Psalms 9

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

1 [a][b]I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.
4 For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.
7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.
9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.
13 LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation.
15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
19 Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, LORD; let the nations know they are only mortal.

Images for Psalms 9

Psalms 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

David praises God for protecting his people. (1-10) And for cause to praise him. (11-20)

Verses 1-10 If we would praise God acceptably, we must praise him in sincerity, with our whole heart. When we give thanks for some one particular mercy, we should remember former mercies. Our joy must not be in the gift, so much as in the Giver. The triumphs of the Redeemer ought to be the triumphs of the redeemed. The almighty power of God is that which the strongest and stoutest of his enemies are no way able to stand before. We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, and that with him there is no unrighteousness. His people may, by faith, flee to him as their Refuge, and may depend on his power and promise for their safety, so that no real hurt shall be done to them. Those who know him to be a God of truth and faithfulness, will rejoice in his word of promise, and rest upon that. Those who know him to be an everlasting Father, will trust him with their souls as their main care, and trust in him at all times, even to the end; and by constant care seek to approve themselves to him in the whole course of their lives. Who is there that would not seek him, who never hath forsaken those that seek Him?

Verses 11-20 Those who believe that God is greatly to be praised, not only desire to praise him better themselves, but desire that others may join with them. There is a day coming, when it will appear that he has not forgotten the cry of the humble; neither the cry of their blood, or the cry of their prayers. We are never brought so low, so near to death, but God can raise us up. If he has saved us from spiritual and eternal death, we may thence hope, that in all our distresses he will be a very present help to us. The overruling providence of God frequently so orders it, that persecutors and oppressors are brought to ruin by the projects they formed to destroy the people of God. Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves; the contentious bring mischief upon themselves: thus men's sins may be read in their punishment, and it becomes plain to all, that the destruction of sinners is of themselves. All wickedness came originally with the wicked one from hell; and those who continue in sin, must go to that place of torment. The true state, both of nations and of individuals, may be correctly estimated by this one rule, whether in their doings they remember or forget God. David encourages the people of God to wait for his salvation, though it should be long deferred. God will make it appear that he never did forget them: it is not possible he should. Strange that man, dust in his and about him, should yet need some sharp affliction, some severe visitation from God, to bring him to the knowledge of himself, and make him feel who and what he is.

Cross References 47

  • 1. Psalms 86:12; Psalms 111:1; Psalms 119:2,10,145; Psalms 138:1
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 4:34; Psalms 26:7
  • 3. S Job 22:19; Psalms 14:7; Psalms 31:7; Psalms 70:4; Psalms 97:8; Psalms 126:3; Proverbs 23:15; Isaiah 25:9; Jeremiah 30:19; Joel 2:21; Zephaniah 3:14; S Matthew 5:12; Revelation 19:7; Psalms 5:11
  • 4. S 2 Chronicles 31:2
  • 5. Psalms 92:1; Psalms 83:18
  • 6. S 1 Kings 8:45
  • 7. S Job 16:21; Psalms 140:12
  • 8. Psalms 11:4; Psalms 47:8; Isaiah 6:1
  • 9. Psalms 7:11; Psalms 67:4; Psalms 98:9; 1 Peter 2:23
  • 10. Genesis 20:7; S Genesis 37:10; S 1 Chronicles 16:21; Psalms 59:5; Psalms 105:14; Isaiah 26:14; Isaiah 66:15
  • 11. S Job 18:17; Proverbs 10:7
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 29:28; Jeremiah 2:3; Jeremiah 46:1-51:58; Zephaniah 2:8-10
  • 13. Psalms 34:16; Psalms 109:15; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Isaiah 14:22; Isaiah 26:14
  • 14. S 1 Chronicles 16:31; Revelation 19:6
  • 15. Psalms 11:4; Psalms 47:8; Psalms 93:2; Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 66:1; Psalms 89:14
  • 16. S ver 4; Psalms 7:11; Psalms 96:13
  • 17. Psalms 11:7; Psalms 45:6; Psalms 72:2
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 33:27; S 2 Samuel 22:3
  • 19. Psalms 10:18; Psalms 74:21
  • 20. Psalms 32:7; Psalms 121:7
  • 21. Psalms 91:14
  • 22. S Genesis 28:15; S Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalms 22:1; Psalms 37:25; Psalms 71:11; Isaiah 49:14; Jeremiah 15:18; Hebrews 13:5; Psalms 37:28
  • 23. Psalms 70:4
  • 24. Psalms 7:17
  • 25. S Psalms 2:6; Psalms 76:2
  • 26. Psalms 18:49; Psalms 44:11; Psalms 57:9; Psalms 106:27; Isaiah 24:13; Ezekiel 20:23; 1 Timothy 3:16; Psalms 107:22
  • 27. Psalms 105:1
  • 28. S 2 Samuel 4:11; Genesis 9:5
  • 29. ver 18; Psalms 10:17; Psalms 22:24; Psalms 72:4; Isaiah 49:13
  • 30. Numbers 10:9; Psalms 3:7; Psalms 18:3; Psalms 38:19
  • 31. Psalms 6:2; Psalms 41:4; Psalms 51:1; Psalms 86:3,16; Psalms 119:132
  • 32. S Job 17:16; Matthew 16:18
  • 33. Psalms 51:15; 1 Peter 2:9; Psalms 106:2
  • 34. 2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 1:8; Isaiah 10:32; Isaiah 37:22; Isaiah 62:11; Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 6:2; Lamentations 1:6; Micah 1:13; Zephaniah 3:14; Zechariah 2:10; Matthew 21:5; John 12:15
  • 35. Psalms 13:5; Psalms 35:9; Psalms 50:23; Psalms 51:12
  • 36. S Job 4:8; Psalms 35:7; Psalms 7:15-16
  • 37. Psalms 35:8; Psalms 57:6
  • 38. Proverbs 5:22
  • 39. S Numbers 16:30; Proverbs 5:5; Psalms 49:14
  • 40. S Job 8:13; Psalms 50:22
  • 41. Psalms 25:3; Psalms 39:7; Psalms 71:5; Proverbs 23:18; Jeremiah 14:8
  • 42. ver 12; Psalms 74:19; Psalms 12:5
  • 43. Psalms 3:7
  • 44. 2 Chronicles 14:11
  • 45. Psalms 110:6; Isaiah 2:4; Joel 3:12
  • 46. S Genesis 35:5; Psalms 31:13; Isaiah 13:8; Luke 21:26
  • 47. Psalms 62:9; Isaiah 31:3; Ezekiel 28:2

