Psalm 61:4
I will abide in your tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of your wings. Selah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) I will abide.—Rather, Let me be a guest in, etc. (Comp. Psalm 15:1; Psalm 27:4.)

Thy tabernacle . . .—It is difficult to decide whether this indicates. the Mosaic tabernacle, and so may be used as an index of the date of the poem; or whether the tent is a general figure for the protection of God, wherever it may be found. It certainly recalls Psalm 23:6.

For ever.—Literally, for ages or æons. For the same plural, see Psalm 145:13.

I will trust . . .—Rather, let me find refuge under the shelter of thy wings. (For the image, see Note Psalm 17:8.)

Psalm 61:4. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever — I shall, I doubt not, be restored to thy tabernacle, from which I am now banished, and, according to the desire of my heart, worship and enjoy thee there all my days. Thus he determines that the service of God shall be his constant business; and all those must make it so who expect to find God their shelter and strong tower. None but his servants have the benefit of his protection. David speaks of abiding in God’s tabernacle for ever, because it was a type and figure of heaven, Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 9:24. And those that dwell in his tabernacle, as it is a house of duty, during the short time of their abode on earth, shall dwell in that tabernacle which is a house of glory during an endless eternity. I will trust in the covert of thy wings — In the mean time, while I am in danger and trouble, I will cast myself upon thy protection with full confidence. This advantage they have that abide in God’s tabernacle; that in the time of trouble he shall there hide them. And those that have found God a shelter to them, ought still to have recourse to him in all their straits.61:1-4 David begins with prayers and tears, but ends with praise. Thus the soul, being lifted up to God, returns to the enjoyment of itself. Wherever we are, we have liberty to draw near to God, and may find a way open to the throne of grace. And that which separates us from other comforts, should drive us nearer to God, the fountain of all comfort. Though the heart is overwhelmed, yet it may be lifted up to God in prayer. Nay, I will cry unto thee, for by that means it will be supported and relieved. Weeping must quicken praying, and not deaden it. God's power and promise are a rock that is higher than we are. This rock is Christ. On the Divine mercy, as on a rock, David desired to rest his soul; but he was like a ship-wrecked sailor, exposed to the billows at the bottom of a rock too high for him to climb without help. David found that he could not be fixed on the Rock of salvation, unless the Lord placed him upon it. As there is safety in Him, and none in ourselves, let us pray to be led to and fixed upon Christ our Rock. The service of God shall be his constant work and business: all must make it so who expect to find God their shelter and strong tower. The grace of God shall be his constant comfort.I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever - This expresses the confident assurance that he would be restored to his home, and to the privileges of public worship. The word forever here means perpetually; that is, his permanent home would be there, or he would dwell with God who dwelt in the tabernacle. The word "tabernacle" refers to the sacred tent which was erected for the worship of God, within which were the ark, the tables of the law, the table of showbread, etc. In the innermost part of that tent - the holy of holies - the symbol of the divine presence rested on the mercy-seat or cover of the ark of the covenant. David regarded it as a great privilege to abide near that sacred tent; near to the place of; public worship; near to the place where God was supposed to dwell. See Psalm 23:6, note; Psalm 26:8, note; Psalm 27:4, note. It is possible that his mind looked beyond the tabernacle on earth to an eternal residence in the very presence of God; to his being admitted into his own sacred abode in heaven.

I will trust in the covert of thy wings - Margin, Make my refuge. See the notes at Psalm 17:8. Compare Psalm 36:7; Psalm 57:1. The idea is, that he would seek and find protection in God - as young birds do under the outstretched wings of the parent bird.

4. I will abide—So I desire to do (compare Ps 23:6).

trust in the covert, &c.—make my refuge, in the shadow (compare Ps 17:8; 36:7).

I shall, I doubt not, be restored to the tabernacle from which I am now banished, and, according to the desire of my heart, worship and enjoy thee there all my days. In the mean time, whilst I am in danger and trouble, I will cast myself upon thy protection with full confidence. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever,.... Under the protection of the Lord, as in a shepherd's tent, or as in one belonging to a general of an army, where are fulness and safety; See Gill on Psalm 27:5; or else the tabernacle of the congregation is meant; the house of God, the place of divine and public worship, where he desired and determined always to continue, Psalm 23:6; or else the tabernacle which was prefigured by that below, where he knew he should dwell to all eternity. Kimchi, by "for ever", understands a long time; and Jarchi explains it both of this world and of the world to come; which is true, understanding the tabernacle of the church below, and the church above;

I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Or, "in" or "into the secret of thy wings" (z); this he determined to make his refuge for the present time, and while in this world; See Gill on Psalm 57:1.

Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

(z) "in abscondito", Pagninus, Montanus; "in occultum", Junius & Tremellius.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. Let me sojourn in thy tent for ever:

Let me take refuge in the hidingplace of thy wings.

The words are a prayer. In his banishment he prays that he may once more be received as Jehovah’s guest, to enjoy His protection and hospitality, to dwell in the place which He has consecrated by His Presence (Psalm 15:1). In thy tent may mean no more than ‘in thy abode’: but it is natural to connect the metaphor with the ‘tent’ which David pitched for the Ark on Mount Zion (2 Samuel 6:17). Cp. Psalm 27:5-6. ‘Sojourn’ implies the relation of guest to host, and the protection which the guest in Oriental countries claims from his host. “The Arabs give the title of jâr allâh to one who resides in Mecca beside the Caaba.” Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 77.

for ever] All my life. Cp. 1 Samuel 1:22; Psalm 23:6. And the revelation of the Gospel has made it plain that life does not end with death.

For the hidingplace (R.V. covert) of thy wings cp. Psalm 57:1, note; Psalm 27:5, “in the hidingplace of his tent shall he hide me”; Psalm 31:20, “Thou shalt hide them in the hidingplace of thy presence.” So the Targ. here in the shadow of Thy Presence (lit. Shechinah).Verse 4. - I will abide in thy tabernacle forever. As the psalmist is in exile, at "the end of the earth" (ver. 2), the literal "tabernacle" cannot be intended. A spiritual abiding in the heavenly dwelling, whereof the tabernacle was a type, must be meant (comp. Psalm 18:11). I will trust in the covert of thy wings (comp. Psalm 17:8; Psalm 36:7; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 63:7; Psalm 91:4). The origin of the metaphor is hardly to be sought in the outspread wings of the cherubim on the mercy seat; rather in the brooding wings of birds protecting and defending their young (Deuteronomy 32:11; Matthew 23:37). The third strophe reverts to prayer; but the prayer now breathes more freely with a self-conscious courage for the strife. The fortified city (עיר מצור) is not Rabbath Ammon; but, as becomes evident from the parallel member of the verse and 2 Kings 14:7, the Idumaean chief city of Sela' (סלע) or Petra (vid., Knobel on Genesis 36:42, cf. Psalm 31:22; 2 Chronicles 8:5; 2 Chronicles 11:5 together with Psalm 14:5). The wish: who will conduct me equals Oh that one would conduct me (Ges. 136, 1)! expresses a martial desire, joyful at the prospect of victory; concerning מי נחני, quis perduxerit me, vid., on Psalm 11:3. What follows is not now to be rendered: Not Thou (who but Thou), Elohim, who...(Hitzig) - for in order to have been understood thus and not as in Psalm 60:3, Psalm 44:10, the poet could not have omitted אשׁר - on the contrary, the interrogatory הלא is the foundation on which the supplicatory הבה is raised. The king of Israel is hard pressed in the battle, but he knows that victory comes from above, from the God who has hitherto in anger refused it to His people, inasmuch as He has given power to Edom to break through the defensive forces of Israel (vid., Psalm 44:10). עזרת (not עזרת equals עזרה) is, as in Psalm 108:13, equivalent to עזרתה. The view that it is equal to עזרתי, the suffix being cast away, is not confirmed in this instance, vid., on Psalm 16:6, cf. Psalm 3:3. How vain is human succour, has been seen only very recently in the case of the kings of Zobah and Ammon, who have succumbed in spite of their confederates. Israel prays for its victorious power from above, and also obtains it thence, as is most confidently expressed in v. 14. עשׂה חיל, to do valiantly, to show valour, is equivalent to: to be victorious, as in Psalm 118:16. In God does Israel conquer, and God, who is in Israel, will by means of Israel tread down Edom in accordance with its deserts.
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