Psalm 31: Translation and Notes

Psalm 31
1 To the chief musician; a Psalm of David.
2 In thee, O Jehovah, have I trusted; let me not be ashamed for ever; in thy righteousness deliver me.
3 Incline thine ear unto me, deliver me speedily; be to me for a rock of strength, for a house of defense to save me.
4 For thou [art] my rock and my fortress, and for thy name’s sake thou guidest and leadest me.
5 Thou bringest me forth from the net which they hid for me, for thou [art] my fortress.
6 Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Jehovah, God1 of truth.
7 I have hated those who observe lying vanities; but I have trusted in Jehovah.
8 I will exult and rejoice in thy mercy, thou who hast seen my affliction; thou hast known my soul in distresses.
9 And thou hast not delivered me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast made my feet to stand in the wide place.
10 Be gracious unto me, O Jehovah, for I am distressed; consumed with grief [is] mine eye, my soul and my belly.
11 For my life hath been spent2 in sorrow, and my years in sighing; my strength hath been feeble through mine iniquity, and my bones have been consumed.
12 I have been a reproach among all mine adversaries, and especially to my neighbors; and a fear to mine acquaintances who see me without;3 they fled from me.
13 I have been forgotten, as a dead man from the heart; I have been as a perishing vessel.
14 For I have heard the slander of many; fear [is] round about when they consult together against me; they have devised to take my life.
15 But I have trusted in thee, O Jehovah; I have said, Thou art my God.
16 My times [are] in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies and from my persecutors.
17 Cause thy face to shine upon thy servant; in thy mercy save me.
18 O Jehovah, I shall not be ashamed, for I have called on thee; the wicked shall be ashamed, they shall be silent in Sheol.4
19 The lips of falsehood shall be dumb, which speak against the righteous one insolently, with pride and contempt.
20 How great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for those who fear thee, thou hast wrought for those who trust in thee before the sons of men.
21 Thou hidest them in the secret place of thy presence from the plots of man, thou concealest them in a tabernacle from the strife of tongues.
22 Blessed [be] Jehovah, for he hath made his mercy wonderful to me in a city of defence.
23 As for me, I said in my haste, I have been cut off from before thine eyes; surely thou hast heard the voice of my supplication when I cried for help unto thee.
24 Love Jehovah, all ye his saints: Jehovah preserveth the faithful and abundantly requiteth the proud doer.
25 Be strong, and he will strengthen your heart, all ye who wait for Jehovah.
Notes on Psalm 31
It is not triumph over the grave here, but the heart exercised in distress, and the Jew dying in the confidence which the proved knowledge of Jehovah gives. Hence the Lord did not hesitate to adopt its words for Himself at that moment (Luke 23:4646And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46)), only substituting as became Him “Father” for Jehovah; as now He risen from the dead authorizes us to do in the faith of His redemption, as later the Spirit of adoption was given to be its power. But it is not as a whole His utterance, still less in resurrection power.
The closing rise of the soul from verse 20 is very fine after varied trials, with solemn sense of the judgment awaiting persecuting foes and the haughty wicked. He realizes the pavilion of the divine presence, and the great goodness laid up for the God-fearing. It is the Spirit of Christ in the tried and delivered soul, rather than Christ personally.
1. Heb., El
2. Or, hath wasted away.
3. Or, in the street.
4. Or, Hades.