Psalms 5

1 To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my groaning.
2 Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to thee do I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch.
4 For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee.
5 The boastful may not stand before thy eyes; thou hatest all evildoers.
6 Thou destroyest those who speak lies; the LORD abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men.
7 But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of my enemies; make thy way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre, they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee.
12 For thou dost bless the righteous, O LORD; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.

Images for Psalms 5

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.

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

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.