Verse 1. - I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication. "With my voice" means aloud, and therefore earnestly and pressingly (comp. Psalm 3:4; Psalm 27:7; Psalm 64:1; Psalm 77:1; Psalm 130:1, 2, etc.).
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
Verse 2. - I poured out my complaint before him; I showed before him my trouble (comp. Psalm 140, 141, and 143.).
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
Verse 3. - When my spirit was overwhelmed within me; or, "fainted within me." Then thou knewest my path. I had not to tell thee because thou didst not know, but to relieve my own feelings. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me (comp. Psalm 140:5; Psalm 141:9, 10).
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
Verse 4. - I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me. I looked about, i.e., for human aid, but there was no one who would so much as know me. I was utterly deserted in my trouble. Refuge failed me. I had nowhere to flee unto - no safe and sure abiding-place. The "cave of Adullam" was but a miserable spot to hide in. No man cared for my soul; or, "looked after my soul" (comp. Jeremiah 30:17).
I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Verse 5. - I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my Refuge. When men's fathers and mothers forsake them, the Lord taketh them up (Psalm 27:10). David looked to God as a sure Refuge at all times (Psalm 9:9; Psalm 18:1, 2; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 59:9, 16, 17). And my Portion in the land of the living; or, "my inheritance" (comp. Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26).
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Verse 6. - Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low (comp. Psalm 79:8; and see also Deuteronomy 28:43; Judges 6:6; Psalm 116:6). In the cave of Adullam David had but four hundred outlaws to defend him against Saul, who was at the head of all the thousands of Israel (1 Samuel 22:2). Deliver me from my persecutors. Saul, Doeg, the Ziphites, and the armed bands with whom Saul "hunted David in the mountains" (1 Samuel 26:20). For they are stronger than I; or, "too strong for me."
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
Verse 7. - Bring my soul out of prison. The word "prison" is used symbolically, as a metaphor for trouble and distress (comp. Psalm 88:8; Psalm 107:10-14). That I may praise thy Name; or, "that men may praise thy Name." David's deliverance from his enemies would cause the godly generally to "praise the Lord." The righteous shall compass me about; rather, in me shall the righteous triumph (Kay, Cheyne). Viewing my cause as their own, they will glory in my deliverance (comp. Psalm 35:27; Psalm 40:16). For thou shalt deal bountifully with me; i.e. thou writ assuredly "hear my cry" and "deliver me" (see the preceding verse).