Psalms 34

The LORD, a Provider and Deliverer.


A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.

1 I will 1bless the LORD at all times; His 2praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will 3make its boast in the LORD; The 4humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O 5magnify the LORD with me, And let us 6exalt His name together.
4 I 7sought the LORD, and He answered me, And 8delivered me from all my fears.
5 They 9looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will 10never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and 11the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The 12angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
8 O 13taste and see that the LORD is good; How 14blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the LORD, you 15His saints; For to those who fear Him there is 16no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall 17not be in want of any good thing.
11 18Come, you children, listen to me; 19I will teach you 20the fear of the LORD.
12 21Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may 22see good?
13 Keep 23your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking 24deceit.
14 25Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and 26pursue it.
15 The 27eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The 28face of the LORD is against evildoers, To 29cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous 30cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD 31is near to the 32brokenhearted * And saves those who are 33crushed in spirit.
19 34Many are the 35afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD 36delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones, 37Not one of them is broken.
21 38Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD 39redeems the soul of His servants, And none * of those who 40take refuge in Him will be condemned.

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Psalms 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

David praises God, and encourages to trust him. (1-10) He exhorts to fear. (11-22)

Verses 1-10 If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, ( Philippians 4:11-18 ) . Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.

Verses 11-22 Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master. All aim to be happy. Surely this must look further than the present world; for man's life on earth consists but of few days, and those full of trouble. What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue. It is not enough not to do hurt, we must study to be useful, and to live to some purpose; we must seek peace and pursue it; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal for peace' sake. It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that he hears them. The righteous are humbled for sin, and are low in their own eyes. Nothing is more needful to true godliness than a contrite heart, broken off from every self-confidence. In this soil every grace will flourish, and nothing can encourage such a one but the free, rich grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them. Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.

Cross References 40

  • 1. Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • 2. Psalms 71:6
  • 3. Psalms 44:8; Jeremiah 9:24; 1 Corinthians 1:31
  • 4. Psalms 69:32
  • 5. Psalms 35:27; Psalms 69:30; Luke 1:46
  • 6. Psalms 18:46
  • 7. 2 Chronicles 15:2; Psalms 9:10; Matthew 7:7
  • 8. Ps 34:6, 17, 19
  • 9. Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 60:5
  • 10. Psalms 25:3
  • 11. Psalms 34:4
  • 12. Psalms 91:11; Daniel 6:22
  • 13. Psalms 119:103; Hebrews 6:5; 1 Peter 2:3
  • 14. Psalms 2:12
  • 15. Psalms 31:23
  • 16. Psalms 23:1
  • 17. Psalms 84:11
  • 18. Psalms 66:16
  • 19. Psalms 32:8
  • 20. Psalms 111:10
  • 21. Psalms 34:12-16; 1 Peter 3:10-12
  • 22. Ecclesiastes 3:13
  • 23. Psalms 141:3; Proverbs 13:3; James 1:26
  • 24. 1 Peter 2:22
  • 25. Psalms 37:27; Isaiah 1:16, 17
  • 26. Romans 14:19; Hebrews 12:14
  • 27. Job 36:7; Psalms 33:18
  • 28. Leviticus 17:10; Jeremiah 44:11; Amos 9:4
  • 29. Job 18:17; Psalms 9:6; Psalms 109:15; Proverbs 10:7
  • 30. Psalms 34:6; Psalms 145:19
  • 31. Psalms 145:18
  • 32. Psalms 147:3; Isaiah 61:1
  • 33. Psalms 51:17; Isaiah 57:15
  • 34. Proverbs 24:16
  • 35. Psalms 71:20; 2 Timothy 3:11
  • 36. Ps 34:4, 6, 17
  • 37. John 19:33, 36
  • 38. Psalms 94:23; Psalms 140:11; Proverbs 24:16
  • 39. 1 Kings 1:29; Psalms 71:23
  • 40. Psalms 37:40

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


\\<<[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech\\; \\who drove him away, and he departed>>\\. The author of this psalm is expressed by name; and the time and occasion of it are plainly intimated: it was composed by David, "when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech"; not Ahimelech the priest, sometimes called Abimelech, 1Ch 18:16; to whom David went alone for bread, pretending he was upon a private business of the king's; to which sense the Syriac version inclines, rendering the words, "when he went to the house of the Lord, [and] gave the firstfruits to the priests". But this Abimelech was king of Gath, the same with Achish, 1Sa 21:10; who either had two names; or this of Abimelech, as it should seem, was a common name to all the kings of the Philistines; see Ge 20:2, 26:8; as Pharaoh was to the Egyptian kings, and Caesar to the Roman emperors: the name signifies a "father king", or "my father king", or a "royal father"; as kings should be the fathers of their country: before him "David changed his behaviour", his taste, sense, or reason: he imitated a madman; behaved as if he was out of his senses, scrabbling on the doors of the gates, and letting his spittle fall down upon his beard; for he being known and made known by the servants of the king, he was in great fear of losing his life, being in the hands of an enemy, and who he might justly fear would revenge the death of their champion Goliath; wherefore he took this method to get himself despised and neglected by them, and escape out of their hands: and which succeeded; for Abimelech, or Achish, seeing him behave in such a manner, treated him with contempt, was displeased with his servants for bringing him into his presence, and ordered them to take him away, or dismiss him; which is here expressed by this phrase, "who drove him away", with scorn and indignation; "and he departed" to the cave of Adullam, glad at heart he had escaped such danger: upon which, under a sense of divine goodness, and by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he composed the following psalm; see 1Sa 21:10-15, 22:1.

Psalms 34 Commentaries

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