Psalms 31

1 To victory, the psalm of David. Lord, I have hoped in thee, be I not shamed [into] without end; deliver thou me in thy rightfulness. (To victory, the song of David. Lord, I have put my trust in thee, let me never be shamed; save thou me in thy righteousness.)
2 Bow down thine ear to me; haste thou to deliver me. Be thou to me into God a defender, and into an house of refuge; that thou make me safe. (Bow down thy ear to me; hasten thou to rescue me. God, be my defender, and a house of refuge; so that thou keep me safe/so that thou save me.)
3 For thou art my strength and my refuge; and for (the sake of) thy name, thou shalt lead me forth, and shalt nourish me.
4 Thou shalt lead me out of the snare, which they hid to me (which they have hid for me); for thou art my defender.
5 I betake my spirit into thine hands; Lord God of truth, thou hast again-bought me. (I commit, or I entrust, my spirit into thy hands; Lord God of truth, thou hast redeemed me.)
6 Thou hatest them that keep vanities superfluously. Forsooth I hoped in the Lord; (Thou hatest them who worship false gods, or useless idols. But I put my trust in the Lord;)
7 I shall have fully joy, and shall be glad in thy mercy. For thou beheldest my meekness; thou savedest my life from needs. (I shall have full out joy, or rejoice, and shall be glad for thy love. For thou hast beheld my troubles; thou hast saved my life from dis-eases, or distress.)
8 And thou closedest not me (al)together within the hands of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large place. (And thou enclosedest me not in the hands of the enemy; thou hast set me free in a large place.)
9 Lord, have thou mercy on me, for I am troubled; mine eye is troubled in ire, my soul and my womb also. (Lord, have thou mercy on me, for I am in trouble; my eyes be tired from so much grief, and my soul, and my womb, also be tired.)
10 For why my life failed in sorrow; and my years in wailings. My virtue is made feeble in poverty; and my bones be troubled. (For my life is failing, because of sorrows; and my years, because of wailings. My strength is made feeble, or weak, by poverty; and my bones be diseased.)
11 Over all mine enemies I am made (a) shame, [and] greatly to my neighbours; and dread to my known. They that saw me withoutforth, fled from me; (I am shamed before all my enemies, and especially my neighbours; and I am thought of as someone to be feared by my acquaintances. Those who saw me withoutforth, fled from me;)
12 I am given to forgetting, as a dead man from the heart. I am made as a (for)lorn vessel; (I am forgotten, like a dead man out of mind. I am made like a forlorn vessel;)
13 for I heard despising of many men dwelling in compass. In that thing while they came together against me; they counselled to take my life. (for I have heard the despising of many men who live all around me. And when they came together against me; they plotted to take away my life.)
14 But, Lord, I hoped in thee (But, Lord, I put my trust in thee); I said, Thou art my God;
15 my times be in thine hands. Deliver thou me from the hands of mine enemies; and from them that pursue me. (my life is in thy hands. Rescue thou me from the power of my enemies; and from those who persecute me.)
16 Make thou clear thy face on thy servant; Lord, make thou me safe in thy mercy; (Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; Lord, save thou me in thy love;)
17 be I not shamed, for I inwardly called thee. Unpious men be ashamed, and be they led forth into hell; (let me not be shamed, for I have called upon thee. Let the unpious, or the unrighteous, be ashamed, and let them go down to Sheol, or the land of the dead;)
18 guileful lips be made dumb. That speak wickedness against a just man; in pride, and in mis-using/in pride, and in abusing. (and let deceitful lips be made dumb. Yea, those who speak wickedness against the righteous; in pride, and in mis-using/in pride, and in abusing.)
19 Lord, the multitude of thy sweetness is full great; which thou hast hid to men dreading thee. Thou hast made a perfect thing to them that hope in thee; in the sight of the sons of men. (Lord, the multitude of thy goodness is very great; which thou hast kept safe for those who fear thee/for those who revere thee. Thou hast made a perfect thing for those who put their trust in thee; before the sons of men.)
20 Thou shalt hide them in the private of thy face; from [the] troubling of men (Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence; from all the troubles caused by people). Thou shalt defend them in thy tabernacle; from [the] against-saying of tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord; for he hath made wonderful his mercy to me in a strengthened city. (Blessed be the Lord; for he hath shown his wonderful love to me, like a city that is strengthened, or fortified.)
22 Forsooth I said in the out-passing of my soul; I am cast out from the face of thine eyes. Therefore thou heardest the voice of my prayer; while I cried to thee. (For I said in the going forth of my soul, I am cast out from before thine eyes. But thou heardest the words of my prayer; when I cried to thee for help.)
23 All ye holy men of the Lord, love him; for the Lord shall seek truth, and he shall yield plenteously to them that do pride. (All ye holy people of the Lord, love him; for the Lord preserveth the faithful, but he shall strongly punish the proud.)
24 All ye that hope in the Lord, do ye manly; and your heart be comforted. (All ye who hope in the Lord, be ye encouraged; and let your hearts be strengthened.)

Psalms 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

Confidence in God. (1-8) Prayer in trouble. (9-18) Praise for God's goodness. (19-24)

Verses 1-8 Faith and prayer must go together, for the prayer of faith is the prevailing prayer. David gave up his soul in a special manner to God. And with the words, ver. 5, our Lord Jesus yielded up his last breath on the cross, and made his soul a free-will offering for sin, laying down his life as a ransom. But David is here as a man in distress and trouble. And his great care is about his soul, his spirit, his better part. Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it. God looks upon our souls, when we are in trouble, to see whether they are humbled for sin, and made better by the affliction. Every believer will meet with such dangers and deliverances, until he is delivered from death, his last enemy.

Verses 9-18 David's troubles made him a man of sorrows. Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours. David's friends durst not give him any assistance. Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God. There is a day coming, when the Lord will execute judgment upon them. In the mean time, we should engage ourselves by well-doing, if possible, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verses 19-24 Instead of yielding to impatience or despondency under our troubles, we should turn our thoughts to the goodness of the Lord towards those who fear and trust in Him. All comes to sinners through the wondrous gift of the only-begotten Son of God, to be the atonement for their sins. Let not any yield to unbelief, or think, under discouraging circumstances, that they are cut off from before the eyes of the Lord, and left to the pride of men. Lord, pardon our complaints and fears; increase our faith, patience, love, and gratitude; teach us to rejoice in tribulation and in hope. The deliverance of Christ, with the destruction of his enemies, ought to strengthen and comfort the hearts of believers under all their afflictions here below, that having suffered courageously with their Master, they may triumphantly enter into his joy and glory.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.