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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 69

Verse 1

Psalms 69:1 « To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David. » Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.

A Psalm of David ] Quando rebellabat Sheba, saith the Syriac, made upon the occasion of Sheba’s rebellion presently after Absalom’s. Hence he cries out, as one almost overwhelmed,

Ver. 1. Save me, O God ] Thou, who delightest to save such as are forsaken of their hopes. The Fathers generally take this psalm to be prophetic touching the passion of Christ, and his praying then to the Father. David had his troubles which gave occasion to the penning of this psalm, but those were all but as a picture and prelude of Christ’s far greater sorrows, Spiritus autem sanctus manifeste se prodit in hoc psalmo.

For the waters are come in unto my soul ] Ever after Noah’s flood, that dismal destruction, great and grievous afflictions were set forth by the rushing in of waters, and overwhelming therewith. God’swrath was poured upon Christ as a mighty torrent of waters, and, therefore, this expression applied to him hath a special emphasis; his soul was heavy even to the death. Fluctus fluctum trudebat, One deep called upon another, &c. Oh the soul of sufferings which his soul then suffered!

Verse 2

Psa 69:2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Ver. 2. I sink in deep mire ] Heb. in the mire of depth, or gulf, as Babylon was afterwards called, Isaiah 44:27 . Here he stuck, and under water, and so must perish, if he had not present help.

Verse 3

Psa 69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Ver. 3. I am weary of mg crying ] As a drowning man, while he can be heard, crieth for help.

My throat is dried ] Or, parched, raucitate laborant fauces.

Mine eyes fail ] With much weeping and long looking. This is a piece of the curse, Leviticus 26:16 . Christ became a curse for us, Galatians 3:13 .

Verse 4

Psa 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away.

Ver. 4. They that hate me without a cause, &c. ] Christ, besides his inward fears and griefs caused by the sense of his Father’s wrath for our sins, was set against and assaulted both by men and devils (in that three hours’ darkness especially) with utmost might and malice.

Then I restored that which I took not away. ] Quod non rapui reddebam. David was dealt with as a felon or false dealer. Christ also was crucified for saying that he was the Son of God, John 19:7 , though he held it no robbery to be equal with God, Philippians 2:6 . The martyrs likewise were loaden with many calumnies and false criminations, that they might seem to suffer not as martyrs, but as malefactors.

Verse 5

Psa 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

Ver. 5. O God, thou knowest my foolishness ] Secundum dici, non secundum esse; ironica enim est locutio. Thou knowest mine innocence, and how free I am of that folly, and those foul faults, wherewith they falsely charge me.

Verse 6

Psa 69:6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

Ver. 6. Let not them … be ashamed for my sake] Give me not up to passions of dishonour, to opprobrious practices, whereby religion might be reproached, or good people reviled and abused, much less staggered and set at a stand by my sufferings.

Verse 7

Psa 69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.

Ver. 7. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach ] Whatever mine enemies pretend, they strike at thee, Lord, through my sides; and for thy sake alone it is that I am so bespattled, that I am even ashamed to look any one in the face. The most innocent may, upon the fulness of an aspersion, be put out of countenance.

Verse 8

Psa 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.

Ver. 8. I am become a stranger unto my brethren ] No otherwise than as if I were a mamzer (so the Hebrews call a bastard), that is, a strange blot to the family. Christ came to his own, but they received him not; yea, his own brethren believed not on him, Joh 7:5 This, when the Turks read in our Gospel, they wonder; and the Jews, therefore, slander his miracles, for not so manifest as we conceive.

Verse 9

Psa 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

Ver. 9. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up ] Non amat qui non zelat. David’s love to God (much less the Lord Christ’s) would not suffer him to bear with God’s dishonour and the contempt of his ordinances. And this was it that procured him so much ill-will, and such a general alienation from nearest friends and allies.

And the reproaches of them that reproached thee ] Wicked men soon set their mouths against heaven, and fall foul upon God himself. This David (and the Son of David) could not endure, nec aliter amare didicit, as Basil once answered those that blamed him for appearing so far for his friend, to his own great danger (Chrysost. lib. 2, de Sacerdot.).

Verse 10

Psa 69:10 When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

Ver. 10. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting ] That I might thereby beat down my body, and tame that rebel flesh of mine.

That was to my reproach ] They said I did it in hypocrisy and design. So they dealt by the Baptist, that crucifix of mortification, Luke 7:33 .

Verse 11

Psa 69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.

Ver. 11. I made sackcloth also my garment ] A fashion at solemn fasts among the Easterlings; as if they thought the coarsest clothing too good for them; and but for shame would have gone stark naked.

I became a proverb to them ] Dicterium. They would say, with mocking Michal, "How glorious was the king of Israel today, as one of the vain fellows!" 2 Samuel 6:20 .

Verse 12

Psa 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards.

Ver. 12. They that sit in the gate ] Men of authority and dignity, who should have showed more grace and gravity. The saints are sure of enemies of all sorts. David was traduced at public and private meetings, seriis et ludicris, sobriis et ebriis.

