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Commentary On Psalms Volume 2 by Jean Calvin


The title, which immediately follows, informs us upon what occasion this psalm was written, which bears a considerable resemblance to the preceding. He begins by insisting upon the injustice of that cruel hostility which his enemies showed to him, and which he had done nothing to deserve. His complaint is followed up by prayer to God for help; and afterwards, as his hopes revive in the exercise of devout meditation, he proceeds to prophesy their calamitous destruction. At the close, he engages to preserve a grateful remembrance of his deliverance, and to praise the goodness of God.

To the chief musician, Al-taschith, [destroy not,] Michtam of David,when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

The incident in David's history, here referred to, is one with which we are all familiar, (1 Samuel 19:11.) Besieged in his own house by a troop of soldiers, and having no opportunity of egress from the city, every avenue to which was taken possession of by Saul's guards, it seemed impossible that he could escape with his life. He was indebted instrumentally for his deliverance to the ingenuity of his wife, but it was from the divine goodness that he looked for safety. Michal may have contrived the artifice which deceived the soldiers sent by her father, but he never could have been saved except through the wonderful preservation of God. We are told in the words of the title that his house was watched, and this amounts, in the circumstances, to its being said that he was shut up to certain destruction; for the emissaries of Saul were sent with orders not only for his apprehension, but his death.

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