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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 61

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 61:1 « To the chief Musician upon Neginah, [A Psalm] of David. » Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

To the chief Musician upon Neginah, &c.] Vincenti in melodiis Davidis (Vatab.). It is probable that he made this psalm when, driven out of his kingdom by his son Absalom, he took up at Mahanaim beyond Jordan, 2 Samuel 17:24, and therehence prayed from the ends of the earth, or rather of the land, Psalms 61:2. Howbeit R. Obadiah saith, that this psalm is De pugna cum Aram in confinibus Israel, concerning the battle with the Syrians in the borders of the land. See 2 Samuel 10:14, &c., and 1 Chronicles 19:16, &c.

Ver. 1. Hear my cry, O God] Heb. my shouting, my sad outcry; for he was in great extremity, Psalms 61:2, and seeks ease by prayer. This is the way, Job 22:21, Philippians 4:6-7, walk in it. Prayer hath virtutem pacativam; it doth sweetly settle the soul, and lodge a blessed security in it.


Verse 2

Psalms 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock [that] is higher than I.

Ver. 2. From the ends of the earth] Or, of the land. In all places men may lift up holy hands, 1 Timothy 2:8, John 4:21, and speed. A desert may be a goodly oratory. Sic dicit respectu arae a qua exulabat longe in bello contra hostes (R. Sol.).

When my heart is overwhelmed] Or, covered over, Ut fit in deliquiis et lipothimiis, as is usual in swoons. See a like expression Psalms 102:1 title; Lamentations 3:65, where the word rendered sorrow of heart signifieth such a covering like a shield, such a lid put over the heart, that is suffocated, as in the Cardiaca passio. David’s harp was not more out of tune than his heart sometimes; he prayeth, and is helped.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I] i.e. Do for me that I cannot do for myself; set me in safety.


Verse 3

Psalms 61:3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong tower from the enemy.

Ver. 3. For thou hast been a shelter for me] Thou hast, and therefore thou wilt, is an ordinary Scripture medium, and well it may; for God is unchangeable, and his decree for preserving his people is (as the poet saith well) ου παλιναγρε τον, Irrevocable.


Verse 4

Psalms 61:4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Ver. 4. I will abide in thy tabernacle] Et scribam mirabilia tua in memoriale, saith R. Obadiah by way of gloss; and I will there register up thy wonderful works. Or, I shall there worship thee, and do thee acceptable service again, though at present I am banished or bruised abroad. He saith not, I shall abide in my palace, but in thy tabernacle, which he more highly esteemed. Some render it, I shall dwell in thy tent, or pavilion royal, making it a metaphor from warfare, where those that are in the king’s own tent must needs be in greatest safety. And this sense suiteth well with the following words, I will trust in the covert of thy wings.


Verse 5

Psalms 61:5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given [me] the heritage of those that fear thy name.

Ver. 5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows] i.e. My prayers, which had vows of thankfulness annexed unto them. Hinc Graeci precationem dicunt προσευχην.

Thou hast given me the heritage] Even the sure mercies of David, grace and glory; and inheritance in the world to come, as the Chaldee hath it; besides what we have here.


Verse 6

Psalms 61:6 Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: [and] his years as many generations.

Ver. 6. Thou wilt prolong the king’s life] The King Christ, saith the Chaldee, who shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shah prosper in his hand, Isaiah 53:10. David himself also lived and reigned longer than most kings do, being old and full of days.

And his years as many generations] sc. In his sons and successors. So Psalms 72:17, Filiabitur heroine eius. The name of Christ shall endure for ever, it shall be begotten as one generation is begotten of another, there shall be a succession of Christ’s name.


Verse 7

Psalms 61:7 He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, [which] may preserve him.

Ver. 7. He shall abide before God for ever] Or, He shall sit, viz. upon the throne, a long while in his person; but for ever in his Son Christ, Luke 1:32-33 : and this affordeth sweet and singular comfort to the whole Church and each member thereof; forasmuch as the dignity of a king cannot stand unless his subjects be in safety.

O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him] Hos duos custodes adhibe quibus unis innitatur, let these two (thy mercy and thy truth) be the supporters of his throne, let them be of his lifeguard, let them be his due and prepared portion, as the Hebrew word Man here used signifieth (Junius). Some understand the words thus, furnish the king with these two virtues, clemency and truth, that thereby his throne may be established. See Proverbs 20:28; Proverbs 29:14.


Verse 8

Psalms 61:8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Ver. 8. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever] Conclusio votiva. Praise is so pleasing a service to God, that he indented with his people for it, Psalms 50:15, and they, knowing his mind therein, do usually restipulate that they will perform it; as holding it the least that they in conscience can do, and knowing it the most that they are able to do. They present it, therefore, to God, as that Grecian did his small gift to Augustus, saying, Eι πλεον ειχον πλεον εδιδουν, If I had a better thing I could well beteem it thee.

That I may daily perform my vows] Which, till they be paid, a true-hearted votary is in pain; for he accounteth them due debts to God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 61:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-61.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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