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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.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Cast thy burden upon the Lord - Whatever cares, afflictions, trials, etc., 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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

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

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; Philemon 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; Genesis 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 Psalm 37:24.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

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

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 55:22

Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.

Grace to bear the burden laid on us

I. See that your burdens are all of the Lord’s appointment. How many are the burdens that we make for ourselves, which we need not and ought not to bear. They are sinful, and we ought to cast them away.

II. Expect from God proportioned strength. Why do you anticipate long reaches of future possibilities? You are vainly trying to break the faggot at once, which can only be overcome stick by stick. Take life not by weeks or years, but by days. Truly Jesus is the great bearer away of burdens, for He has “borne our sins in His own body on the tree,” and the guilt of sin is our heaviest burden. In all our sorrows we have His sympathy as “a merciful and faithful High Priest,” who is “touched with a feeling.” What, then, is left for us to carry is only the light end of the cross--an easy yoke and light burden.

III. Rest on God for ultimate endurance. A spirit such as has been described, continually receiving its daily and proportioned replenishment from heaven, will not look much to the future. It will be too busy with present duties. As our great poet Tennyson has beautifully declared, true virtue will scarcely dream of a promised elysium, where she may leisurely bask in the sun, and repose from all effort amid crowns, and songs, and feasts. Nay, he nobly answers, “Give her the glory of going on and not to die.” Anything else would be death and worse than death. Virtue cannot rest in material reward. She has acquired a noble habit of active benevolence, and she could not bear its cessation. She craves endless, immortal service. “They shall serve Him day and night in His temple.” Verily, “give her the glory of going on and not to die.” (Andrew Reed, B. A.)

Our burden-bearer

Whatever else these words mean, they mean that the Lord is to be used. Whatever presses upon me in any way and troubles me, I am to take it off my shoulder and let the Lord carry it for me. Now, we want that truth to go sinking down through the soul, that God is not only my Creator but my Father; my Father, who cannot help loving me and caring for me everywhere and in everything. But men don’t believe this. The world is real enough to them, but all this about the Lord, how unreal it sounds. And it never will be otherwise until to all such words about Christ the Spirit giveth life. He must reveal Christ to us. Pray for His help. Now, our text teaches--

I. That the Lord is within my reach. He is near me, I am to cast my burden upon Him. Now, this is just what we don’t do. We kneel, and sigh, and pray about our burden, that we may cast it on the Lord, but we don’t do it. We look up and sigh, and resolve that we will, but nothing comes of it. Some years ago I was staying in a Swiss city, and from the windows of my hotel I looked out on the bridge that crossed the Rhine. At the middle of the bridge there was a tiny wayside chapel, and as the peasants went to market they set the heavy basket down on the steps while they turned in to pray. Then they came out and took up their burdens again. That is how many people do with their troubles--they pray about them, and then pick them up again. What folly it is to call that casting! On the other side of the parapet there swept the swift current of the Rhine. Now, if one should take up the load with both hands, and swing it with all his might over the side, and then let it go whirling through space until it splashed into the waters, and went, swept away for ever--that is casting. So, then, on the Lord’s part and on ours here is something to be done. To hear of it only is nothing--less than nothing. Do not let us cheat ourselves with words. And note, further, that it is to be done thoroughly. There is a kind of casting our burden that does not get rid of it at all, but only doubles it. If a friend of mine has some anxiety of which I can relieve him, and I say, “Now, I will see to that matter. Don’t you trouble about it any more.” What should the man say? “Thank you, I am sure; I will leave it with you, then.” And away he goes, saying, “Well, that burden is gone, at any rate.” And he feels lighter, and walks more briskly. But what if, instead of that, he should keep worrying me perpetually, “I hope you will not forget, will you? I do trust to you to remember. I really am very anxious about it--very.” I should say to him, “Well, if you want to do it, sir, go and do it; but if I am to do it, fear not--I will.” Don’t you see the man has doubled the burden? He has put it on my shoulders, and carries it on his own at the same time. Oh, this untrusting trust, this unbelieving faith!

