Psalms 71

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.
22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

Psalms 71 Commentary

Chapter 71

Prayers that God would deliver and save. (1-13) Believing praises. (14-24)

Verses 1-13 David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety. He that was our Help from our birth, ought to be our Hope from our youth. Let none expect ease or comfort from the world. Those who love the Lord, often are hated and persecuted; men wondered at for their principles and conduct; but the Lord has been their strong refuge. The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails.

Verses 14-24 The psalmist declares that the righteousness of Christ, and the great salvation obtained thereby, shall be the chosen subject of his discourse. Not on a sabbath only, but on every day of the week, of the year, of his life. Not merely at stated returns of solemn devotion, but on every occasion, all the day long. Why will he always dwell on this? Because he knew not the numbers thereof. It is impossible to measure the value or the fulness of these blessings. The righteousness is unspeakable, the salvation everlasting. God will not cast off his grey-headed servants when no longer capable of labouring as they have done. The Lord often strengthens his people in their souls, when nature is sinking into decay. And it is a debt which the old disciples of Christ owe to succeeding generations, to leave behind them a solemn testimony to the advantage of religion, and the truth of God's promises; and especially to the everlasting righteousness of the Redeemer. Assured of deliverance and victory, let us spend our days, while waiting the approach of death, in praising the Holy One of Israel with all our powers. And while speaking of his righteousness, and singing his praises, we shall rise above fears and infirmities, and have earnests of the joys of heaven. The work of redemption ought, above all God's works, to be spoken of by us in our praises. The Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God, is worthy of all blessing and praise.

Cross References 54

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 23:15; Ruth 2:12
  • 2. S Psalms 22:5; Psalms 25:2-3; Psalms 31:1
  • 3. S 2 Kings 19:16; Psalms 17:6
  • 4. Psalms 18:2; Psalms 31:2-3; Psalms 44:4
  • 5. S 2 Kings 19:19
  • 6. Psalms 140:4
  • 7. S Genesis 48:16
  • 8. S Psalms 9:18; S Psalms 25:5
  • 9. S Job 4:6; Jeremiah 17:7
  • 10. S Psalms 22:10
  • 11. S Job 3:16; S Psalms 22:9; Isaiah 46:3
  • 12. Psalms 9:1; Psalms 34:1; Psalms 52:9; Psalms 119:164; Psalms 145:2
  • 13. S Deuteronomy 28:46; Isaiah 8:18; 1 Corinthians 4:9
  • 14. S 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalms 61:3
  • 15. ver 15; Psalms 51:15; Psalms 63:5
  • 16. Psalms 35:28; Psalms 96:6; Psalms 104:1
  • 17. S Psalms 51:11
  • 18. ver 18; Psalms 92:14; Isaiah 46:4
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 4:31; S Deuteronomy 31:6
  • 20. Psalms 3:7
  • 21. S Psalms 10:8; Psalms 59:3; Proverbs 1:18
  • 22. S Exodus 1:10; S Psalms 31:13; Psalms 56:6; S Matthew 12:14
  • 23. S Psalms 9:10; Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 54:7; Lamentations 5:20; Matthew 27:46
  • 24. S Psalms 7:2
  • 25. S Psalms 35:22; Psalms 38:21
  • 26. Psalms 22:19; Psalms 38:22; Psalms 70:1
  • 27. Jeremiah 18:19
  • 28. S Job 8:22; Psalms 25:3
  • 29. ver 24; S Psalms 70:2
  • 30. Psalms 25:3; Psalms 42:5; Psalms 130:7; Psalms 131:3
  • 31. S ver 8; S Psalms 66:16; Psalms 35:28; Psalms 40:5
  • 32. S Psalms 51:14
  • 33. Psalms 9:1; Psalms 77:12; Psalms 106:2; Psalms 118:15; Psalms 145:4
  • 34. S Deuteronomy 4:5; S Jeremiah 7:13
  • 35. S Job 5:9; Psalms 26:7; Psalms 86:10; Psalms 96:3
  • 36. ver 9; Isaiah 46:4
  • 37. S Exodus 9:16
  • 38. Job 8:8; Psalms 22:30,31; Psalms 78:4; Psalms 145:4; Joel 1:3
  • 39. S Psalms 36:5; Psalms 57:10
  • 40. Psalms 126:2; Luke 1:49
  • 41. Psalms 35:10; Psalms 77:13; Psalms 89:8
  • 42. Psalms 25:17; Psalms 60:3
  • 43. Psalms 80:3,19; Psalms 85:4; Hosea 6:2
  • 44. S Psalms 63:9
  • 45. Psalms 18:35
  • 46. Psalms 23:4; Psalms 86:17; Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 40:1-2; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 54:10
  • 47. Psalms 33:2
  • 48. S Job 21:12; Psalms 92:3; Psalms 144:9
  • 49. S 2 Kings 19:22
  • 50. Psalms 20:5
  • 51. S Exodus 15:13; Psalms 103:4
  • 52. S Psalms 35:28
  • 53. ver 13
  • 54. S Esther 9:2

Chapter Summary


This psalm is without a title, but is thought to be David's: the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and all the Oriental ones, ascribe it to him; and both the subject and style show it to be his. According to the title of the Syriac version, it was composed by him when Saul made war against the house of David; but this is not likely, since it was written by him in his old age, Ps 71:9,18; rather, according to Kimchi and Arama, it was penned when he fled from his son Absalom: there are several things in it which incline to this. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions call it

``A Psalm of David, of the sons of Jonadab, and of the first that were carried captive;''

and so the Ethiopic and Arabic versions. Apollinarius says the sons of Jonadab composed it; but without any foundation for it; and the Syriac version is, it is a prophecy concerning the sufferings and resurrection of the Messiah; and so Jerom and others interpret it. The literal meaning respecting David seems best, though it may be applied to the church, and to any believer in distress. Theodoret thinks it was written by David in the person of the captives in Babylon.

Psalms 71 Commentaries

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