Psalm 69:5
O God, you know my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from you.
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(5) My foolishness.—This does not conflict with a true Messianic application of the Psalm, but is fatal to that which would see in the author not an imperfect type, but a prophetic mouthpiece of Christ.

Psalm 69:5. O God, thou knowest my foolishness — Hebrew, אולתי, ivalti, rendered in the Liturgy version, my simpleness. As if he had said, Thou knowest the simplicity and uprightness of my heart, that I have never intentionally injured those that thus cruelly hate and persecute me, but have always designed and endeavoured to act right toward them. And my sins are not hid from thee — But, O Lord, although I have been innocent toward mine enemies, yet I must confess I am guilty of many sins and follies against thee, and have given thee just cause to punish me by giving me up into their hands, and by denying or delaying to help me.69:1-12 We should frequently consider the person of the Sufferer here spoken of, and ask why, as well as what he suffered, that, meditating thereon, we may be more humbled for sin, and more convinced of our danger, so that we may feel more gratitude and love, constraining us to live to His glory who died for our salvation. Hence we learn, when in affliction, to commit the keeping of our souls to God, that we may not be soured with discontent, or sink into despair. David was hated wrongfully, but the words far more fully apply to Christ. In a world where unrighteousness reigns so much, we must not wonder if we meet with those that are our enemies wrongfully. Let us take care that we never do wrong; then if we receive wrong, we may the better bear it. By the satisfaction Christ made to God for our sin by his blood, he restored that which he took not away, he paid our debt, suffered for our offences. Even when we can plead Not guilty, as to men's unjust accusations, yet before God we must acknowledge ourselves to deserve all that is brought upon us. All our sins take rise from our foolishness. They are all done in God's sight. David complains of the unkindness of friends and relations. This was fulfilled in Christ, whose brethren did not believe on him, and who was forsaken by his disciples. Christ made satisfaction for us, not only by putting off the honours due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonours that could be done to any man. We need not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of God, should provoke some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world.O God, thou knowest my foolishness - The errors and follies of my life. Though conscious of innocence in this case - though he felt that his enemies hated him "without cause," and that they took what belonged to him and not to them, yet he was not insensible to the fact that he was a sinner, and he was not unwilling to confess before God, that, however conscious of uprightness he might be in his dealings toward people, yet toward God, he was a sinful man. From him he deserved all that had come upon him. Indeed the very calamities which had been permitted to come upon him were proof to his own mind that he was a sinner, and served, as they were doubtless designed, to turn his mind to that fact, and to humble him. The effect of calamities coming upon us, as reminding us of the fact that we are sinners, is often referred to in the Psalms. See Psalm 38:2-4; Psalm 40:12.

And my sins are not hid from thee - Margin, "guiltiness." The word used here has always attached to it the idea of "guilt." The meaning is, that God knew all his life; and that however unjust the conduct of "men" toward him might be when they treated him as if he had wronged them, yet considered as a part of the dealings of God, or as having been suffered to come upon him from God, all that had occurred was right, for it was a proper expression of the divine displeasure against his sins. We may feel that we have not wronged our fellow-men; yet even the treatment which we receive from them, however unjust so far as they are concerned, may be regarded as deserved by us at the hand of God, and as proper on his part as an expression of his displeasure for our transgressions against him, and as a proof that we are sinners. Trial never comes to us from any quarter except as founded on the fact that we are sinners; and even where there is entire innocence toward our fellow-men, God may make use of their passions to rebuke and discipline us for our sins toward himself.

5. This may be regarded as an appeal, vindicating his innocence, as if he had said, "If sinful, thou knowest," &c. Though David's condition as a sufferer may typify Christ's, without requiring that a parallel be found in character.5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins axe not hid from thee.

6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered face.

8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.

9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.

12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.

Psalm 69:5

"O God, thou knowest my foolishness." David might well say this, but not David's Lord; unless it be understood as an appeal to God as to his freedom from folly which men imputed to him when they said he was mad. That which was foolishness to men was superlative wisdom before God. How often might we use these words in their natural sense, and if we were not such fools as to be blind to our own folly, this confession would be frequently on our ips. When we feel that we have been foolish we are not, therefore, to cease from prayer, but rather to be more eager and fervent in it. Fools had good need consult with the infinitely wise. "And my sins are not hid from thee." They cannot be hid with any fig leaves of mine: only the covering which thou wilt bring me can conceal their nakedness and mine. It ought to render confession easy, when we are assured that all is known already. That prayer which has no confession in it may please a Pharisee's pride, but will never bring down justification. They who have never seen their sins in the light of God's omniscience are quite unable to appeal to that omniscience in proof of their piety. He who can say, "Thou knowest my foolishness," is the only man who can add, "But thou knowest that I love thee."