II. Cast upon the Lord the burden of beginning the Christian life. There are many of you who are feeling that burden, and a very heavy burden we may make of it. We have an idea that we want so many things besides Jesus, and that we cannot get Jesus until we get these other things. We want to feel our sins, and we want repentance, and we want earnestness, and we want faith. And then it may be that we are haunted by the fear of some past failure, or there is some besetment that grips us with a might that we cannot loosen. So the heart sinks under the burden. Now what are you going to do? Time does not lessen the weakness. Waiting is not likely in any way to mend matters. This burden of want, of weakness, of fear is exactly what you have to roll off upon the Lord. Boldly go to Him and say, “Lord Jesus, Thou hast come into this world to save me. I am very needy and very foolish, but Thou knowest what I want; and Thou knowest all that I shall ever want. And now, Lord Jesus, I am just going to let Thee save me, now and always.” As this is the beginning of the blessed life, so it is the secret of it all along. Religion is ours just exactly in proportion as we avail ourselves of Jesus Christ. Victory is ours just exactly as we let Jesus Christ help us. (Mark Guy Pearse.)

Burdens cast upon the Lord

I. There is an endless variety of these burdens laid upon us in this world. Care, toil, affliction, trial, weakness, dejection, want, fear, duty, endurance; and for all there is only one relief, “Cast thy burden”--“thy” burden, for there the emphasis is to be laid--“upon the Lord.” I will classify these burdens.

1. Those of the flesh; such as, natural weakness, sickness, pain, sensual desires, corrupt affections, wasting toil, poverty.

2. Mental burdens: ignorance, mystery, knowledge; for “he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”

3. Social burdens, or burdens of the heart. Their name is legion.

4. Spiritual burdens. That of sin, of spiritual desertion, of fear.

II. The encouragements--We have to cast our burdens upon the Lord.

1. We may do it. He “will not break the bruised reed, nor,” etc.

2. Help in bearing our burdens is sure, if we seek aright. “He shall sustain thee.” He does not promise to rid us of the burden but to sustain us under it, and that is better still. So was it with Paul. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” (J. M. Sherwood, D. D.)

What to do with our burdens

I. The persons addressed.

1. They are burdenbearers. Who are not included in these? They differ from one another in all variety of ways, but all are alike here.

2. These burdens are very various. No two are exactly alike. God appoints them to each of us according to His own loving wisdom (Psalms 31:7). God never makes a mistake.

II. The duty enjoined. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord.” There is One on whom we may cast our burdens, even the Lord. But men turn to other expedients. With what success let Isaiah tell (Isaiah 29:8). How are we to fulfil this duty?

1. By telling God all about our burden.

2. Asking His help to bear it.

3. Submitting to His will in reference to it.

III. The promise by which this duty is urged. “He shall sustain thee.” God does this sometimes--

1. By removing the burden.

2. By sustaining the burden-bearer; not removing the burden, but upholding those who have to bear it. (R. Newton, D. D.)

Burdens cast upon God

I. What we are to understand by burdens. By this metaphor, we are to understand all natural evils, whether of body or of mind. Wounds, bruises, diseases, and every species of sickness, may be properly called bodily evils; but bereavements, disappointments, and all the marks of Divine displeasure, may more properly be termed mental evils. These two kinds of natural evil are intimately connected, and very frequently enhance each other. Men are here born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. How often are their bodies racked with pain! How often are their eyes filled with tears!

II. What it is for the afflicted to cast their burdens upon the Lord.

1. It implies a realizing sense that God has laid their burdens upon them.

2. They cannot do this without acknowledging that God has a right to lay their burdens upon them.

3. This implies entire submission to the conduct of God, or a willingness to endure the burdens which he pleases to lay upon them (Micah 7:7; Job 1:21; 2 Kings 4:26).

4. This farther implies casting themselves upon the Lord, which is the essence of the duty enjoined in the text. Men cannot lay the burdens which they feel, upon God; nor can God take to Himself the burdens which He lays upon them. But they can cast themselves upon the Lord, which will afford them immediate support and relief under their burdens. When the general of an army lays a heavy burden upon an obedient soldier, he may cast himself, and consequently his burden, upon the general, by saying, “Sir, this appears a burden too heavy for me to carry. But you know what is proper to lay upon me. I am your soldier; my strength and my life are at your disposal. It is your concern to improve my strength and my life for the public good. And if it be best that my strength should be exhausted, or my life sacrificed, at this time, by bearing this burden, I have nothing to say; I cheerfully submit.” Just so the child of sorrow may go to his heavenly Father and say, “My burden is great, and it seems I must sink under it. But Thou knowest what is best. I am in Thy hand as the clay is in the hand of the potter. Nob my will, but Thine, be done.”

