Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
The prayer of a believer in time of deep distress. In the first part,
cries for help are mingled with expressions of confidence. Then the
detail of griefs engrosses his attention, till, in the assurance of
strong but submissive faith, he rises to the language of unmingled
joyful trust and exhorts others to like love and confidence towards
1. Expresses the general tone of feeling of the Psalm.
2-4. He seeks help in God's righteous government
and begs for an attentive hearing, and speedy and effectual aid. With
no other help and no claim of merit, he relies solely on God's regard
to His own perfections for a safe guidance and release from the snares
of his enemies. On the terms "rock," &c., (compare
18:2, 50; 20:6; 23:3; 25:21).
5, 6. commit my spirit--my life, or myself. Our Saviour used the words
on the Cross
not as prophetical, but, as many pious men have done, as expressive of
His unshaken confidence in God. The Psalmist rests on God's
faithfulness to His promises to His people, and hence avows himself one
of them, detesting all who revere objects of idolatry (compare
7. hast known my soul, &c.--had regard to me in trouble.
8. shut me up . . . enemy--abandon to
large room--place of safety (compare
9, 10. mine eye, &c.--denotes extreme weakness (compare
grief--mingled sorrow and indignation
soul and . . . belly--the whole person.
10. Though the effects ascribed to grief are not mere figures of
spent . . . consumed--must be taken in the modified sense of wasted and decayed.
iniquity--or, suffering by it
11. among--or, literally, "from," or, "by" my enemies. The latter
clauses describe the progress of his disgrace to the lowest degree,
12. he is forgotten as one dead, and contemned as a useless broken
13. For--introduces further reasons for his prayer, the unjust,
deliberate, and murderous purposes of his foes.
14-18. In his profession of trust he includes the terms of the
prayer expressing it.
15. times--course of life.
deliver . . . hand--opposed to "shut me up," &c., of
16. Make . . . shine--(Compare
Deprecating from himself, he imprecates on the wicked God's
displeasure, and prays that their virulent persecution of him may be
19-21. God displays openly His purposed goodness to His people.
20. the secret of thy presence--or, covering of Thy countenance;
the protection He thus affords; compare
for a similar figure; "dwelling" used there for "presence" here. The
idea of security further presented by the figure of a tent and a
22. For I said--literally, "And I said," in an adversative sense. I,
thus favored, was despondent.
in my haste--in my terror.
cut off . . . eyes--from all the protection of Thy presence.
23, 24. the Lord . . . proud doer--literally, "the Lord is keeping
faith," that is, with His people, and is repaying, &c. Then let none
despair, but take courage; their hopes shall not be in vain.