Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 41

Verses 1-13

A psalm of David, when sick with grief at Absalom’s rebellion.

Psalms 41:4 . Heal my soul. It would appear that David was visited with some temporary sickness, prior to Absalom’s rebellion, and that the disaffected took every advantage of it to strengthen their revolt. They spread reports that an evil, a supernatural disease, consumed him: Psalms 41:8.

Psalms 41:9 . Mine own familiar friend. Hebrews the man of my peace; or as the Chaldaic, the man who ought to have sought my peace. It can scarcely be doubted but the reference is to Ahithophel, who ate at his table, and took the king’s arm when walking to the house of God; yet this consummate hypocrite was the eye and soul of Absalom’s revolt, and like Judas, sold the life of his master.

Psalms 41:13 . Blessed be the Lord God of Israel. This verse closes each of the five books of Hebrew psalms, as Psalm 72. 89. 106. and 150.


When David was sick and in trouble, it was a consolation to him that he had shown compassion to the poor. Though there can be no merit in man, yet when he is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, “God is not unrighteous to forget his work of faith and labour of love.” The language of such a character is very exuberant: The Lord will deliver him the Lord will preserve him the Lord will keep him alive the Lord will bless him on the earth the Lord will not deliver him to the will of his enemies the Lord will strengthen him on the bed of sickness, and like a kind nurse, make his bed in his affliction.

We must notice here the disguised wickedness of court-factions. Saul’s old partizans, ready enough to join in Absalom’s revolt, filled the land with unfavourable reports concerning the king’s health. Truly the beasts are not so fierce against man as the wicked are against one another.

David regarded his recovery from sickness as a special mark of divine favour, a mark of favour calculated to depress the unhallowed joys of his enemies. Recent mercies after sickness refresh the soul, like the fragrance of spring after the desolations of winter. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever. In all these troubles we are to see the Saviour of men betrayed, persecuted, and crucified; yet rising from the tomb to the throne, and the necks of all his enemies put under his feet.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 41". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.