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Psalm 34

Praise for Deliverance from Trouble

Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

1

I will bless the Lord at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2

My soul makes its boast in the Lord;

let the humble hear and be glad.

3

O magnify the Lord with me,

and let us exalt his name together.

 

4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5

Look to him, and be radiant;

so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6

This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,

and was saved from every trouble.

7

The angel of the Lord encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

9

O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,

for those who fear him have no want.

10

The young lions suffer want and hunger,

but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

 

11

Come, O children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12

Which of you desires life,

and covets many days to enjoy good?

13

Keep your tongue from evil,

and your lips from speaking deceit.

14

Depart from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.

 

15

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and his ears are open to their cry.

16

The face of the Lord is against evildoers,

to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,

and rescues them from all their troubles.

18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

and saves the crushed in spirit.

 

19

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the Lord rescues them from them all.

20

He keeps all their bones;

not one of them will be broken.

21

Evil brings death to the wicked,

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22

The Lord redeems the life of his servants;

none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.


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Ps 34:1-22. On the title compare 1Sa 21:13. Abimelech was the general name of the sovereign (Ge 20:2). After celebrating God's gracious dealings with him, the Psalmist exhorts others to make trial of His providential care, instructing them how to secure it. He then contrasts God's care of His people and His punitive providence towards the wicked.

1-4. Even in distress, which excites supplication, there is always matter for praising and thanking God (compare Eph 5:20; Php 4:6).

2. make her boast—"glory" (Ps 105:3; compare Ga 6:14).

humble—"the pious," as in Ps 9:12; 25:9.

3. magnify the Lord—ascribe greatness to Him, an act of praise.

together—"alike" (Ps 33:15), or, equally, without exception.

4. delivered … fears—as well as actual evil (Ps 64:1).

5-7. God's favor to the pious generally, and to himself specially, is celebrated.

looked—with desire for help.

lightened—or, "brightened," expressing joy, opposed to the downcast features of those who are ashamed or disappointed (Ps 25:2, 3).

6. This poor man—literally, "humble," himself as a specimen of such.

7. angel—of the covenant (Isa 63:9), of whom as a leader of God's host (Jos 5:14; 1Ki 22:19), the phrase—

encampeth, &c.—is appropriate; or, "angel" used collectively for angels (Heb 1:14).

8. taste and see—try and experience.

9. that fear him—who are pious—fear and love (Pr 1:7; 9:10).

saints—consecrated to His service (Isa 40:31).

10. not want any good—"good" is emphatic; they may be afflicted (compare Ps 34:10); but this may be a good (2Co 4:17, 18; Heb 12:10, 11).

11. children—subjects of instruction (Pr 1:8, 10).

12. What man—Whoever desires the blessings of piety, let him attend.

13, 14. Sins of thought included in those of speech (Lu 6:45), avoiding evil and doing good in our relations to men are based on a right relation to God.

15. eyes of the Lord are upon—(Ps 32:8; 33:18).

16. face … against—opposed to them (Le 17:10; 20:3).

cut off the remembrance—utterly destroy (Ps 109:13).

17, 18. Humble penitents are objects of God's special tender regard (Ps 51:19; Isa 57:15).

20. bones—framework of the body.

21, 22. Contrast in the destiny of righteous and wicked; the former shall be delivered and never come into condemnation (Joh 5:24; Ro 8:1); the latter are left under condemnation and desolate.




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