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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:22

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Blessing;   Care;   Faith;   Righteous;   Thompson Chain Reference - Immovable, Saints;   Saints;   Security;   Security-Insecurity;   The Topic Concordance - Burden;   Destruction;   Help;   Righteousness;   Steadfastness;   Stumbling/slipping;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Care, Overmuch;   Righteousness;   Steadfastness;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Burden;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Anxiety;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Greek Versions of Ot;   Psalms;   Sin;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Burden;   God;   Psalms the book of;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Burden;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Concordance;   Give;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - ḥafz (Ibn Al-Birr) Al-ḳuṭi;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 31;   Faith's Checkbook - Devotion for July 14;   Today's Word from Skip Moen - Devotion for October 15;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Psalms 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord — Whatever cares, afflictions, trials, &c., they may be with which thou art oppressed, lay them upon him.

And he shall sustain thee — He shall bear both thee and thy burden. What a glorious promise to a tempted and afflicted soul! God will carry both thee and thy load. Then cast thyself and it upon him.

He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. — While a man is righteous, trusts in and depends upon God, he will never suffer him to be shaken. While he trusts in God, and works righteousness, he is as safe as if he were in heaven.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:0 Betrayed by a friend

David is worried and uncertain. He has found that so-called friends have been plotting against him (e.g. Ahithophel; 2 Samuel 15:12,2 Samuel 15:31; 2 Samuel 17:1-3) and he knows not which way to turn. He remembers things he saw certain people do and realizes now that they were treacherously aimed at his downfall (1-3).

Overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness, David fears that death is upon him (4-5). He wishes that he could escape from it all. He would like to fly away like a bird, so that he could find a quiet place where he could shelter from the storm (6-8). Then he thinks again of the murderous plans that people have laid against him. Along the city walls, around the streets, in the market places, people plot against him (9-11). Most heart-breaking of all is the knowledge that the person behind this plotting is the one he thought was his closest friend (12-14). Such traitors deserve a fitting punishment (15).
In his distress David turns to God and his faith awakens. He knows that God will save those who trust in him, and overthrow those who deliberately ignore him (16-19). But he cannot forget his false friend and the treacherous way his friend has lied to him (20-21). He decides finally that the only way to be relieved of the burden on his mind is to hand it over to God. He is confident that God will look after the righteous and punish the wicked (22-23).

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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible


"Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain thee:

He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.

But thou O God wilt bring them down into the pit of destruction:

Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days;

But I will trust in thee."

"Cast thy burden, etc." (Psalms 55:22). This verse has been singled out as a memory verse by countless people and is well worthy of such attention. There is an exuberant joy in every word of it. "The `burden' here is a reference to the cares which are our portion in life."[20]

"Down into the pit of destruction" (Psalms 55:23). This is merely a statement of the fact that wicked men, especially covenant breakers, shall finally suffer eternal condemnation, as Christ made abundantly clear in Matthew 25. Unfortunately, the RSV blundered in their translation here, making it read, "into the lowest pit of destruction." However, as Baigent pointed out, "The passage does not necessarily mean that there are divisions in Sheol."[21]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Cast thy burden upon the Lord - This may be regarded as an address of the psalmist to himself, or to his own soul - an exhortation to himself to roll all his care upon the Lord, and to be calm. It is expressed, however, in so general language, that it may be applicable to all persons in similar circumstances. Compare Matthew 11:28-29; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7. The Margin here is, “gift.” The “literal” rendering would be, “Cast upon Jehovah what he hath given (or laid upon) thee; that is, thy lot.” (Gesenius, Lexicon) The phrase, “he gives thee,” here means what he appoints for thee; what he allots to thee as thy portion; what, in the great distribution of things in his world, he has assigned to “thee” to be done or to be borne; cast it all on him. Receive the allotment as coming from him; as what “he” has, in his infinite wisdom, assigned to thee as thy portion in this life; as what “he” has judged it to be best that then shouldest do or bear; as “thy” part of toil, or trouble, or sacrifice, in carrying out his great arrangements in the world. All that is to be “borne” or to be “done” in this world he has “divided up” among people, giving or assigning to each one what He thought best suited to his ability, his circumstances, his position in life - what “he” could do or bear best - and what, therefore, would most conduce to the great end in view. That portion thus assigned to “us,” we are directed to “cast upon the Lord;” that is, we are to look to him to enable us to do or to bear it. As it is “his” appointment, we should receive it, and submit to it, without complaining; as it is “his” appointment, we may feel assured that no more has been laid upon us than is commensurate with our ability, our condition, our usefulness, our salvation. We have not to rearrange what has been thus appointed, or to adjust it anew, but to do all, and endure all that he has ordained, leaning on his arm.

