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Verses of Psalms 6

Psalms 6 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

The Psalmist has been suffering from severe and long-continued sickness, which has brought him to the brink of the grave. The most bitter part of his trial is that he feels it to be a token of God’s displeasure; and malicious enemies aggravate his suffering by taunting him with being forsaken by God.

This is the natural view of the Psalmist’s situation. Many however think that the attacks of enemies are his chief and primary ground of complaint, though these have wrought upon him until mental anxiety has produced actual sickness. But it is plain from Psa 6:1-3 that he is suffering from a direct divine visitation, and that the persecution of which he complains ( Psa 6:7) is a consequence and aggravation of it. Suffering and misfortune were popularly regarded (as we learn from the Book of Job) as evidences of commensurate guilt on the part of the sufferer. Hence when the godly suffered, he became a butt for the scornful taunts of the godless. Cp. Psalms 41.

The title assigns the Psalm to David. Some, wrongly supposing that the hostility of enemies is the chief ground of complaint, would refer it to the time when he was persecuted by Saul: others think that this and some other Psalms were the outcome of a dangerous illness from which he suffered in the interval between his sin with Bathsheba and Absalom’s rebellion. The fact is that here, as in many other Psalms, there is little or nothing to fix the author or even the period to which the Psalm belongs. This however is clear, that the Psalm is the record of a personal experience, not the utterance of the nation in a time of calamity, personified as a sick and persecuted sufferer. Comp. Psalms 30, which is a corresponding thanksgiving.

This Psalm is the first of the seven known from ancient times in the Christian Church as ‘the Penitential Psalms’ (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143). They are all prescribed for use on Ash Wednesday, the 51 st in the Commination Service, and the remaining six as Proper Psalms.

The Psalm falls into three divisions:

i. The cry of anguish for relief in suffering. Psa 6:1-3.

ii. Earnest yet calmer pleading for deliverance, Psa 6:4-7.

iii. Triumphant assurance of answered prayer and restoration to God’s favour, Psa 6:8-10.

The title should be rendered as in R.V., For the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments, set to the Sheminith (or, the eighth). See Introd. pp. xxi, xxiv f.

Verses of Psalms 6

Consult other comments:

Psalms 6:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 6:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 6:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 6:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 6:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 6:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 6:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 6:0 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Psalms 6:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 6:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges