Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations

Psalms 30



A Psalm and Song; or, A Psalm of Song; i.e. either,

1. A Psalm to be sung with the voice to an instrument. Or,

2. A Psalm of joy and praise; for so this is. And this Hebrew word schir may be here taken not simply for a song, but for a joyful song, as it is Genesis 31:27; Exodus 15:1; Psalms 33:3; Psalms 42:8; Proverbs 25:20; Isaiah 30:29; Amos 8:3,Amos 8:10. At the dedication of the house of David; either,

1. At the dedication of the temple, called the house, or that house, eminently and emphatically. So the Chaldee paraphrast and the Hebrew doctors understand it. And then the last words, of David, are to be joined with the first, a Psalm and Song. But this seems not probable, because the temple was not built by David, nor in his days, although he might prescribe a Psalm to be used afterwards upon that occasion. Or,

2. At the dedication of David’s house, which was built, 2 Samuel 5:11, and doubtless was dedicated, as God had commanded. See Deuteronomy 20:5; Nehemiah 12:27. Or,

3. At the second dedication of David’s house, after it had been polluted by Absalom and his concubines. But there is no law of God for any re-dedication of houses in such cases, nor any evidence that David did so. And indeed it seems strange, if this Psalm was made upon this occasion, or upon any of these dedications here mentioned, that there should not be one line in it suitable to that occasion. Others therefore make these words,

Verse 1

the dedication of the house, not to note the matter of this Psalm or Song; but either,

1. The name of the tune to which this song was sung, which was the same that David used at the dedication of his house; and so this gives us a reason why the word Song is added to that of Psalm, and why this Psalm was called the Song of the dedication. Or,

2. The time when it was sung; which was at the dedication of David’s house. For such dedications were performed in a very solemn manner, with divers rites and prayers, and praises to God, as the nature of that business required. And it seems probable from the matter of this Psalm, compared with the title, that David had about this time been delivered from some eminent distresses, and particularly from some dangerous sickness; for which he here gives thanks to God, taking advantage of this public and solemn occasion.

The psalmist praiseth God for deliverance out of great danger, Psalms 30:1-3; and exhorteth others to do the same, Psalms 30:4,Psalms 30:5. He acknowledgeth to God that his prayer was heard, and him-self girded with gladness, Psalms 30:6-11. He will give thanks to God for ever, Psalms 30:12.

Lifted me up; or, drawn up, to wit, out of the deep pit, or waters; to which great dangers and afflictions are frequently compared.

To rejoice over me; which they both desired and confidently expected an occasion to do.

Verse 2

i.e. Delivered me from the fears and troubles of my mind, which are oft compared to diseases, and from very dangerous distempers of my body.

Verse 3

Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; my deliverance is a kind of resurrection from the grave, upon the very brink whereof I was.

Thou hast kept me alive: this he adds to explain the former phrase, which was ambiguous.

To the pit, i.e. into the grave, which is oft called the pit, as Psalms 28:1; Psalms 69:15; Psalms 88:4; Isaiah 38:17.

Verse 4

Or, at the mention, &c.; when you call to mind, or when others celebrate, as I do, this day, the holiness of God’s nature; which he demonstrates by his works, by his faithfulness, care, and kindness towards his holy ones.

Verse 5

His anger endureth but a moment; commonly the afflictions which he sends upon his people are short, and last but for a few moments of their lives.

In his favour is life; or, life, i.e. our whole life, is in his favour, i.e. he heapeth his favours upon them, for the greatest part of their present lives, and in the next life, which endures for ever; of which the Chaldee paraphrast expounds this place. And indeed without the consideration of eternal life, the difference between the duration of the afflictions and of the happiness of God’s people, were neither so evident nor considerable as David here makes it.

Life is oft put for a long and happy time, as Psalms 34:12; Psalms 133:3; Proverbs 3:2; and for an eternal and immortal duration, 2 Timothy 1:10; James 1:12. And in civil affairs estates for life are opposed to those that are but for a short time.

Joy cometh in the morning, i.e. it comes speedily and in due season.

Verse 6

I thought myself past all danger of further changes, forgetting my own frailty, and the uncertainty of all worldly things.

Verse 7

Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong; thou hast so firmly settled me in my kingdom; which he calls his

mountain, partly because kingdoms are usually called mountains in prophetical writings, as Psalms 46:3,Psalms 46:4; Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 51:25; Daniel 2:34,Daniel 2:35,Daniel 2:44,Daniel 2:45; and partly with respect to Mount Zion, where he built his royal palace, the dedication whereof is mentioned in the title of the Psalm.

Thou didst hide thy face, i.e. withdraw thy favour and help, and I was quickly brought into such distresses of body, and anxiety of mind, that I saw the vanity of all my carnal confidences.

Verse 9

What profit is there, to wit, unto thee? as the latter part of the verse explains it. What wilt thou gain by it?

In my blood, i.e. in my violent death, as blood is frequently used, as Genesis 37:26; Numbers 35:33; Joshua 20:3; 1 Samuel 25:26,1 Samuel 25:33; Matthew 27:6.

When I go down to the pit; when I die. See Poole "Psalms 30:3". Shall they that are dead, or gone down into the dust, celebrate thy faithfulness and goodness in the land of the living? Or shall my dust or dead corpse praise thee? No, Lord, shouldst thou cut me off in the beginning of my reign, thy name would lose the praises which many will return to thee for my life, and be exposed to reproaches, as if thou hadst not kept thy word with me; and I should lose those opportunities of praising thy name, and serving my generations, which I prize above my life.

Verse 11

Having related his prayer, he now declares the gracious answer which God gave him.

Put off my sackcloth, i.e. given me occasion to put off that sackcloth, which they used to wear in times of mourning. See Esther 4:1; Psalms 35:13; Isaiah 32:11; Joel 1:13.

With gladness; either with garments of gladness or rejoicing; or with joy, as with a garment surrounding me on every side; as he is for the like reason said to be girded with strength, Psalms 18:32.

Verse 12

My glory; my soul; or rather, my tongue, to which both singing and silence most properly belong. See Poole "Psalms 7:5"; See Poole "Psalms 16:9".

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 30". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.