And he shall sustain thee - He will make you sufficient for it. The word literally means “to measure;” then to hold or contain, as a vessel or measure; and then, to hold up or sustain “by” a sufficiency of strength or nourishment, as life is sustained. Genesis 45:11; Genesis 47:12; Gen 50:21; 1 Kings 4:7; 1 Kings 17:4. Here it means that God would give such a “measure” of strength and grace as would be adapted to the duty or the trial; or such as would be sufficient to bear us up under it. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 12:9.

He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved - literally, “He will not give moving forever to the righteous.” That is, he will not so appoint, arrange, or permit things to occur, that the righteous shall be “ultimately” and “permanently” removed from their steadfastness and their hope; he will not suffer them to fall away and perish. In all their trials and temptations he will sustain them, and will ultimately bring them off in triumph. The meaning here cannot be that the righteous shall never be “moved” in the sense that their circumstances will not be changed; or that none of their plans will fail; or that they will never be disappointed; or that their minds will never in any sense be discomposed; but that whatever trials may come upon them, they will be “ultimately” safe. Compare Psalms 37:24.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

22 Cast thy giving upon Jehovah. The Hebrew verb יהב, yahab, signifies to give, so that יהבע, yehobcha, according to the ordinary rules of grammar, should be rendered thy giving, or thy gift. (321) Most interpreters read thy burden, but they assign no reason for this rendering. The verb יהב, yahab, never denotes to burden, and there is no precedent which might justify us in supposing that the noun deduced from it can mean a burden. They have evidently felt themselves compelled to invent that meaning from the harshness and apparent absurdity of the stricter translation, Cast thy gift upon Jehovah. And I grant that the sentiment they would express is a pious one, that we ought to disburden ourselves before God of all the cares and troubles which oppress us. There is no other method of relieving our anxious souls, but by reposing ourselves upon the providence of the Lord. At the same time, I find no example of such a translation of the word, and adhere therefore to the other, which conveys sufficiently important instruction, provided we understand the expression gift or giving in a passive sense, as meaning all the benefits which we desire God to give us. The exhortation is to the effect that we should resign into the hands of God the care of those things which may concern our advantage. It is not enough that we make application to God for the supply of our wants. Our desires and petitions must be offered up with a due reliance upon his providence, for how many are there who pray in a clamorous spirit, and who, by the inordinate anxiety and restlessness which they evince, seem resolved to dictate terms to the Almighty. In opposition to this, David recommends it as a due part of modesty in our supplications, that we should transfer to God the care of those things which we ask, and there can be no question that the only means of checking an excessive impatience is an absolute submission to the Divine will, as to the blessings which should be bestowed. Some would explain the passage: Acknowledge the past goodness of the Lord to have been such, that you ought to hope in his kindness for the future. But this does not give the genuine meaning of the words. As to whether David must be considered as here exhorting himself or others, it is a question of little moment, though he seems evidently, in laying down a rule for his own conduct, to prescribe one at the same time to all the children of God. The words which he subjoins, And he shall feed thee, clearly confirm that view of the passage which I have given above. Subject as we are in this life to manifold wants, we too often yield ourselves up to disquietude and anxiety. But David assures us that God will sustain to us the part of a shepherd, assuming the entire care of our necessities, and supplying us with all that is really for our advantage. He adds, that he will not suffer the righteous to fall, or always to stagger If מוט, mot, be understood as meaning a fall, then the sense will run: God shall establish the righteous that he shall never fall. But the other rendering seems preferable. We see that the righteous for a time are left to stagger, and almost to sink under the storms by which they are beset. From this distressing state David here declares, that they shall be eventually freed, and blessed with a peaceful termination of all their harassing dangers and cares.

