Psalms 4 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The occasion of this Psalm has already been discussed in the introduction to Psalms 3. Some days at least have elapsed. The immediate personal peril is past. Reflection has deepened David’s consciousness of his own integrity, and his sense of the rebels’ guilt. The Psalm breathes a spirit of righteous indignation, which rises completely above mere personal vindictiveness.
i. Appeal to God, and remonstrance with the rebels, Psa 4:1-2.
ii. The true character of the rebellion exposed, Psa 4:3-4.
iii. The better way indicated, Psa 4:5-6.
iv. The supreme joy of perfect trust, Psa 4:7-8.
Most commentators however divide the Psalm thus: i. Appeal to God, Psa 4:1; ii. Remonstrance with enemies, Psa 4:2-5; iii. The superiority of God-given joy to all earthly grounds of rejoicing, Psa 4:6-8. This division however neglects the Selah, which serves to emphasise the important thought of Psa 4:3, and after Psa 4:4 prepares the way for repentance following on reflection: it ignores the parallelism of structure with Psalms 3, and though at first sight attractive, fails to bring out the true connexion and sequence of the thoughts.
The title should be rendered as in R.V., For the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. See Introd. pp. xxi f., xxiv.
Consult other comments:
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".