III. What evidence there is that God will sustain them.

1. There is ground to believe that God will sustain those who cast their burdens upon Him, because He laid their burdens upon them to show their weakness, and make them take hold of His strength.

2. Those who cast their burdens upon the Lord are properly prepared to receive Divine support and consolation.

3. The glory of God requires Him to support those who look to Him for strength or relief under their burdens.

4. God has promised to afford all proper support and relief to those who come to Him with their cares and burdens, and place an unshaken confidence in His faithfulness.

Improvement. If God will sustain those who cast their burdens upon Him, then--

1. Burdens may become the means of great good.

2. The greatest burdens may become the most beneficial.

3. The afflicted never have any reason to murmur or complain under the burdens which are laid upon them.

4. The afflicted never ought to faint and sink under the weight of their burdens.

5. It highly concerns them to call upon His name. (N. Emmons, D. D.)

The burden of the righteous

I. The righteous man. Justified by faith. No condemnation.

II. The trials of the righteous man.

1. Those which he bears ill common with all men. Sickness, poverty, bereavement.

2. Those peculiar to the class to which he belongs. The prevalence of sin in the world, the difficulties attending the diffusion of Gospel truth, and the temptations which militate against a godly life, are burdens which all Christians are to bear in common.

3. Those which are restricted to him exclusively as an individual. He has his individual hopes and fears, his individual strength and weakness, and his individual pleasures and sufferings.

III. The duty of the righteous man in view of his trials, “Cast thy burden on the Lord.”

1. The possibility of relief. The “burden can be removed. This is true of all his burdens.

2. There is but one way of obtaining this relief. By casting it on the Lord.

3. This one way of relief requires a personal effort. “Cast.”

IV. The encouragement which is given to the righteous man to cast his burden on the Lord. “He shall never,” etc.

1. The Lord’s ability to sustain.

2. His willingness to sustain. He is a God of mercy

3. He has made great arrangements to relieve man of his burden. In His providence, in His word, in His Church, and in the agency of His Holy Spirit. Then east thy burden upon Him, O my soul, and He will sustain thee. (P. L. Davies, M. A.)

Man’s burden and help

I. The burden.

1. Temporal burdens.

2. Spiritual burdens.

II. The direction. “Cast thy burden,” etc.

1. In confident faith.

2. By constant prayer.

3. By cultivating a devotional frame of mind.

III. The promise. “He will sustain thee.”--

1. By imparting increased strength.

2. By the removal of our burdens. (T. Smith.)

Life’s burden and its relief

I. Every human life has its burden. “Thy burden.” There is a physical, social, moral, religious burden. Burden suggests three thoughts.

1. Unnaturalness. We are not born with burdens. Have angels and innocent beings a heavy burden? I trow not.

2. Oppression. A burden presses one down. Life’s burden often presses heavily on all the powers of one’s nature, corporal, mental, and moral. Christ saw the race “heavy laden.”

3. Obstruction. How a burden retards the traveller’s progress. By reason of the load that presses on us we cannot move on in the path of life.

II. Every human life may have its relief. “Cast thy burden on the Lord.”

1. The Lord will bear the burden. He will bear it, either by removing it altogether, or by imparting strength more than equal to its pressure.

2. There is a method of transferring the burden. The more the confidence the more the burden is transferred. God is more than a counsel for our legal embarrassments, more than a physician for our diseases, more than a father in whom to repose all our concerns. (Homilist.)

The passing of the burdens

We all know the critical moment when we are contemplating seeking relief by leaving our tasks. “I will just leave the whole thing; I will get away from it!” Such flight is usually fruitless. We carry our burden with us. On the further shore it sits upon us still.

1. There are some types of burden in which the refuge of flight will be found to be a rare and splendid defence. “Flee youthful lusts.” In these matters flight is the only method of salvation. Get away from inflammatory books. Give up inflammatory companionships. “Flee from idolatry.” Do not take part for a moment in the temple worship of an alien god. Do not sit in the temple of Mammon. Do not play with worldly maxims. Do not think there is security in partial worldliness, in a moderate compromise.