(321) “What thou desirest to have given thee,” according to the Chaldee, which renders the word thy hope; i e. , that which thou hopest to receive. On the margin of our English Bibles it is, thy gift, which Williams explains by “allotment.” “ Cast thy allotment upon the Lord, ” says he, “on which we may remark, that whatever allotment we receive from God, whether of prosperity or adversity, it is our duty to refer it back to him: ‘He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord, and he will repay him;’ or if our lot be adverse, ‘he will sustain’ under every burden, and ‘never suffer the righteous to be moved’ from his foundation.” In like manner Rogers understands the word. “ Cast upon Jehovah what he allots you; i e. , commit to Jehovah your destiny. Supply אשר before יהבך ” — Book of Psalms in Hebrew, volume 2, p. 210. The Septuagint reads, μέριμνάν, thy care; in which it is followed by the apostle Peter, (1 Peter 5:5.) The reading of the Vulgate, Syriac, Æthiopic, and Arabic versions is the same.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:1-23

Psalms 55:1-23 :

Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me ( Psalms 55:1-3 ).

I told you, David was capable of inspiring hate or love. You either loved the guy or hated the guy. And the feelings towards David were quite strong. And he was always praying about his enemies, and those that were after him, and those that were seeking to destroy him.

"For they cast iniquity upon me, in wrath they hate me."

My heart is sore pain within me: the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had the wings like a dove! for I would fly out of this place, and be at rest. Lo, then I would wonder far off, and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and the tempest. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go upon the walls thereof: and mischief also and the sorrows are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets ( Psalms 55:4-11 ).

Now David evidently wrote this psalm when he was fleeing from Absalom. For David's close counselor and friend, Ahithophel, actually revolted against David when Absalom did. He went with Absalom. And Ahithophel began to counsel Absalom on how to destroy David. This is the thing that really hurt David, is that Absalom had turned against him. David said,

For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was you, a man mine equal, my guide, my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, we walked into the house of God in company ( Psalms 55:12-14 ).

So David is so hurt because it really wasn't an enemy to David that had done such a dirty thing to him, but it was a fellow that he had had beautiful fellowship with. They had talked together. They had counseled together. They had gone into the house of God and fellowshipped together, and yet he turned himself against David. And that is always, I think, some of the greatest hurts that we experience, are when men that we have trusted and put our confidence, utmost confidence in, and we have trusted them unquestionably. And they have worked together with us and labored together with us. And we have given them great responsibilities. And suddenly they turn, and they begin to tell vicious lies. They violate the trust that you have put in them. They turn against you. They take from you, and that hurts. Because you have put all kinds of confidence in them. You have trusted them completely, implicitly. And suddenly you realize, as did David in verse Psalms 55:21 , the words of his mouth were smoother than butter. But war was in his heart. His words were softer than oil, yet they were like a drawn sword.

And that's what really hurts, is when someone that you have really placed complete confidence and trust in, and entrusted with a great part of the ministry. And then they turn and try to take it. That hurts beyond anything that I have ever had hurt, as far as the ministry goes.

And David felt this very hurt himself. The hurt of a friend, a comrade, an associate, one that you had fellowshipped and trusted, when they turn against you. So David speaks about this, the turning of Ahithophel. And David isn't so kind with him after he turned. He said,

Let death seize upon them, let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me ( Psalms 55:15-16 ).

You know, it's not going to destroy me. The Lord is going to take care of me. But the tragedies that will befall those.

Evening, and at morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. He hath put forth his hands against such as be it peace with him: he hath broken his covenant ( Psalms 55:17-20 ).

Broken promises and covenants.

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet they were like drawn swords. [David said,] Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. But thou, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee ( Psalms 55:21-23 ).

That is the only place to move, into the Lord. And there is comfort and blessing and joy. "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
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Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 55

The occasion that inspired the composition of this individual lament psalm was David’s betrayal by an intimate friend. We do not know with certainty who he was, though some commentators have suggested Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:31). One manuscript of Jerome’s Latin Version has the title "The voice of Christ against the chiefs of the Jews and the traitor Judas." [Note: Kirkpatrick, p. 308.]

