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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Psalms 6:10

All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Neginoth;   Psalms, the Book of;   Sheminith;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Heart;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - English Versions;   Prayer;   Psalms;   Sin;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Musician;   Sheminith;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Psalms the book of;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ashamed;   Enemy;   Music;   Psalms, Book of;   Vex;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Imma Shalom;  

Clarke's Commentary

Verse Psalms 6:10. Ashamed and sore vexed — May they as deeply deplore their transgressions as I have done mine! May they return; may they be suddenly converted! The original will bear this meaning, and it is the most congenial to Christian principles.

The parts of this Psalm are TWO, in general: -

I. A petition to God for himself, contained in the first seven verses.

II. The account of his restoration, contained in the three last.

I. The petition consists of two parts: 1. Deprecation of evil; 2. Petition for good.

1. He prays to God to avert his wrath: "O Lord, rebuke me not," c.

2. He entreats to be partaker of God's favour: "Have mercy upon me," c. 1. To his BODY: "Heal me, O Lord." 2. To his SOUL: "Deliver my soul: O save me!"

He enforces his petition by divers weighty reasons:

1. From the quantity and degrees of his calamity, which he shows to be great from the effects. 1. In general he was in a languishing disease: "I am weak." 2. In particular 1. Pains in his bones: "My bones are vexed." 2. Trouble in his soul: "My soul also is troubled."

2. From the continuance of it. It was a long disease; a lingering sickness; and he found no ease, no, not from his God. The pain I could the better bear if I had comfort from heaven. "But thou, O Lord, how long?" Long hast thou withdrawn the light of thy countenance from thy servant.

3. From the consequence that was likely to follow; death, and the event upon it. It is my intention to celebrate and praise thy name; the living only can do this: therefore, let me live; for in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

4. And that he was brought now to the gates of death, he shows by three apparent symptoms: 1. Sighs and groans, which had almost broken his heart; the companions of a perpetual grief: "I am weary of my groaning." 2. The abundance of his tears had dried and wasted his body: "He made his bed to swim, and watered his couch with his tears." 3. His eyes also melted away, and grew dim, so that he seemed old before his time: "My eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old."

6. That which added to his sorrow was, he had many ill-wishers who insulted over him: "Mine eye is waxen old because of mine enemies."

II. But at last receiving comfort and joy, he is enabled to look up; and then he turns upon his enemies, who were longing for his destruction: "Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."

He magnifies God's mercy; and mentions its manifestation thrice distinctly: 1. "The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping." 2. "The Lord hath heard my supplication." 3. "The Lord will receive my prayer."

Then follows his prophetic declaration concerning them:

1. Shame and confusion to see their hope frustrated: "They shall be confounded."

2. Vexation, to see the object of their envy restored to health and prosperity: "They shall be sore vexed."

3. They shall return to their companions with shame, because their wishes and plots have miscarried.

4. He intimates that this shame and confusion shall be speedy: "They shall return, and be ashamed suddenly." Or, possibly, this may be a wish for their conversion, ישבו yashubu, let them be CONVERTED, רגע raga, suddenly, lest sudden destruction from the Lord should fall upon them. Thus the genuine follower of God prays, "That it may please thee to have mercy upon our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers; and to TURN their HEARTS." A Christian should take up every thing of this kind in a Christian sense.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​acc/​psalms-6.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 6:0 Anxiety in a time of trouble

Through either illness or some other depressing situation, David is distressed, in both body and mind. This has caused him to search his life to see if God is using this affliction to punish him for some sin. Humbly he asks God for mercy (1-3). He fears death, and his pain and sorrow become more distressing through the personal attacks that his opponents make on him (4-7). The thought of these ungodly enemies, however, gives David confidence that God will heal him. He knows that God opposes the wicked but helps those who humbly seek him (8-10).

State of the dead

The Old Testament shows us that people do not cease to exist when they die, but it tells us little about the condition of life after death. The Hebrew word used for the unseen place and unknown state of the dead is sheol. Sheol was to the Israelites a place of darkness, silence and shadowy existence (Job 10:21-22; Psalms 39:13; Psalms 88:3,Psalms 88:10-12; Psalms 94:17; Psalms 115:17). Death was something unpleasant and fearful, on account of the mysterious existence that followed in sheol (Psalms 6:5; Psalms 31:17; Ecclesiastes 8:8). English Bibles have translated the Hebrew sheol by such words as ‘the grave’, ‘the pit’ and even ‘hell’.

