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Verses of Psalms 20

Psalms 20 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

The 20th and 21st Psalms are closely related in structure and contents. Both are liturgical Psalms: the first is an intercession, the second a thanksgiving. In both the king, the representative of Jehovah and the representative of the people, is the prominent figure; and the salvation or victory which Jehovah bestows upon him is the leading thought.

In Psalms 20 the king is preparing to go out to battle against formidable enemies. Before starting he offers solemn sacrifices, and commits his cause to Jehovah, the sole Giver of victory. The Psalm was apparently intended to be sung while the sacrifice was being offered. It breathes a spirit of simple faith in Jehovah’s aid. Israel’s enemies rely upon their material forces: Israel trusts in Jehovah alone.

In Psalms 21 the campaign is over. The victory is won. The people with their king are again assembled to give thanks for the salvation which Jehovah has wrought for them; and in the flush of victory they anticipate with confidence the future triumphs of their king.

There is little to determine the particular occasion of these Psalms. The title of Psalms 20 in the Syriac Version refers it to David’s war with the Ammonites: and some commentators see in Psa 20:7 an allusion to the chariots and horses of the Syrians who were in alliance with the Ammonites (2Sa 8:4; 2Sa 10:18); and in Psa 21:3; Psa 21:9 allusions to the circumstances of the capture of Rabbah (2Sa 12:30-31). Others think that the king may have been Asa (2Ch 14:9), or Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26). The personal importance of the king as the leader of the army, and the spirit of simple trust in Jehovah, not in material forces, point to an early rather than a late date. If the Psalms refer to David, it is natural to suppose that they were written by some poet other than the king himself.

Psalms 20 consists of two stanzas with a concluding verse.

i. The people’s intercession for the king, sung by the congregation, or by the Levites on their behalf, while the sacrifice was being offered (Psa 20:1-5).

ii. A priest or prophet (or possibly the king himself) declares the acceptance of the sacrifice, and confidently anticipates victory (Psa 20:6-8).

iii. Concluding prayer of the whole congregation (Psa 20:9).

Verses of Psalms 20

Consult other comments:

Psalms 20:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 20:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 20:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 20:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 20:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 20:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 20:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 20:0 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Psalms 20:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 20:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges