psalms 20 commentary

Here is no boasting of former victories, nor of man’s bravery and strength, nor of a captain’s skill. Many an army equipped with the most advanced weapons of the day has fallen before far inferior forces, because it was the will of God. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. So certain was he now of this that he could speak of it as if it were already done. On the sides of the frame hung the war-bow, in its case; a large quiver with arrows and darts had commonly a particular sheath. They pray that the Lord would defend the king in the day of trouble; that the name of the God of Jacob would defend him; that he would send him help from the sanctuary, and strengthen him out of Zion; that he would remember his offerings and accept his burnt sacrifice; that he would grant him according to his own heart, and fulfill all his counsel. Upon the axle stood a light frame, open behind, and floored for the warrior and his charioteer, who both stood within. In this Psalm there are the following parts: - I. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Psalms 20:2 Context 1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) If it was intended to be employed in public service, it was doubtless to be sung by alternate choirs, representing the people and the king. "[13] The evident reference to that event, implicit in these words, also strongly favors the Davidic authorship of the psalm, concerning which Rawlinson said, "There is no reason to doubt the Davidic authorship, asserted in the title and admitted by most critics."[14]. This, according to the view given in the introduction, is the response of the king. You can read through all of Psalms 20 below.Click the verse number to read commentary, definitions, meanings, and notesfor that particular Psalms 20 verse. (a) the people, Psalm 20:5, latter clause; expressing a desire for his success and triumph, “The Lord fulfil all thy petitions.”, (b) the king, Psalm 20:6; expressing confidence of success from the observed zeal and cooperation of the people: “Now know I that the Lord sayeth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.”. Then they call, in joyful exultation and triumph, on God as the great King over all, and supplicate his mercy and favor, Psalm 20:9. Copyright StatementJames Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. It was not in their own strength, nor was it to promote the purposes of conquest and the ends of ambition; it was that God might be honored, and it was with confidence of success derived from his anticipated aid. The word occurs often in the Scriptures, and is sometimes rendered offering, and sometimes oblation. They consisted of “a light pole suspended between and on the withers of a pair of horses, the after end resting on a light axle tree, with two low wheels. As Baigent accurately noted, these banners, "Are a reference to tribal standards displayed when camping or marching."[10]. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. It was also true of David. It would seem, however, from the psalm, that it was composed on some occasion when the king was about going to war, and that it was designed to be used by the people of the nation, and by the king and his hosts mustered for war, as expressing mutually their wishes in regard to the result, and their confidence in each other and in God. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. The second strophe, Psalm 20:5 (latter part), and Psalm 20:6. Psalm 21 – The Joyful King The title of this psalm is the same as several others: To the Chief Musician.A Psalm of David. A benediction of the people for their king, ver. general chorus of all, Psalm 20:7-9. "They are bowed down and fallen ... we are ... upright" (Psalms 20:8). Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. May the Lord grant all your requests. See the note at Psalm 2:6. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! It is a liturgical hymn used ceremonially upon the occasion of a king's coronation, or upon the occasion of his going into battle. The word salvation here means deliverance; to wit, from the anticipated danger. (John 13:18) Psalms 45:6 ) א ל מ נ … Cheyne attempted to date this Psalm in the times of Simon Maccabaeus. Psalms 20 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary provides notes on all 66 books of the Bible, and contain more than 7,000 pages of material Verse 9 3. Alas, it is the destiny of every child of God to confront the day of trouble. The name of the God of Jacob - The word name is often put in the Scriptures for the person himself; and hence, this is equivalent to saying, “May the God of Jacob defend thee.” See Psalm 5:11; Psalm 9:10; Psalm 44:5; Psalm 54:1; Exodus 23:21. The connection and the parallelism demand this interpretation, for to God only is this prayer addressed. Or if it was not designed to be used by the people actually, it was intended to be a poetic expression of the real feelings of the king and the people in regard to the enterprise in which he was embarked. Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will make mention of Jehovah our God. