Psalms 5

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

1 [a]Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong;
6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest.
7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

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Psalms 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

God will certainly hear prayer: David gives to God the glory, and takes to himself the comfort. (1-6) He prayed for himself, that God would guide him, and for all the Lord's people, that God would give them joy, and keep them safe. (7-12)

Verses 1-6 God is a prayer-hearing God. Such he has always been, and he is still as ready to hear prayer as ever. The most encouraging principle of prayer, and the most powerful plea in prayer, is, to look upon him as our King and our God. David also prays to a sin-hating God. sin is folly, and sinners are the greatest of all fools; fools of their own making. Wicked people hate God; justly are they hated of him, and this will be their endless misery and ruin. Let us learn the importance of truth and sincerity, in all the affairs of life. Liars and murderers resemble the devil, and are his children, therefore it may well be expected that God should abhor them. These were the characters of David's enemies; and such as these are still the enemies of Christ and his people.

Verses 7-12 David prayed often alone, yet was very constant in attendance on public worship. The mercy of God should ever be the foundation both of our hope and of our joy, in every thing wherein we have to do with him. Let us learn to pray, not for ourselves only, but for others; grace be with all that love Christ in sincerity. The Divine blessing comes down upon us through Jesus Christ, the righteous or just One, as of old it did upon Israel through David, whom God protected, and placed upon the throne. Thou, O Christ, art the righteous Saviour, thou art the King of Israel, thou art the Fountain of blessing to all believers; thy favour is the defence and protection of thy church.

Cross References 26

  • 1. S 1 Kings 8:29; Psalms 17:1; Psalms 40:1; Psalms 116:2; Daniel 9:18
  • 2. Psalms 38:9; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11
  • 3. S Job 19:7; S Job 24:12; S Job 36:5; Psalms 3:4
  • 4. Psalms 44:4; Psalms 68:24; Psalms 84:3
  • 5. Isaiah 28:19; Isaiah 50:4; Jeremiah 21:12; Ezekiel 46:13; Zephaniah 3:5; Psalms 88:13
  • 6. Psalms 62:1; Psalms 119:81; Psalms 130:5; Habakkuk 2:1; Romans 8:19
  • 7. Psalms 1:5; Psalms 11:5; Psalms 92:15; Psalms 104:35; Proverbs 2:22
  • 8. 2 Kings 19:32; Psalms 73:3; Psalms 75:4; Isaiah 33:19; Isaiah 37:33
  • 9. Psalms 1:5
  • 10. Psalms 45:7; Psalms 101:3; Psalms 119:104; Proverbs 8:13; Psalms 11:5
  • 11. Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 19:22; S John 8:44; Acts 5:3; Revelation 21:8
  • 12. Deuteronomy 13:4; Jeremiah 44:10; Daniel 6:26
  • 13. S 2 Samuel 12:16; Psalms 138:2
  • 14. S 1 Kings 8:48
  • 15. Psalms 23:3; Psalms 31:1; Psalms 71:2; Psalms 85:13; Psalms 89:16; Proverbs 8:20
  • 16. S 1 Kings 8:36; John 1:23; Psalms 27:11
  • 17. Jeremiah 5:16; Luke 11:44
  • 18. Psalms 12:2; Psalms 28:3; Psalms 36:3; Proverbs 15:4; Jeremiah 9:8; Romans 3:13*
  • 19. Lamentations 1:5; Psalms 9:16
  • 20. Psalms 78:40; Psalms 106:7; Psalms 107:11; Lamentations 3:42
  • 21. Psalms 33:1; Psalms 81:1; Psalms 90:14; Psalms 92:4; Psalms 95:1; Psalms 145:7; Psalms 2:12
  • 22. Psalms 69:36; Psalms 119:132
  • 23. S Job 22:19; Isaiah 65:13
  • 24. Psalms 112:2
  • 25. Psalms 32:7
  • 26. S Genesis 15:1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 5:1-12 is numbered 5:2-13.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, a Psalm of David. This psalm, being written by David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is inscribed and sent to him who had the direction and management of the musical instruments used in religious worship in David's time, and afterwards in the temple service, called "nehiloth"; as the preceding psalm is inscribed to him who presided over those called "neginoth," Psalm 4:1; and as they seem to be such instruments as were played upon with the hand, stringed instruments, so these seem to be wind instruments, such as were blown with the mouth; as the flute, cornet, pipe, trumpet, and hautboy; the word being derived from the same root as "chalil," the pipe, is, and signifies hollow, and so designs such hollow instruments as above: Rabbenu Hai {x} thinks the instrument intended was so called from the humming of bees, which its sound resembled; "nechil shel deborim," with the Rabbins {y}, signifying a swarm of bees; and a word from the same root in the Arabic language is used for a bee {z}; though others have thought it might be so called from the murmuring noise of a brook or river, to which the sound of it might be like; because a word from the same root this is thought to come in the Hebrew language signifies a brook or river. The Septuagint version, which is followed by the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, renders it, "for that which obtained the inheritance"; and the Arabic version, "concerning the inheritance"; and to this agrees the old Midrash {a} of the Jews; but what is the meaning is left to everyone to conjecture; the reason of these versions is because the root from whence this word is supposed to be derived signifies to "inherit": the Targum renders the whole inscription thus, "to sing upon the dances a song of David," as it does the title of the preceding psalm; Aben Ezra takes the word, as he does "neginoth," to be the first word of some song, to the tune of which this psalm was to be sung; and Jarchi interprets it "troops" or "armies," and says it is a prayer on account of the troops of enemies that came against Israel; and that the singer said this psalm on the behalf of all Israel. The Syriac interpreter calls it a prayer in the person of the church, when it went in the morning to the house of the Lord. The occasion of it seems to be the same with that of the two former: and certain it is that the psalmist was in distress by reason of wicked men when he wrote it, as appears from several passages in it; the ancient Jewish doctors {b} understood by them Doeg and Ahithophel; some think it was penned, as the preceding psalm, on account of the rebellion of Sheba, 2 Samuel 20:1.

{x} Apud Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc. So David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 93. 1. {y} Maimon. in Misn. Bava Kama, c. 10. s. 2. {z} Alnachal, "apes," Arab. vers. Deut. i. 44. {a} Midrash Tillim apud Viccars. in loc. {b} Apud Kimchi & Arama in loc.

Psalms 5 Commentaries

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