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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 56

Verses 1-13

Title.—(RV) ’For the Chief Musician; set to Jonath elem rehokim. A Psalm of David: Michtam: when the Philistines took him in Gath.’ For Michtam see on Psalms 16. Jonath elem rehokim (’the dove of the distant terebinths’) indicates the song to the melody of whicb the Ps. was to be sung. As in the case of Psalms 34 the title hardly describes accurately the occasion which it mentions (1 Samuel 21:10), and consequently too much weight must not be attached to it. The Psalmist, with many enemies around him, casts himself on God’s mercy, and his confidence utters itself in a twice-repeated refrain (Psalms 56:4, Psalms 56:10).

1. Daily] RV ’all the day long.’ So in Psalms 56:2.

2. Against me, O thou most High] RV ’proudly against me.’

4. In God I will praise his word] By God’s help I will praise Him for the truth of His promises.

7. Shall they escape by iniquity?] A slight change of reading would give, ’Requite them according to their iniquity.’ People] RV ’peoples.’ This prayer would become more intelligible if national rather than personal enemies were in view.

8. Tellest] countest. Put thou my tears] or, ’my tears are put.’ Thy bottle] or ’skin.’ God treasures His servants’ tears as if they were water or wine. St. Bernard says, ’the tears of penitents are the wine of angels.’

Thy book] in which all things are recorded.

12. Thy vows, etc.] The vows I have made to Thee bind me to Thy service.

13. Wilt not thou deliver? etc.] RVhast thou not delivered,’ etc.—an affirmation in the form of a question. The meaning is, ’Yea, and my feet from falling.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 56". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-56.html. 1909.