2. But the majority of burdens cannot be disposed of by the method of flight. We have no resources but to cast them on God. What becomes of them when we take them to the Lord? There are some burdens which pass away, even while they are being recounted. They evaporate in the telling! To talk about them to God is to lose them! If you take a dimmed, steamed mirror into a dry, sunny room, the obscuring veil passes away, and the mirror becomes clear. And there are some burdens which perplex the spirit, and hinder its outlook, which, when we take them to the Lord, pass away like mist in the sunny light of the morning.

3. There are some burdens which are not removed even when we take them to the Lord. They do not disappear in the telling. Is there some other gracious ministry of the loving Lord? Yes, if the burden remain, the bearer of it will be strengthened (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Some burdens are permitted to remain. Perhaps the burden is an unwelcome and unpleasant duty. Perhaps it is some physical infirmity. Perhaps it is prolonged labour in a wageless and most exhausting sphere. What, then, will God do with us? “He shall sustain thee.” The Lord will deal with the bearer of the burden. He will increase thy strength, and so in reality diminish thy load. This word “sustain” is a fine, wealthy word of most comforting content. There is in it a suggestion of the ministry of a nurse. He will deal with us as though we were infants. He will be to us the great mother-God. And He will manifest towards us all the tenderness of a nursing ministry. There is also in the word the suggestion of food. He will feed us. He will give to us the bread of life. He will increase our vitality, He will make our powers more alive, more wakeful, more exuberant, And I find in the word the further gracious meaning of “support.” He will carry me, if need be. The concluding word of the text is purposed to heighten the assurance of the psalmist into the peace of absolute certainty. “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” The life that is held by God, possessed and inspired by God, will be delivered from all trembling uncertainties. On the one hand, he will not be dismayed by a frown or a threat; nor, on the other hand, will he be enticed by some bewitching fascination. He will continue his way unmoved. The road will be straight; the walk will be firm; his footing will be sure. (J. H. Jowett, M. A.)

The Lord our burden-bearer

What wonderful condescension there is in this. Were we to see a royal prince taking upon his own back some heavy load out of pity for some poor man who was staggering beneath it, how we should admire and extol such gracious condescension. But what would that be compared to the grace of God as declared in our text. Consider--

I. The burden here referred to. It may be:--

1. Of remorse and guilty agitation. Some do not feel this, for they have “seared “ their consciences, and so a hard insensitive surface over them that will not feel when accusation is brought against it. But others do feel this. Now, our text is for them.

2. Of solicitude. It may be concerning temporal things, or spiritual, or both.

3. Of service. Moses felt this, and so do many now. All of us have some service to render.

4. Of grief.

5. Of fear.

6. Of temptation. Now, whatever it be, give heed to--

II. The direction as to what we are to do. There are many coun-sellors-philosophy, morality, the world; but inspired wisdom gives the counsel of our text. Now, such counsel implies--

1. Some acquaintance with God.

2. Desire of His assistance and relief.

3. Faith.

4. Prayer.

5. That we are so to cast our burden upon the Lord as not to bear it ourselves, but to leave it with Him. See Hannah.

III. The encouraging stimulus that is annexed to the declaration in the text.

1. He can sustain thee. What is the amount of the burden that you have? Is it heavy as the Alps? Is it heavy as the globe? Roll it on Jesus Christ, roll it on His almighty strength; He is able to carry any load, to bear any and every weight; He can sustain thee.

2. He is mercifully disposed to sustain thee. One of the most miserable delusions of the philosophical infidelity conceived of God, was, that He is a great Being that cares nothing at all about little things--that He sits in the circle of eternity, not noticing the worms on this speck of matter called the globe, in this far-off region in the universe of space. That may be the notion that infidelity has of God, but that is not the notion the Bible gives of God.

3. He has solemnly bound Himself to do it. In the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, you find two things mentioned by which the people of God have strong consolation--the promise and the oath of God; and by these two things you are assured that God will sustain you in the day of trouble.

4. He has sustained you. It will be very easy for you to put your eye on several memorials that you yourselves have reared to the honour, and the goodness, and the faithfulness of God. (T. E. Beaumont.)