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Psalms 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lines began with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm.
  • [b]. In Hebrew texts 9:1-20 is numbered 9:2-21.
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Higgaion" and "Selah" (words of uncertain meaning) here; "Selah" occurs also at the end of verse 20.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, a Psalm of David. Some, take "muthlabben" to be the name of the tune to which this psalm was sung, and to design the same note which we call the counter-tenor: others think, that "upon muth," or "almuth," are but one word, and the same as "alamoth," Psalm 45:1, title; and that it is the name of a musical instrument; and that "Ben" in "labben," is the name of the chief musician, who was over that sort of instrument, to whom the psalm is inscribed {l}; and indeed R. Sol Jarchi says, that he had seen in the great Masorah these words as one; and so it seems the Septuagint interpreters read them, who render them, "for the hidden things of the son"; and the Arabic version, "concerning the mysteries of the son": and Ben is a name, it is said, of one of the singers, whose kindred and companions were appointed with psalteries on "alamoth," 1 Chronicles 15:18. And so then the title runs thus; "to the chief musician on alamoth, [even to] Ben." But others are of opinion that the subject matter or occasion of the psalm is designed by this phrase; and that as "muth" signifies "death," the death of some person is intended, on account of which this psalm was composed; some say Nabal, seeing the word Nbl, "Laban," inverted, or read backwards, is "Nabal" {m}, whose death affected David; as appears from 1 Samuel 25:38. Others, that it was one of the kings of the Gentiles, whose name was Labben, and is mentioned nowhere else, who fought with David, and whom he slew, and upon his death penned this psalm {n}. Others, Goliath the Philistine {o}, who is called, 1 Samuel 17:4. Mynbh vya, which we render "champion" and dueller, one of two that fight together. But rather the reason of the name is, as given by the Jewish commentators {p}, because he went and stood between the two camps of the Philistines and the Israelites; and so the Chaldee paraphrase renders the title of this psalm, "to praise, concerning the death of the man who went out between the camps, a song of David."

And so the psalm itself, in the Targum, and by other Jewish writers, is interpreted of Goliath and the Philistines, and of the victory over them; and which does not seem amiss. Arama interprets it of the death of Saul. Others interpret Almuth Labben "of the death of the son"; and understand it of the death of Absalom, the son of David {q}: but David's passion moved in another way, not in joy, but in grief, 2 Samuel 18:33; nor is there anything in the psalm that can be referred unto it. Others, of the death of the son of God; but of that there is not the least hint in the psalm. Theodoret interprets it of Christ's victory over death by dying, which was a mystery or hidden thing. Rather, I should think, it might be interpreted of the death of the son of perdition, the man of sin and his followers; who may be typified by Goliath, and the Philistines: and so, as Ainsworth observes, as the former psalm was concerning the propagation of Christ's kingdom, this is of the destruction of antichrist. And Jerom, long ago said, this whole psalm is sung by the prophet in the person of the church, concerning antichrist: and to this agrees the Syriac version; which makes the subject of the psalm to be, "concerning Christ, taking the throne and kingdom, and routing the enemy."

And also the Arabic version, according to which the argument of the psalm is, "concerning the mysteries of the Son, with respect to the glory of Christ, and his resurrection and kingdom, and the destruction of all the children of disobedience." To which may be added, that this psalm, according to R. Sol Jarchi, belongs to the time to come, to the days of the Messiah, and the future redemption by him.

{l} Kimchi & Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc. {m} So some in Jarchi & Aben Ezra in loc. {n} Donesh Hallevi in ibid. {o} Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc. {p} Jarchi, Kimchi, Levi Ben Gersom, R. Isaiah, & Ben Melech in 1 Sam. xvii. 4. {q} So some in Jarchi in loc.

Psalms 9 Commentaries

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