David prayed that God would deliver him from his plight. He also lamented his distress that a trusted friend had betrayed him, and he voiced confidence in God who redeems His elect.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

3. A call out of confidence 55:16-23

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The psalmist concluded this poem with a homily to the reader. He encouraged the righteous to roll their burdens on the Lord rather than bearing them themselves (cf. 1 Peter 5:7). He trusted in the Lord’s ability to sustain His own-having experienced it many times in his life (cf. Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). However, he had also learned that sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). Normally those who live by the sword perish by the sword and die prematurely (Genesis 9:6; Matthew 26:52). In view of these two alternatives, David reaffirmed his decision to trust in the Lord.

The opposition of ungodly people is difficult to bear, but the antagonism of formerly intimate friends is even harder. When friends prove unfaithful, believers should continue to remain faithful to the Lord and trust Him to sustain and vindicate them.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Cast thy burden upon the Lord,.... These are either the words of the Holy Ghost to David, according to Jarchi; or of David to his own soul in distress, and may be directed to any good man in like circumstances. The word rendered "burden" signifies a gift and so the words are translated by many, "cast thy gift upon the Lord" f; what he has given in a way of providence and of grace, acknowledge him to be the author of it; pray for a continuance of mercies, and for fresh supplies, and expect them; and also what he gives in a way of trial, the cross, with all afflictions and troubles: which sense seems most agreeable to the context; and these may be said to be "the gift" of God, as the cup of sorrow Christ drank of is said to be "given" him by his Father, John 18:11. These are given by the Lord to bring his people to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; to humble them for it, and cause them to return from it; and to try their graces: and then do they cast them upon him, when they acknowledge them as coming from him; wait the removal of them in his time; desire a sanctified use of them, and expect deliverance from them by him. Or the sense is, whatever thou desirest should be given thee by the Lord, cast it on him; that is, leave it with him to do as he pleases, who works all things after the counsel of his own will. The Targum renders it,

"cast thy hope upon the Lord;''

as an anchor on a good bottom, to which hope is compared, Hebrews 6:19. This is done when persons make the Lord the object of their hope, and expect all from him they hope to enjoy here and hereafter. The Septuagint version is, "cast thy care upon the Lord"; of thy body, and all the temporal concerns of thy family, and everything relating thereunto; and of thy soul, and its everlasting welfare and salvation; see 1 Peter 5:7. But Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, interpret the word by

משאך, "thy burden", which is learnt from the use of it in the Arabic language. The Rabbins did not know the meaning of the word, till one of them heard an Arabian merchant say g,

"take up יהביך, "thy burden", and cast it upon the camels.''

The burden here meant is either the burden of afflictions, which is sometimes very heavy; see Job 6:23; no affliction is joyous, but grievous; but some are heavier in their own kind and nature than others, and become so through the multiplicity of them, as in the case of Job; or through the long continuance of them, and especially when attended with the hidings of God's face, or with the temptations of Satan: or else the burden of sin and corruption, which is an heavy burden, and a very disagreeable one; under which the saints groan, and by which they are hindered in running their Christian race, and which they are like to carry with them to their graves; their only relief under it is to look to Christ, who has borne it and took it away; which may be meant by casting it on the Lord:

and he shall sustain thee; in being, both natural and spiritual; and supply with all things necessary both to the temporal and spiritual life, and support under all trials and difficulties;

he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be shaken and stagger so as to fall, especially totally and finally; for the words may be rendered, "he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved for ever" h; or so to be moved by their afflictions as to desert the cause in which they are engaged; nor shall they ever be moved by men or devils, or anything whatever, from their spiritual estate, in which they are by grace; nor from the love of God and covenant of grace; nor out of the hands of Christ; nor from their state of justification, adoption, and sanctification.

f יהבך "donum tuum", Montanus; "quicquid dat tibi", Junius Tremellius, Piscator. g T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 26. 2. Megillah, fol. 18. 1. Bereshit Rabba, s. 79. fol 69. 4. h לעולם "in aeternum", Musculus, Gussetius, p. 460. "perpetuo", Tigurine version, Lutherus, Gejerus so Ainsworth.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Confidence in God.

