shall speedily triumph over them all : and while those who willingly submit to our anointed King shall share his glories, all his foes shall be put under his feet. (Note, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.)

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 60". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.