Verses of Psalms 12

Psalms 12 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

A prayer for help in an age of apparently universal hypocrisy, dissimulation, and untrustworthiness. The title assigns it to David, who might have written it while he was at the court of Saul, or during his outlaw life. Men like Doeg were in positions of authority. Unscrupulous enemies were poisoning Saul’s mind against him (1Sa 26:19). The ungrateful citizens of Keilah were ready to betray their deliverer (1Sa 23:11). The Ziphites deliberately meditated treachery (1Sa 23:19 ff.).

The situation of the writer resembles that described in Psalms 5. [ Psa 5:5-6 ; Psa 5:9-10); Psa 12:5 should be compared with Psa 9:18 and Psa 10:5; ‘I will arise’ ( Psa 12:5) is the answer to the prayer of Psa 3:7, Psa 7:6, Psa 9:19, Psa 10:12.

But the language is general, and the Psalm might belong to almost any age. Similar complaints are found in Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah. In every period of the Church’s history there have been godly men who, separated from friends and persecuted by enemies, have been tempted to say with Elijah, “I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.”

In this psalm prophecy and psalmody meet. The Psalmist speaks to God, and God answers through the Psalmist ( Psa 12:5). It is no doubt possible that he is quoting some prophetic utterance (cp. Psa 89:19 ff.), but there is no need of the supposition. He can himself hear God speak, and deliver His word as an authoritative message. Cp. Psa 2:6-7 ff., Psa 50:1 ff., Psa 60:6 ff., Psa 81:6 ff., Psa 82:2 ff., Psa 91:14 ff.

The Psalm falls into two equal divisions, each consisting of two equal stanzas.

i. Prayer for help amid prevailing faithlessness (Psa 12:1-2). O that insolent braggarts might be exterminated! (Psa 12:3-4).

ii. Jehovah’s promise of help; its purity and preciousness (Psa 12:5-6). The Psalmist’s confidence in the divine guardianship in the midst of unrestrained wickedness (Psa 12:7-8).

On the title, For the Chief Musician, set to the Sheminith (R.V.), see Introd. pp. xxi, xxv.

Verses of Psalms 12

Consult other comments:

Psalms 12:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 12:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 12:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 12:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 12:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 12:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 12:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 12:0 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Psalms 12:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 12:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges