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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Psalms 56

 

 

Verses 1-13

Psalm 56

Theme - When we compare Psalm 56 and Psalm 34, we can see that Psalm 56 is a cry of deliverance, while Psalm 34is a psalm of thanksgiving after deliverance.

Psalm 100:4 says to enter God's gates with thanksgiving ("todah" - Psalm 56:12) and His courts with praise ("tehillah" - Psalm 34:1).

Psalm 100:4, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."

Psalm 56:12, "Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee."

Psalm 34:1, A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Psalm 56:1 (To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.) Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Psalm 56:1 — "To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim…when the Philistines took him in Gath" - Comments- The title of Psalm 56 comes from the story in 1 Samuel 21:10 thru Psalm 22:1. Note:

1 Samuel 21:15, "Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?"

David went to Gath two different times:

1 Samuel 21:10 to 1 Samuel 22:1

1 Samuel 27-29

Psalm 56:1 — "Michtam of David" - Word Study on "Michtam" - Strong says the Hebrew word "michtam" ( מִכְתָּם) (H 4387) literally means, "an engraving," and as a technical term, "a poem." He says this word comes from a Hebrew root word ( כָּתַם) (H 3799), which means "to carve, or engrave." Therefore, some translations prefer to use a poetic term (NLT, Rotherham), while others prefer a more literal translation (DRC, LXX, VgClem).

NLT, "A psalm of David"

Rotherham, "A Precious Psalm of David"

DRC, "The inscription of a title to David himself"

LXX, " στηλογραφία τῷ δαυιδ"

VgClem, "Tituli inscriptio, ipsi David"

Comments- A similar Hebrew word ( כֶּתֶם) (3800) means, "something carved out, i.e. ore; hence, gold." Peter Craigie tells us that some scholars translate the title "A Golden Psalm" from "early rabbinical interpretations." 77] Therefore, we get a variety of translations that carry the idea of treasure or gold.

77] Peter C. Craigie, Psalm 1-50, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 19, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 154.

LITV, YLT, "A Secret Treasure of David"

Luther, "Ein glden Kleinod David"

There are six so called "Michtam Psalm" (16, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60), which open with the phrase "Michtam of David." A similar title "the writing of Hezekiah" is used as the title for the psalm of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:9-20, which uses a similar Hebrew word ( מִכְתָּב) (H 4385), means "a writing, the characters of something written, or a document such as a letter, a copy, an edict, or a poem."

Psalm 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Psalm 56:8 — "put thou my tears into thy bottle" - Comments- Mary K. Baxter, in her book A Divine Revelation of Heaven, tells of the room of tears that she visited in heaven. 78] It was a room lined with crystal shelves, where many bottles were placed. These bottles are filled with the tears of the saints that they shed for the Lord. Under each bottle was a plaque with a name on it. What an awesome truth to realize that the angels are catching each of our tears that we shed and is storing them in these precious bottles.

78] Mary K. Baxter, A Divine Revelation of Heaven (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1998), 32-6.

Arthur Blessitt tells the story of when he was being given a tour of a museum in Iran. The tour guide led them thru the different artifacts. When Blessitt saw a little bottle behind the display cabinet, he asked the tour guide what it was for. The guide said that this was a tear bottle. It was used in the orient even during Bible times. When a soldier went off to battle, the loved ones would keep a tear bottle, with the opening of the bottle shaped to fit comfortably around the eye. Alexander the Great went on a 5-year military campaign before returning home. These tears would be collected in the bottles and kept until the loved one comes home. 79]

79] Arthur Blessitt, interviewed by Randy and Paula White, on Praise the Lord (Santa Ana, California: Trinity Broadcasting Network, 10 September 2002), television program.

Psalm 56:9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

Psalm 56:10 In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.

Psalm 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Psalm 56:11 — — Scripture Reference- Note:

Hebrews 13:6, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

Psalm 56:12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

Psalm 56:12 — "Thy vows are upon me, O God" - Comments- The word "vows" in Psalm 56:12 refers to "promises" he has made unto God. He praises God's Word and puts his trust in God ( Psalm 56:4; Psalm 56:10-11). God's Word is sure to happen in his life. Song of Solomon , the Psalmist will, by faith, in the midst of daily oppression ( Psalm 56:1), render back or pay back his vow to God through an offering of thanksgiving.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 56:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-56.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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