      16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.   17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.   18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.   19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.   20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.   21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.   22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.   23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.

      In these verses,

      I. David perseveres in his resolution to call upon God, being well assured that he should not seek him in vain (Psalms 55:16; Psalms 55:16): "As for me, let them take what course they please to secure themselves, let violence and strife be their guards, prayer shall be mind; this I have found comfort in, and therefore this will I abide by: I will call upon God, and commit myself to him, and the Lord shall save me;" for whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, in a right manner, shall be saved, Romans 10:13. He resolves to be both fervent and frequent in this duty. 1. He will pray fervently: "I will pray and cry aloud. I will meditate" (so the former word signifies); "I will speak with my own heart, and the prayer shall come thence." Then we pray aright when we pray with all that is within us, think first and then pray over our thoughts; for the true nature of prayer is lifting up the heart to God. Having meditated, he will cry, he will cry aloud; the fervour of his spirit in prayer shall be expressed and yet more excited by the intenseness and earnestness of his voice. 2. He will pray frequently, every day, and three times a day--evening, and morning, and at noon. It is probable that this had been his constant practice, and he resolves to continue it now that he is in his distress. Then we may come the more boldly to the throne of grace in trouble when we do not then first begin to seek acquaintance with God, but it is what we have constantly practised, and the trouble finds the wheels of prayer going. Those that think three meals a day little enough for the body ought much more to think three solemn prayers a day little enough for the soul, and to count it a pleasure, not a task. As it is fit that in the morning we should begin the day with God, and in the evening close it with him, so it is fit that in the midst of the day we should retire awhile to converse with him. It was Daniel's practice to pray three times a day (Daniel 6:10), and noon was one of Peter's hours of prayer, Acts 10:9. Let not us be weary of praying often, for God is not weary of hearing. "He shall hear my voice, and not blame me for coming too often, but the oftener the better, the more welcome."

      II. He assures himself that God would in due time give an answer of peace to his prayers.

      1. That he himself should be delivered and his fears prevented; those fears with which he was much disordered (Psalms 55:4; Psalms 55:5) by the exercise of faith were now silenced, and he begins to rejoice in hope (Psalms 55:18; Psalms 55:18): God has delivered my soul in peace, that is, he will deliver it; David is as sure of the deliverance as if it were already wrought. His enemies were at war with him, and the battle was against him, but God delivered him in peace, that is, brought him off with as much comfort as if he had never been in danger. If he did not deliver him in victory, yet he delivered him in peace, inward peace. He delivered his soul in peace; by patience and holy joy in God he kept possession of that. Those are safe and easy whose hearts and minds are kept by that peace of God which passes all understanding,Philippians 4:7. David, in his fright, thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he imagined; his interest proved better than he expected, and this he gives to God the glory of: for it is he that raises us up friends when we need them, and makes them faithful to us. There were many with him; for though his subjects deserted him, and went over to Absalom, yet God was with him and the good angels. With an eye of faith he now sees himself surrounded, as Elisha was, with chariots of fire and horses of fire, and therefore triumphs thus, There are many with me, more with me than against me,2 Kings 6:16; 2 Kings 6:17.

      2. That his enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down. They had frightened him with their menaces (Psalms 55:3; Psalms 55:3), but here he says enough to frighten them and make them tremble with more reason, and no remedy; for they could not ease themselves of their fears as David could, by faith in God.

