Psalms 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 [a]May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
9 LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!

Images for Psalms 20

Psalms 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ.

- Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. Even the greatest of men must be much in prayer. Let none expect benefit by the prayers of the church, or their friends, who are capable of praying for themselves, yet neglect it. Pray that God would protect his person, and preserve his life. That God would enable him to go on in his undertakings for the public good. We may know that God accepts our spiritual sacrifices, if by his Spirit he kindles in our souls a holy fire of piety and love to God. Also, that the Lord would crown his enterprises with success. Our first step to victory in spiritual warfare is to trust only in the mercy and grace of God; all who trust in themselves will soon be cast down. Believers triumph in God, and his revelation of himself to them, by which they distinguish themselves from those that live without God in the world. Those who make God and his name their praise, may make God and his name their trust. This was the case when the pride and power of Jewish unbelief, and pagan idolatry, fell before the sermons and lives of the humble believers in Jesus. This is the case in every conflict with our spiritual enemies, when we engage them in the name, the spirit, and the power of Christ; and this will be the case at the last day, when the world, with the prince of it, shall be brought down and fall; but believers, risen-from the dead, through the resurrection of the Lord, shall stand, and sing his praises in heaven. In Christ's salvation let us rejoice; and set up our banners in the name of the Lord our God, assured that by the saving strength of his right hand we shall be conquerors over every enemy.

Cross References 23

  • 1. Psalms 4:1
  • 2. Exodus 3:6; Psalms 46:7,11
  • 3. Psalms 59:1; Psalms 69:29; Psalms 91:14
  • 4. Psalms 30:10; Psalms 33:20; Psalms 37:40; Psalms 40:17; Psalms 54:4; Psalms 118:7
  • 5. S Numbers 3:28; Psalms 3:4
  • 6. S Psalms 18:18
  • 7. Psalms 2:6; Psalms 128:5; Psalms 134:3; Psalms 135:21
  • 8. Acts 10:4
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 33:11; Psalms 51:19
  • 10. Psalms 21:2; Psalms 37:4; Psalms 145:16,19; Isaiah 26:8; Ezekiel 24:25; Romans 10:1
  • 11. Psalms 140:8; Proverbs 16:3; Daniel 11:17
  • 12. S Job 3:7
  • 13. S Numbers 1:52; Psalms 9:14; Psalms 60:4; Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 11:10,12; Isaiah 13:2; Isaiah 30:17; Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 62:10; Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 51:12,27
  • 14. 1 Samuel 1:17
  • 15. S 2 Samuel 23:1; Psalms 28:8; Psalms 41:11; Isaiah 58:9
  • 16. S Job 40:14; Habakkuk 3:13
  • 17. S 2 Kings 19:23
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 17:16; Psalms 33:17; Psalms 147:10; Proverbs 21:31; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:8,9
  • 19. S 2 Chronicles 32:8
  • 20. Psalms 27:2; Isaiah 40:30; Jeremiah 46:6; Jeremiah 50:32
  • 21. Micah 7:8
  • 22. S Job 11:15; Psalms 37:23; Proverbs 10:25; Isaiah 7:9
  • 23. Psalms 3:7; Psalms 17:6

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 20:1-9 is numbered 20:2-10.
  • [b]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David. This psalm is thought, by some, to be written by David, on account of himself, and as a form to be used by the people for him, when he was about to go to war; particularly with the Ammonites and Syrians, 2 Samuel 10:6; mention being made of chariots in it, Psalm 20:7; of which there was a great number in that war: Arama thinks it was made by him when he got the victory over the Philistines; others think it was written by one of the singers on David's account, and should be rendered, "a psalm, for David," as Psalm 72:1: but rather it is a psalm concerning David; concerning the Messiah, whose name is David; or a psalm of David concerning the Messiah, since he is expressly mentioned, Psalm 20:6; and Aben Ezra says, there are some that interpret it of the Messiah; and some passages in it are, by Jewish writers {m}, applied unto him, as Psalm 20:6; and our countryman, Mr. Ainsworth, says, the whole psalm is a prophecy of Christ's sufferings, and his deliverance out of them, for which the church with him triumphs. Theodoret takes it to be a prophecy of Sennacherib's invasion of Judea, and of Rabshakeh's blasphemy, and of Hezekiah's distress and prayer on that account.

{m} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 18. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 44. 2.

Psalms 20 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.