The Psalms

Psalm 56

David, praying to God in confidence of his word, complains of his enemies, 1-8. He professes his confidence in God's word and promises to praise him, 9-13.

1 [To the Chief Musician upon Jonathelem-rechokim. Michtam of David: when the Philistines took him in Gath.]

Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up./
Fighting daily he oppresses me.

My enemies would swallow me up daily,/
for they are many who fight against me, O Most High.

In the time when I am afraid,/
I will trust in you.

In God (I will praise his word),/
in God I have put my trust./
I will not fear/
what flesh can do to me.

Every day they wrest my words./
All their thoughts are against me for evil.

They assemble themselves, they hide themselves,/
they mark my steps/
when they wait for my soul.

Shall they escape by iniquity?/
In your anger cast down the people, O God.

You number my wanderings./
Put my tears into your bottle./
Are they not in your book?

When I cry to you, my enemies shall turn back./
I know this, for God is for me.

10 In God (I will praise his word),/
in the LORD (I will praise his word),

11 In God I have put my trust./
I will not be afraid/
of what man can do to me.

12 Your vows are upon me, O God./
I will render praises to you.

13 For you have delivered my soul from death./
Will you not deliver my feet from falling/
so that I may walk before God/
in the light of the living?


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 56[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

In this psalm David mixes complaint with prayer, and assuages the distress of his mind by meditation upon the mercy of God. He pray, that he may experience the divine help under the persecutions to which he was subjected by Saul, and his other enemies; and expresses his confidence of success. It is possible, however, that the psalm may have been written after the dangers to which he alludes were past, and in thanksgiving for a deliverance which he had already received.

[v.4] - Reference, Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6.