Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Psalms 6

Verses 1-10

The Title. On Sheminith; directing this psalm to be sung with a harp of eight strings, 1 Chronicles 15:21, that the air and the music might the better accord with the sentiments of the song. It is a loss irreparable, both to jews and christians, that we so rarely know the particular occasion on which the psalms were composed. The one before us was evidently written while David was pursued by his enemies, and while his soul was so vexed as to occasion bodily affliction.

Psalms 6:4-5 . Oh Lord deliver my soul; save me from the sword, for in death there is no remembrance of thee. These were David’s oft-repeated prayers in time of danger; and the ear of heaven always heard his cry. Psalm 30. 116. &c. If he fell by the hand of violence, there would be no memorial of the sure mercies which had been announced by Samuel at his consecration.

Psalms 6:6 . All the night make I my bed to swim. His princess given to another: his princely hopes fled: Saul and his court in full pursuit of his soul: the Benjamites cursing his name! Here are the causes of grief; here the fountain of his tears; here the anguish which inspired the sublime of prayer.

Psalms 6:9 . The Lord hath heard my supplication. After a night of weeping, he felt his soul so relieved and refreshed as to be assured of ultimate deliverance. Rallying all his powers, and putting his trust in the Lord, he bids his enemies return with shame and vexation, to better sentiments.


Happy is the man who has David’s God for his portion. His glorious high throne is the place of our sanctuary in the day of trouble. A smiling sun, after a stormy night, bears no comparison with the joys which inundate the souls of the righteous, after they have uttered their anguish before the Lord. And if our joys be so sweet below, what must they be in heaven. Truly, as rabbi Jacob says, one hour of delectable enjoyments in the world to come, is more than the whole universe of terrestrial delights.

But while David’s heart overflowed with grace, instead of seeking vengeance and blood, he bids his enemies return suddenly to better sentiments. The reign of grace controuled his passions: the fire of the altar hallowed his soul, and overpowered the martial flame. Oh how powerful is prayer: oh what grace can do in conquering the most rebellious hearts of men.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 6". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.