The burden of life

A perfect being has no burden; nothing is too great, nothing too small; there is neither excess nor defect; there is no falling short of a given mark, no inconsistency, no incompetency, no pain, no disease, no slow declining and fading away. But we are not perfect; we are conceived and born in sin; the brand of sin is on us; our ]ire is brief, and the knowledge of that brevity haunts the fast-flying hours. We long to be better, wiser, purer than we are, to be safe from storm and clear of anxiety, to be strong and well, in body, mind, and spirit; that we are not what we would be, either towards our God or towards our poor, dear brethren in this world, where all alike have sorrow and demand help, is, in short, the burden of this mortal life. Will you, then, cast your burden on the gay world and hope to lose sight of it there? The world of pleasure is always ready to relieve us of our burdens; as we enter her wide and attractive halls, there are ministering spirits at the doors to take from the incomer what robe or garment of sorrow he may have, and put it away. The worst of this is, that the thing so put away is not lost, nor destroyed; it is carefully wrapped up; it is marked with your name; and it is there in its dark receptacle, waiting till the entertainment breaks up, and ready for you again. Within the great dance-hall, and up and clown through the illuminated gardens, where the music is playing and everything looks fair, they are laughing and singing, and going to and fro, and the sorrow is forgotten for the hour, and it seems to have been wise and right to dispose in that way of the burden of our sorrow and our sin. But what we brought in with us, we must take again as we go forth; and to the old load shall be added a hundredfold of weight of shame and remorse. Can we think of any other expedient to save us from the alternative of going straight to the Lord? Perchance you may cast your burden On some friend or fellow-sinner. It is natural for us to tell our griefs to each other; a sorrow shared is a sorrow lessened. But here also is danger. Friendship is an uncertain thing; it is often too frail to bear rude handling, A man to be a real helper ought to be wise and good, a true and faithful guide, calm, strong, learned, prudent. Every argument which leads us to cast ourselves on such a friend, is an argument in favour of One who is all that and more; to whom the wise man owes his wisdom, and the strong man his strength. And thus are we brought to God, as the best on whom to cast the burden, for the simple reason that none else but He can give us relief. Go to thy Lord; take to Him the trouble, whatever it be, and tell it out to Him. Open thy heart, though to Him it is always open; seek Him as thou wouldst a confidant, a bosom friend. Thou hast thy burden, of necessity or want, of hard work and dull hours bringing little or no good, of anxiety about Others or fears for thyself; of buried hope or affections wasted on unworthy objects; of spiritual dryness, or lack of earnest faith; of longing for the unattainable or regret for the irreparable; whatever it be, bring that sorrow straight to thy God, with the conviction that it is the only rational and sensible thing to do, that all other expedients are vain, that there is no help in the world, or in any child of man, or anywhere out of Him; and surely the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain. (Morgan Dix, D. D.)

Burdens adapted to those who bear them

Every man’s “burden” is just the one fitted to the individual man. It is suited for his present discipline--a selected, ordained, adjusted thing--“thy burden,” “your burden.” It is a celebrated thought of an old-world moralist (Socrates) that, if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already-possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division; and an old-world poet (Horace) carries the thought even further when he says, “that the hardships or misfortunes which we lie under are more easy to us than those of any other person would be in case we could change conditions with him.” And this is the moral of the old-world fable, which tells us that Jupiter made a proclamation that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities and throw them into a heap. This was done in a plain appointed for the purpose, and the heap became a prodigious mountain that seemed to rise above the clouds. The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burdens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure. But the phantom which had led them into error was replaced by a goddess of quite a different figure--her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious but cheerful. Every now and again she cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter: her name was Patience. She took her stand by the mount of sorrows, which at once contracted to one-third of the size. She then returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very Well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot. Thus far the fable. What is all this but St. Paul’s teaching (Galatians 6:5). It is what the psalmist says, “thy burden.” It is what St. Peter means, “All your care” (M. Fuller.)

Psalms 56:1-13

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 55:22". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's 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]

Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

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"F6יהבך "donum tuum", Montanus; "quicquid dat tibi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; 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 sayF7T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 26. 2. Megillah, fol. 18. 1. Bereshit Rabba, s. 79. fol 69. 4. ,

"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"F8לעולם "in aeternum", Musculus, Gussetius, p. 460. "perpetuo", Tigurine version, Lutherus, Gejerus; so Ainsworth. ; 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.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall q never suffer the righteous to be moved.

