Psalms 32

1 Learning to David. [The understanding of David.] Blessed be they, whose wickedness be forgiven; and whose sins be covered. (The teaching of David. Happy be they, whose wickedness be forgiven; and whose sins be covered.)
2 Blessed is the man, to whom the Lord areckoned not sin; neither guile is in his spirit. (Happy is the person, to whom the Lord did not reckon any sin; and there is no deceit in his spirit.)
3 For I was still, my bones waxed eld; while I cried all day. (For when I kept silent/For when I did not confess my sins, my bones grew old; while I cried all day long.)
4 For by day and night thine hand was made grievous on me (And day and night thy hand was heavy upon me); I am turned in my wretchedness, while the thorn is set in.
5 (Then) I made my sin known to thee; and I hid not my unrightfulness. I said, I shall acknowledge against me mine unrightfulness to the Lord; and thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sin.
6 For this thing each holy man shall pray to thee; in covenable time. Nevertheless in the great flood of many waters; they shall not (come) nigh to thee. (For this thing, each holy man shall pray to thee; in his time of need. And then, in the great flood of many troubles, none shall come near him.)
7 Thou art my refuge from tribulation, that (en)compassed me; thou, my fully joying, deliver me from them that (en)compass me. (Thou art my refuge, from the troubles that surround me; thou, my full out joy, deliver me from those who surround me.)
8 I shall give understanding to thee, and I shall teach thee; in this way in which thou shalt go, I shall make steadfast mine eyes on thee. (And the Lord said, I shall give understanding to thee, and I shall teach thee the way in which thou should go; and I shall put my eyes steadfastly upon thee.)
9 Do not ye be made as an horse and mule; to which is none understanding. Lord, constrain thou the cheeks of them with a barnacle and bridle; that (they) nigh not to thee. (Do not ye be made like a horse or a mule; which have no understanding, or reasoning ability. Their mouths must be constrained with a bit and a bridle; so that they finally submit to where they should go.)
10 Many beatings be of the sinner; but mercy shall (en)compass him that hopeth in the Lord. (Many beatings be to the sinner; but the love of the Lord shall surround those who trust in him.)
11 Ye just men, be glad, and make fully joy in the Lord; and all ye rightful of heart, have glory. (Ye who be righteous be glad, and make full out joy, or rejoice, in the Lord; and all ye with an upright heart, have glory, or shout for joy!)

Psalms 32 Commentary

Chapter 32

The happiness of a pardoned sinner. (1,2) The misery that went before, and the comfort that followed the confession of sins. (3-7) Sinners instructed, believers encouraged. (8-11)

Verses 1-2 Sin is the cause of our misery; but the true believer's transgressions of the Divine law are all forgiven, being covered with the atonement. Christ bare his sins, therefore they are not imputed to him. The righteousness of Christ being reckoned to us, and we being made the righteousness of God in him, our iniquity is not imputed, God having laid upon him the iniquity of us all, and made him a sin-offering for us. Not to impute sin, is God's act, for he is the Judge. It is God that justifies. Notice the character of him whose sins are pardoned; he is sincere, and seeks sanctification by the power of the Holy Ghost. He does not profess to repent, with an intention to indulge in sin, because the Lord is ready to forgive. He will not abuse the doctrine of free grace. And to the man whose iniquity is forgiven, all manner of blessings are promised.

Verses 3-7 It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy. And what tongue can tell the happiness of that hour, when the soul, oppressed by sin, is enabled freely to pour forth its sorrows before God, and to take hold of his covenanted mercy in Christ Jesus! Those that would speed in prayer, must seek the Lord, when, by his providence, he calls them to seek him, and, by his Spirit, stirs them up to seek him. In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.

Verses 8-11 God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.

Chapter Summary


\\<<[A Psalm], of David, Maschil>>\\. This is the first of the psalms that bears this title: some think it is the name of a musical instrument, on which this psalm was sung; others the first word of a song, to the tune of which it was sung, as Aben Ezra; some say it is so called, because it was explained by an interpreter, as Jarchi; and the Rabbins {k} say, that every psalm that is called "Maschil" was dictated by an interpreter: the Targum renders it "a good understanding"; and the word properly signifies "instruction", or "causing to understand" {l}; and it may be the apostle has some reference to this title in 1Co 14:15; It is an instructive psalm; a didascalic ode, as Junius renders it: it gives an account how the psalmist was instructed under a dispensation of Providence; and was brought to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; and was favoured with a discovery of pardoning grace; and in it he takes upon him to instruct others, Ps 32:8,9, and does instruct in the doctrine of the pardon of sin by the grace of God. {k} Elias Levita in Tishbi, p. 271. {l} lykvm "erudiens", Musculus, Munster, Vatablus, Montanus; "informans", Gejerus; "an instructing psalm", Ainsworth.

Psalms 32 Commentaries

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