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Bible Commentaries

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

Psalms 64

Verses 1-10

Psalms 64:1-10.

V.I. From fear, &c.] Defend us, ’ thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies ; that ’ we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the ’ power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ.’ Liturgy, 2 Col. Morn. Prayer. ’ That we, being ’ defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our ’ time in rest and quietness. 2 Col. Even. Prayer. God as effectually answers these petitions by increasing our faith, as by removing the danger. A victory gained by ’ the fear of God over the fear of man, is a necessary step", ’ and a happy prelude, to a full and final triumph over ’ every enemy of our salvation.’ Bp. Home. (Notes, Psalms 55:4-8; Psalms 56:3-4. Acts 18:9-11.)

V. 2, 3. It is probable, that the secret consultations of Saul and his courtiers against David, and the deceitful and violent measures which they adopted in order to destroy him, gave occasion to this Psalm. Open reproaches and false accusations wound like a sword in close fight : secret detraction slays like an arrow shot from a distance, or in the dark, or by one concealed from view. (Marg.

V. 4, 5. David was not only an upright character, but he was perfectly innocent of those crimes which were laid to his charge :

(Notes, Psalms 7:-5. Psalms 17:1-5:) yet his enemies, not having the fear of God before their eyes, and being hardened against the dread of consequences, propagated their calumnies secretly, but very rapidly ; encouraging one another, and consulting together in what way to ensnare and destroy him ; fully expecting to escape detection, and acting as if God himself did not see them, or would not call them to account for their wickedness. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalms 10:2-11. Psalms 36:1. Psalms 59:7.)’ Envy ’ and malice crucified the Son of God : but during the ’ course of the proceedings against him, you hear only of f zeal for the law, and loyalty to Ceesar.’ Bp. Home.

V. 6. This verse may be rendered perhaps more liteally, " They search out iniquities : we are consumed by " that which has been throughly searched out: (marg:) " for the inward part and the heart of man is deep." Saul and his partisans searched to find out some real or apparent iniquity, which David had committed, in order to cover the -malice of their persecution : and they sedulously contrived new methods of perpetrating their crimes. Their intentions, however, were carefully concealed : and the malice, dissimulation, and wickedness of their hearts, were deep and unfathomable.

(Notes, Psalms 5:9. Jeremiah 17:9-10. Revelation 2:24-28.)

V. 7- 10. While the persecutors were leveling their arrows, and about to shoot suddenly at David; God would unexpectedly cut them off; and their mortal wounds would be inflicted at once, while they were promising themselves complete success. (Note, Psalms 7:8-13.) Their blasphemies, perjuries, imprecations, and slanders, would, as an immense load of guilt, fall on them, and sink them into destruction. (Notes, Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 18:6-7.) Their doom would be so dreadful, that the spectators would flee away, lest they should be involved in it: (Numbers 16:34:) and all who heard of it would fear to imitate their conduct ; be constrained to acknowledge the hand of God ; and, learning useful instruction from the awful dispensation, would cause others to understand it. Thus the benefit, derived from it by numbers, would illustrate the wisdom and goodness of God, as well as his justice, in his severity towards these wicked men : while " all the upright " in heart" would be glad and glory in him. (Marg. Ref.)

The dreadful imprecation of the Jews, when demanding our Lord’s crucifixion, " His blood be on us and on " our children," has indeed fallen upon them. (Note, Matthew 27:24-25.) The destruction of Jerusalem filled the beholders with terror, and forced them to acknowledge that it was the work of God. Even Titus, the Roman emperor, confessed that he had fought and conquered by the favour of the Almighty ; and the nation o the Jews, scattered through the world, affords a most in structive lesson to every land, and to all succeeding generations.


The continuance or renewal of our trials will render the repetition of the same petitions requisite : but varied expressions may often be affecting and useful to ourselves and others. When faith in God triumphs over the fear of powerful and malicious men, our prayers are certainly heard, and final deliverance from the danger will in due time follow. The most blameless will be reviled, and the most useful hated, by such men as took secret counsel, or made open insurrection, against the perfect and divine Saviour ; and whetted their tongues, and shot their sarcasms, against him, before they shed his blood. Such transgressors are often inwardly alarmed with the dread of consequences : but they encourage each other, till they flatter themselves with the hopes of impunity, and despise the they are murdering his people : (Notes, Matthew 26:57-68:) but all their malice will rebound upon themselves, and God himself will fight against them and destroy them ; and all who behold their doom, especially in a future state, will reverence his power and justice in it. But it is our wisdom now to fear because of the judgments of God, and to flee from the wrath to come ; to declare and consider his works, and to shun the rock on which others have split. For the righteous alone can rejoice and trust in this holy Lord God : and all who uprightly rely on his mercy, and seek to know and do his will, shall glory in him as their Salvation and eternal Portion.

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 64". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.