Psalm 69:6
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.
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(6) Let not them.—We again meet the feeling so common in the Psalms (see especially Psalm 44:17-22), that the sufferings of any member of Israel must bring dishonour on the name of Jehovah and on His religion. Here, however, it seems to touch a higher chord of feeling and to approach the true Churchmanship—the esprit de corps of the Kingdom of Heaven—which attaches a greater heinousness to the sin because it may harm the brethren. Not only would Jehovah be dishonoured in the sight of the heathen if He seemed to be disregarding His part of the covenant, but for an Israelite to have violated his part brought shame on all Israel.

Psalm 69:6. Let not them that wait on thee — The truly pious, who believe thy promises, and look to thee for the fulfilment of them; who are conscious of their own weakness, and of the insufficiency of all human aid, and therefore apply to thee, and trust in thee for the help they want; be ashamed — That is, frustrated of their just and reasonable expectations, which would make them ashamed of their past confidence in thee, and either to look up to thee in future, or to look upon their enemies with assurance, when they shall reproach them for their trust in thee; for my sake — Because of my sad disappointments. For, if they see me forsaken, they will be discouraged by this example; or, let them not hang down their heads for shame to see me, who am thy worshipper, deserted of thee. He was afraid, if God did not appear for him, it would be a discouragement to other pious people, and give their enemies cause to triumph over them; and it was his earnest desire, whatever became of himself, that all the true people of God might retain their confidence and hope in God, and their boldness in his cause, and neither be discouraged in themselves, nor exposed to contempt from others.

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.Let not them that wait on thee - Those who worship thee; those who are thy true friends. True piety is often, in the Scriptures, represented as waiting on the Lord. See Psalm 25:3, Psalm 25:5; Psalm 37:9; Isaiah 40:31.

Be ashamed for my sake - On account of me; or, in consequence of what I do. Let me not be suffered to do anything that would make them ashamed of me, or ashamed to have it known that I belong to their number. I know that I am a sinner; I know that judgments come justly on me; I know that if left to myself I shall fall into sin, and shall dishonor religion; and I pray, therefore, that I may be kept from acting out the depravity of my heart, and bringing dishonor on the cause that I profess to love. No one who knows the evil of his own heart can fail to see the propriety of this prayer; no one who remembers how often people high in the church, and zealous in their professed piety, fall into sin, and disgrace their profession, can help feeling that what has happened to others "may" happen to him also, and that he has need of special prayer, and special grace, that he may go down into the grave at last without having brought dishonor upon religion.

Let not those that seek thee - Another phrase to denote people of true piety - as those who are "seeking" after God; that is, who are desirous of understanding his character, and obtaining his favor.

Be confounded for my sake - Let them not feel "disgraced" in me; let them not feel it a dishonor to have it said that I am one of their number, or that I profess to be united to them.

6. for my sake—literally, "in me," in my confusion and shame. Them that wait on thee, i.e. thy godly people, who rely upon thy promises which thou hast made to all thine in general, and to me in a special manner, wherein they also are concerned.

Ashamed, i.e. frustrated of their just hopes; which will make them ashamed, either to look upon God, or to look upon their enemies, when they shall reproach them for their confidence in God.

For my sake; either,

1. For the sake of my sins last mentioned; let not all good men suffer for my sins. Or,

2. Because of my sad disappointments. For if they see me rejected and forsaken of God, whom they have esteemed a great example of faith, and prayer, and all virtue and piety, they will be exceedingly discouraged by this example; which will tend much to thy dishonour and disservice.

Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake,.... Of their expectation of redemption and salvation by the Messiah, they have been waiting upon the Lord for; when they shall see him in suffering circumstances, and even dead and laid in the grave, without any hope of his rising again; which was the case of the two disciples travelling to Emmaus, Luke 24:19; whose trust in him, and expectation of him, as the Redeemer of Israel, were almost gone. The people of God, and believers in Christ, are described by such that "wait on the Lord"; for the coming of Christ, and salvation by him; who would be in danger of being put to shame and in confusion, when they should see him under the power of death and the grave; wherefore in this petition Christ addresses his divine Father as "the Lord God of hosts", of armies above and below, as God omnipotent; partly to encourage their trust and confidence in him, and partly to encourage his own faith as man, that this petition would be answered;

let not those that seek thee: in the word and ordinances, by prayer and supplication, with all their hearts, in Christ, in whom the Lord is only to be found, and for life and happiness:

be confounded for my sake; that is, through his sufferings and death, as before:

O God of Israel; the covenant God of the spiritual Israel, whom he has chosen, the Messiah redeems, and the Spirit makes Israelites indeed.

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

(h) Do not let my evil entreaty of the enemy be an opportunity for the faithful to fall from you.

6. Let not those that wait on thee be ashamed through me,

O Lord, Jehovah of hosts:

Let not those that seek thee be brought to dishonour through me, O God of Israel.

