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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Psalms 63

 

 

Verse 1

PSALM 63

Where he hid himself from Saul, 1 Samuel 22:5 23:14,15 26:1,2

David in the wilderness, complaining bitterly of his banishment from God’s house, thirsteth and longeth for it, Psalms 63:1-3. His manner of blessing God. His experience, hope, and delight in God, Psalms 63:4-8. Comforteth himself that his enemies shall be destroyed, and that he shall be in safety, Psalms 63:9-11.

My God; in covenant with me.

Early, Heb.

in the morning; which implies the doing it with greatest diligence and speed, taking the first and the best time for it, as Job 8:5 Psalms 78:34 Proverbs 1:28.

Thirsteth for thee, i.e. for the presence and enjoyment of thee in thy house and ordinances, as the next verse declareth it.

Longeth; or, languisheth, or pineth away. The desire of my soul after thee is so vehement and insatiable, that my very body feels the effects of it, as it commonly doth of all great passions.

A dry and thirsty land, where no water is; so called, either,

1. Metaphorically; in a land where I want the refreshing waters of the sanctuary. Or,

2. Properly; I thirst not so much for water (which yet I greatly want) as for thee.


Verse 2

To see, i.e. to enjoy, as seeing is oft taken.

Thy power and thy glory; either,

1. The ark, which is called God’s strength and glory, 1 Samuel 4:21 1 Chronicles 16:11 Psalms 78:61. Or rather,

2. The powerful and glorious effects and evidences of thy gracious presence there.

So as I have seen thee; whereof I have formerly had great and comfortable experience; which makes me more sensible of my present loss, and more thirsty after these enjoyments.


Verse 3

This is the reason of the foregoing thirst after God.

Thy loving-kindness, i.e. the discoveries and influences of thy grace and favour, which thou usually impartest to thy people in the sanctuary.

Is better than life; is more durable, and comfortable, and satisfactory than the present life, with all imaginable advantages belonging to it.

My lips shall praise thee, both for my former taste and experiences of this truth, and for the assurance of my restitution to the same blessed enjoyments.


Verse 4

Thus, i.e. so as I have done and now do. Or, upon that occasion, when I shall be restored. Or, for this reason, being so sensible of the sweetness of thy favour. Or, certainly; for this particle is sometimes used as a note of asseveration, as it is Psalms 127:2 Isaiah 16:6.

I will lift up my hands towards thee in heaven, in prayers and praises.

In thy name; according to thy command. Or, with confidence in thy name.


Verse 5

When thou shalt fulfil my earnest desire of enjoying thee in the sanctuary; though now in my exile I groan and pine away for want of that mercy.


Verse 7

Remember thee: in the mean time, whilst I cannot enjoy thee, I will quiet and comfort myself with the thoughts and remembrance of thy kindness to me. Upon my bed, Heb. upon my beds, implying that he was frequently forced to change his bed and lodging, being driven from place to place. In the night watches; in the several seasons of the night, which was divided into three or four watches; of which see Exodus 14:24 Jude 7:19 Mark 13:35. When others sleep securely, my sleep is interrupted by my perplexity and grief for my absence from thy house, and when I awake my thoughts are fixed upon thee, &c.

I will rejoice; I will rest securely and joyfully in thy protection.


Verse 8

Followeth hard after thee, i.e. pursueth thee eagerly, diligently, and resolvedly, and as it were step by step, when thou seemest to run away from me; which is the emphasis of this Hebrew word. My soul and spirit cleaveth to thee, as this verb signifies, Genesis 2:24 Jeremiah 13:11, when my body is absent from thy sanctuary.

Upholdeth me: I do not lose my labour in following hard after thee; for though I am not, yet restored to the enjoyment of thy presence in thy house, yet I have present supports from thee, whereby my spirit is kept from fainting under my manifold pressures, and is enabled with faith and patience to wait upon thee, till thou seest fit to deliver me.


Verse 9

To destroy it, i.e. to take away my life.

Into the lower parts of the earth; either,

1. Into hell. Or rather,

2. Into their grave, as this phrase is used, Ezekiel 31:14,18. But how is this true, when they are supposed to be devoured by foxes, Psalms 63:10? Answ. This may be understood, either,

1. Of divers persons. Some of their slain might be buried, and others lie unburied. Or,

2. Of the same persons; they did go into the earth, but not immediately, but were first devoured of foxes, and the remainders of them were buried, as is frequently done in such cases. Or this phrase may note not so much the place as the state of the dead; this being universally said of those that die, whether they are buried or unburied, that they return to the earth or dust, Job 1:21 Ecclesiastes 12:7.


Verse 10

They shall fall by the sword, i.e. die in battle, as David foretold, 1 Samuel 26:10, and as was accomplished in Saul and his followers, who were David’s greatest enemies, 1Sa 31.

They shall be a portion for foxes; their carcasses shall be unburied upon the earth, and thereby become a prey to wild and ravenous creatures, and especially to foxes, which were in those parts in great abundance and which did and do feed not only upon fruits, Song of Solomon 2:15, but also upon flesh, as experience showeth. Besides, some very learned men think that the word rendered foxes is more general, and comprehends, besides foxes, another sort of creatures, like unto them called thoes, which were very numerous in this country; of which See Poole "Jude 15:4".


Verse 11

The king; I, who am already anointed king, and who shall be actually king, when these mine enemies are fallen by the sword. He speaks of himself in the third person, either out of modesty or out of prudence, because it was ambiguous, and might be understood either of himself or of Saul, whereby, he might avoid the envy of the expression, if this Psalm was composed before he was king. That sweareth by him; either,

1. By the king; by whom they sometimes did swear, as Genesis 42:15 2 Samuel 15:21. But they did also swear by some other persons, of eminent place and authority, though under the king, as 1 Samuel 1:26 20:3. Nor is it likely that the psalmist would justify those kinds of oaths; this practice of swearing by one’s name being accounted a part of that worship which is proper to God, both in the Old and New Testament. If this were meant of the king, it might better be rendered, that sweareth it, (for so the particle beth is sometimes used) him, as subjects used to swear homage to their prince. So the sense is, all those that shall own me for their king. Or,

2. By God, who was last mentioned, that sweareth by the name of God, to wit, in truth, and judgment, and righteousness, as it is expressed, Jeremiah 4:2, i.e. every sincere servant and worshipper of God; swearing being oft put for the whole worship of God, whereof it is a considerable part, and swearers by God for worshippers of him, as Isaiah 19:18 45:23, compared with Romans 14:11 Isaiah 65:16. Shall glory; shall rejoice in my deliverance and exaltation, both for their respect to the honour and service of God, which I shall advance, and for the benefits which all good men and the whole kingdom shall feel by my government; whereas in Saul’s time the vilest men were exalted, and good men oppressed and persecuted, and the whole kingdom groaned under his tyranny.

That speak lies; that now make it their business to invent or spread lying and slanderous reports concerning me and others of God’s people.

Shall be stopped; I shall severely restrain and punish such wicked practices.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 63:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-63.html. 1685.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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