Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 142:1-7. Maschil—(See on Ps 32:1, title). When he was in the cave—either of Adullam (1Sa 22:1), or En-gedi (1Sa 24:3). This does not mean that the Psalm was composed in the cave, but that the precarious mode of life, of which his refuge in caves was a striking illustration, occasioned the complaint, which constitutes the first part of the Psalm and furnishes the reason for the prayer with which it concludes, and which, as the prominent characteristic, gives its name.
1. with my voice—audibly, because earnestly.
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
2. (Compare Ps 62:8).
I poured out my complaint—or, "a sad musing."
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
3. thou knewest … path—The appeal is indicative of conscious innocence; knowest it to be right, and that my affliction is owing to the snares of enemies, and is not deserved (compare Ps 42:4; 61:2).
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
4. Utter desolation is meant.
right hand—the place of a protector (Ps 110:5).
cared for—literally, "sought after," to do good.
I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
5. (Compare Ps 31:14; 62:7).
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
6. (Compare Ps 17:1).
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
7. (Compare Ps 25:17).
that I may praise—literally, "for praising," or, "that Thy name may be praised," that is, by the righteous, who shall surround me with sympathizing joy (Ps 35:27).