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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 5

Verses 1-12

This is a morning prayer before going to the sanctuary. The chief difficulty in ascribing it to David lies in the reference (Psalms 5:7) to ’thy holy temple.’ The word means a ’palace,’ and is not strictly applicable to the tent which David provided for the ark (2 Samuel 6:17). But it was used of the sanctuary at Shiloh. (1 Samuel 1:9), and may have been poetically transferred to David’s humbler tent; or it may be figuratively employed to denote the heavenly temple. The Psalmist appeals to God for hearing (Psalms 5:1-3), contrasts the exclusion of the wicked from God’s presence with his own access (Psalms 5:4-7), asks for guidance in the midst of his enemies (Psalms 5:8-9), and prays for their overthrow and for the triumph of the righteous (Psalms 5:10-12). This is one of the Pss. for Ash Wednesday.

Title.—Nehiloth] RM ’wind instruments.’

1. My meditation] the thoughtful desire of the heart which hardly finds expression in words. It is in contrast with the ’cry’ of Psalms 5:2.

2. My King] If the writer is David he forgets his own royalty in the presence of the heavenly King. Will I pray] RV ’do I pray.’

3. In the morning] emphatic and twice repeated. Direct] RV ’order,’ arrange, perhaps, as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:9; Leviticus 1:7-8). But see Job 23:4; Job 32:14; Job 33:5; Job 37:19. Look up] RV ’keep watch’ for an answer.

4. Neither shall evil dwell] RM ’the evil man shall not sojourn.’

5. Foolish] RV ’arrogant.’ Stand in thy sight] endure the holiness of thy presence.

6. Leasing] RV ’lies.’ Will abhor the bloody] RV ’abhorreth the bloodthirsty.’

7. The two features of access to God are (1) God’s grace, and (2) the worshipper’s reverence. Toward] The worshipper in the Temple court prostrated himself towards the sanctuary.

8. Straight] RV ’plain,’ level, easy to walk in.

9. The heart and the speech of the wicked are alike corrupt. See Romans 3:13, where this v. is quoted. The throat of the flatterer is compared to an open grave, ever clamouring for fresh victims—a very suggestive figure.

10. Destroy.. them] RV ’hold them guilty.’

Against thee] The Psalmist identifies God’s cause with his own.

11. Love thy name] thy revealed character. A name comes to be the equivalent of all that we know about the person who bears it: cp. ’Hallowed be Thy name.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 5". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.