Psalms 21

Listen to Psalms 21
1 O LORD, in your 1strength the king rejoices, and in your 2salvation how greatly he exults!
2 You have 3given him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
3 For you 4meet him with rich blessings; you set 5a crown of 6fine gold upon his head.
4 He asked life of you; you 7gave it to him, 8length of days forever and ever.
5 His 9glory is great through your salvation; 10splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
6 For you make him most blessed forever;[a] you make him glad with the 11joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be 12moved.
8 Your hand will 13find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.
9 You will make them as 14a blazing oven when you appear. The LORD will swallow them up in his 15wrath, and 16fire will consume them.
10 You 17will destroy their 18descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
11 Though they plan evil against you, though they 19devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12 For you will put them 20to flight; you will 21aim at their faces with your bows.
13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

Psalms 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

Thanksgiving for victory. (1-6) Confidence of further success. (7-13)

Verses 1-6 Happy the people whose king makes God's strength his confidence, and God's salvation his joy; who is pleased with all the advancements of God kingdom, and trusts God to support him in all he does for the service of it. All our blessings are blessings of goodness, and are owing, not to any merit of ours, but only to God's goodness. But when God's blessings come sooner, and prove richer than we imagine; when they are given before we prayed for them, before we were ready for them, nay, when we feared the contrary; then it may be truly said that he prevented, or went before us, with them. Nothing indeed prevented, or went before Christ, but to mankind never was any favour more preventing than our redemption by Christ. Thou hast made him to be a universal, everlasting blessing to the world, in whom the families of the earth are, and shall be blessed; and so thou hast made him exceeding glad with the countenance thou hast given to his undertaking, and to him in the prosecution of it. The Spirit of prophecy rises from what related to the king, to that which is peculiar to Christ; none other is blessed for ever, much less a blessing for ever.

Verses 7-13 The psalmist teaches to look forward with faith, and hope, and prayer upon what God would further do. The success with which God blessed David, was a type of the total overthrow of all Christ's enemies. Those who might have had Christ to rule and save them, but rejected him and fought against him, shall find the remembrance of it a worm that dies not. God makes sinners willing by his grace, receives them to his favour, and delivers them from the wrath to come. May he exalt himself, by his all-powerful grace, in our hearts, destroying all the strong-holds of sin and Satan. How great should be our joy and praise to behold our Brother and Friend upon the throne, and for all the blessings we may expect from him! yet he delights in his exalted state, as enabling him to confer happiness and glory on poor sinners, who are taught to love and trust in him.

Cross References 21

  • 1. Psalms 8:2; Psalms 28:7, 8
  • 2. Psalms 9:14
  • 3. Psalms 20:4, 5
  • 4. Psalms 59:10
  • 5. [2 Samuel 12:30; 1 Chronicles 20:2]
  • 6. Psalms 19:10
  • 7. Psalms 61:6; [2 Samuel 7:19]
  • 8. Psalms 91:16; [1 Kings 1:31; Nehemiah 2:3]
  • 9. Psalms 8:5
  • 10. Psalms 45:3; Psalms 96:6
  • 11. Psalms 45:7; See Psalms 16:11
  • 12. Psalms 10:6; Psalms 16:8
  • 13. [Isaiah 10:10]
  • 14. Malachi 4:1; [Psalms 83:14]
  • 15. Psalms 2:5
  • 16. Psalms 18:8; Psalms 50:3; Psalms 97:3; Isaiah 26:11; [Job 20:26; Daniel 7:10; Habakkuk 3:5]
  • 17. Psalms 34:16; 1 Kings 13:34
  • 18. Psalms 37:28; Psalms 109:13; Job 18:16, 17, 19; Isaiah 14:20
  • 19. Psalms 2:1; Psalms 10:2
  • 20. Psalms 18:40
  • 21. Psalms 7:12; Psalms 11:2

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or make him a source of blessing forever

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David. This psalm was either written by David; and therefore called a "psalm of David"; or it was written, as it may be rendered, "for David," by some other person, on account of his victories and triumphs; or rather "concerning David" {s}; that is, concerning the Messiah, the son of David, as Kimchi says some expound it; or concerning the Messiah, who is called David, Ezekiel 37:24; and Jarchi observes, that their Rabbins interpret it of the Messiah; but, says he, it is right to explain it, moreover, of David himself, for an answer to the heretics (Christians) who err in it; and various passages in this psalm are by the Jewish writers understood of the Messiah; as "the King," in Psalm 20:1 is in the Targum called the King Messiah; Psalm 21:4 is in the Talmud applied {t} to him; Psalm 21:3 are in Zohar {u}, and in the Midrashes {w}, interpreted of him; and many Christian writers understand the whole of him; which is right: though Theodoret thinks it was penned on the account of the health of King Hezekiah, and his restoration from his disease; which is not likely.

{s} dwdl "pro Davide, vel de Davide," Vatablus. {t} T. Bab. Succah, fol. 52. 1. Vid. Nachman. disput. "cum fratre Paulo," p. 36. Ed. Wagenseil. {u} In Numb. fol. 68. 3. 4. {w} Midrash Tillim apud Viccars. in loc. & in Galatin. l. 3. c. 9. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 212. 4. & 218. 1.

Psalms 21 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.