Psalms 41

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 [a]Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The LORD protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?”
6 When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned[b] against me.
10 But may you have mercy on me, LORD; raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.
13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Psalms 41 Commentary

Chapter 41

God's care for his people. (1-4) The treachery of David's enemies. (5-13)

Verses 1-4 The people of God are not free from poverty, sickness, or outward affliction, but the Lord will consider their case, and send due supplies. From his Lord's example the believer learns to consider his poor and afflicted brethren. This branch of godliness is usually recompensed with temporal blessings. But nothing is so distressing to the contrite believer, as a fear or sense of the Divine displeasure, or of sin in his heart. Sin is the sickness of the soul; pardoning mercy heals it, renewing grace heals it, and for this spiritual healing we should be more earnest than for bodily health.

Verses 5-13 We complain, and justly, of the want of sincerity, and that there is scarcely any true friendship to be found among men; but the former days were no better. One particularly, in whom David had reposed great confidence, took part with his enemies. And let us not think it strange, if we receive evil from those we suppose to be friends. Have not we ourselves thus broken our words toward God? We eat of his bread daily, yet lift up the heel against him. But though we may not take pleasure in the fall of our enemies, we may take pleasure in the making vain their designs. When we can discern the Lord's favour in any mercy, personal or public, that doubles it. If the grace of God did not take constant care of us, we should not be upheld. But let us, while on earth, give heartfelt assent to those praises which the redeemed on earth and in heaven render to their God and Saviour.

Cross References 31

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 14:29
  • 2. S Job 24:4; Psalms 82:3-4; Proverbs 14:21
  • 3. Psalms 25:17
  • 4. Psalms 12:5; Psalms 32:7
  • 5. Ezra 9:9; Psalms 71:20; Psalms 119:88,159; Psalms 138:7; Psalms 143:11
  • 6. Psalms 37:22
  • 7. S Deuteronomy 6:24; Psalms 27:12
  • 8. Psalms 6:6
  • 9. 2 Samuel 13:5; 2 Kings 1:4
  • 10. Psalms 6:2; S Psalms 9:13
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 12. Psalms 51:4
  • 13. S Psalms 38:12
  • 14. Psalms 12:2; Psalms 101:7; Matthew 5:11
  • 15. Proverbs 26:24
  • 16. S Leviticus 19:16
  • 17. Psalms 71:10; Psalms 56:5; Psalms 71:10-11
  • 18. S 2 Kings 1:4
  • 19. S 2 Samuel 15:12; S Job 19:14; Psalms 55:12
  • 20. Numbers 30:2; Job 19:19; Psalms 55:20; Psalms 89:34; Matthew 26:23; Luke 22:21; John 13:18*
  • 21. ver 4
  • 22. Psalms 3:3; Psalms 9:13
  • 23. S 2 Samuel 3:39
  • 24. S Numbers 14:8; Psalms 147:11
  • 25. Psalms 25:2
  • 26. S Psalms 25:21
  • 27. Psalms 18:35; S Psalms 37:17; Psalms 63:8
  • 28. S Job 4:7; Psalms 21:6; Psalms 61:7; Job 36:7
  • 29. S Genesis 24:27
  • 30. Psalms 72:18
  • 31. Psalms 72:19; Psalms 89:52; Psalms 106:48

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 41:1-13 is numbered 41:2-14.
  • [b]. Hebrew "has lifted up his heel"

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David. In this psalm is a prophecy concerning Christ, and concerning Judas Iscariot, as runs part of the title in the Syriac version; and in the Arabic version it is called a prophecy concerning the incarnation, and the salutation of Judas; and certain it is that Psalm 41:9 is to be understood of him, and of his betraying Christ into the hands of his enemies, since it is cited and applied to him by our Lord himself, John 13:18; so that having such a sure rule of interpretation, we may safely venture to explain the whole psalm of Christ, which treats both of his humiliation and exaltation; for it neither agrees with David wholly, nor with Hezekiah, to whom some ascribe it, as Theodoret remarks.

Psalms 41 Commentaries

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