Psalms 34:1-8

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

1 [a][b]I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Images for Psalms 34:1-8

Psalms 34:1-8 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 34

\\<<[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech\\; \\who drove him away, and he departed>>\\. The author of this psalm is expressed by name; and the time and occasion of it are plainly intimated: it was composed by David, "when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech"; not Ahimelech the priest, sometimes called Abimelech, 1Ch 18:16; to whom David went alone for bread, pretending he was upon a private business of the king's; to which sense the Syriac version inclines, rendering the words, "when he went to the house of the Lord, [and] gave the firstfruits to the priests". But this Abimelech was king of Gath, the same with Achish, 1Sa 21:10; who either had two names; or this of Abimelech, as it should seem, was a common name to all the kings of the Philistines; see Ge 20:2, 26:8; as Pharaoh was to the Egyptian kings, and Caesar to the Roman emperors: the name signifies a "father king", or "my father king", or a "royal father"; as kings should be the fathers of their country: before him "David changed his behaviour", his taste, sense, or reason: he imitated a madman; behaved as if he was out of his senses, scrabbling on the doors of the gates, and letting his spittle fall down upon his beard; for he being known and made known by the servants of the king, he was in great fear of losing his life, being in the hands of an enemy, and who he might justly fear would revenge the death of their champion Goliath; wherefore he took this method to get himself despised and neglected by them, and escape out of their hands: and which succeeded; for Abimelech, or Achish, seeing him behave in such a manner, treated him with contempt, was displeased with his servants for bringing him into his presence, and ordered them to take him away, or dismiss him; which is here expressed by this phrase, "who drove him away", with scorn and indignation; "and he departed" to the cave of Adullam, glad at heart he had escaped such danger: upon which, under a sense of divine goodness, and by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he composed the following psalm; see 1Sa 21:10-15, 22:1.

Psalms 34:1-8 In-Context

1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,

Cross References 14

  • 1. Psalms 71:6; S Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • 2. Psalms 44:8; Jeremiah 9:24; 1 Corinthians 1:31
  • 3. Psalms 69:32; Psalms 107:42; Psalms 119:74
  • 4. Psalms 63:3; Psalms 86:12; Daniel 4:37; John 17:1; Romans 15:6
  • 5. S Exodus 15:2; Luke 1:46
  • 6. S Exodus 32:11; Psalms 77:2; Matthew 7:7
  • 7. ver 17; Psalms 18:43; Psalms 22:4; Psalms 56:13; Psalms 86:13
  • 8. S Exodus 34:29; Psalms 36:9
  • 9. Psalms 25:3; Psalms 44:15; Psalms 69:7; Psalms 83:16
  • 10. S Psalms 25:17
  • 11. S Genesis 32:1; S Daniel 3:28; S Matthew 18:10; 2 Kings 6:17; Daniel 6:22
  • 12. Psalms 22:4; Psalms 37:40; Psalms 41:1; Psalms 97:10; Isaiah 31:5; Acts 12:11
  • 13. Hebrews 6:5; 1 Peter 2:3
  • 14. S Psalms 2:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • [b]. In Hebrew texts 34:1-22 is numbered 34:2-23.