(q) Though for their bettering and trial, he permits them to slip for a time.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

thy burden — literally, “gift,” what is assigned you.

he shall sustain — literally, “supply food,” and so all need (Psalm 37:25; Matthew 6:11).

to be moved — from the secure position of His favor (compare Psalm 10:6).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Burden — All thy crosses, and cares, and fears, lay them upon the Almighty, by faith and prayer. He directs this speech to his own soul, and to all good men in like circumstances.

Suffer — As he doth wicked men. Tho' he may for a season suffer them to be shaken, yet not to be overwhelmed.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

22Cast 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.

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

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.’

Psalms 55:22

A great part of the burden of daily life is the sin that is in it. Take out the sin, and there will not be much burden left.

I. As regards those common burdens which every one bears, God says, ‘Cast thy burden on the Lord.’—It is very difficult to sympathise with one another’s burdens; and of course each, knowing only his own, thinks his own the heaviest. Christ alone can sympathise with all. But your burden is the one main thing you have to do with, suited for present discipline, a selected, ordained, adjusted thing—‘thy burden.’ Leave the balancing, and trust the Balancer.

II. What is casting?—It needs an effort to believe. It needs an effort to do the first step; it needs an effort to make it once and for ever. What is the way? (1) Take loving views of Jesus—of His sympathy, His nearness, His power, His undertakings, His interest, personal, in you. (2) Open to Him your whole heart, not the burden only, but what surrounds it. (3) Do not go back to your own castings. Put them too far away for that.

III. Observe how the Lord deals with cast burdens.—He does not say, ‘I will take away thy burden,’ but ‘I will sustain thee.’ To this end He will unite Himself to you more closely, so that, just as the ivy on the rock, you will both borrow a strength from the rock not your own and pass on to the rock the pressure that you feel. He will be ‘your arm every morning,’ on which leaning you cannot faint. He will feed you with such hidden manna that you will grow so strong that you can carry anything.

Rev. James Vaughan.


(1) ‘Ask for a few definite things. It may be that they will number five or ten. (2) Be particular and definite in making each request. (3) Stop for a little after each, and consider that God has heard and assumed the responsibility with respect to it. (4) Stay your soul upon a promise. (5) Look up into His face and say: “It is as good as done, and I thank Thee.” (6) You may have to wait till the opportune moment arrives, when God can entrust you with the answer, but it is yours. (7) Cease to worry about it, but often look into God’s face, and say: “Father, I know that it is all right, I am reckoning and trusting.”’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Ver. 22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord] Dare tuum, vel donum tuum, that is, whatsoever thou wouldest have the Lord bestow upon thee, cast it first by faith upon him in prayer, Agedum igitur animula men cur te diutius excrucias? (Beza); even all thy cares, businesses, travails, and troubles. This David speaketh first to himself, and then to others. R. Solomon maketh this God’s answer to David’s prayers, Spiritus sanctus sic respondit, saith he.

And he shall sustain thee] Or, victual thee, nourish thee as a foster father; thou shalt have thy σιτομετριον, thy demensum, thy due allowance: as Joseph did his father and brethren, chepi tappam, according to the mouths of their little ones, Genesis 47:12; as Barzillai at this time nourished David at Mahanaim, 2 Samuel 17:27; 2 Samuel 19:32.

He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved] Or if moved, yet not greatly moved, Psalms 62:2, nor removed, He will establish the just, Psalms 7:9.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:22

A great part of the burden of daily life is the sin that is in it. Take out the sin, and there will not be much burden left.

I. As regards those common burdens which every one bears, God says, "Cast thy burden on the Lord." It is very difficult to sympathise with one another's burdens; and of course each, knowing only his own, thinks his own the heaviest. Christ alone can sympathise with all. But your burden is the one main thing you have to do with, suited for present discipline, a selected, ordained, adjusted thing—"thy burden." Leave the balancing, and trust the Balancer.

II. What is casting? It needs an effort to believe. It needs an effort to do the first step; it needs an effort to make it once and for ever. What is the way? (1) Take loving views of Jesus—of His sympathy, His nearness, His power, His undertakings, His interest, personal, in you. (2) Open to Him your whole heart, not the burden only, but what surrounds it. (3) Do not go back to your own castings. Put them too far away for that.

III. Observe how the Lord deals with cast burdens. He does not say, "I will take away thy burden," but "I will sustain thee." To this end He will unite Himself to you more closely, so that, just as the ivy on the rock, you will both borrow a strength from the rock not your own and pass on to the rock the pressure that you feel. He will be "your arm every morning," on which leaning you cannot faint. He will feed you with such hidden manna that you will grow so strong that you can carry anything.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 8th series, p. 147.

