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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 70

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. With much reason this psalm has been considered by many as an introduction to Psalms 71:0, but the evidence not being entirely conclusive, we shall consider it apart. It is evident enough that it was taken from Psalms 40:13-17, and this decides its Davidic authorship. It is equally evident that it was excerpted and put in this independent form for some special occasion, by its formal assignment to the precentor for public use, and the historic intimation of the title, “To cause to remember,” to which the Septuagint adds, “for the Lord saved me.” It was not uncommon for David to thus borrow from himself.

The occasion of it was, beyond doubt, one of great peril. David is in close conflict with his enemies, and a crisis is upon him. The language, “Let them be turned back,” twice uttered; thrice, also, “Make haste to help me;” besides the negative form, “Make no tarrying;” with the further military tinge of the words, “Let them be ashamed and confounded,” “deliver me,” “thou art my deliverer,” with its admitted relation to Psalms 69, 71, all lead us to the eve of some decisive battle. We may, therefore, safely date it after 2 Samuel 18:6, when the army of David had marched out of the city to meet the hosts of Absalom. It would be natural enough for David to call to mind this portion of a former psalm, so expressive of his condition at this hour, and, with unimportant alterations, place it by itself. The psalm is an earnest cry for instant help, and that God would show in his administration the difference between those who contemptuously set him at naught and those who seek his salvation.


To bring to remembrance This occurs elsewhere as a superscription only in title of Psalms 38:0. Its exact import has been variously given. The original, להזכיר , ( le-hazkir,) simply means to cause to remember. But what is to be remembered? Is it a memorial of the author’s sufferings? Or is it to remind God of the condition of his imperilled servant, whom, by the delay of help, he seems to forget? ( Hengstenberg.) The usage of the phrase does not decide it. The word itself refers us to the אזכרה , ( azkarah,) which was that portion of the minchah, or vegetable offering, which was selected to be offered by fire upon the altar.

Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 2:9; Leviticus 2:16; Leviticus 5:12, etc. It was called “A sweet savour unto Jehovah,” and was a confession that all things came from God, and all things should be given back to him. It was a consecration of the offerer and his daily life, with its product, to God. As a memorial, it was “to bring the offerer into gracious remembrance before God.” (Kurtz.) Thus the suffering Church, in all ages, has her azkarah offerings, for ever-renewed consecration, and for grateful remembrance before her Lord.

Verse 1

1. O God For “O Jehovah,” Psalms 40:13.

Make haste The “Be pleased,” (Psalms 40:13,) left out.

Verse 2

2. That seek after my soul “To destroy it,” omitted.

Turned backward As a military phrase the words denote a complete repulse and overthrow of the enemy.

Verse 3

3. Turned A different and softer word than “turned” in Psalms 70:2, without the strengthening word “backward” attached, as there. But the same sense of military, or at least, judicial, defeat, or forcible turning back from their evil purpose, is intended. The scope, and the law of parallelism, require it, and the use of the word Psalms 6:10, justifies it. In Psalms 40:15, a stronger word is used, שׁמם , shamem, literally, to be struck dumb with amazement at the wasting judgment.

Aha, Aha The words express a taunting exultation over a fallen enemy, (Psalms 35:21; Ezekiel 25:3; Ezekiel 26:2; Ezekiel 36:2;) or contempt of an unconquered enemy, (Job 39:25;) or any shallow joy. Isaiah 44:16

Verse 4

4. Let God be magnified In Psalms 40:0, “Jehovah,” for Eloheem, (God,) here.

Verse 5

5. But I am poor and needy Compare Psalms 69:29.

Make haste unto me, O God For this Psalms 40:17 has, “Yet the Lord ( Adonai) thinketh upon me.” O Lord, ( Jehovah,) make no tarrying For this Eloheem, God, is used Psalms 40:17. We have traced the verbal variations of this psalm from its original, but for further notes, see Psalms 40:13-17.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 70". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/psalms-70.html. 1874-1909.
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