Psalm 70:1
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A.M. 2981. — B.C. 1023.

This Psalm is copied almost word for word from the 40th, from Psalm 40:13 to the end; and, perhaps, it is for this reason entitled, A Psalm to bring to remembrance. For it may sometimes be of use to pray over again the prayers which we have formerly made to God on like occasions. David here prays that God would send help to him, shame to his enemies, and joy to his friends. The reader will find in the notes on Psalms 40 th all that is necessary for the elucidation of this Psalm. 70:1-5 The speedy destruction of the wicked, and the preservation of the godly. - This psalm is almost the same as the last five verses of #Ps 40". While here we behold Jesus Christ set forth in poverty and distress, we also see him denouncing just and fearful punishment on his Jewish, heathen, and antichristian enemies; and pleading for the joy and happiness of his friends, to his Father's honour. Let us apply these things to our own troubled circumstances, and in a believing manner bring them, and the sinful causes thereof, to our remembrance. Urgent trials should always awake fervent prayers.Make haste - These words are supplied by our translators. The first word in Psalm 40:13, rendered "be pleased," is here omitted in the original. The psalm in the Hebrew begins abruptly - "O God, to deliver me," - leaving the impression that this is a fragment - a fragment commencing without even the care necessary to make the grammatical construction complete.

O God - Hebrew, אלהים 'Elohiym. In the corresponding place in Psalm 40:13 the word is "Yahweh." Why the change was made is unknown. The remainder of the verse is the same as in Psalm 40.


Ps 70:1-5. This corresponds to [606]Ps 40:13-17 with a very few variations, as "turn back" (Ps 70:3) for "desolate," and "make haste unto me" (Ps 70:5) for "thinketh upon me." It forms a suitable appendix to the preceding, and is called "a Psalm to bring to remembrance," as the thirty-eighth [see on [607]Ps 38:1, title].

1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.

2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.

4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.

Psalm 70:1

This is the second Psalm which is a repetition of another, the former being Psalm 53:1-6, which was a rehearsal of Psalm 14:1-7. The present differs from Psalm 40:13-17 at the outset, for that begins with, "Be pleased," and this, in our version, more urgently with, "Make haste;" or, as in the Hebrew, with an abrupt and broken cry, "O God, to deliver me; O Lord, to help me hasten." It is not forbidden us, in hours of dire distress, to ask for speed on God's part in his coming to rescue us. The only other difference between this and Psalm 40:13, is the putting of Elohim in the beginning of the verse for Jehovah, but why this is done, we know not; perhaps, the guesses of the critics are correct, but perhaps they are not. As we have the words of this Psalm twice in the letter, let them be doubly with us in spirit. It is most meet that we should day by day cry to God for deliverance and help; our frailty and our many dangers render this a perpetual necessity.

Psalm 70:2

Here the words, "together," and, "to destroy it," which occur in Psalm 40 are omitted: a man in haste uses no more words than are actually necessary. His enemies desired to put his faith to shame, and he eagerly entreats that they may be disappointed, and themselves covered with confusion. It shall certainly be so; if not sooner, yet at that dread day When the wicked shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt. "Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt;" turned back and driven back are merely the variations of the translators, When men labour to turn others back from the right road, it is God's retaliation to drive them back from the point they are aiming at.

Psalm 70:3

"Let them be turned back." This is a milder term than that used in Psalm 40, where he cries, "let them be desolate." Had growing years matured and mellowed the Psalmist's spirit? To be "turned back," however, may come to the same thing as to be "desolate;" disappointed malice is the nearest akin to desolation that can well be conceived. "For a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha." They thought to shame the godly, but it was their shame, and shall be their shame for ever. How fond men are of taunts, and if they are meaningless "Ahas," more like animal cries than human words, it matters nothing, so long as they are a vent for scorn and sting the victim. Rest assured, the enemies of Christ and his people shall have wages for their work; they shall be paid in their own coin; they loved scoffing, and they shall be filled with it - yea, they shall become a proverb and a by-word for ever.

Psalm 70:4

Anger against enemies must not make us forget our friends, for it is better to preserve a single citizen of Zion, than to kill a thousand enemies. "Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee." All true worshippers, though as yet in the humble ranks of seekers, shall have cause for joy. Even though the seeking commence in darkness, it shall bring light with it. "And let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified" Those who have tasted divine grace, and are therefore, wedded to it, are a somewhat more advanced race, and these shall not only feel joy, but shall with holy constancy and perseverance tell abroad their joy, and call upon men to glorify God. The doxology, "Let the Lord's name be magnified," is infinitely more manly and ennobling than the dog's bark of "Aha, aha."

Psalm 70:5

continued...THE ARGUMENT

The contents of this Psalm are almost all to be found Psalm 40:13, &c. Nor is it strange that they are here repeated, because the same or like occasions were oft repeated; and David’s returning distresses might well make him sometimes repeat the same words. And as these things were joined with many other passages in Psalm 40, so they are distinctly repeated, as a form of prayer, which himself or others might use in such a condition. What is necessary for the understanding of this Psalm, the reader may find See Poole "Psalm 40:1", etc.

David prayeth to God for speedy help, to the shame of his enemies, Psalm 70:1-3, the joy of the godly, and the magnifying of his name, Psalm 70:4,5.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Make haste, O God, to deliver me,.... The phrase, "make haste", is supplied from the following clause in Psalm 40:13; it is, "be pleased, O Lord", or "Jehovah". The Targum renders it, "to deliver us"; very wrongly;

make haste to help me, O Lord; See Gill on Psalm 22:19.

<A Psalm of David, to bring {a} to remembrance.>> Make {b} haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.

(a) Which might put him in remembrance of his deliverance.

(b) He teaches us to be earnest in prayer even though God seems to delay: for at his time he will hear us.

1. Make haste] The words, as the italics indicate, are not in the Hebrew; and as the text stands, we must either supply make haste from the next line, or render according to the Heb. idiom found in Isaiah 38:20, God is ready to deliver me. But probably the first word of the verse as it stands in Psalm 40:13 should be restored, Be pleased. This word would be a link of connexion with Psalm 69:13, in a time when thou pleasest. make haste to help me] Cp. Psalm 22:19; Psalm 38:22.Verse 1. - Make haste, O God, to deliver me. In Psalm 40:13 we find, "Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;" and this would seem to be the right way of supplying the ellipse here. Make haste to help me, O Lord. The description of the suffering has reached its climax in Psalm 69:22, at which the wrath of the persecuted one flames up and bursts forth in imprecations. The first imprecation joins itself upon Psalm 69:22. They have given the sufferer gall and vinegar; therefore their table, which was abundantly supplied, is to be turned into a snare to them, from which they shall not be able to escape, and that לפניהם, in the very midst of their banqueting, whilst the table stands spread out before them (Ezekiel 23:41). שׁלומים (collateral form of שׁלמים) is the name given to them as being carnally secure; the word signifies the peaceable or secure in a good (Psalm 55:21) and in a bad sense. Destruction is to overtake them suddenly, "when they say: Peace and safety" (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The lxx erroneously renders: καὶ εἰς ἀνταπόδοσιν equals וּלשׁלּוּמים. The association of ideas in Psalm 69:24 is transparent. With their eyes they have feasted themselves upon the sufferer, and in the strength of their loins they have ill-treated him. These eyes with their bloodthirsty malignant looks are to grow blind. These loins full of defiant self-confidence are to shake (המעד, imperat. Hiph. like הרחק, Job 13:21, from המעיד, for which in Ezekiel 29:7, and perhaps also in Daniel 11:14, we find העמיד). Further: God is to pour out His wrath upon them (Psalm 79:6; Hosea 5:10; Jeremiah 10:25), i.e., let loose against them the cosmical forces of destruction existing originally in His nature. זעמּך has the Dagesh in order to distinguish it in pronunciation from זעמך. In Psalm 69:26 טירה (from טוּר, to encircle) is a designation of an encamping or dwelling-place (lxx ἔπαυλις) taken from the circular encampments (Arabic ṣı̂rât, ṣirât, and dwâr, duâr) of the nomads (Genesis 25:16). The laying waste and desolation of his own house is the most fearful of all misfortunes to the Semite (Job, note to Psalm 18:15). The poet derives the justification of such fearful imprecations from the fact that they persecute him, who is besides smitten of God. God has smitten him on account of his sins, and that by having placed him in the midst of a time in which he must be consumed with zeal and solicitude for the house of God. The suffering decreed for him by God is therefore at one and the same time suffering as a chastisement and as a witnessing for God; and they heighten this suffering by every means in their power, not manifesting any pity for him or any indulgence, but imputing to him sins that he has not committed, and requiting him with deadly hatred for benefits for which they owed him thanks.