      (1.) David here gives their character as the reason why he expected God would bring them down. [1.] They are impious and profane, and stand in no awe of God, of his authority or wrath (Psalms 55:19; Psalms 55:19): "Because they have no changes (no afflictions, no interruption to the constant course of their prosperity, no crosses to empty them from vessel to vessel) therefore they fear not God; they live in a constant neglect and contempt of God and religion, which is the cause of all their other wickedness, and by which they are certainly marked for destruction." [2.] They are treacherous and false, and will not be held by the most sacred and solemn engagements (Psalms 55:20; Psalms 55:20): "He has put forth his hand against such as are at peace with him, that never provoked him, nor gave him any cause to quarrel with them; nay, to whom he had given all possible encouragement to expect kindness from him. He has put forth his hand against those whom he had given his hand to, and has broken his covenant both with God and man, has perfidiously violated his engagement to both," than which nothing makes men riper for ruin. [3.] They are base and hypocritical, pretending friendship while they design mischief (Psalms 55:21; Psalms 55:21): "The words of his mouth" (probably, he means Ahithophel particularly) "were smoother than butter and softer than oil, so courteous was he and obliging, so free in his professions of respect and kindness and the proffers of his service; yet, at the same time, war was in his heart, and all this courtesy was but a stratagem of war, and those very words had such a mischievous design in them that they were as drawn swords designed to stab." They smile in a man's face, and cut his throat at the same time, as Joab, that kissed and killed. Satan is such an enemy; he flatters men into their ruin. When he speaks fair, believe him not.

      (2.) David here foretels their ruin. [1.] God shall afflict them, and bring them into straits and frights, and recompense tribulation to those that have troubled his people, and this in answer to the prayers of his people: God shall hear and afflict them, hear the cries of the oppressed and speak terror to their oppressors, even he that abides of old, who is God from everlasting, and world without end, and who sits Judge from the beginning of time, and has always presided in the affairs of the children of men. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God and are a very unequal match for him. This the saints have comforted themselves with in reference to the threatening power of the church's enemies (Habakkuk 1:12): Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord? [2.] God shall bring them down, not only to the dust, but to the pit of destruction (Psalms 55:23; Psalms 55:23), to the bottomless pit, which is called destruction,Job 26:6. He afflicted them (Psalms 55:19; Psalms 55:19) to see if that would humble and reform them; but, they not being wrought upon by that, he shall at last bring them to ruin. Those that are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction will certainly be brought down into the pit of destruction. They are bloody and deceitful men (that is, the worst of men) and therefore shall not live out half their days, not half so long as men ordinarily live, and as they might have lived in a course of nature, and as they themselves expected to live. They shall live as long as the Lord of life, the righteous Judge, has appointed, with whom the number of our months is; but he has determined to cut them off by an untimely death in the midst of their days. They were bloody men, and cut others off, and therefore God will justly cut them off: they were deceitful men, and defrauded others of the one-half perhaps of what was their due, and now God will cut them short, though not of that which was their due, yet of that which they counted upon.

      III. He encourages himself and all good people to commit themselves to God, with confidence in him. He himself resolves to do so (Psalms 55:23; Psalms 55:23): "I will trust in thee, in thy providence, and power, and mercy, and not in my own prudence, strength, or merit; when bloody and deceitful men are cut off in the midst of their days I shall still live by faith in thee." And this he will have others to do (Psalms 55:22; Psalms 55:22): "Cast thy burden upon the Lord," whoever thou art that art burdened, and whatever the burden is. "Cast thy gift upon the Lord" (so some read it); "whatever blessings God has bestowed upon thee to enjoy commit them all to his custody, and particularly commit the keeping of thy soul to him." Or, "Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it to thee in his own way and time. Cast thy care upon the Lord," so the LXX., to which the apostle refers, 1 Peter 5:7. Care is a burden; it makes the heart stoop (Proverbs 12:25); we must cast it upon God by faith and prayer, commit our way and works to him; let him do as seemeth him good, and we will be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise, and to be very easy in the assurance that all shall work for good. If we do so, it is promised, 1. That he will sustain us, both support and supply us, will himself carry us in the arms of his power, as the nurse carries the sucking-child, will strengthen our spirits so by his Spirit as that they shall sustain the infirmity. He has not promised to free us immediately from that trouble which gives rise to our cares and fears; but he will provide that we be not tempted above what we are able, and that we shall be able according as we are tempted. 2. That he will never suffer the righteous to be moved, to be so shaken by any troubles as to quit either their duty to God or their comfort in him. However, he will not suffer them to be moved for ever (as some read it); though they fall, they shall not be utterly cast down.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.