Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 61

By Joseph Benson


Verse 2-3
Psalms 61:2-3. From the end of the earth — Or rather, of the land, to which, it seems, David had been driven by the violence of his enemies; will I cry unto thee — And not to other gods, but to thee only. It is our happiness that, wherever we are, we may have liberty of access to God, and may find a way open to a throne of grace. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I — Convey to a place of safety, where mine enemies cannot approach to hurt me: take me under thy peculiar care and protection. He alludes to their custom of securing themselves in rocks. God’s power and promise are a rock that is higher than we. In these we must take refuge, and in these must we abide. Christ is the rock of our salvation, and they, and only they, are safe that are in him. But we cannot get upon this rock unless God lead us by his power. I will put thee in the cleft of the rock — We should therefore, by faith and prayer, put ourselves under the divine conduct, that we may be taken under the divine protection. For thou hast been a shelter to me — I have found in thee a rock higher than I, therefore I trust thou wilt still lead me to that rock. Our past experience of the benefit of trusting in God, as it should engage us still to keep close to him, so it should encourage us to hope that it will not be in vain. Thou hast been my strong tower from the enemy, and thou art as strong as ever, and thy name as much a refuge for the righteous as ever it was, Proverbs 18:10.

Verse 4
Psalms 61:4. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever — I shall, I doubt not, be restored to thy tabernacle, from which I am now banished, and, according to the desire of my heart, worship and enjoy thee there all my days. Thus he determines that the service of God shall be his constant business; and all those must make it so who expect to find God their shelter and strong tower. None but his servants have the benefit of his protection. David speaks of abiding in God’s tabernacle for ever, because it was a type and figure of heaven, Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 9:24. And those that dwell in his tabernacle, as it is a house of duty, during the short time of their abode on earth, shall dwell in that tabernacle which is a house of glory during an endless eternity. I will trust in the covert of thy wings — In the mean time, while I am in danger and trouble, I will cast myself upon thy protection with full confidence. This advantage they have that abide in God’s tabernacle; that in the time of trouble he shall there hide them. And those that have found God a shelter to them, ought still to have recourse to him in all their straits.

Verse 5
Psalms 61:5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows — My fervent prayers, attended with vows and promises, as was usual, especially in cases of great danger or difficulty. Thou hast taken notice of them; thou hast accepted them, because they were made in sincerity, and hast been well pleased with them. We ought always to remember that God is a witness to all our vows, all our good purposes, and solemn promises of new obedience. He keeps an account of them, which should be a sufficient reason with us (as it was with David here) why we should perform our vows. For he that hears the vows we make, will cause us to hear from him if they be not made good. Thou hast given me the heritage, &c. — Thou hast allotted me my portion with and among them that fear and worship thee, who are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight, and upon that account I must acknowledge it to thy praise, that I have a goodly heritage. Thou hast granted me this singular mercy, to live in thy land, to enjoy thy presence, and to worship in thy tabernacle; which is the heritage which all, that fear thee, prize and desire above all things.

Verses 6-8
Psalms 61:6-8. Thou wilt prolong the king’s life — My life. He calls himself king, either, 1st, Because, if this Psalm was composed before Saul’s death, yet even then he knew he was designed and appointed to be king; or, rather, 2d, Because it was not composed till Saul was dead, and he was actually crowned king, at least of Judah. And his years — The years of my life and reign; as many generations — As long as if I had a lease of it for many ages. Thus he speaks, because his kingdom was not like Saul’s, but established to him and his heirs; and because Christ, his Son and Heir, should actually, and in his own person, possess the kingdom for ever. We may observe further here, that the Chaldee Paraphrase adds the word Christ; thus, Thou shalt give unto Christ the King days upon days. His years shall be as the generations of this world, and the generations of the world to come. And so Theodoret observes, that the former part of the verse may very well agree with the psalmist, but that the latter part of it is by no means applicable to him, but only to Christ; who was, according to the flesh, to descend from him, and of whom the psalmist was an eminent type. He shall abide — Hebrew, ישׁב, jesheeb, he shall sit; namely, on the throne; before God for ever — Living and ruling as in God’s presence, serving him with his royal power, and worshipping him in his tabernacle. O prepare mercy and truth — Or, order, or appoint, as the word מן, man, here signifies, intending, either, 1st, The graces of mercy, or compassion and truth, or faithfulness, which are the great supporters of thrones; or rather, the effects of God’s mercy and truth. Thy truth, in giving me those mercies which thou hast promised to me; and thy mercy, in giving me such further blessings as I need, and thou seest fit to give me. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever — I will never cease praising thee while I live, and after I die, I shall praise thee in eternity. Let us remember, we must make praising God the work of our time in this world; even to the last, as long as our lives are prolonged, we must continue praising him; and then it will be made the work of our eternity in the world to come, and we shall be praising him for ever. That 1 may daily perform my vows — That I may pay unto thee those services and oblations which I vowed to thee, when I was in trouble. David’s praising God was itself the performance of his vows, and it disposed his heart to the performance of them in other instances. Praising God, and paying our vows to him, must be our constant daily work; every day we must be doing something toward it; because it is all but little in comparison with what is due; because we daily receive fresh mercies, and because, if we think much to do it daily we cannot expect to be doing it eternally.


