Introduction to Psalms 61

To the chief Musician upon Neginah, [A Psalm] of David. "Neginah" is either the beginning of a song, as Aben Ezra; or the musical note or tune of one: or rather the name of a musical instrument, which was touched by the hand, or with a quill or bow. It is the singular of "neginoth," See Gill on "Ps 4:1." This psalm was written by David, when at the end of the earth, or land of Judea, as appears from Psalm 61:2; either when he was fighting with the Syrians, as R. Obadiah, and so was composed about the same time with the former; or when he was in the land of the Philistines, being obliged to fly there from Saul, as Kimchi and others: or rather after he himself was king, since mention is made of the king in it; and when he fled from his son Absalom, and passed over to the other side of Jordan, and came to Mahanaim, 2 Samuel 17:22; where very probably he wrote this psalm. In it respect is had to the Messiah, as in Psalm 61:2; though Arama thinks it was composed after the prophecy came to Nathan that David should not build the temple; see Psalm 61:4.