Psalms 71

Listen to Psalms 71
1 1In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
3 Be to me a rock of 2refuge, to which I may continually come; you have 3given the command to save me, for you are my 4rock and my fortress.
4 5Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For you, O Lord, are my 6hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned 7from before my birth; you are he who 8took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been as 9a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
8 My 10mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
9 11Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me; those who 12watch for my life 13consult together
11 and say, "God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him."
12 O God, be not 14far from me; O my God, 15make haste to help me!
13 May my accusers be 16put to shame and consumed; 17with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who 18seek my hurt.
14 But I will 19hope continually and will 20praise you yet more and more.
15 My 21mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for 22their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to 23old age and gray hairs, O God, 24do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
19 Your 25righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done 26great things, O God, 27who is like you?
20 You who have 28made me see many troubles and calamities will 29revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with 30the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O 31Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have 32redeemed.
24 And my 33tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been 34put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Psalms 71 Commentary

Chapter 71

Prayers that God would deliver and save. (1-13) Believing praises. (14-24)

Verses 1-13 David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety. He that was our Help from our birth, ought to be our Hope from our youth. Let none expect ease or comfort from the world. Those who love the Lord, often are hated and persecuted; men wondered at for their principles and conduct; but the Lord has been their strong refuge. The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails.

Verses 14-24 The psalmist declares that the righteousness of Christ, and the great salvation obtained thereby, shall be the chosen subject of his discourse. Not on a sabbath only, but on every day of the week, of the year, of his life. Not merely at stated returns of solemn devotion, but on every occasion, all the day long. Why will he always dwell on this? Because he knew not the numbers thereof. It is impossible to measure the value or the fulness of these blessings. The righteousness is unspeakable, the salvation everlasting. God will not cast off his grey-headed servants when no longer capable of labouring as they have done. The Lord often strengthens his people in their souls, when nature is sinking into decay. And it is a debt which the old disciples of Christ owe to succeeding generations, to leave behind them a solemn testimony to the advantage of religion, and the truth of God's promises; and especially to the everlasting righteousness of the Redeemer. Assured of deliverance and victory, let us spend our days, while waiting the approach of death, in praising the Holy One of Israel with all our powers. And while speaking of his righteousness, and singing his praises, we shall rise above fears and infirmities, and have earnests of the joys of heaven. The work of redemption ought, above all God's works, to be spoken of by us in our praises. The Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God, is worthy of all blessing and praise.

Cross References 34

  • 1. For ver. 1-3, see Psalms 31:1-3
  • 2. [Psalms 90:1; Psalms 91:9; Deuteronomy 33:27]
  • 3. See Psalms 42:8
  • 4. See Psalms 18:2
  • 5. Psalms 140:1, 4
  • 6. Jeremiah 14:8; Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 50:7; 1 Timothy 1:1
  • 7. See Psalms 22:10
  • 8. Psalms 22:9
  • 9. Isaiah 8:18; [1 Corinthians 4:9]
  • 10. ver. 24
  • 11. ver. 18
  • 12. Psalms 56:6
  • 13. Psalms 83:5; [Psalms 41:7, 8]
  • 14. See Psalms 10:1
  • 15. Psalms 70:5; See Psalms 40:13
  • 16. ver. 24; See Psalms 35:4, 26
  • 17. Psalms 109:29
  • 18. ver. 24; Esther 9:2; [Psalms 70:2]
  • 19. ver. 5
  • 20. ver. 22
  • 21. ver. 8, 24
  • 22. See Psalms 40:5
  • 23. Isaiah 46:4
  • 24. ver. 9
  • 25. Psalms 36:5
  • 26. Psalms 126:2; 1 Samuel 12:24; Luke 1:49
  • 27. Psalms 35:10
  • 28. Psalms 60:3
  • 29. Psalms 80:18; Psalms 85:6; Psalms 119:25; Psalms 138:7; Psalms 143:11; Hosea 6:2
  • 30. Psalms 33:2
  • 31. Psalms 78:41; Psalms 89:18; 2 Kings 19:22; Isaiah 60:9
  • 32. Psalms 34:22
  • 33. [ver. 8, 15]; See Psalms 35:28
  • 34. [ver. 13]

Chapter Summary


This psalm is without a title, but is thought to be David's: the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and all the Oriental ones, ascribe it to him; and both the subject and style show it to be his. According to the title of the Syriac version, it was composed by him when Saul made war against the house of David; but this is not likely, since it was written by him in his old age, Ps 71:9,18; rather, according to Kimchi and Arama, it was penned when he fled from his son Absalom: there are several things in it which incline to this. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions call it

``A Psalm of David, of the sons of Jonadab, and of the first that were carried captive;''

and so the Ethiopic and Arabic versions. Apollinarius says the sons of Jonadab composed it; but without any foundation for it; and the Syriac version is, it is a prophecy concerning the sufferings and resurrection of the Messiah; and so Jerom and others interpret it. The literal meaning respecting David seems best, though it may be applied to the church, and to any believer in distress. Theodoret thinks it was written by David in the person of the captives in Babylon.

Psalms 71 Commentaries

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