The Psalms

Psalm 11

David encourages himself in God against his enemies, 1-3. The providence and justice of God, 4-7.

1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.]

I put my trust in the LORD./
How can you say to my soul,/
"Flee as a bird to your mountain"?

For behold, the wicked bend their bow,/
they make ready their arrow upon the string/
so that they may secretly shoot at the upright in heart.

If the foundations are destroyed,/
what can the righteous do?

The LORD is in his holy temple./
The LORD'S throne is in heaven./
His eyes behold. His eyelids try the children of men.

The LORD tries the righteous,/
but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates.

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares,/
fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest./
This shall be the portion of their cup.

For Yahweh is righteous./
He loves righteousness./
His countenance beholds the upright.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 11[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

This psalm consists of two parts. In the first part, David recounts the severe assaults of temptation which he had encountered, and the state of distressing anxiety to which he had been reduced during the time of his persecution by Saul. In the second, he congratulates himself on the deliverance which God had granted him, and magnifies the righteousness of God in the government of the world.

[v.1] - "Flee as a bird to your mountain" - This phrase, in the Hebrew words, is made up of both singular and plural words. "[Flee (plural)] as a [bird (singular)] to [your (plural)] mountain." Another way to read this phrase would be something like, "Flee, all of you, as a bird to your mountain." From John Calvin's Commentary: "It is certain that those who counselled David did not say that he alone should flee, but that he should flee, together with all his attendants, who were in the same danger with himself."

[v.3] - "what can the righteous do?" - This can also be read as, "what can the righteous one do?" This is David asserting his innocence.

[v.4] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "When all things are thrown into disorder and darkness by injustice and wickedness, let faith serve as a lamp to enable us to behold God's heavenly throne, and let that sight suffice to make us wait in patience for the restoration of things to a better state."

[v.7] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "This conclusion of the psalm sufficiently shows, that the scope of the whole of it was to make it manifest that all those who, depending upon the grace of God, sincerely follow after righteousness, shall be safe under his protection."