Psalm 69:6

"Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake." If he were deserted, others who were walking in the same path of faith would be discouraged and disappointed. Unbelievers are ready enough to catch at anything which may turn humble faith into ridicule, therefore, O God of all the armies of Israel, let not my case cause the enemy to blaspheme - such is the spirit of this verse. Our blessed Lord ever had a tender concern for his people, and would not have his own oppression of spirit become a source of discouragement to them. "Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel." He appealed to the Lord of hosts by his power to help him, and now to the God of Israel by his covenant faithfulness to come to the rescue. If the captain of the host fail, how will it fare with the rank and file? If David flee, what will his followers do? If the king of believers shall find his faith unrewarded, how will the feeble ones hold on their way? Our Lord's behaviour during his sharpest agonies is no cause of shame to us; he wept, for he was man, but he murmured not, for he was sinless man; he cried, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;" for he was human, but he added, "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt," for his humanity was without taint of rebellion. In the depths of tribulation no repining word escaped him, for there was no repining in his heart. The Lord of martyrs Witnessed a good confession. He was strengthened in the hour of peril, and came off more than a conqueror, as we also shall do, if we hold fast our confidence even to the end.

Psalm 69:7

"Because for thy sake I have borne reproach." Because he undertook to do the Father's will, and teach his truth, the people were angry; because he declared himself to be the Son of God, the priesthood raved. They could find no real fault in him, but were forced to hatch up a lying accusation before they could commence their sham trial of him. The bottom of the quarrel was, that God was With him, and he with God, while the Scribes and Pharisees sought only their vhf own hour. Reproach is at all times very cutting to a man of integrity, and it must have come with acute force upon one of so unsullied a character as our Lord: yet see, how he turns to his God, and finds his consolation in the fact that he is enduring all for his Father's sake. The like comfort belongs to all misrepresented and persecuted saints. "Shame hath covered my face." Men condemned to die frequently had their faces covered as they were dragged away from the judge's seat, as was the case With the wicked Haman in Esther 7:8 : after this fashion they first covered our Lord with a veil of opprobious accusation, and then hurried him away to be crucified. Moreover, they passed him through the trial of cruel mockings, besmeared his face with spittle, and covered it with bruises, so that Pilate's "Ecce Homo" called the world's attention to an unexampled spectacle of woe and shame. The stripping on the cross must also have suffused the Redeemer's face With a modest blush, as he hung there exposed to the cruel gaze of a ribald multitude. Ah, blessed Lord, it was our shame which thou wast made to bear! Nothing more deserves to be reproached and despised than sin, and lo, when thou wast made sin for us thou wast called to endure abuse and scorn. Blessed be thy name, it is over now, but we owe thee more than heart can conceive for thine amazing stoop of love.


This is added, either,

1. As a proof of his innocency, which he had now asserted by way of appeal to God. Do thou, O Lord, judge between me and them, whether I be guilty of those rallies and sins which they lay to my charge. And such appeals indeed David useth, Psalm 7:3,4, and elsewhere; but then they are delivered in form of a supposition, and not a positive assertion, as this is. Or rather,

2. As an exception to what he last said. But, O Lord, although I have been innocent to mine enemies, and have given them no cause to hate or persecute me, as they do; yet I must confess I am guilty of many sins and follies against thee, and have given thee just cause to punish me, and to give me up into their hands, and to deny or delay thine help unto me. By foolishness he means sin, as he explains it, which is commonly so called in Scripture; or by his

foolishness he means lesser sins, committed through ignorance or inconsiderateness, and by sins those of a grosser nature. O God, thou knowest my foolishness,.... Not that there was real foolishness in him, who, as man, from his infancy was filled with wisdom, and increased in it; and, as Mediator, had the spirit of wisdom on him, and the treasures of wisdom in him; and, as a divine Person, he is the Wisdom of God, and the only wise God; and, as in our nature, there was no foolishness in his heart, nor in his words, nor in his actions: but this is to be understood either of what was accounted so by others; he and his followers were reckoned foolish and illiterate men, and the Gospel preached by him and his apostles was foolishness to them that perished; or of what he was charged with by his enemies; even with immorality, heresy, blasphemy, and sedition; of all which he was innocent, and therefore could appeal to his divine Father, who knows all things, that he was clear of all such folly; for it may be rendered, "thou knowest as to my foolishness" (x), with respect to what he was charged with, that there was none in him; or else it regards the foolishness of his people imputed to him, the sin that folly of follies, together with all the foolishness in the heart, lip, and lives of his people, before and after conversion; these were all reckoned to him, and reckoned by him, as his own in some sense; and which is confirmed by what follows:

and my sins are not hid from thee; meaning not any committed by him; for then he could not have said what he does in Psalm 69:4; but the sins of his people imputed to him, which be calls his own; see Gill on Psalm 40:12, these must be known to his divine Father, since he is God omniscient, and since he laid them upon him, and he made satisfaction for them to him; and which he observes to enforce his petition, Psalm 69:1; with this compare Isaiah 53:11.

(x) "tu nosti ut res se habeat quoad stultitiam meam", Gussetius, p. 312.

O God, thou knowest my {g} foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

(g) Though I am guilty toward you, yet I am innocent toward them.

