Psalms 64

Listen to Psalms 64
1 Hear my voice, O God, in my 1complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
2 Hide me from 2the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers,
3 who 3whet their tongues like swords, who 4aim bitter words like arrows,
4 shooting from 5ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and 6without fear.
5 They 7hold fast to their evil purpose; they talk of 8laying snares secretly, thinking, 9"Who can see them?"
6 They search out injustice, saying, "We have accomplished a diligent search." For 10the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!
7 11But God shoots his arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly.
8 They are brought to ruin, with their own 12tongues turned against them; all who 13see them will 14wag their heads.
9 Then all mankind 15fears; they 16tell what God has brought about and ponder what he has done.
10 Let 17the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and 18take refuge in him! Let all 19the upright in heart exult!

Psalms 64 Commentary

Chapter 64

Prayer for deliverance. (1-6) The destruction of the wicked, encouragement to the righteous. (7-10)

Verses 1-6 The psalmist earnestly begs of God to preserve him from disquieting fear. The tongue is a little member, but it boasts great things. The upright man is the mark at which the wicked aim, they cannot speak peaceably either of him or to him. There is no guard against a false tongue. It is bad to do wrong, but worse to encourage ourselves and one another in it. It is a sign that the heart is hardened to the greatest degree, when it is thus fully set to do evil. A practical disbelief of God's knowledge of all things, is at the bottom of every wickedness. The benefit of a good cause and a good conscience, appears most when nothing can help a man against his enemies, save God alone, who is always a present help.

Verses 7-10 When God brings upon men the mischiefs they have desired on others, it is weight enough to sink a man to the lowest hell. Those who love cursing, it shall come upon them. Those who behold this shall understand, and observe God's hand in all; unless we do so, we are not likely to profit by the dispensations of Providence. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord; not glad of the misery and ruin of their fellow-creatures, but glad that God is glorified, and his word fulfilled, and the cause of injured innocence pleaded effectually. They rejoice not in men, nor in themselves, nor in any creature, or creature enjoyments, nor in their wisdom, strength, riches, or righteousness; but in Christ, in whom all the seed of Israel are justified and glory, and in what he is to them, and has done for them.

Cross References 19

  • 1. Psalms 55:2
  • 2. [Psalms 55:14]
  • 3. See Psalms 57:4
  • 4. See Psalms 11:2
  • 5. [Psalms 10:8]
  • 6. Psalms 55:19
  • 7. Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 13:22
  • 8. See Psalms 140:5
  • 9. See Job 22:13
  • 10. Psalms 49:11
  • 11. Psalms 7:12, 13; [Psalms 58:7]
  • 12. See Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 18:7
  • 13. See Psalms 40:3
  • 14. Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 48:27; See Psalms 22:7
  • 15. [See ver. 8 above]
  • 16. Jeremiah 50:28; Jeremiah 51:10
  • 17. See Psalms 32:11; Job 22:19
  • 18. See Psalms 11:1
  • 19. See Psalms 7:10

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. This psalm is applied by R. Obadiah to Haman and Mordecai. The enemy is Haman, the perfect man shot at is Mordecai; about whom Haman communed with his friends to lay snares for him, and searched diligently for occasions against him and his people, which issued in his own destruction. The ancient Midrash {y} of the Jews applies it to Daniel, when cast into the den of lions; and Jarchi supposes that David, by a spirit of prophecy, foresaw it, and prayed for him who was of his seed; and that everything in the psalm beautifully falls in with that account: Daniel is the perfect man aimed at; the enemy are the princes of Darius's court, who consulted against him, communed of laying snares for him, and gained their point, which proved their own ruin. But the psalm literally belongs to David, by whom it was composed. The Arabic versions call it a psalm of David, when Saul persecuted him; and the Syriac version refers it to the time when Gad said to him, abide not in the hold, 1 Samuel 22:5. He is the perfect man, who was upright and innocent as to what he was charged with in respect to Saul; who is the enemy, from the fear of whom he desires his life might be preserved; and who with his courtiers took counsel against him, and laid deep schemes to destroy him, but at last were destroyed themselves. Moreover, the psalm may very well be applied to the Messiah, the son of David, and who was his antitype, and especially in his sufferings: he is the perfect man in the highest sense; the Jews were the enemies that took counsel, and searched for occasions against him, and accomplished their designs in a good measure; for which wrath came upon them to the uttermost. The psalmist also may be very well thought to represent the church and people of God; who in all ages have had their enemies and their fears; against whom wicked men have devised mischief, and levelled their arrows of persecution; though no weapon formed against them shall prosper.

{y} Apud Jarchium & Yalkut Simeoni in loc.

Psalms 64 Commentaries

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