Psalms 56:1-13 . Upon Jonath-elem-rechokim--literally, "upon the dove of silence" of distant places; either denoting a melody that name, to which this Psalm was to be performed; or it is an enigmatical form of denoting the subject, as given in the history referred to ( 1 Samuel 21:11 , &c.), David being regarded as an uncomplaining, meek dove, driven from his native home to wander in exile. Beset by domestic and foreign foes, David appeals confidently to God, recites his complaints, and closes with joyful and assured anticipations of God's continued help.
1, 2. would swallow--literally, "pants as a raging beast" ( Acts 9:1 ).
2. enemies--watchers ( Psalms 54:5 ).
most High--As it is not elsewhere used absolutely for God, some render the word here, arrogantly, or proudly, as qualifying "those who fight," &c.
3. in--or literally, "unto."
thee--to whom he turns in trouble.
4. in God . . . his word--By His grace or aid ( Psalms 60:12 , 108:13 ), or, "I will boast in God as to His word"; in either case His word is the special matter and cause of praise.
flesh--for mankind ( Psalms 65:2 , Isaiah 31:3 ), intimating frailty.
5, 6. A vivid picture of the conduct of malicious enemies.
7. Shall they escape? &c.--or better, "Their escape is by iniquity."
cast . . . people--humble those who so proudly oppose Thy servant.
8. God is mindful of his exile and remembers his tears. The custom of bottling the tears of mourners as a memorial, which has existed in some Eastern nations, may explain the figure.
12. I will render praises--will pay what I have vowed.
13. The question implies an affirmative answer, drawn from past experience.
falling--as from a precipice.
before God--in His favor during life.