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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 57

Verse 1

David began by comparing himself to a little bird that takes refuge from a passing enemy by hiding under the wing of its parent (cf. Psalms 17:8; Psalms 36:7; Psalms 61:4; Psalms 63:7; Psalms 91:4). The overarching side of the cave in which David hid may have reminded him of a bird’s wing.

Verses 1-5

1. The psalmist’s need for God’s help 57:1-5

Verses 1-11

Psalms 57

David’s hiding from Saul in a cave is the background of this individual lament psalm (1 Samuel 22; 1 Samuel 24; cf. Psalms 142). The tune name means "Do not destroy." This psalm resembles the preceding one in its general theme and design. It, too, has a recurring refrain (Psalms 57:5; Psalms 57:11). It is, however, more "upbeat."

Verses 2-3

He said he would cry and God Most High would send help. "Most High" pictures God as exalted in His rule over all that He has created. In these verses, David pictured himself as an insignificant creature that a larger predator was about to step on.

Verse 4

His enemies were similar to voracious lions (cf. Psalms 7:2), and their vehement words resembled lions’ teeth. I wonder if Daniel thought of this verse when he was in the lions’ den (Daniel 6). The soul represents the life of the psalmist. David’s enemies used words as implements of warfare to attack him.

Verse 5

This refrain expresses David’s desire that God would glorify Himself. Implicit in the desire is a request that God would deliver the just psalmist.

Verse 6

Now David spoke of himself as a wild animal that hunters were trying to snare. However, he believed that his hunters would fall into their own trap (cf. Psalms 7:15; Psalms 9:15; Psalms 35:8).

Verses 6-11

2. The psalmist’s confidence that God would help 57:6-11

Verses 7-10

In anticipation of his deliverance, David promised to praise God (cf. Psalms 108:1-5). He returned to previous references to the Lord’s loyal love and truth (Psalms 57:10; cf. Psalms 57:3).

Verse 11

The refrain closes the psalm (cf. Psalms 57:5). God’s glory was David’s greatest concern.

Life sometimes seems similar to a jungle, with wild beasts threatening to devour us and hostile hunters trying to trap us. Nevertheless, the godly can count on supernatural assistance and can rejoice in ultimate salvation. In the meantime, we should live for the glory of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 57". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.