The Psalms

Psalm 5

David prays and professes his diligence in prayer, 1-3. God does not favor the wicked, 4-6. David, professing his faith, prays to God to guide him, 7-9; to destroy his enemies, 10; and to preserve the godly, 11, 12.

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

Give ear to my words, O LORD./
Consider my meditation.

Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God./
For to you I will pray.

My voice you shall hear in the morning, O LORD./
In the morning I will direct my prayer to you and will look up.

For you are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness,/
neither shall evil dwell with you.

The foolish shall not stand in your sight./
You hate all workers of iniquity.

You shall destroy those who speak falsehood./
The LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into your house/
in the multitude of your mercy,/
and in your fear I will worship/
toward your holy temple.

Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies./
Make your way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth./
Their inward part is wickedness./
Their throat is an open sepulcher./
They flatter with their tongue.

10 Destroy them, O God./
Let them fall by their own counsels./
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions./
For they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all those who put their trust in you rejoice./
Let them always shout for joy because you defend them./
Let them also who love your name be joyful in you.

12 For you, LORD, will bless the righteous./
With favor you will compass him as with a shield.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 5[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

David being grievously oppressed by the cruelty of his enemies, and apprehending still more mischief, earnestly beseeches God for help. And the more easily to obtain what he asks, after having, by the earnestness of his prayers, manifested the greatness of his grief, he first brings forward the intolerable malice of his enemies, showing how inconsistent it would be with the character of God, were they to be left unpunished. He next speaks of his own faith and patience, and even comfort; having no doubt whatever of a happy issue. Finally, he concludes, that when he shall be delivered, the benefits resulting from his deliverance would not be limited to himself, but would extend to all the godly.

[v.2] - "For to you I will pray" - "Whoever calls upon God in their calamities never meet with a repulse from him." —John Calvin

[v.3] - "and will look up" - Or, "and will keep watch." From John Calvin's Commentary: "He who is looking out for the grace of God with anxious desire, will patiently wait for it."

[v.7a] - This verse may also be read as, "And I will enter into your house in the multitude of your mercy..."

[v.7b] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "This passage, therefore, teaches us, that when we are afflicted by the most distressing temptations, we ought to set the grace of God before our eyes, in order thereby to be supported with the hope of the divine interposition amidst the greatest dangers. Farther, as our carnal minds either wickedly undervalue the grace of God, or put the low estimate upon it which is commonly put by the world, let us learn to extol its wonderful greatness, which is sufficient to enable us to overcome all fears."

[v.8] - "in your righteousness" - Or, "according to your righteousness."

[v.9] - Quoted in Romans 3:13.

[v.11] - "because you defend them" - From John Calvin's Commentary: "This passage teaches us, that true joy proceeds from no other source than from the protection of God. We may be exposed to a thousand deaths, but this one consideration ought abundantly to suffice us, that we are covered and defended by the hand of God."

[v.12] - "With favor you will compass him as with a shield" - The Septuagint reads as, "You have compassed us as with a shield of favor."