And I was the song of the drunkards ] Heb. of the drinkers of strong drink; the ale stakes made ballads on their ale bench, de macie mea et miseria. These servants tear and toss my name, as curs do carrion.

Verse 13

Psa 69:13 But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Ver. 13. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord ] So St Paul, "Being defamed," saith he, "we pray." Christ in like case committed himself to God in well-doing, 1 Peter 2:15

In an acceptable time ] Or, there will be an acceptable time.

Flebile principium melior fortuna sequetur.

Verse 14

Psa 69:14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Ver. 14. Deliver me out of the mire ] i.e. De civitate Gehennae, from the state of hell, saith the Hebrew scholiast; a out of that deadly danger whereof he had complained, Psalms 69:2 . Alphonsus, king of Arragon, by a gracious condescension, helped a laden ass out of the mire with his own hand, and is renowned for it in history (Val. Max. Christ. 41). God helpeth his out full oft, and little notice is taken of it.

a One who writes explanatory notes upon an author; esp. an ancient commentator upon a classical writer.

Verse 15

Psa 69:15 Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.

Ver. 15. Let not the waterflood overflow me ] See Psalms 69:1 .

Let not the pit shut ] Leave me not helpless and hopeless.

Vivere spe facias qui moriturus eram.

Verse 16

Psa 69:16 Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

Ver. 16. Hear me, O Lord, for thy lovingkindness is good ] It is not like the winter sun, that lighteth but heateth not; it is like the summer sun, that doth both.

Verse 17

Psa 69:17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.

Ver. 17. And hide not thy face from thy servant ] Who am devoted to thy fear, and do, therefore, implore and expect thy favour.

For I am in trouble ] And so a fit object of thy pity.

Verse 18

Psa 69:18 Draw nigh unto my soul, [and] redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.

Ver. 18. Draw nigh unto my soul ] Who seemest to be afar off; so the flesh suggesteth when help is any whit deferred.

Because of mine enemies ] Who else will excessively insult.

Verse 19

Psa 69:19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries [are] all before thee.

Ver. 19. Thou hast known my reproach ] That is enough for David, that God taketh cognizance of the injuries and indignities cast upon him; for he will surely right him.

Verse 20

Psa 69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none.

Ver. 20. Reproach hath broken mine heart, &c. ] He knew his own innocence, and yet it much grieved him to be so defamed; for he knew that a good man should be as much as might be not only without fault, but without suspicion of a fault, as Augustus Caesar was wont to say of his house. Howsoever, it is happy that a true Christian hath always his cordial by him, 2 Corinthians 1:12 . Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience.

And I looked for some to take pity ] Heb. to lament with me, or to shake the head over me as mourners use to do, to run to my comfort, and to condole with me. David’s friends failed him in this office also. But that was not all.

Verse 21

Psa 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Ver. 21. They gave me also gall for my meat ] Venenum vel eicutam; and so showed themselves miserable comforters.

And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink ] This befell David in figure, but Christ in the letter, Matthew 27:34 . It were happy if the vinegar given him might melt our adamantine hearts into godly sorrow.

Verse 22

Psa 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap.

Ver. 22. Let their table become a snare before them ] Let them eat their bane, and drink their poison; while all their cares are sauced with the wrath of God: Quoniam hoe mode cibarunt me, saith Kimchi, because they have served me on this sort. By "table," saith another interpreter, we are to understand all means of comfort and refreshing, both of body and soul, which turn to the ruin of the wicked, even an odour of death unto death, 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 .

And that which should have been, &c. ] Tremellius rendereth it, Pro retributionibus, pro tendicula ipsis, for recompenses, for a trap to them Romans 11:9 ; others, Pacifiea in rete! others again, Et ubi pacem sperant, illic impingant, Where they hope for peace let them fall.

Verse 23

Psa 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.

Ver. 23. Let their eyes be darkened ] Let them be infatuated and besotted, that they may go hoodwinked to hell.

And make their loins continually to shake ] Ne fugiant, saith R. Obadiah Gaon, that they may not be able to fly, or otherwise to help themselves; for in the loins and reins of a man lieth his strength, Deuteronomy 33:11 . The Syriac hath it, Lumbi eorum sint curvi, viz. under their enemies’ burdens. See Romans 11:10 , bow down their backs.

Verse 24

Psa 69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.

Ver. 24. Pour out thine indignation upon them ] By indignation, saith Basil, we are to understand speedy vengeance; by wrath, durable. This is befallen the nation of the Jews to the utmost, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 , or to the end, as some render it.

Verse 25

Psa 69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; [and] let none dwell in their tents.

Ver. 25. Let their habitation be desolate ] Heb. their palaces, or castles, so named of being fair and high built, in row and order. It is here put not only for their habitation, but for their function. See Acts 1:20 .

