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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 56



Verse 1-2

Psalm 56:1-13. Upon Jonath-elem-rechokim - literally, “upon the dove of silence” of distant places; either denoting a melody (see on Psalm 9:1) of that name, to which this Psalm was to be performed; or it is an enigmatical form of denoting the subject, as given in the history referred to (1 Samuel 21:11, etc.), David being regarded as an uncomplaining, meek dove, driven from his native home to wander in exile. Beset by domestic and foreign foes, David appeals confidently to God, recites his complaints, and closes with joyful and assured anticipations of God‘s continued help.

would swallow — literally, “pants as a raging beast” (Acts 9:1).

Verse 2

enemies — watchers (Psalm 54:5).

most High — As it is not elsewhere used absolutely for God, some render the word here, arrogantly, or proudly, as qualifying “those who fight,” etc.

Verse 3

in — or literally, “unto.”

thee — to whom he turns in trouble.

Verse 4
his word — By His grace or aid (Psalm 60:12; Psalm 108:13), or, “I will boast in God as to His word”; in either case His word is the special matter and cause of praise.

flesh — for mankind (Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 31:3), intimating frailty.

Verse 5-6

A vivid picture of the conduct of malicious enemies.

Verse 7

Shall they escape? etc. — or better, “Their escape is by iniquity.”

cast … people — humble those who so proudly oppose Thy servant.

Verse 8

God is mindful of his exile and remembers his tears. The custom of bottling the tears of mourners as a memorial, which has existed in some Eastern nations, may explain the figure.

Verse 9

God is for me — or, “on my side” (Psalm 118:6; Psalm 124:1, Psalm 124:2); hence he is sure of the repulse of his foes.

Verse 12

I will render praises — will pay what I have vowed.

Verse 13

The question implies an affirmative answer, drawn from past experience.

falling — as from a precipice.

before God — in His favor during life.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 56:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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