Certainly sheol would bring nothing but terror for the wicked (Deuteronomy 33:22; Psalms 16:10; Psalms 55:15; Isaiah 14:9-11; Ezekiel 32:18-32). The righteous, however, could expect that life after death would bring them joy in the presence of God (Psalms 16:11; Psalms 49:15; Psalms 73:24; cf. 2 Kings 2:11; 2 Kings 2:11). But the name ‘sheol’ itself signified neither a hell of torment nor a heaven of happiness. It was simply ‘the world of the dead’ (GNB).

Death was the great leveller. Rich and poor, good and bad, oppressor and oppressed, kings and slaves were all subject to death. All died and went to sheol, the world of the dead (Job 3:13-19; Isaiah 14:19-20; Ezekiel 32:18-32). Sheol therefore became a synonym for death, and this is usually the way the word is used in Psalms.

By the end of the Old Testament era, believers were more fully convinced that beyond death lay the resurrection (Daniel 12:1-2). This confidence grew into bold assurance through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ conquered death and sheol (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 1:18; the Greek equivalent of sheol was hades), so that people no longer had any need to fear them (Hebrews 2:14-15). Through Jesus Christ, God clearly showed immortal life to be a certainty (2 Timothy 1:10).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bbc/​psalms-6.html. 2005.

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Let all mine enemies be ashamed - Be so brought to see their folly that they shall be ashamed of their conduct. The wish is that they might be brought to see their own guilt - a wish certainly which it is right to cherish in regard to all evil-doers.

And sore vexed - Compare the notes at Psalms 5:10. The same Hebrew word is used here which occurs in Psalms 6:2-3, and rendered “vexed.” It is a word which denotes trouble, trembling, consternation; and the meaning here is, that the psalmist prayed that they might be confounded or disconcerted in their plans - a prayer which is certainly proper in regard to all the purposes of the wicked. No one should desire that the purposes of the wicked should prosper; and not to desire this is to desire that they may be foiled and overcome in their schemes. This must be the wish of every good man.

Let them return - Turn back, or be turned back; that is, let them be repulsed, and compelled to turn back from their present object.

And be ashamed suddenly - Hebrew, “In a moment;” instantaneously. He desired that there might be no delay, but that their defeat might be accomplished at once. As it was right to pray that this might occur, so it was right to pray that it might occur without delay, or as speedily as possible. The sooner the plans of sinners are confounded, the better.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​psalms-6.html. 1870.

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 6:1-10

The sixth psalm is to the chief musician on this stringed instrument and upon the Sheminith. Now the Sheminith is a word that means the eighth, and so it was to be played in octaves. So on a stringed instrument played in octaves. So David, no doubt, made these notations on the psalms as he wrote them, and wrote it as a hymnal for the people.

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure ( Psalms 6:1 ).

Now here is where David is, I am certain, carrying over a human characteristic to God. For we as parents are often guilty of rebuking our children in anger and chastening them in hot displeasure. That is a human characteristic, and it is a failing many times on the part of us as parents. We are angry, and we sometimes over discipline because of our anger.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul also is sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? ( Psalms 6:2-5 )

Now this is David crying out of a soul that is vexed. According to the words of Jesus, these words of David are not correct. He is expressing, as did Job, his own ideas, his own thoughts of death.

For Jesus tells us that when the rich man in hell lifted up his eyes, being in torment and seeing Abraham afar off and Lazarus being comforted in Abraham's bosom, said unto him, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to me that he may take his finger and dip in water and touch my tongue, for I am tormented in this heat." And Abraham said unto him, "Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime had good things and Lazarus evil. Now he is comforted while you are tormented. Besides this, there is a gulf that is between us, and it is impossible for you to come over here or those that are here to go over there." "Then I pray thee, if he cannot come to me, send him back that he might warn my brothers lest they also come to this horrible place."

There is a consciousness, there is awareness, there is a memory. It isn't an oblivion as some people would like to think. That is from the word of Jesus, and I would say that He probably knows more about it than anybody else. And I'll take His opinion and His word for it above anybody else. I think that is prime when you can get the word of Christ on an issue. Especially issue of death and after death and what lies beyond the grave. Man may speculate, but Jesus speaks.