Book Navigation Title Page Table of Contents Argument Introduction ► Chapter 1 ► Chapter 2 ► Chapter 3 ► Chapter 4 ► Chapter 5 ► Chapter 6 ► Chapter 7 ► Chapter 8 ► Chapter 9 ► Chapter 10 ► Chapter 11 ► Chapter 12 ► Chapter 13 ► Chapter 14 ► Chapter 15 ► Chapter 16 ► Chapter 17 ► Chapter 18 ► Chapter 19 ► Chapter 20 ► Chapter 21 ► Chapter 22 ► Chapter 23 ► Chapter 24 ► Chapter 25 ► Chapter 26 ► Chapter 27 ► Chapter 28 ► Chapter 29 ► Chapter 30 ► Chapter 31 ► Chapter 32 ► Chapter 33 ► Chapter 34 ► Chapter 35 ► Chapter 36 ► Chapter 37 ► Chapter 38 ► Chapter 39 ► Chapter 40 ► Chapter 41 ► Chapter 42 ► Chapter 43 ► Chapter 44 ► Chapter 45 ► Chapter 46 ► Chapter 47 ► Chapter 48 ► Chapter 49 ► Chapter 50 ► Chapter 51 ► Chapter 52 ► Chapter 53 ► Chapter 54 ► Chapter 55 ► Chapter 56 ► Chapter 57 ► Chapter 58 ► Chapter 59 ► Chapter 60 ► Chapter 61 ► Chapter 62 ► Chapter 63 ► Chapter 64 ► Chapter 65 ► Chapter 66 ► Chapter 67 ► Chapter 68 ► Chapter 69 ► Chapter 70 ► Chapter 71 ► Chapter 72 ► Chapter 73 ► Chapter 74 ► Chapter 75 ► Chapter 76 ► Chapter 77 ► Chapter 78 ► Chapter 79 ► Chapter 80 ► Chapter 81 ► Chapter 82 ► Chapter 83 ► Chapter 84 ► Chapter 85 ► Chapter 86 ► Chapter 87 ► Chapter 88 ► Chapter 89 ► Chapter 90 ► Chapter 91 ► Chapter 92 ► Chapter 93 ► Chapter 94 ► Chapter 95 ► Chapter 96 ► Chapter 97 ► Chapter 98 ► Chapter 99 ► Chapter 100 ► Chapter 101 ► Chapter 102 ► Chapter 103 ► Chapter 104 ► Chapter 105 ► Chapter 106 ► Chapter 107 ► Chapter 108 ► Chapter 109 ► Chapter 110 ► Chapter 111 ► Chapter 112 ► Chapter 113 ► Chapter 114 ► Chapter 115 ► Chapter 116 ► Chapter 117 ► Chapter 118 ► Chapter 119 ► Chapter 120 ► Chapter 121 ► Chapter 122 ► Chapter 123 ► Chapter 124 ► Chapter 125 ► Chapter 126 ► Chapter 127 ► Chapter 128 ► Chapter 129 ► Chapter 130 ► Chapter 131 ► Chapter 132 ► Chapter 133 ► Chapter 134 ► Chapter 135 ► Chapter 136 ► Chapter 137 ► Chapter 138 ► Chapter 139 ► Chapter 140 ► Chapter 141 ► Chapter 142 ► Chapter 143 ► Chapter 144 ► Chapter 145 ► Chapter 146 ► Chapter 147 ► Chapter 148 ► Chapter 149 ► Chapter 150