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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 55

PSALM 55

:-. In great terror on account of enemies, and grieved by the treachery of a friend, the Psalmist offers an earnest prayer for relief. He mingles confident assurances of divine favor to himself with invocations and predictions of God's avenging judgments on the wicked. The tone suits David's experience, both in the times of Saul and Absalom, though perhaps neither was exclusively before his mind.

Verse 1

1. hide not thyself, c.—(compare Psalms 13:1 Psalms 27:9), withhold not help.

Verse 2

2. The terms of the last clause express full indulgence of grief.

Verse 3

3. oppression—literally, "persecution."

they . . . iniquity—literally, "they make evil doings slide upon me."

Verse 4

4, 5. express great alarm.

Verse 5

5. come upon—or literally, "into."

Verse 6

6. be at rest—literally, "dwell," that is, permanently.

Verse 7

7, 8. Even a wilderness is a safer place than exposure to such evils, terrible as storm and tempest.

Verse 9

9. Destroy—literally, "swallow" (Psalms 21:9).

divide their tongues—or, "confound their speech," and hence their counsels (Psalms 21:9- :).

the city—perhaps Jerusalem, the scene of anarchy.

Verse 10

10, 11. which is described in detail (compare :-).

Verse 11

11. Wickedness—literally, "Mischief," evils resulting from others (Psalms 5:9; Psalms 52:2; Psalms 52:7).

streets—or literally, "wide places," markets, courts of justice, and any public place.

Verse 12

12-14. This description of treachery does not deny, but aggravates, the injury from enemies.

Verse 13

13. guide—literally, "friend" (Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9).

acquaintance—in Hebrew, a yet more intimate associate.

Verse 14

14. in company—literally, "with a crowd," in a festal procession.

Verse 15

15. Let death, c.—or, "Desolations are on them."

let them go—literally, "they will go."

quick—or, living in the midst of life, death will come (compare :-).

among them—or, "within them," in their hearts (Psalms 5:9 Psalms 49:11).

Verse 16

16-18. God answers his constant and repeated prayers.

Verse 18

18. many with me—that is, by the context, fighting with me.

Verse 19

19. God hears the wicked in wrath.

abideth—or, "sitteth."

of old—enthroned as a sovereign.

Because . . . no changes—Prosperity hardens them ( :-).

Verse 20

20, 21. The treachery is aggravated by hypocrisy. The changes of number, Psalms 55:15; Psalms 55:23, and here, enliven the picture, and imply that the chief traitor and his accomplices are in view together.

Verse 22

22. thy burden—literally, "gift," what is assigned you.

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

to be moved—from the secure position of His favor (compare Matthew 6:11- :).

Verse 23

23. bloody . . . days—(compare Psalms 5:6; Psalms 51:14), deceit and murderous dispositions often united. The threat is directed specially (not as a general truth) against the wicked, then in the writer's view.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 55". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/psalms-55.html. 1871-8.