I am weary with my groaning; all night ( Psalms 6:6 )

Of course, I would have to say that David is exaggerating. He said,

I make my bed to swim [with my tears] ( Psalms 6:6 );

That is a lot of crying, David.

I water my couch with my tears ( Psalms 6:6 ).

So this is what is known as speaking in a hyperbole. It's writer's license. David is just talking about... and David must have been a melancholy, I guess. He speaks a lot about crying. "I am weary with my groaning."

My eye is consumed because of grief; it waxes old because of all of my enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all my enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly ( Psalms 6:7-10 ).

So David's prayer unto the Lord, out of a spirit that is vexed, that is downcast. But it is interesting how the psalms always seem to end on a high note. "The Lord hath heard my supplication. The Lord will receive my prayer." "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​psalms-6.html. 2014.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 6

Many interpreters consider this one of the penitential psalms in which David repented for some sin he had committed and for which he was suffering discipline (cf. Psalms 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143). [Note: See the excursus on the penitential psalms in Chisholm, pp. 301-2.] This is the first of the seven.

"It was the practice of the early Christians to sing and read the [penitential] psalms on Ash Wednesday as part of their penance for sin. In a strict sense, however, it is not a penitence psalm, for there is no confession of sin or prayer for forgiveness. The psalm is now categorized as an individual lament psalm." [Note: VanGemeren, p. 96.]

Other individual lament psalms are 3-5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 22-23, 27, 31-32, 35, 38-39, 41, 51, 57, 63, 69, 71, 88, 102-103, and 130. We do not know what David did to bring on this illness that almost resulted in his death or how this incident fits into the Scriptural record of his life. Having been chastened by the Lord, David asked for forgiveness. Then, with the assurance that God had heard him, he warned his adversaries to leave him alone because God was about to shame them.

". . . the psalm gives words to those who scarcely have the heart to pray, and brings them within sight of victory." [Note: Kidner, p. 61. Cf. John 12:27.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​psalms-6.html. 2012.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

4. Assurance of recovery 6:8-10

Apparently David received an answer to his petition. It may have come through a prophet or just the inner conviction that he would recover (cf. Psalms 20:6; Psalms 22:21; Psalms 28:6; Psalms 31:19; Psalms 56:9; Psalms 69:30; Psalms 140:13). In any case, he closed the psalm with a warning to his adversaries (Psalms 6:8) to get out of his way. He was on the mend and would frustrate their attempts to supplant him. Jesus may have quoted the first part of this verse to Satan (Matthew 7:23).

Physical sickness is sometimes, but not always, chastening from the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16; Job 1-2). God does not always grant recovery to His saints. Consequently believers should not use this psalm to claim physical healing from the Lord. Nevertheless, sometimes God does remove His hand of chastening in response to prayer (cf. Exodus 32:9-14; James 5:13-16). This psalm is a good example of a prayer for deliverance based on the grace (Psalms 6:2), loyal love (Psalms 6:4), and glory (Psalms 6:5) of God. God will or will not grant all such petitions, ultimately, on the basis of His sovereign will (Mark 14:36).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​psalms-6.html. 2012.

Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Let all mine enemies be ashamed,.... Or "they shall be ashamed" k; and so the following clauses may be rendered, and be considered as prophecies of what would be; though if this be considered as an imprecation, it is wishing no ill; wicked men are not ashamed of their abominations committed by them, neither can they blush; it would be well if they were ashamed of them, and brought to true repentance for them; and if they are not ashamed now, they will be hereafter, when the Judge of quick and dead appears;

and sore vexed; or "troubled" l; as his bones had been vexed, and his soul had been sore vexed by them; as he knew they would be through disappointment at his recovery, and at his deliverance from the distresses and calamities he was now in, when he should sing for joy of heart, and they should howl for vexation of spirit;

let them return; meaning either from him, from pursuing after him; or to him, to seek his favour, and be reconciled to him, and be at peace with him, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi explain it; unless this word should only signify "again", as it sometimes does, and be read in connection with what follows;

[and] let them be again ashamed suddenly m; intimating that his deliverance would be sudden, in a moment, in a very little time, and so would be their disappointment, shame, and confusion. Jarchi, from R. Jonathan and R. Samuel bar Nachmani, refers this to the shame of the wicked in the world to come.

k יבשו "pudore afficientur", Pagninus, Montanus; "pudefient", Coeceius, Schmidt; so Ainsworth. l יבהלו "conturbantur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. m ישבו יבושו "iterum confundantur", Gejerus.

Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​psalms-6.html. 1999.

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Confidence in God.

      8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.   9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.   10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

      What a sudden change is here for the better! He that was groaning, and weeping, and giving up all for gone (Psalms 6:6; Psalms 6:7), here looks and speaks very pleasantly. Having made his requests known to God, and lodged his case with him, he is very confident the issue will be good and his sorrow is turned into joy.

      I. He distinguishes himself from the wicked and ungodly, and fortifies himself against their insults (Psalms 6:8; Psalms 6:8): Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. When he was in the depth of his distress, 1. He was afraid that God's wrath against him would give him his portion with the workers of iniquity; but now that this cloud of melancholy had blown over he was assured that his soul would not be gathered with sinners, for they are not his people. He began to suspect himself to be one of them because of the heavy pressures of God's wrath upon him; but now that all his fears were silenced he bade them depart, knowing that his lot was among the chosen. 2. The workers of iniquity had teased him, and taunted him, and asked him, "Where is thy God?" triumphing in his despondency and despair; but now he had wherewith to answer those that reproached him, for God, who was about to return in mercy to him, had now comforted his spirit and would shortly complete his deliverance. 3. Perhaps they had tempted him to do as they did, to quit his religion and betake himself for ease to the pleasures of sin. But now, "depart from me; I will never lend an ear to your counsel; you would have had me to curse God and die, but I will bless him and live." This good use we should make of God's mercies to us, we should thereby have our resolution strengthened never to have any thing more to do with sin and sinners. David was a king, and he takes this occasion to renew his purpose of using his power for the suppression of sin and the reformation of manners, Psalms 75:4; Psalms 101:3. When God has done great things for us, this should put us upon studying what we shall do for him. Our Lord Jesus seems to borrow these words from the mouth of his father David, when, having all judgment committed to him, he shall say, Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity (Luke 13:27), and so teaches us to say so now, Psalms 119:115.

      II. He assures himself that God was, and would be, propitious to him, notwithstanding the present intimations of wrath which he was under. 1. He is confident of a gracious answer to this prayer which he is now making. While he is yet speaking, he is aware that God hears (as Isaiah 65:24; Daniel 9:20), and therefore speaks of it as a thing done, and repeats it with an air of triumph, "The Lord hath heard" (Psalms 6:8; Psalms 6:8), and again (Psalms 6:9; Psalms 6:9), "The Lord hath heard." By the workings of God's grace upon his heart he knew his prayer was graciously accepted, and therefore did not doubt but it would in due time be effectually answered. His tears had a voice, a loud voice, in the ears of the God of mercy: The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. Silent tears are not speechless ones. His prayers were cries to God: "The Lord has heard the voice of my supplication, has put his Fiat--Let it be done, to my petitions, and so it will appear shortly." 2. Thence he infers the like favourable audience of all his other prayers: "He has heard the voice of my supplication, and therefore he will receive my prayer; for he gives, and does not upbraid with former grants."

      III. He either prays for the conversion or predicts the destruction of his enemies and persecutors, Psalms 6:10; Psalms 6:10. 1. It may very well be taken as a prayer for their conversion: "Let them all be ashamed of the opposition they have given me and the censures they have passed upon me. Let them be (as all true penitents are) vexed at themselves for their own folly; let them return to a better temper and disposition of mind, and let them be ashamed of what they have done against me and take shame to themselves." 2. If they be not converted, it is a prediction of their confusion and ruin. They shall be ashamed and sorely vexed (so it maybe read), and that justly. They rejoiced that David was vexed (Psalms 6:2; Psalms 6:3), and therefore, as usually happens, the evil returns upon themselves; they also shall be sorely vexed. Those that will not give glory to God shall have their faces filled with everlasting shame.

      In singing this, and praying over it, we must give glory to God, as a God ready to hear prayer, must own his goodness to us in hearing our prayers, and must encourage ourselves to wait upon him and to trust in him in the greatest straits and difficulties.

Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 6:10". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​psalms-6.html. 1706.
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