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? They are brought down and fallen - That is, those who trust in chariots and horses. It conveys also the notion of reducing to ashes; perhaps from the fact that the victim which had been fattened for sacrifice was reduced to ashes; or, as Gesenius supposes (Lexicon, see דשׁן deshen ), because “ashes were used by the ancients for fattening, that is, manuring the soil.” The prayer here seems to be that God would “pronounce the burnt-offering fat;” that is, that he would regard it favorably, or would accept it. This proves, also, that a sacrifice had been made with a view to propitiate the divine favor in regard to the expedition which had been undertaken; that is, a solemn act of devotion, according to the manner of worship which then obtained, had been performed with a view to secure the divine favor and protection. "Commentary on Psalms 20:4". They were usually very simple. I" and "we,"[5] the first person plural, and the first person singular and the first person plural pronouns appearing in Psalms 20:5,6,7. The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble - According to the view expressed in the introduction to the psalm, this is the language of the people praying for their king, or expressing the hope that he would be delivered from trouble, and would be successful in what he had undertaken, in the prosecution of a war apparently of defense. The psalm, too, is a model for us to imitate when we embark in any great and arduous enterprise. 20:1-9 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. Literally, “with the strengths of salvation.” The answer to the prayer will be manifest in the strength or power put forth by him to save. From the sanctuary - From the tabernacle, or the holy place where God was worshipped, and where he was supposed to reside, Exodus 28:43; Exodus 29:30; Exodus 35:19; Exodus 39:1. On the meaning of the phrase in the title, “To the chief Musician,” see the note at the title to Psalm 4:1-8. The name of the God of Jacob set thee up on high; And in the name of our God we will set up our banners; The first person plural pronoun in Psalms 20:5 shows that it is the voice of the people who are vocalizing this petition in the sanctuary itself upon behalf of their king. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, "Help from the sanctuary ... out of Zion", "Remember all thy offerings ... accept thy burnt-sacrifice", "They are bowed down and fallen ... we are ... upright", "Save, Jehovah: Let the King answer us when we call. Whatever instrumentality we may employ, we will remember always that our hope is in God, and that he only can give success to our arms. The Hebrew word - דשׁן dâshên - means properly to make fat, or marrowy, Proverbs 15:30; to pronounce or regard as fat; to be fat or satiated, or abundantly satisfied, Proverbs 13:4. Psalms 8:6 - "Thou hast put all things under his feet" (Hebrews 2:6-10) Psalms 41:9 - "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." "[8] The word "Selah" inserted at this place in the psalm may be a reference to a pause in the ceremonies during which sacrifices were actually offered. One name is … (b) the king, Psalm 20:5, first part. The meaning is, We will not forget that our reliance is not on armies, but on God, the living God. Dummelow favored the LLX rendition of this, which has, "O Lord, save the king: and answer us when we call. "We will triumph in thy salvation" (Psalms 20:5). Of the precise occasion on which it was composed nothing can be known with certainty, for there is no historical statement on the point, and there is nothing in the psalm to indicate it. The word” trouble” here used would seem to imply that he was beset with difficulties and dangers; perhaps, that he was surrounded by foes. In the beginning Psalm 20:1-4 there is an earnest “desire” that God would hear the suppliant in the day of trouble; in the close there is an earnest “prayer” to him from all the people that he “would” thus bear. Alas, it is the destiny of every child of God to confront the day of trouble. Commentary for Psalms 20 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. The use of horses in war was early known in the world, for we find mention of them in the earliest periods of history. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. And strengthen thee - Margin, as in Hebrew, support thee. The ancient superscription carries the notation, "A Psalm of David." on Adam Clarke Commentary Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar It is called the Book of Psalms; so it is quoted by St. Peter, Acts 1:20. According to this idea, and as seems to me to be manifest on the face of the psalm, it is composed of alternate parts as if to be used by the people, and by the king and his followers, in alternate responses, closing with a chorus to be used by all. Even the greatest of … Regarding the date of the Psalm. This Syrian war was the occasion of his adultery with Bathsheba and of his heartless murder of her husband Uriah. And fulfil all thy counsel - All that thou hast designed or undertaken in the matter; that is, may he enable thee to execute thy purpose. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. Jacob was the one of the patriarchs from whom, after his other name, the Hebrew people derived their name Israel, and the word seems here to be used with reference to the people rather than to the ancestor. In the beginning Psalm 20:1-4 there is an earnest “desire” that God would hear the suppliant in the day of trouble; in the close there is an earnest “prayer” to him from all … The word here employed occurs in the Psalms only in the following places: Psalm 20:3; Psalm 40:6; Psalm 96:8; where it is rendered offering and offerings; Psalm 45:12, rendered gift; Psalm 72:10, rendered presents; and Psalm 141:2, rendered sacrifice. This may be viewed as occurring shortly after the interval during which the sacrifice had been offered; "And the speaker's response of confidence issues in the form of a prophetic oracle, in which the use of the prophetic perfect tense gives the necessary divine assurance to the king and the worshippers."