Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Psalms 6

Verse 1

For the octave. That is, to be sung on an instrument of eight strings. St. Augustine understands it mystically, of the last resurrection, and the world to come; which is, as it were, the octave, or eighth day, after the seven days of this mortal life; and for this octave, sinners must dispose themselves, like David, by bewailing their sins, whilst they are here upon the earth. (Challoner) (Worthington) --- It may also signify, that this psalm was to be sung by "the eighth" of the 24 bands, 1 Paralipomenon xv. 21. David might compose it after sickness, with which he had been punished for his adultery; (Calmet) or under any distress: he expresses the sentiments of a true penitent, (Berthier) with which he was ever after impressed. (Haydock) --- It is applicable to penitents of the new law. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Indignation. Literally, "fury." (Haydock) --- Such strong expressions were requisite to make the carnal Jews fear God’s judgments, though a being of infinite perfection can have no passion. (St. Chrysostom) --- David does not beg to be free from suffering, (Haydock) but he requests that God would chastise him with moderation, Jeremias x. 24., and xlvi. 28. (Calmet) --- Justice without mercy is reserved for the last day. (St. Gregory) --- Wrath. This regards those who have built wood, &c., on the foundation. They shall be purified by fire. (St. Augustine) Purgatory was then believed in the 4th Century. (Berthier) --- Let me not be condemned either to it, or hell. (St. Gregory, hic.[here] and Psalm xxxvii.)

Verse 3

Troubled, with grief. (Worthington) --- I am sinking under my illness: my virtue is lost. (Calmet) --- The whole human race is this sick man, requiring the aid of Jesus Christ. (St. Augustine) --- The ineffable name Jehova, (Haydock) is repeated thrice, to insinuate that salvation must come from the Blessed Trinity. (Berthier, ver. 9) --- Under the allegory of sickness, the ravages of sin appear. (Menochius)

Verse 4

Long? Wilt thou leave me in distress? (Worthington) --- He breaks off abruptly to express his sorrow, See Isaias vi. 11; Jeremias xiii. 26. (Berthier) --- True converts are often tried a long time, that they may conceive how God will treat those who never return him, (St. Augustine; Eusebius) and that they may beware of a relapse. (Calmet)

Verse 5

Turn. God never abandons us first, Jeremias ii. 27. (Berthier) --- We drive him away by sin. (St. Athanasius) --- Sake. I cannot take one step without thee. (Calmet) --- Treat me not as my sins deserve; but mercifully restore me to favour. (Worthington)

Verse 6

Hell. The hardened sinner will not praise thee, (St. Augustine) much less will the damned, who are confirmed in evil. (Berthier) --- Even those who are in "the grave," though just, cannot sound forth thy praises; and consequently, if I be cut off, the number of they adorers will be diminished. This motive is often urged, as if God was forgotten in the rest of the world, Psalm xxix. 10., and Isaias xxxviii. 18. (Calmet) --- This life is the time for repentance. After death there is no conversion, but eternal blasphemies in hell. I will strive to prevent this misery, by continuing to do penance, till I am watered with thy grace. (Worthington)

Verse 7

Bed. St. Jerome, "I will make my bed swim" (Haydock) with tears, or sweat. (Berthier) --- Here we behold the effects of true repentance, which will not suffer the sinner to enjoy any repose, (Calmet) when he reflects on the pains of hell, and the perfections of God. (Haydock) --- "O sweet affliction, which extinguishes the fire of hell, and restores man to the friendship of his God." (St. Chrysostom)

Verse 8

Indignation of God (Theodoret) or of my enemies. I am also indignant when I behold my foes exulting in my ruin. (Calmet) --- I have. Hebrew, "It," the eye. (Berthier) --- The eye is naturally injured by excessive grief. Yet David could not think of his sins, without floods of tears. (Haydock)

Verse 9

Iniquity, who have fostered my passions, (Berthier) or sought my ruin. I now perceive who were my true friends. (Calmet) --- Lord. He is twice mentioned in the next verse, in honour of the blessed Trinity, as a German commentator remarks, after the ancient interpreters (Berthier) and Fathers. They have constantly had an eye to these grand truths, which are nevertheless proved by clearer passages of Scripture. (Haydock) --- David confides in God, as every true penitent may do, for protection. (Worthington) --- He had also been assured of pardon by Nathan, the prophet. (Haydock)

Verse 11

Troubled. This is a prophecy, (St. Augustine) or a prayer for their speedy and earnest conversion, (St. Jerome; Calmet) or a threat if they persist. (Worthington) --- Speedily. At the last day, the wicked will perceive how short life has been. Tunc sentient peccatores quam non sit longa omnis vita quæ transit. (St. Augustine)

Verse 13


A prayer of a penitent sinner, under the scourge of God. The first penitential Psalm.

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 6". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.