Sacred Texts  Bible  Bible Commentary  Index 
Psalms Index
  Previous  Next 

A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Psalms Chapter 31

Psalms 31:1

psa 31:1

The prayer of a believer in time of deep distress. In the first part, cries for help are mingled with expressions of confidence. Then the detail of griefs engrosses his attention, till, in the assurance of strong but submissive faith, he rises to the language of unmingled joyful trust and exhorts others to like love and confidence towards God. (Psa. 31:1-24)

Expresses the general tone of feeling of the Psalm.

Psalms 31:2

psa 31:2

He seeks help in God's righteous government (Psa 5:8), and begs for an attentive hearing, and speedy and effectual aid. With no other help and no claim of merit, he relies solely on God's regard to His own perfections for a safe guidance and release from the snares of his enemies. On the terms "rock," &c., (compare Psa 17:2; Psa 18:2, Psa 18:50; Psa 20:6; Psa 23:3; Psa 25:21).

Psalms 31:5

psa 31:5

commit my spirit--my life, or myself. Our Saviour used the words on the Cross [Luk 23:46], not as prophetical, but, as many pious men have done, as expressive of His unshaken confidence in God. The Psalmist rests on God's faithfulness to His promises to His people, and hence avows himself one of them, detesting all who revere objects of idolatry (compare Deu 32:21; Co1 8:4).

Psalms 31:7

psa 31:7

hast known my soul, &c.--had regard to me in trouble.

Psalms 31:8

psa 31:8

shut me up . . . enemy--abandon to (Sa1 23:11).

large room--place of safety (compare Psa 18:19).

Psalms 31:9

psa 31:9

mine eye, &c.--denotes extreme weakness (compare Psa 6:7).

grief--mingled sorrow and indignation (Psa 6:7).

soul and . . . belly--the whole person.

Psalms 31:10

psa 31:10

Though the effects ascribed to grief are not mere figures of speech--

spent . . . consumed--must be taken in the modified sense of wasted and decayed.

iniquity--or, suffering by it (see on Psa 40:12).

Psalms 31:11

psa 31:11

among--or, literally, "from," or, "by" my enemies. The latter clauses describe the progress of his disgrace to the lowest degree, till,

Psalms 31:12

psa 31:12

he is forgotten as one dead, and contemned as a useless broken vessel.

Psalms 31:13

psa 31:13

For--introduces further reasons for his prayer, the unjust, deliberate, and murderous purposes of his foes.

Psalms 31:14

psa 31:14

In his profession of trust he includes the terms of the prayer expressing it.

Psalms 31:15

psa 31:15

times--course of life.

deliver . . . hand--opposed to "shut me up," &c., of Psa 31:8.

Psalms 31:16

psa 31:16

Make . . . shine--(Compare Num 6:25; Psa 4:6). Deprecating from himself, he imprecates on the wicked God's displeasure, and prays that their virulent persecution of him may be stopped.

Psalms 31:19

psa 31:19

God displays openly His purposed goodness to His people.

Psalms 31:20

psa 31:20

the secret of thy presence--or, covering of Thy countenance; the protection He thus affords; compare Psa 27:5 for a similar figure; "dwelling" used there for "presence" here. The idea of security further presented by the figure of a tent and a fortified city [Psa 31:21].

Psalms 31:22

psa 31:22

For I said--literally, "And I said," in an adversative sense. I, thus favored, was despondent.

in my haste--in my terror.

cut off . . . eyes--from all the protection of Thy presence.

Psalms 31:23

psa 31:23

the Lord . . . proud doer--literally, "the Lord is keeping faith," that is, with His people, and is repaying, &c. Then let none despair, but take courage; their hopes shall not be in vain.

Next: Psalms Chapter 32