Psalm 69 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Psalm 69)

Ps 69:1-36. Upon Shoshannim--(See on Ps 45:1, title). Mingling the language of prayer and complaint, the sufferer, whose condition is here set forth, pleads for God's help as one suffering in His cause, implores the divine retribution on his malicious enemies, and, viewing his deliverance as sure, promises praise by himself, and others, to whom God will extend like blessings. This Psalm is referred to seven times in the New Testament as prophetical of Christ and the gospel times. Although the character in which the Psalmist appears to some in Ps 69:5 is that of a sinner, yet his condition as a sufferer innocent of alleged crimes sustains the typical character of the composition, and it may be therefore regarded throughout, as the twenty-second, as typically expressive of the feelings of our Saviour in the flesh.

1, 2. (Compare Ps 40:2).
come in unto my soul--literally, "come even to my soul," endanger my life by drowning (Jon 2:5).

3. (Compare Ps 6:6).
mine eyes fail--in watching (Ps 119:82).

4. hate me, &c.--(Compare Joh 15:25). On the number and power of his enemies (compare Ps 40:12).
then I restored . . . away--that is, he suffered wrongfully under the imputation of robbery.

5. This may be regarded as an appeal, vindicating his innocence, as if he had said, "If sinful, thou knowest," &c. Though David's condition as a sufferer may typify Christ's, without requiring that a parallel be found in character.

6. for my sake--literally, "in me," in my confusion and shame.

7-12. This plea contemplates his relation to God as a sufferer in His cause. Reproach, domestic estrangement (Mr 3:21; Joh 7:5), exhaustion in God's service (Joh 2:17), revilings and taunts of base men were the sufferings.

10. wept (and chastened) my soul--literally, "wept away my soul," a strongly figurative description of deep grief.

12. sit in the gate--public place (Pr 31:31).

13-15. With increasing reliance on God, he prays for help, describing his distress in the figures of Ps 69:1, 2.

16-18. These earnest terms are often used, and the address to God, as indifferent or averse, is found in Ps 3:7; 22:24; 27:9, &c.

19, 20. Calling God to witness his distress, he presents its aggravation produced by the want of sympathizing friends (compare Isa 63:5; Mr 14:50).

21. Instead of such, his enemies increase his pain by giving him most distasteful food and drink. The Psalmist may have thus described by figure what Christ found in reality (compare Joh 19:29, 30).

22, 23. With unimportant verbal changes, this language is used by Paul to describe the rejection of the Jews who refused to receive the Saviour (Ro 11:9, 10). The purport of the figures used is that blessings shall become curses, the "table" of joy (as one of food) a "snare," their
welfare--literally, "peaceful condition," or security, a "trap." Darkened eyes and failing strength complete the picture of the ruin falling on them under the invoked retribution.

23. continually to shake--literally, "to swerve" or bend in weakness.

24, 25. An utter desolation awaits them. They will not only be driven from their homes, but their homes--or, literally, "palaces," indicative of wealth--shall be desolate (compare Mt 23:38).

26. Though smitten of God (Isa 53:4), men were not less guilty in persecuting the sufferer (Ac 2:23).
talk to the grief--in respect to, about it, implying derision and taunts.
wounded--or, literally, "mortally wounded."

27, 28. iniquity--or, "punishment of iniquity" (Ps 40:12).
come . . . righteousness--partake of its benefits.

28. book of the living--or "life," with the next clause, a figurative mode of representing those saved, as having their names in a register (compare Ex 32:32; Isa 4:3).

29. poor and sorrowful--the afflicted pious, often denoted by such terms (compare Ps 10:17; 12:5).
set me . . . high--out of danger.

30, 31. Spiritual are better than mere material offerings (Ps 40:6; 50:8); hence a promise of the former, and rather contemptuous terms are used of the latter.

32, 33. Others shall rejoice. "Humble" and poor, as in Ps 69:29.
your heart, &c.--address to such (compare Ps 22:26).

33. prisoners--peculiarly liable to be despised.

34-36. The call on the universe for praise is well sustained by the prediction of the perpetual and extended blessings which shall come upon the covenant-people of God. Though, as usual, the imagery is taken from terms used of Palestine, the whole tenor of the context indicates that the spiritual privileges and blessings of the Church are meant.