David complains of his affliction, 1-12. He prays for deliverance, 13-21. He devotes his enemies to destruction, 22-29. He praises God with thanksgiving, 30-36.
1 [To the Chief Musician upon Shoshannim. A Psalm of David.] Save me, O God, for the waters have come to my soul.
2 I sink in deep mire where there is no standing. I have come into deep waters where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary of my crying. My throat is dried. My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head. Those who would destroy me, being my enemies without cause, are mighty. Then I restored that which I did not take away.
5 O God, you know my foolishness and my sins are not hid from you.
6 Do not let those who wait on you, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake. Do not let those who seek you be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7 Because for your sake I have borne reproach. Shame has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner to my mother's children.
9 For the zeal of your house has eaten me up. And the reproaches of those who reproached you have fallen upon me.
10 When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11 I also made sackcloth my garment and became a proverb to them.
12 Those who sit in the gate speak against me. I was the song of the drunkards.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD, in an acceptable time. O God, in the multitude of your mercy, hear me in the truth of your salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire and do not let me sink. Let me be delivered from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
15 Do not let the flood waters overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, or the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16 Hear me, O LORD, for your loving-kindness is good. Turn to me according to the multitude of your tender mercies.
17 And do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in trouble. Hear me speedily.
18 Draw near to my soul and redeem it. Deliver me because of my enemies.
19 You have known my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor. My adversaries are all before you.
20 Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness. And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They also gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them. And that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see and make their loins continually shake.
24 Pour out your indignation upon them and let your wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate and let no one dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom you have smitten and talk to the grief of those whom you have wounded.
27 Add iniquity to their iniquity. And do not let them come into your righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living and not be written with the righteous.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful. Let your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bull that has horns and hooves.
32 The humble shall see this and be glad. And you who seek God, your heart shall live.
33 For the LORD hears the poor and does not despise his prisoners.
34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves therein.
35 For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah so that they may dwell there and have it in possession.
36 The seed of his servants shall also inherit it. And those who love his name shall dwell therein.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 69[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
There is a close resemblance between this psalm and the twenty-second. In the opening verses, David complains of the barbarous cruelty of his enemies, and of the grievous wrongs which they had inflicted upon him. But his mind, he affirms, was not hereby reduced to such a state of distress as to prevent him from patiently relying on the protection of God, or to discourage him from continuing in the undeviating course of a holy and an upright life. He rather testifies that his piety, and the courage and activity which he had manifested in maintaining the interests of the divine glory, were the cause of the hostility borne to him by the generality of men. After having again complained of being not less shamefully than cruelly oppressed by his enemies, he invokes God to visit them with deserved punishment. In the close, exulting as if he had obtained his highest wishes, he engages to yield to God a solemn sacrifice of praise.
[v.1] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "Under the figure of waters, the Psalmist represents his condition as so extremely distressing that it brought him even to the brink of despair; and yet we know that, so far from being a soft and an effeminate person, he was one who encountered and overcame dreadful temptations with extraordinary courage. [From there] we may infer the bitterness of the distress with which he was at that time afflicted. Some understand the word soul as denoting life; but this gives a very cold and unsatisfactory meaning. It rather signifies the heart. A man when he falls into an abyss of waters, may prevent for some time the water from entering his body, by stopping his mouth and his nostrils, but at length, from its being impossible for a human being to live without respiration, suffocation will compel him to let in the waters, and they will penetrate even to the heart. David by this metaphor would intimate, not only that the waters had covered and overwhelmed him, but also that he had been forced to draw them into his body."
[v.4] - Reference, John 15:25.
[v.9] - Quoted in John 2:17; Romans 15:3.
[v.22-23] - Quoted in Romans 11:9-10.
[v.25] - Quoted in Acts 1:20.