5, 6. Chastisement is not undeserved; but he commits himself to the mercy of the Omniscient, and pleads for a hearing on the ground that the cause of all God’s servants is bound up with his cause. If he is abandoned they must be discouraged and exposed to the contempt of the world.

Thou is emphatic. Similar appeals to God’s omniscience are characteristic of Jeremiah (ch. Jeremiah 12:3; Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:16; Psalm 18:23). Sin is designated as ‘foolishness’ in Psalm 38:5, where, as here, the Psalmist acknowledges that his sufferings are the chastisement of his sin. This is the only other passage in which the word occurs, except in the Book of Proverbs, where it is common.

sins] Lit. guiltinesses; cp. Psalm 68:21.Verses 5-12. - David follows up his complaint by a confession of sin (ver. 5), which shows that his sufferings are, at any rate, in some measure, deserved; but, at the same time, he pleads that, as his enemies are really persecuting him for his righteous deeds and his adherence to God (vers. 74 11), God is bound to come to his aid, in order that his own honour may be vindicated, and that the godly may not be put to shame on his (David's) account. Verse 5. - O God, thou knowest my foolishness (see Psalm 38:5). According to the teaching both of the Old Testament (Proverbs, passim) and of the New (Mark 7:22; Romans 1:21, 22; Galatians 3:1, etc.), folly is a form of sin. And my sins are not hid from thee. The rebuke of Nathan and the death of his child (2 Samuel 12:7-19) had fully convinced David of this. Thenceforward his sins were ever before him (Psalm 51:3), continually confessed by him, and felt to be as well known to God as to himself. Compare the opening of Psalm 139:, "Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether" (vers. 1-4). The poet stands so completely in the midst of this glory of the end, that soaring onwards in faith over all the kingdoms of the world, he calls upon them to render praise to the God of Israel. לרכב attaches itself to the dominating notion of שׁירוּ in Psalm 68:33. The heavens of heavens (Deuteronomy 10:14) are by קדם described as primeval (perhaps, following the order of their coming into existence, as extending back beyond the heavens that belong to our globe, of the second and fourth day of Creation). God is said to ride along in the primeval heavens of the heavens (Deuteronomy 33:26), when by means of the cherub (Psalm 18:11) He extends His operations to all parts of these infinite distances and heights. The epithet "who rideth along in the heavens of heavens of the first beginning" denotes the exalted majesty of the superterrestrial One, who on account of His immanency in history is called "He who rideth along through the steppes" (רכב בּערבות, Psalm 68:5). In יתּן בּקולו we have a repetition of the thought expressed above in Psalm 68:12 by יתּן אמר; what is intended is God's voice of power, which thunders down everything that contends against Him. Since in the expression נתן בּקול (Psalm 46:7; Jeremiah 12:8) the voice, according to Ges. 138, rem. 3, note, is conceived of as the medium of the giving, i.e., of the giving forth from one's self, of the making one's self heard, we must take קול עז not as the object (as in the Latin phrase sonitum dare), but as an apposition:

(Note: The accentuation does not decide; it admits of our taking it in both ways. Cf. Psalm 14:5; Psalm 41:2; Psalm 58:7; Psalm 68:28; Proverbs 13:22; Proverbs 27:1.)

behold, He maketh Himself heard with His voice, a powerful voice. Thus let them then give God עז, i.e., render back to Him in praise that acknowledges His omnipotence, the omnipotence which He hath, and of which He gives abundant proof. His glory (גּאוה) rules over Israel, more particularly as its guard and defence; His power (עז), however, embraces all created things, not the earth merely, but also the loftiest regions of the sky. The kingdom of grace reveals the majesty and glory of His redemptive work (cf. Ephesians 1:6), the kingdom of nature the universal dominion of His omnipotence. To this call to the kingdoms of the earth they respond in v. 36: "Awful is Elohim out of thy sanctuaries." The words are addressed to Israel, consequently מקדּשׁים is not the heavenly and earthly sanctuary (Hitzig), but the one sanctuary in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 21:72) in the manifold character of its holy places (Jeremiah 51:51, cf. Amos 7:9). Commanding reverence - such is the confession of the Gentile world - doth Elohim rule from thy most holy places, O Israel, the God who hath chosen thee as His mediatorial people. The second part of the confession runs: the God of Israel giveth power and abundant strength to the people, viz., whose God He is, equivalent to לעמּו, Psalm 29:11. Israel's might in the omnipotence of God it is which the Gentile world has experienced, and from which it has deduced the universal fact of experience, v. 36b. All peoples with their gods succumb at last to Israel and its God. This confession of the Gentile world closes with בּרוּך אלהים (which is preceded by Mugrash transformed out of Athnach). That which the psalmist said in the name of Israel in Psalm 68:20, "Blessed be the Lord," now re-echoes from all the world, "Blessed be Elohim." The world is overcome by the church of Jahve, and that not merely in outward form, but spiritually. The taking up of all the kingdoms of the world into the kingdom of God, this the great theme of the Apocalypse, is also after all the theme of this Psalm. The first half closed with Jahve's triumphant ascension, the second closes with the results of His victory and triumph, which embrace the world of peoples.

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