Cp. Psalm 25:3; Psalm 38:15-16. The divine titles are significant. They appeal to God’s sovereignty and to His relation to His people. Surely, since He has the power to prevent it, He cannot leave the true Israel to be the scorn of its foes, as will happen through me, or, in my case, if I am left to perish unregarded.

Verse 6. - Let not them that wait on thee (or, hope in thee), O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake; or, through me (Revised Version); on my account (Kay) - as they would be if I, although thy faithful worshipper, were delivered into my enemies' hands. Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. One of the many places where the second clause is a simple echo of the first. Psalm 69:6Out of deep distress, the work of his foes, the complaining one cries for help; he thinks upon his sins, which is sufferings bring to his remembrance, but he is also distinctly conscious that he is an object of scorn and hostility for God's sake, and from His mercy he looks for help in accordance with His promises. The waters are said to rush in unto the soul (עד־נפשׁ), when they so press upon the imperilled one that the soul, i.e., the life of the body, more especially the breath, is threatened; cf. Jonah 2:6; Jeremiah 4:10. Waters are also a figure of calamities that come on like a flood and drag one into their vortex, Psalm 18:17; Psalm 32:6; Psalm 124:5, cf. Psalm 66:12; Psalm 88:8, Psalm 88:18; here, however, the figure is cut off in such a way that it conveys the impression of reality expressed in a poetical form, as in Psalm 40, and much the same as in Jonah's psalm. The soft, yielding morass is called יון, and the eddying deep מצוּלה. The Nomen Hophal. מעמד signifies properly a being placed, then a standing-place, or firm standing (lxx ὑπόστασις), like מטּה, that which is stretched out, extension, Isaiah 8:8. שׁבּלת (Ephraimitish סבּלת) is a streaming, a flood, from שׁבל, Arab. sbl, to stream, flow (cf. note on Psalm 58:9). בּוא בּ, to fall into, as in Psalm 66:12, and שׁטף with an accusative, to overflow, as in Psalm 124:4. The complaining one is nearly drowned in consequence of his sinking down, for he has long cried in vain for help: he is wearied by continual crying (יגע בּ, as in Psalm 6:7, Jeremiah 45:3), his throat is parched (נחר from חרר; lxx and Jerome: it is become hoarse), his eyes have failed (Jeremiah 14:6) him, who waits upon his God. The participle מיחל, equal to a relative clause, is, as in 18:51, 1 Kings 14:6, attached to the suffix of the preceding noun (Hitzig). Distinct from this use of the participle without the article is the adverbially qualifying participle in Genesis 3:8; Sol 5:2, cf. חי, 2 Samuel 12:21; 2 Samuel 18:14. There is no necessity for the correction of the text מיּחל (lxx apo' τοῦ elpi'zein me). Concerning the accentuation of רבּוּ vid., on Psalm 38:20. Apart from the words "more than the hairs of my head" (Psalm 40:13), the complaint of the multitude of groundless enemies is just the same as in Psalm 38:20; Psalm 35:19, cf. Psalm 109:3, both in substance and expression. Instead of מצמיתי, my destroyers, the Syriac version has the reading מעצמותי (more numerous than my bones), which is approved by Hupfeld; but to reckon the multitude of the enemy by the number of one's own bones is both devoid of taste and unheard of. Moreover the reading of our text finds support, if it need any, in Lamentations 3:52. The words, "what I have not taken away, I must then restore," are intended by way of example, and perhaps, as also in Jeremiah 15:10, as a proverbial expression: that which I have not done wrong, I must suffer for (cf. Jeremiah 15:10, and the similar complaint in Psalm 35:11). One is tempted to take אז in the sense of "nevertheless" (Ewald), a meaning, however, which it is by no means intended to convey. In this passage it takes the place of זאת (cf. οὕτως for ταῦτα, Matthew 7:12), inasmuch as it gives prominence to the restitution desired, as an inference from a false assumption: then, although I took it not away, stole it not.