References: Psalms 55:22.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 30. Psalm 55—A. Maclaren, Life of David, p. 240; J. Hammond, Expositor, 1st series, vol. iv., p. 67. Psalms 56:3.—A. Rowland, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiii., p. 404.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 55:22. Cast thy burthen upon the Lord Cast thou thy cares and projects upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee, and bring them to perfection: He will not permit the righteous to be moved for ever. Chandler. The meaning of the word יהבךֶ iehabeka, seems to be, what is given us from God, our allotment: Compare 1 Peter 5:7.

REFLECTIONS on Psalms 55:12-15. Is it not a grief unto death, when a companion and friend is turned to an enemy? says the son of Sirach. There can be little question, that if a faithful friend be the medicine of life, the loss of such a cordial, or the absence of it, must prove the very bitterness of grief. Job himself was shaken, when he found that his familiar friends were not ashamed to make themselves strange to him; but his calamity was at the highest, and he knew not how to carry his complaint further, than that all his inward friends abhorred him, and they whom he loved were turned against him. Indeed, the distresses and dangers that we are subject to, are hardly remediable, except by God, when they, who by intimate conversation know our nature, and to whom we have communicated our counsels and designs, prove false to us, and concur with the malice of our enemies. When they instruct our adversaries, who are to treat with us, what advantage to make of our hopes and our fears, and of those infirmities of nature which none but our bosom-friends could discern; when, upon the information and advertisement they give as friends, they lead us to such and such conclusions and resolutions, and then betray those resolutions to them against whom they are taken; there can hardly be shelter from such treachery: we may very well lose our courage, and be even overwhelmed with the fear and horror of the danger which has encompassed us, unless remarkably supported by grace. As the danger is almost inevitable, so the grief which attends it is sharper and more troublesome than the danger. The discovered treachery of a friend does at once astonish all the faculties of the mind, and render them useless; and when we recover sense enough to find that we are hurt, and consider the hand which has done it, we are so confounded with grief, with sorrow and shame, and even with our own love and pity towards the apostates, that we can hardly think of the natural remedies and applications. David was so lost and confounded at the unkindness of Absalom's rebellion, that he could not compose himself to make any preparation or provision for resistance and opposition; and all his senses were so engrossed, and possessed with the agony and smart of his unnatural conduct, that he felt not the treason and malice of Shimei's reproaches, though he had made war with his hands, as well as his tongue, and threw stones at him as well as cursed him, 2 Samuel 16:11. Behold! my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it! let him alone, and let him curse, says the overwhelmed father, when he might have had justice done upon the profane and wicked captive. And we may very reasonably and safely believe, that our Saviour himself sustained much more trouble from the combination and treachery of Judas in the betraying him, than from all the indignities and violence offered to him by the Jews. The Scribes and Pharisees did like themselves, and like the persons they professed to be; and Pilate proceeded with as much tenderness, as was naturally to be expected: He would fain have found expedients to save him; and the people were madder, and more importunate for mischief, than they used to be:—But that a disciple, and an apostle,—one whom he had trusted above others, should contribute to, and contrive his destruction, gave him more than ordinary trouble: at the thoughts of it, He was troubled in Spirit, John 13:21. He knew the extreme grief it would occasion to all the rest of his disciples, who might reasonably suspect the faith of each other, and apprehend they might be all suspected by him, when one who had appeared as innocent and zealous as any, had been corrupted to so odious a perfidy—the mischief that we suffer by the treachery and falsehood of those we love, being commonly improved, and thereby made incurable, by our being jealous of every body, and thoroughly trusting none, after we have been so horribly abused by those whom we thought we might trust best, and with more security; and therefore confusion and ruin usually enter at those breaches. But our comfort is, though we are least able to help ourselves in such exigencies, and against such distresses, we have a Helper, if we call faithfully upon Him, who sees the pangs that we suffer, the agony and fear that we endure, and hears our lamentations.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thy burden, or portion, Heb. gift; whatsoever affliction God giveth or sendeth to thee; for even the sufferings of good men are called God’s gifts in Scripture, Philippians 1:29 John 18:11. So it is a synecdochical expression. Or, whatsoever gift thou desirest from him. Although the following words of the verse seem to restrain it to afflictions. The sense is, All thy affairs, and crosses, and cares, and fears, lay them upon the shoulders of the Almighty by faith and prayer, with a confident expectation of a good issue. He directeth this speech to himself, or his own soul, as he oft doth in this book, and withal to all good men in like circumstances. To be moved, i.e. to be removed, to wit, from his sure and happy estate. Or, which agrees as well with the Hebrew,

he shall not suffer the righteous to be moved, or fall for ever, as he doth wicked men; though he may for a season suffer them to be shaken, yet he will not suffer them to be utterly overwhelmed.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

