Verses of Psalms 61

Psalms 61 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

The author of this Psalm is far from Jerusalem. Though his prayers have in part been answered, and he can look forward to his return with confidence, he is still in dispiriting circumstances. He is either a king, or one closely connected with a king and deeply interested in his welfare. At first sight Psa 61:6-7 seem to favour the latter hypothesis; but inasmuch as the stress in these verses is upon the king’s office, not upon his personality, a king might appropriately speak of himself in the third person; and this view best explains the connexion of the verses.

The Psalm belongs therefore to the time of the monarchy; for there is no real ground for supposing that one of the Maccabaean princes, of whom Aristobulus I (b.c. 105) was the first to assume the title of king, is meant. If David was the author, it may best be referred to the time when he was at Mahanaim, after the collapse of Absalom’s rebellion, but before his recall to Jerusalem.

The hope of return to “God’s dwelling-place,” which finds such touching expression in this Psalm ( Psa 61:4), lay deep in his heart as he left the city (2Sa 15:25); Psa 61:3 may refer to the hairbreadth escapes of his earlier life; Psa 61:6-7 allude to the great promise of 2 Samuel 7; the phrase ‘God’s tent’ ( Psa 61:4) may naturally be connected with the tent which David pitched for the Ark. At any rate David’s situation gives point to the Psalm and helps to explain it.

The Psalm is best divided into two equal stanzas.

i. Prayer for support and restoration to God’s dwelling-place (Psa 61:1-4).

ii. He appeals to the experience of answered prayer and to the certainty of God’s promises to the king, and looks forward with confidence to a life of thanksgiving for God’s mercy (Psa 61:5-8).

The Psalm has affinities with Psalms 20, 21, 27, 42, 43, 63, and with Proverbs.

In later times the Psalm was naturally adopted as a prayer of the nation in its dispersion, and the king was interpreted to refer to the Messiah. See the Targum on Psa 61:6 ; Psa 61:8.

Upon Neginath in the title may mean On a stringed instrument (R.V.), or To the accompaniment of stringed music: or possibly, Set to the song of …, some word of definition being lost. See Introd. p. xxiv.

Verses of Psalms 61

Consult other comments:

Psalms 61:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 61:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 61:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 61:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 61:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 61:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 61:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 61:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 61:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges