Psalms 144

Of David.

1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples[a] under me.
3 LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them?
4 They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.
5 Part your heavens, LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
6 Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them.
7 Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners
8 whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
9 I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David. From the deadly sword
11 deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
12 Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields;
14 our oxen will draw heavy loads.[b]There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.

Psalms 144 Commentary

Chapter 144

David acknowledges the great goodness of God, and prays for help. (1-8) He prays for the prosperity of his kingdom. (9-15)

Verses 1-8 When men become eminent for things as to which they have had few advantages, they should be more deeply sensible that God has been their Teacher. Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. A prayer for further mercy is fitly begun with a thanksgiving for former mercy. There was a special power of God, inclining the people of Israel to be subject to David; it was typical of the bringing souls into subjection to the Lord Jesus. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.

Verses 9-15 Fresh favours call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated. It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit. Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischiefs, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Saviour, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.

Cross References 37

  • 1. S Genesis 49:24; Psalms 18:2,34
  • 2. Psalms 59:9; Psalms 91:2
  • 3. Psalms 27:1; Psalms 37:39; Psalms 43:2
  • 4. S Genesis 15:1; S Psalms 18:2; Psalms 84:9
  • 5. S Judges 4:23; S Psalms 18:39
  • 6. Psalms 8:4; Hebrews 2:6
  • 7. S Job 7:7; Job 27:3; Isaiah 2:22
  • 8. S 1 Chronicles 29:15; S Job 14:2; S James 4:14; Psalms 39:11; Psalms 102:11
  • 9. Psalms 18:9; Isaiah 64:1
  • 10. S Genesis 11:5; S Psalms 57:3
  • 11. Psalms 104:32
  • 12. Habakkuk 3:11; Zechariah 9:14
  • 13. S Psalms 59:11; S Psalms 68:1
  • 14. Psalms 7:12-13; Psalms 18:14
  • 15. S 2 Samuel 22:17
  • 16. Psalms 3:7; S Psalms 57:3
  • 17. Psalms 69:2
  • 18. S Psalms 18:44
  • 19. Psalms 12:2; Psalms 41:6
  • 20. Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 32:40
  • 21. S Psalms 36:3
  • 22. S Psalms 28:7; S Psalms 96:1
  • 23. Psalms 33:2-3; S Psalms 71:22
  • 24. S 2 Samuel 8:14
  • 25. Psalms 18:50
  • 26. S Job 5:20
  • 27. Psalms 3:7; S Psalms 25:20
  • 28. S Psalms 18:44
  • 29. Psalms 41:6-7
  • 30. Psalms 12:2; S Psalms 36:3; Psalms 106:26; Isaiah 44:20
  • 31. Psalms 92:12-14; S Psalms 128:3
  • 32. Song of Songs 4:4; Song of Songs 7:4
  • 33. Proverbs 3:10
  • 34. Proverbs 14:4
  • 35. 2 Kings 25:11
  • 36. Isaiah 24:11; Jeremiah 14:2-3
  • 37. Deuteronomy 28:3; Psalms 33:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Aquila, Jerome and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text "subdues my people"
  • [b]. Or "our chieftains will be firmly established"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 144

\\<>\\. This psalm was written by David; not on account of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, by a spirit of prophecy, as Theodoret; but on his own account, after he was come to the throne, and was king over all Israel; and was delivered from the was between him and Israel, and from the war of the Philistines, as Kimchi observes, having gained two victories over them: or it was written between the two victories, and before he had conquered all his enemies; since he prays to be delivered from the hand of strange children, Ps 144:7,11. R. Obadiah thinks it was written on the account of his deliverance from Absalom and Sheba; but the former is best. Some copies of the Septuagint, and also the Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, have in their titles these words, ``against Goliath;'' and so Apollinarius; as if it was written on account of his combat with him, and victory over him; but this clause is not in the Hebrew Bibles; nor could Theodoret find it in the Septuagint in the Hexapla in his time. The Syriac inscription is still more foreign to the purpose, ``a psalm of David, when he slew Asaph the brother of Goliath.'' R. Saadiah Gaon interprets this psalm of the times of the Messiah; and there are several things in it which are applicable to him.

Psalms 144 Commentaries