Bible Commentaries
Psalms 6

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-10

Psalms 6:1-10. (Note, 5: title.) Sheminith.] This word signifies the eighth : and some suppose that the Psalm, or tune, was adapted to a harp with eight strings. This is the first of the penitential psalms; but it is not known on what occasion it was written.

V. 1, 2. ’Though I deserve destruction, yet let thy ’ mercy pity my frailty.’ (Notes, Isaiah 57:15-16. Jeremiah 10:23-25.) Are vexed. (2) Or, are shaken, or disturbed.

V. 3, 4. (Notes, Psalms 13:1-4. Psalms 94:17.)’ Return, O Lord, in mercy to my soul, and relieve and comfort me.’ (Marg. Ref.)

V. 5. the Psalmist pleaded, that if God cut him off in his wrath, it would terminate all his opportunities of serving and glorifying him on earth ; and if left finally to perish, he should never remember God with gratitude and praise any more to eternity. (Notes, Psalms 30:9-10; Psalms 88:10-12. Isaiah 3:17-22.)

In the grave.]Sept. The word is often translated hell, and it frequently denotes the place of separate spirits, happy or unhappy, according to the context; yet it sometimes must be understood of the grave, and that to be the sense in this place. (Note, Psalms 16:8-11.)

V. 6, 7- David, as visited and chastised by distressing sickness, and a variety of sufferings ; and at the same time, mourning for his sins in deep repentance, complained, that his complicated sorrows caused him every night to water his couch with copious tears, and made him waste, become dull-sighted, and as it were grow old prematurely. In this distress, he earnestly pleaded with God to visit him in mercy, without further delay. (Marg. Ref.)

V. 8- 10. The Psalmist, having deeply humbled himself before God, at length found his peace and hope revive. As he trusted that the Lord would not leave him to perish in another world, with the workers of iniquity, he resolved not to associate with them in this : and he warned them to repent and cease from their enmity to him ; otherwise he was assured, that shame and vexation would suddenly and irrevocably seize upon them. Many mournful psalms end thus triumphantly, for the encouragement of other mourners to hope and pray. (Notes, Psalms 13:5-6. Psalms 30:9-12.) The old version thus renders the last verse: ’All my enemies shall be confounded and sore vexed ; they ’ shall be turned back, and put to shame suddenly.’ (Note, Psalms 5:10-11.)


Infidels, profligates, and hypocrites, and ungodly men of every description, have always more noticed David’s sins, than his mourning for them : for the former serve for an objection to the truths which they hate, and an excuse for the sins they love; but they are not disposed to imitate him in the latter. Great tenderness of conscience, and a disposition to mourn for sin with brokenness of heart, distinguish the believer from all other men. He may be overtaken in a fault, nay he may fall into grievous transgression ; but recollection fills him with anguish : or if for a space he be, as it were, stupified, rebukes and corrections bring him to himself : and, while conscience performs its salutary but painful office, and he is suffering under the rod of his offended Father, he not unfrequently becomes afraid of his " hot displeasure." Ashamed and trembling, he then deprecates eternal misery. Pains and enfeebling diseases, which vex his bones, may excite his prayers for deliverance ; but the sense of divine wrath, which vexes his soul, renders him most earnest in crying out, " O LORD, how long ? " how long will it be ere thou give me some token of thy pardoning love ? ere thou return to glorify thy mercy in saving my soul ? The true penitent desires to live on earth to remember and give thanks to his God ; and he seeks the deliverance of his soul from hell, and the resurrection of the body from the grave, for the same purpose. To enjoy the favour, and celebrate the praises, of his God and Saviour, form that happiness on earth and in heaven, which he desires ; but he cannot endure the thought of ceasing for ever to love and praise him. His sorrow for sin is inward, and flows most in retirement : groans and tears express the compunction of his heart : and when his crimes have dishonoured God, and caused his enemies to exult and triumph, and returning comforts are withheld ; his spirits are exhausted, his eye is dimmed, and he seems to wax old before his time. But such mourning will terminate in rejoicing : the Lord will not number the weeping penitent with " the " workers of iniquity ; " for he will separate from them, and rebuke and warn them. His very tears have a prevailing voice with God, who has heard and will hear his prayers : and all they, who rejoice in the falls and sorrows of the Lord’s devoted servants, will be " put to shame, " vexed, and perish suddenly," unless they repent. Sinners of every rank have sorrowed and wept for their transgressions ; but Jesus alone was a sinless sufferer, and through his sufferings, and in no other way, can the penitent find mercy. At length HE will bid the impenitent workers of iniquity to depart from him ; and then will all his enemies be confounded, vexed, and perish with an everlasting destruction. _

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 6". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.