[11]. They had manifested such zeal in the cause, and they had offered so earnest petitions, that he could not doubt that God would smile favorably on the undertaking, and would grant success. All other rights reserved. David was a martial May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zi… And some in horses - Some in cavalry, commonly a very material reliance in war. The example is one which suggests the propriety of always entering upon any enterprise by solemn acts of worship, or by supplicating the divine blessing; that is, by acknowledging our dependence on God, and asking his guidance and his protecting care. Compare Isaiah 44:2. And in the name of our God - This indicates a sense of dependence on God, and also that the enterprise undertaken was in order to promote his honor and glory. Drawing on over 20 years of study in the book of Psalms, Dr. Gerald H. Wilson reveals the links between the Bible and our present times. Then they see their enemies fallen and subdued, while their armies stand upright and firm, Psalm 20:8. You can find the best commentary on Psalms for you using the tools on the right side. "Jehovah answer thee in the day of trouble. A Psalm of David. We will rejoice in thy salvation - According to the idea of the psalm suggested in the introduction, this is a response of the king and those associated with him in going forth to battle. Furthermore, "The reference to the army of Israel as unequipped with cavalry and chariots (Psalms 20:7) favors the early date. It would seem that the victory prayed for and Never should we look for success unless our undertaking has been preceded by prayer; and when our best preparations have been made, our hope of success is not primarily and mainly in them, but only in God. Military standards, however, were early used (compare Numbers 1:52; Numbers 2:2-3, Numbers 2:10, Numbers 2:18, Numbers 2:25; Numbers 10:14, Numbers 10:25), and indeed were necessary whenever armies were mustered for war, For the forms of ancient standards, see the article in Kitto‘s Cyclopaedia of the Bible, “Standards.”. It expresses the joy which they would have in the expected deliverance from danger, and their conviction that through his strength they would be able to obtain it. This, according to the view suggested in the introduction, is the response of the people, expressing their desire that the king might be successful in what he had undertaken, and that the prayers which had been offered for success might be answered. Of his right hand - The right hand is the instrument by which mainly we execute our purposes; and by constant use it becomes in fact more fully developed, and is stronger than the left band. James M. Hamilton provides a fresh translation and canonical interpretation of the Psalms. As such he is invoked here; and the prayer is, that the Great Protector of the Hebrew people would now defend the king in the dangers which beset him, and in the enterprise which he had undertaken. The prayer in Psalm 20:1-5breathes self-distrust and confidence in Jehovah, the temper which brings victory, not only to Israel, but to all fighters for God. This is the language of exultation and triumph in God; of joyful trust in him. This psalm purports to be “A Psalm of David,” nor is there any reason to doubt that he wrote it. The whole psalm, therefore, is an expression of a strong confidence in God; of a sense of the most complete dependence on him; and of that assurance of success which often comes into the soul, in an important and difficult undertaking, when we have committed the whole cause to God. The phrase implies that God would interpose to save them; it expresses alike their confidence in that, and the fact that such a deliverance would fill their hearts with joy and rejoicing. In similar circumstances we approach God, not by an offering which we make, whether bloody or bloodless, but through the one great sacrifice made by the Redeemer on the cross for the sins of the world. "We will set up our banners" (Psalms 20:5). The word means the same as defend him, for the idea is that of being set on a high place, a tower, a mountain, a lofty rock, where his enemies could not reach or assail him. At that moment the people lift up the voice of sympathy and of encouragement, and pray that those sacrifices might be accepted, and that he might find the deliverance which he had desired. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. Save, Lord - “Yahweh, save.” This is still an earnest prayer. ", Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. There is no king whatever in the whole history of Israel whose times fit the situation that surfaces in this psalm, except those of King David. Hence, it is used to denote “strength.” See Exodus 15:6; Judges 5:26; see Psalm 17:7, note; Psalm 18:35, note. “They “are” brought down.” He sees them in anticipation prostrate and subdued; he goes forth to war with the certainty on his mind that this would occur. With the possible exception of Absalom's rebellion, this was perhaps the most terrible trouble David ever faced. These furnished great advantages in war, by the speed with which they could be driven against an enemy, and by the facilities in fighting from them. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble -, Grant thee according to thine own heart -, Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed -, But we will remember the name of the Lord our God -, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. The Lord fulfil all thy petitions - The prayers offered in connection with the sacrifice referred to in Psalm 20:3 (compare Psalm 20:4). It is stated by Rawlinson that this "conjecture is probable."