There are also some others, although but few, who share this martyrdom with him. The psalmist calls them, as he looks up to Jahve, חלליך, Thy fatally smitten ones; they are those to whom God has appointed that they should bear within themselves a pierced or wounded heart (vid., Psalm 109:22, cf. Jeremiah 8:18) in the face of such a godless age. Of the deep grief (אל, as in Psalm 2:7) of these do they tell, viz., with self-righteous, self-blinded mockery (cf. the Talmudic phrase ספר בלשׁון הרע or ספר לשׁון הרע, of evil report or slander). The lxx and Syriac render יוסיפוּ (προσέθηκαν): they add to the anguish; the Targum, Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome follow the traditional text. Let God therefore, by the complete withdrawal of His grace, suffer them to fall from one sin into another - this is the meaning of the da culpam super culpam eorum - in order that accumulated judgment may correspond to the accumulated guilt (Jeremiah 16:18). Let the entrance into God's righteousness, i.e., His justifying and sanctifying grace, be denied to them for ever. Let them be blotted out of ספר חיּים (Exodus 32:32, cf. Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1), that is to say, struck out of the list of the living, and that of the living in this present world; for it is only in the New Testament that we meet with the Book of Life as a list of the names of the heirs of the ζωὴ αἰώνιος. According to the conception both of the Old and of the New Testament the צדיקים are the heirs of life. Therefore Psalm 69:29 wishes that they may not be written by the side of the righteous, who, according to Habakkuk 2:4, "live," i.e., are preserved, by their faith. With ואני the poet contrasts himself, as in Psalm 40:18, with those deserving of execration. They are now on high, but in order to be brought low; he is miserable and full of poignant pain, but in order to be exalted; God's salvation will remove him from his enemies on to a height that is too steep for them (Psalm 59:2; Psalm 91:14). Then will he praise (הלּל) and magnify (גּדּל) the Name of God with song and thankful confession. And such spiritual תּודה, such thank-offering of the heart, is more pleasing to God than an ox, a bullock, i.e., a young ox ( equals פּר השּׁור, an ox-bullock, Judges 6:25, according to Ges. 113), one having horns and a cloven hoof (Ges. 53, 2). The attributives do not denote the rough material animal nature (Hengstenberg), but their legal qualifications for being sacrificed. מקרין is the name for the young ox as not being under three years old (cf. 1 Samuel 1:24, lxx ἐν μόσχῳ τριετίζοντι); מפריס as belonging to the clean four-footed animals, viz., those that are cloven-footed and chew the cud, Leviticus 11. Even the most stately, full-grown, clean animal that may be offered as a sacrifice stands in the sight of Jahve very far below the sacrifice of grateful praise coming from the heart.

When now the patient sufferers (ענוים) united with the poet by community of affliction shall see how he offers the sacrifice of thankful confession, they will rejoice. ראוּ is a hypothetical preterite; it is neither וראוּ (perf. consec.), nor יראוּ (Psalm 40:4; Psalm 52:8; Psalm 107:42; Job 22:19). The declaration conveying information to be expected in Psalm 69:33 after the Waw apodoseos changes into an apostrophe of the "seekers of Elohim:" their heart shall revive, for, as they have suffered in company with him who is now delivered, they shall now also refresh themselves with him. We are at once reminded of Psalm 22:27, where this is as it were the exhortation of the entertainer at the thank-offering meal. It would be rash to read שׁמע in Psalm 69:23, after Psalm 22:25, instead of שׁמע (Olshausen); the one object in that passage is here generalized: Jahve is attentive to the needy, and doth not despise His bound ones (Psalm 107:10), but, on the contrary, He takes an interest in them and helps them. Starting from this proposition, which is the clear gain of that which has been experienced, the view of the poet widens into the prophetic prospect of the bringing back of Israel out of the Exile into the Land of Promise. In the face of this fact of redemption of the future he calls upon (cf. Isaiah 44:23) all created things to give praise to God, who will bring about the salvation of Zion, will build again the cities of Judah, and restore the land, freed from its desolation, to the young God-fearing generation, the children of the servants of God among the exiles. The feminine suffixes refer to ערי (cf. Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 22:6 Chethb). The tenor of Isaiah 65:9 is similar. If the Psalm were written by David, the closing turn from Psalm 69:23 onwards might be more difficult of comprehension than Psalm 14:7; Psalm 51: If, however, it is by Jeremiah, then we do not need to persuade ourselves that it is to be understood not of restoration and re-peopling, but of continuance and completion (Hofmann and Kurtz). Jeremiah 54ed to experience the catastrophe he foretold; but the nearer it came to the time, the more comforting were the words with which he predicted the termination of the Exile and the restoration of Israel. Jeremiah 34:7 shows us how natural to him, and to him in particular, was the distinction between Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. The predictions in Jeremiah 32:1, which sound so in accord with Psalm 69:36., belong to the time of the second siege. Jerusalem was not yet fallen; the strong places of the land, however, already lay in ruins.

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