22. Cast thy burden—The Hebrew word for “burden” literally means gift, that which is given, and hence that which is allotted. “Leave to God thy lot.” The sense of “burden” is easily deduced, for that which is given us of God, as an affliction, he may be said to lay upon us. The idea of care as a burden is carried out by the Septuagint, exactly according to 1 Peter 5:7, and all those passages in the New Testament where care, anxious thought, is prohibited. Thus David returns to a sweet resting in God.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord — Whoever thou art that art burdened, and whatever the burden is; whatever affliction God sendeth to thee; all thy trials and troubles, thy crosses and distresses, thy cares and fears, nay, and all thy affairs, lay upon the shoulders of the Almighty, and commit to him, by faith and prayer, with a confident expectation of a good issue. He directs his speech to himself, or to his own soul, as he often does in this book, and withal to all good men in like circumstances. The word יהבךְ, jehabecha, however, here rendered thy burden, properly means, thy gift, or portion: for even the afflictions, trials, and troubles of good men are God’s gifts to them, and are termed such in Scripture, Philippians 1:29; John 18:11. Or, he may intend gifts of another kind, namely, such as are agreeable and pleasing to us; and then his meaning is, Whatever blessings God has given thee to enjoy, commit to his custody, and use to his glory; 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 thee in his own way and time. The version of the LXX. is excellent, επιρριψον επι κυριον την μεριμναν σου . Throw, or cast, upon the Lord thy care; to which St. Peter refers, 1 Peter 5:7. Care is a burden to many, which depresses their spirits. This burden we should learn to cast upon God by faith and prayer, committing our ways and works to him, and saying, Let him do what seemeth him good, and I shall be satisfied. To cast our burden upon the Lord, is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise, and to be very easy in the assurance that all shall work for good. And he shall sustain thee — Both support or bear thee up, and supply thy wants. He has not promised immediately to free us from the trouble which gives rise to our cares and fears, but he will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall not sink under the trial, and he will provide that we be not tempted above what we are able, and that as our day is our strength shall be. The LXX. render it, αυτος σε, διαθρεψει, he himself shall nourish thee, shall supply thy every need, according to his riches in glory, Philippians 4:19. Shall give thee all things that pertain to life, as well as those that pertain to godliness. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved — As he doth wicked men. Though he may, for a season, suffer them to be shaken, yet he will not suffer them to be utterly overwhelmed.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Cast, &c. = Commit unto. Quoted in 1 Peter 5:7.

burden = gift, or lot. Here = those very words of Psalms 55:21.

sustain thee = hold thee up.

the righteous = the righteous one (singular)

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

The Psalmist's confidence in the Lord suggests the encouraging self-exhortation to cast his burden upon the Lord. His spiritual and higher nature addresses his lower and weaker nature (Psalms 27:14; Psalms 42:5; Psalms 42:11). The relation of this verse to Psalms 55:16-21 shows that "cast thy burden upon the Lord" is primarily addressed to himself; secondarily, it belongs to all God's children when in distress, as the Psalmist is their representative. The Hebrew ( y

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(22) Burden.—A word peculiar to this passage, probably meaning “gift,” hence “lot” or “condition.” The Talmud, however, uses the word as meaning “burden” and the LXX. by rendering “care” have prepared the way for the Christian consolation in 1 Peter 5:7.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
27:14; 37:5; *marg:; 42:10,11; 62:8; 63:8; Isaiah 50:10; Matthew 6:25,31-34; 11:28; Luke 12:22; Philippians 4:6,7; 1 Peter 5:7
or, gift. suffer.
16:8; 37:24; 62:2,6; 121:3; 1 Samuel 2:9; John 10:27-30; 1 Peter 1:5

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 55:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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