Psalm 71:3
Be you my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: you have given commandment to save me; for you are my rock and my fortress.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Rock.—Better, cliff (Hebrew selah), to distinguish it from tsûr, above.

71:1-13 David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety. He that was our Help from our birth, ought to be our Hope from our youth. Let none expect ease or comfort from the world. Those who love the Lord, often are hated and persecuted; men wondered at for their principles and conduct; but the Lord has been their strong refuge. The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails.Be thou my strong habitation - Margin, as in Hebrew, "Be thou to me for a rock of habitation." That is, a rock where I may safely make my abode, or to which I may resort and feel safe. In Psalm 31:2, this is, "Be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me." The idea is the same. See the notes at that passage, and compare the notes at Psalm 18:2.

Whereunto I may continually resort - Where I may take refuge at all times, in all circumstances of danger.

Thou hast given commandment to save me - There was some command, or some promise, on which the psalmist relied, or which he felt he might plead as the ground of his appeal. This may refer to some "special" promise or command made to the author of the psalm - and, if the psalm was composed by David, there were many such; or the reference may have been to the general commands or promises made to the people of God as such, which he felt he was at liberty to plead, and which all may plead who are the friends of God. "We" cannot refer, as David could, to any special promise made to "us" as "individuals;" but, in proportion as we have evidence of piety, we can refer to the promises made to alI the people of God, or to all who devote themselves to him, as a reason why he should interpose in our behalf. In this respect the promises made in the Scriptures to the children of God, may be pleaded by us "as if" they were made personally to ourselves, for, if we are his, they are made to us - they are intended for us.

For thou art my rock and my fortress - See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

3. given commandment—literally, "ordained," as in Ps 44:4; 68:28.

rock … fortress—(Ps 18:2).

Commandment; by which he understands God’s purpose and promise, and his providence watching to execute them; all which are as certain and powerful as a command. Be thou my strong habitation,.... This is very appropiately said, when David was driven out of his dwelling place, and palace at Jerusalem, by his son, as Kimchi observes. When God's people have no certain dwelling place, which is sometimes their case, they always find one in the Lord; particularly in his heart's love; for he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, 1 John 4:16; and a strong habitation he is: wherefore he is called a strong rock, a strong hold, a strong tower; he is as a wall of fire around his people, a munition of rocks; his salvation is as walls and bulwarks, and his power as a garrison in which they are kept. The psalmist adds,

whereunto I may continually resort; or "may go into daily" (r), in times of danger and distress, for safety; the name of the Lord being a strong tower, whither the righteous run, and are safe, Proverbs 18:10; and his perfections, his power, faithfulness, lovingkindness, and unchangeableness, being as so many secret chambers, where they may enter into, and hide themselves, till calamities are over, Psalm 57:1; and every day indeed for food, for comfort, for refreshment and pleasure, through communion with him; and God in Christ is always to be come at: Christ is the way of access and acceptance; and through his blood, sacrifice, and righteousness, the believer has boldness to enter into the holiest of all, and go up to the seat of God, the throne of his grace; and even to enter into him himself, who has been the dwelling place of his people in all generations, Psalm 90:1;

thou hast given commandment to save me; either to the ministering angels, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it, comparing it with Psalm 91:11; or rather to his Son, in the council and covenant of grace and peace; when he enjoined him the salvation of his people, which he readily agreed to, and with which David was acquainted, Psalm 40:7; of this command our Lord speaks, John 10:18; and to which he was obedient, Philippians 2:8; it may respect David's salvation from present trouble, and his assurance of it, believing that the Lord had determined it, and by his mighty power would effect it; see Psalm 44:4;

for thou art my rock and my fortress; see Psalm 18:2.

(r) "ut ingrediar jugiter", Pagninus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou {c} hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

(c) You have infinite means and all creatures are at your commandment; therefore show some sign by which I will be delivered.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Be thou my strong habitation] Better as R.V., Be thou to me a rock of habitation. God is called our habitation in Psalm 90:1; and the phrase may be an intentional modification of the words a rock of stronghold in Psalm 31:2. But some Heb. MSS., the LXX, Symm., and Targ., read stronghold here also, and the word mâ‘ ôn (מעון) so closely resembles mâ‘ ôz (מעוז) that the variation is probably due to accident.

thou hast given commandment] Cp. Psalm 44:4; Psalm 68:28. To the three Heb. words rendered whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment correspond two words in Psalm 31:2, meaning for a fortress-house. The curious similarity of the consonants in the Heb. suggests that the reading of the Massoretic Text here is a restoration of partially obliterated or faded letters: and the LXX translators, though they give a different rendering, appear to have found the same reading here as in Psalm 31:2, or a closely similar one. The other Versions agree with the Massoretic Text.

my rock] My cliff: a different word from that in the first line, recalling the ‘cliff’ (sela) where David had been so unexpectedly delivered from Saul (1 Samuel 23:25 ff.). On the metaphors see note on Psalm 18:2.Verse 3. - Be thou my strong Habitation; literally, be thou to me for a Rock of habitation; i.e. a rock upon which I may take up my abode. Whereunto I may continually resort. Exegetical of the preceding clause, habitation" Thou hast given "a rock of commandment to save me. It is in thy counsels that I am to be helped and saved - not left to the will of my enemies (comp. Psalm 68:28). This conviction lies at the root of the psalmist's faith and trust. For thou art my Rock and my Fortress (comp. Psalm 18:2; Psalm 61:2, 3, etc.). We see at once at the very beginning, in the omission of the רצה (Psalm 40:14), that what we have here before us is a fragment of Psalm 40, and perhaps a fragment that only accidentally came to have an independent existence. The להצּילני, which was under the government of רצה, now belongs to הוּשׁה, and the construction is without example elsewhere. In Psalm 70:3 ( equals Psalm 40:15) יחד and לספּותהּ are given up entirely; the original is more full-toned and soaring. Instead of ישׁמּוּ, torpescant, Psalm 70:4 has ישׁוּבוּ, recedant (as in Psalm 6:11, cf. Psalm 9:18), which is all the more flat for coming after יסגו אחור. In Psalm 70:4, after ויאמרים the לי, which cannot here (cf. on the contrary, Psalm 35:21) be dispensed with, is wanting.
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