The transition from the bewailing of suffering to a confession of sin is like Psalm 40:13. In the undeserved persecution which he endures at the hand of man, he is obliged nevertheless to recognise well-merited chastisement from the side of God. And whilst by אתּה ידעתּ (cf. Psalm 40:10, Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:16; Jeremiah 18:23, and on ל as an exponent of the object, Jeremiah 16:16; Jeremiah 40:2) he does not acknowledge himself to be a sinner after the standard of his own shortsightedness, but of the divine omniscience, he at the same time commends his sinful need, which with self-accusing modesty he calls אוּלת (Psalm 38:6) and אשׁמות (2 Chronicles 28:10), to the mercy of the omniscient One. Should he, the sinner, be abandoned by God to destruction, then all those who are faithful in their intentions towards the Lord would be brought to shame and confusion in him, inasmuch as they would be taunted with this example. קויך designates the godly from the side of the πίστις, and מבקשׁיךa from the side of the ἀγάπη. The multiplied names of God are so many appeals to God's honour, to the truthfulness of His covenant relationship. The person praying here is, it is true, a sinner, but that is no justification of the conduct of men towards him; he is suffering for the Lord's sake, and it is the Lord Himself who is reviled in him. It is upon this he bases his prayer in Psalm 69:8. עליך, for thy sake, as in Psalm 44:23; Jeremiah 15:15. The reproach that he has to bear, and ignominy that has covered his face and made it quite unrecognisable (Psalm 44:16, cf. Psalm 83:17), have totally estranged (Psalm 38:12, cf. Psalm 88:9, Job 19:13-15; Jeremiah 12:6) from him even his own brethren (אחי, parallel word בּני אמּי, as in Psalm 50:20; cf. on the other hand, Genesis 49:8, where the interchange designedly takes another form of expression); for the glow of his zeal (קנאהּ from קנא, according to the Arabic, to be a deep or bright red) for the house of Jahve, viz., for the sanctity of the sanctuary and of the congregation gathered about it (which is never directly called "the house of Jahve" in the Old Testament, vid., Khler on Zechariah 9:8, but here, as in Numbers 12:7; Hosea 8:1, is so called in conjunction with the sanctuary), as also for the honour of His who sits enthroned therein, consumes him, like a fire burning in his bones which incessantly breaks forth and rages all through him (Jeremiah 20:9; Jeremiah 23:9), and therefore all the malice of those who are estranged from God is concentrated upon and against him.

He now goes on to describe how sorrow for the sad condition of the house of God has brought noting but reproach to him (cf. Psalm 109:24.). It is doubtful whether נפשׁי is an alternating subject to ואבכּה (fut. consec. without being apocopated), cf. Jeremiah 13:17, or a more minutely defining accusative as in Isaiah 26:9 (vid., on Psalm 3:5), or whether, together with בּצּום, it forms a circumstantial clause (et flevi dum in jejunio esset anima mea), or even whether it is intended to be taken as an accusative of the object in a pregnant construction ( equals בּכה ושׁפך נפשׁו, Psalm 42:5; 1 Samuel 1:15): I wept away my soul in fasting. Among all these possible renderings, the last is the least probable, and the first, according to Psalm 44:3; Psalm 83:19, by far the most probable, and also that which is assumed by the accentuation.

(Note: The Munach of בצום is a transformation of Dech (just as the Munach of לחרפות is a transformation of Mugrash), in connection with which נקשי might certainly be conceived of even as object (cf. Psalm 26:6); but this after ואבכּה (not ואבכּה), and as being without example, could hardly have entered the minds of the punctuists.)

The reading of the lxx ואענּה, καὶ συνέκαψα (Olshausen, Hupfeld, and Bttcher), is a very natural (Psalm 35:13) exchange of the poetically bold expression for one less choice and less expressive (since ענּה נפשׁ is a phrase of the Pentateuch equivalent to צוּם). The garb of mourning, like the fasting, is an expression of sorrow for public distresses, not, as in Psalm 35:13, of personal condolence; concerning ואתּנה, vid., on Psalm 3:6. On account of this mourning, reproach after reproach comes upon him, and they fling gibes and raillery at him; everywhere, both in the gate, the place where the judges sit and where business is transacted, and also at carousals, he is jeered at and traduced (Lamentations 3:14, cf. Lamentations 5:14; Job 30:9). שׂיח בּ signifies in itself fabulari de... without any bad secondary meaning (cf. Proverbs 6:22, confabulabitur tecum); here it is construed first with a personal and then a neuter subject (cf. Amos 8:3), for in Psalm 69:13 neither הייתי (Job 30:9; Lamentations 3:14) nor אני (Lamentations 3:63) is to be supplied. Psalm 69:14 tells us how he acts in the face of such hatred and scorn; ואני, as in Psalm 109:4, sarcasmis hostium suam opponit in precibus constantiam (Geier). As for himself, his prayer is directed towards Jahve at the present time, when his affliction as a witness for God gives him the assurance that He will be well-pleased to accept it (עת רצון equals בעת רצון, Isaiah 49:8). It is addressed to Him who is at the same time Jahve and Elohim, - the revealed One in connection with the history of redemption, and the absolute One in His exaltation above the world, - on the ground of the greatness and fulness of His mercy: may He then answer him with or in the truth of His salvation, i.e., the infallibility with which His purpose of mercy verifies itself in accordance with the promises given. Thus is Psalm 69:14 to be explained in accordance with the accentuation. According to Isaiah 49:8, it looks as though עת רצון must be drawn to ענני (Hitzig), but Psalm 32:6 sets us right on this point; and the fact that ברב־חסדך is joined to Psalm 69:14 also finds support from Psalm 5:8. But the repetition of the divine name perplexes one, and it may be asked whether or not the accent that divides the verse into its two parts might not more properly stand beside רצון, as in Psalm 32:6 beside מצא; so that Psalm 69:14 runs: Elohim, by virtue of the greatness of Thy mercy hear me, by virtue of the truth of Thy salvation.

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