[6]. But we will remember the name of the Lord our God - That is, we will remember God - the name, as before remarked, often being used to denote the person. The desire of the blessing goes forth in the form of prayer, for God only can grant the objects of our desire. "In the day of trouble" ( Psalms 20:1 ). These offerings were designed especially for the expiation of sin, and for thus securing the divine favor. So the Hebrew. The idea is, such help as he needed; such as would make him safe. It expresses his confident assurance of success from the interest which the people had expressed in the enterprise, as referred to in the previous verses, and from the earnestness of their prayers in his behalf and in behalf of the enterprise. (Psalms 20:7). And accept - Margin, turn to ashes, or make fat. Biblical examples of this are the armies of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and that of Sennacherib before the walls of Jerusalem, which "melted like snow in the glance of the Lord," as stated in Byron's immortal poem. But we are risen, and stand upright - That is, he sees this in anticipation. As noted above, this reference to Israel's not having chariots and horses is applicable only to the times prior to Solomon who vastly multiplied such instruments of ancient warfare. Compare the note at Psalm 2:2. The word means an offering of any kind or anything that is presented to God, except a bloody sacrifice - anything offered as an expression of thankfulness, or with a view to obtain his favor. "[15] However, we prefer the ASV, especially when the word "King" is capitalized, thus recognizing the Lord as the true King of Israel. "Help from the sanctuary ... out of Zion" (Psalms 20:2). 1983-1999. This means merely that the enemy shall be defeated and humiliated and that Israel shall be triumphant and exalted. Remember all thy offerings - On the meaning of the word here used, see the note at Isaiah 1:13, where it is rendered oblations. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". [3] However, the use of the word "king" refutes such a supposition, because Simon Maccabaeus was never, in any sense, a king. Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed - Saveth, or will save, the king, who had been anointed, or consecrated by anointing to that office. The word rendered chariots - רכב rekeb - means properly riding, and then a vehicle for “riding,” a wagon, a chariot. It was John Calvin's opinion that, "Under the figure of the temporal kingdom,"[1] God here laid down the principle reiterated in the New Testament to the effect that public prayers should be offered for kings, rulers, and other persons invested with high authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). He is certain of success and triumph. The word rendered “brought down” - כרע kâra‛ - means “to bend,” “to bow” (as the knees); and then it refers to one who bows down before an enemy, that is, one who is subdued, Isaiah 10:4; Isaiah 65:12; Psalm 72:9; Psalm 78:31. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. He will hear him from his holy heaven - Margin, “from the heaven of his holiness.” So the Hebrew. The first person plural pronoun in Psalms 20:5 shows that it is the voice of the people who are vocalizing this petition in the sanctuary itself upon behalf of their king. Baigent pointed out that this Psalm is still used ceremonially in prayers for the Queen of England in Anglican services.[2]. The use of the word in this place proves that such offerings had been made to God by him who was about to go forth to the war; and the prayer of the people here is that God would remember all those offerings; that is, that he would grant the blessing which he who had offered them had sought to obtain. The occasion that prompted the writing of this psalm is supposed to have been that of David's start of a war against Syria, at some considerable time after the return of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem by King David. "Commentary on Psalms 20:4". Selah. Even the greatest of men must be much in prayer. To the choirmaster. Again, all the people take up the vocal declamation of this psalm in the last three verses. This indicates that the ark of the covenant had now been transferred to Jerusalem, an event which is described in 2 Samuel 6:12-19. Psalms 109:20 - Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord , And of those who speak evil against my soul. Each nation has its own standard; but it is difficult to determine what precisely was the form of the standards used among the ancient Hebrews. Grant thee according to thine own heart - According to thy wishes; according to the desires of thy heart. Confident as they are of success and triumph, yet they do not forget their dependence on God; they do not forget that victory must come from his hand. They who trusted in horses and in chariots would be overcome; they who trusted in God alone would triumph. Send thee help - Margin, thy help. This is put in strong contrast with others, who relied, some on their chariots, and some on their horses, while “they” relied alone on God. We will set up our banners - We will erect our standards; or, as we should say, we will unfurl our flag. The prayer here is, that God would accept those offerings, and hear those supplications, and would now send the desired help from the sanctuary where he resided; that is, that he would grant his protection and aid. Discussion for Psalms 20 Click here to view What Do You Think of Psalms 20? "[4] After the times of Solomon, Israel possessed many chariots and horses. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Here, too, it would seem that he had been worshipped, and his aid implored, in view of this expedition; here the royal psalmist had sought to secure the divine favor by the presentation of appropriate sacrifices and offerings Psalm 20:3. "In the Bible, assurance never breeds complacency, but rather offers grounds for urgent prayer and calling upon God to save. Bibliography InformationBarnes, Albert. The point or the moment of the psalm is when those sacrifices had been offered, and when he was about to embark on his enterprise. Psalm 20:7-9. The prophecy was true, all right, and victory did come; but the people did not neglect to continue their crying out to God in supplication and prayers. "Men who put their trust in chariots, horses and weapons of war and do not rely on the name of the Lord will surely be brought down."