And let none dwell in their tents ] Lege et luge, Read and lament, saith one, speaking of the ruin of Jerusalem by the Romans, under Vespasian, and again under Hadrian, by whom all Judaea was left almost uninhabited, the Jews utterly banished, and forbidden upon pain of death to look toward their own country (Dio in Hadrian). At this day there be not to be found in Jerusalem itself a hundred households of Jews. Behold the severity of God for the contempt of Christ and his people (Breerwood’s Enquirer).

Verse 26

Psa 69:26 For they persecute [him] whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.

Ver. 26. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten ] Christ was "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted," Isaiah 53:4 . Him they persecuted to the death, and abused, when he was at the greatest under, with bitter taunts and Satanical sarcasms; so the pagans and Papists dealt by the dying martyrs; and so profane persons and malicious miscreants do still by God’s poor afflicted; falling as cursed curs upon the dog that is worried; and as when a deer is shot the rest of the herd push him out of their company: so here. Now, if it could be said of Mithridates, that he hated such as maliciously persecuted virtue forsaken of fortune; much more may we think doth God abhor such cruel criminals as are here spoken of. See Isa 47:6 Oba 1:1 Zechariah 1:15 .

And they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded ] Narrationes contexunt, they frame discourses to the grief of thy wounded ones, pouring into their wounds not oil, or balsam, but vinegar, or salt water, Heb. they number, or cipher up the grief; that is, saith one, they study and devise new ways of torturing them, so that he who would speak of them all, must keep a remembrance of their number.

Verse 27

Psa 69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.

Ver. 27. Add iniquity unto their iniquity ] Punish one sin with another (by giving them up to a reprobate sense, to an incurable hardness), and plague them soundly for their sin. The same Hebrew word signifieth both sin and punishment; these two are tied together with chains of adamant.

And let them not come into thy righteousness ] i.e. Hold them not righteous, nor bestow upon them thy crown of righteousness.

Verse 28

Psa 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Ver. 28. Let them be blotted out, &c. ] Wherein they were never indeed written among those living in Jerusalem, Isaiah 4:3 , those firstborn whose names are written in heaven, Hebrews 12:23 , but they accounted themselves of that number, and were so esteemed by others. This was a mistake, and the psalmist prayeth God to make it appear so, Ne videantur in albun tuorum relati quibus verae vitro donum destinasti.

Verse 29

Psa 69:29 But I [am] poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

Ver. 29. But I am poor and sorrowful ] The Church is usually so, and may sing, as here, Vaani gnani, &c., but her comfort is, 1. That Christ saith unto her, as Revelation 2:9 , I know thy sorrow and poverty (but that is nothing), thou art rich. 2. That her poverty is not penal, but medicinal; God’s dispensation to fit her for better riches; as a wise physician purgeth a foul hody till he bring it almost to skin and bone; but why? that, having made it poor, there may be a spring of better blood and spirits.

Verse 30

Psa 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Ver. 30. I will praise the name of God ] i.e. Agnitmn Deum. I will thankfully agnize and recognize God’s great goodness to me in this deliverance, with mine uttermost zeal and skill.

Verse 31

Psalms 69:31 [This] also shall please the LORD better than an ox [or] bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Ver. 31. This also shall please the Lord better, &c. ] True thankfulness is opimum et optimum saerificium, those calves of our lips, Hosea 14:3 Hebrews 12:15 . These calves or bullocks (as in the text) must, 1. Have horns and hoofs, be young and tender, the very best, of the best. 2. They must be slain; our thanks must proceed from a mortified mind. 3. They must be sacrificed; where is required, (1.) An altar, our praises must be tendered in the mediation of Christ. (2.) Fire, our hearts must be inflamed with zeal and ardency. (3.) Our hands must be laid on the head of the bullock; that is, we must in all humility confess our unworthiness, &c. This will surely please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Verse 32

Psa 69:32 The humble shall see [this, and] be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.

Ver. 32. The humble shall see this and be glad ] David’s great care was for others’ confirmation and comfort; much more Christ’s, witness that holy prayer of his, John 17:9

Your heart shall live ] Which before was all lifeless. Pray that ye may joy. David did so often, Psalms 6:1-10 , &c.

Verse 33

Psa 69:33 For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.

Ver. 33. For the Lord heareth the poor ] He is the poor man’s king, the wronged man’s refuge; Trajan the emperor is renowned for this, that when he was mounted for a battle, he alighted again to bear the complaint of a poor woman that cried unto him for justice (Aeli. Spart.); and our Edward VI for this, that he would appoint certain hours to sit with the master of the requests, only to despatch the causes of the poor. God is much more to be magnified.

Verse 34

Psa 69:34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.

Ver. 34. Let the heaven and earth praise him ] As they do in their kind; and have good cause so to do for their restoration by Christ, Romans 8:21 .

Verse 35

Psa 69:35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.

Ver. 35. For God will save Zion ] i.e. The Church universal.

And will build the cities ] The particular Churches.

That they may dwell there ] viz. The seed of his servants, Psalms 69:36 .

Verse 36

Psa 69:36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

Ver. 36. The seed also of his servants shall inherit ] The faithful and their posterity after them shall be incorporated into the Church, and partake of all good things to all perpetuity.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 69". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.