[12]. In this view, the use of the second person in Psalms 20:1-5 is not unnatural. 1870. In Persia, the chariots, elevated upon wheels of considerable diameter, had four horses abreast; and in early ages, there were occasionally hooks or scythes attached to the axles.” - Kitto, “Cyclo.” In early ages these constituted a main reliance in determining the result of a battle. Hear us when we call - As we now call on him; its we shall call on him in the day of battle. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. "[16] The great assurance of Psalms 20:8, indicated by the use of the prophetic perfect tense, suggests that the war is already over and that victory has been won; but that was not the case. "Fulfill all thy counsel" (Psalms 20:4). "Remember all thy offerings ... accept thy burnt-sacrifice" (Psalms 20:3). It logically connects with the previous one, Psalm 20. Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary Psalms 9:20 Psalms 9:19 Psalms 9 Psalms 10:1 Put them in fear, O Lord ; Let the nations know that they are but men. This psalm is a prayer, and the next a thanksgiving, for the king. As far as we can understand the passage, it really makes no difference which it means. He is here invoked as the supreme monarch. This is, therefore, a patriotic and loyal psalm, full of confidence in the king as he starts on his expedition, full of desire for his success, and full of confidence in God; expressing union of heart between the sovereign and the people, and the union of all their hearts in the great God. Prayer is not inconsistent with the most confident anticipation of success in any undertaking; and confidence of success can only spring from prayer. Though commonly read in isolation, the Psalms are best read as a collage that tells a story of God’s faithfulness to his people through his king. All people, when they go to war, have standards or banners, whether flags or some other ensigns, around which they rally; which they follow; under which they fight; and which they feel bound to defend. He says, as expressive of the feeling with which the expedition was undertaken, “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.”. "This means that the psalm is pre-exilic."[7]. At this point in the ceremonial use of this psalm, a single speaker, perhaps the king himself, the high priest, or a prophet, using the first person singular, announces God's acceptance of the sacrifice and divine assurance that the prayers of the people upon behalf of the king are going to be answered favorably. It is distinguished from bloody sacrifices, which are expressed by the word in the following clause. Bibliography InformationCoffman, James Burton. A psalm of David. This Psalms is a form of prayer delivered by David to the people, to be used by them for the king, when he went out to battle against his enemies. Let the King - That is, let “God,” spoken of here as the Great King. 1-4. Defend thee - Margin, as in Hebrew, set thee on a high place. The idea is, that he would grant his upholding hand in the day of peril. Out of Zion - The place where God was worshipped; the place where the tabernacle was reared. In all ages, the smaller units of an army have always cherished their own individual banners, tokens, or emblems; and this reference is to the fact that the children of Israel here promised to acknowledge their allegiance to God in the various standards that would be elevated by the various tribes. It is a collection of psalms, of all the psalms that were divinely inspired, which, though composed at several times and upon several occasions, are here put They were an acknowledgment of guilt, and they were offered with a view to secure the pardon of sin, and, in connection with that, the favor of God. Gerald H. Wilson, NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC), Zondervan, 2002, 1,024 pp. The meaning of the word “hear” in this passage is, that he will “favorably hear,” or regard; that is, that he will “answer” the petition, or grant the request. Here it refers to the war-chariot, or the vehicle for carrying armed men into battle. The repeated intercession of the May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! The general meaning is, that their entire trust was in God. The desire for success should be accompanied with earnest prayer and supplication on our part; and when our friends express the desire that we may be successful, there should have been on our part such acts of devotion - such manifest reliance on God - such religious trust - that they can simply pray for our success to be in accordance with our own prayer. “Some,” is the language of this chorus, “trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God,” Psalm 20:7. It is the eternal assignment for every Christian that he, "Must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). "Save, Jehovah: Let the King answer us when we call." This was his seat; his throne; where he abode among the people. May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. we find the speculations of various writers about "when" any given Psalm was written are of little interest and still less importance. Psalm 20 - For the director of music. Some trust in chariots — This again was spoken by the people.The word trust is not in the Hebrew, which is more literally translated, These in their chariots, and those on their horses, but we will remember, make mention of, or, celebrate, the name of the Lord our God; that is, we will remember, or make mention of it, so as to boast of or trust in it.

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