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Psalm 6 Commentary

Psalm 6 Commentary

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The first of 7 penitential Psalms. David cries out for mercy and his prayer is heard
The first of 7 penitential Psalms. David cries out for mercy and his prayer is heard

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 08, 2010
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Written and edited by Glenn Pease
My goal has been to collect the comments of those who add to our understanding of the Psalms.These comments are available to everyone, but I have brought them together in one place to savethe Bible student time in research. There is a great deal more, but this gives a good foundation tobuild on. If I quote anyone who does not wish to be quoted in this study they can let me know andI will remove their wisdom. My e-mail is glenn_p86@yahoo.com
1. Calvin, “The name of 
shows that David composed this psalm, in which he describes thepassionate workings of his grief in the time of his troubles after he had obtained deliverance fromthe evils which he deplores. What the kind of chastisement was of which he speaks is uncertain.Those who restrict it to bodily disease do not adduce in support of their opinion any argument of sufficient weight. They insist on the word למא
 , amal,
which occurs in verse third, where he says,“I am weak,” which indeed signifies to be sick; but it is more probable that it is here usedmetaphorically. They allege that Hezekiah, after his recovery from sickness, sung in the samestrains as are here recorded, concerning death. But inPsalm 116, where no mention is made of bodily disease, the same complaint is uttered by the Psalmist in the name of the whole Church.We can, indeed, gather from these words that the life of David was in the utmost danger, but itmay have been some other kind of affliction than bodily sickness under which he labored. Wemay, therefore, adopt this as the more certain interpretation, that he had been stricken by somesevere calamity, or that some punishment had been inflicted upon him, which presented to hisview on every side only the shadow of death. It ought also to be considered, that this psalm wasnot composed at the very time when he presented to God the prayers recorded in it; but that theprayers which he had meditated and uttered in the midst of his dangers and sadness were, afterhe had obtained respite, committed to writing. This explains why he joins the sorrow with whichhe certainly had struggled for a time with the joy which he afterward experienced.”2. David Guzik, “Psalm 6is known as the first of seven penitential psalms - songs of confessionand humility before God. It was a custom in the early church to sing these psalms on AshWednesday, the Wednesday before Easter.”3. F. B. Meyer, “The first of the Penitential Psalms; the other six being Psalm 32, 38, 51, 102, 130,143. Sheminith is evidently a musical term, signifying the octave. The earlier verses of this Psalmare a wail; but it ends in a song. It is like a day of rain which clears at evening. The Psalm is fullof beautiful ejaculatory cries.”
4. “David was a man that was often exercised with sickness and troubles from enemies, and in allthe instances almost that we meet with in the Psalms of these his afflictions, we may observe theoutward occasions of trouble brought him under the suspicion of God's wrath and his owniniquity; so that he was seldom sick, or persecuted, but this called on the disquiet of conscience,and brought his sin to remembrance; as in this Psalm, which was made on the occasion of hissickness, as appears from verse eight, wherein he expresses the vexation of his soul under theapprehension of God's anger; all his other griefs running into this channel, as little brooks, losingthemselves in a great river, change their name and nature. He that at first was only concerned forhis sickness, is now wholly concerned with sorrow and smart under the fear and hazard of hissoul's condition; the like we may see inPsalms 38:1-22, and many places more. Richard Gilpin,1677.”5. Warren Wiersbe, “In verses 1-5 David pleads for God not to rebuke him or to chasten him.God's chastening is not punishment. It builds our Christian character. Hebrews 12 talks aboutchastening, and the word used means "child training." It's the picture of a child learning how tobe a good athlete. God chastens us, but He does so in love. David was afraid that God was goingto chasten him in His hot displeasure (v. 1). But our God is a God of mercy and grace. Thisdoesn't mean, however, that we can minimize sin. This doesn't mean we should ever say, "Well,God is a forgiving God; therefore, I can do whatever I want to do, and He will forgive me." o,David was saying, "Lord, I've sinned. I'm weary with my groaning. Forgive me. I have donewrong." And God does forgive those who confess their sins to Him.Sin is the Christian's worst possible experience. It's far worse than pain or suffering or evendeath itself. We are weak, and sometimes we fail. But let's never be afraid to come to our Fatherwith our appeal for forgiveness. The tragedy is that all around us, enemies are waiting for us tofall. They want to point at us and say, "See, that Christian failed." But we can come before theLord and ask Him for His forgiveness, and He will grant it to us. God will have mercy on us."Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).We must never treat sin lightly. Certainly, no Christian should ever harbor sin. But when we dosin, we may lean on God's mercy and grace and confess our sin to a loving Father. One of thegreat encouragements of the Christian life is that God forgives and restores. Are you living withunconfessed sin? Avoid God's chastening. Confess your sin and ask for His forgiveness.”
TITLE For the director of music. With stringedinstruments. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.
1. Jamison, “
upon Sheminith
- the eighth - an instrument for the eighth key; or, more probably,the bass, as it is contrasted with Alamoth (the treble, Psa_46:1
) in 1Ch_15:20, 1Ch_15:21. In deepaffliction the Psalmist appeals to God’s mercy for relief from chastisement, which otherwise mustdestroy him, and thus disable him for God’s service. Sure of a gracious answer, he triumphantlyrebukes his foes.”
2. Calvin, “With respect to the word
as we have before said that תוניגנ
 , eginoth,
signifiesa musical instrument, I do not know whether it would be correct to say, that it was a harp of eightstrings. I am rather inclined to the opinion that it refers to the tune, and points out the particularkind of music to which the psalm was to be sung. However, in a matter so obscure and of so littleimportance I leave every one at liberty to form his own conjecture.” Calvin's editor, “
the eighth, “ 
is thought to be the shrillest or loftiest note,
as Alomoth is
the lowest; of which see1 Chronicles 15:20, 21. But all this is only conjecture; and the Jews themselves have no certainknowledge of their ancient music, and of the signification of the terms belonging to it.” — 
 Poole’s Annotations.
3. Treasury of David, “itle. This Psalm is commonly known as the first of the PEITETIALPSALMS, (The other six arePsalms 32:1-1138:1-22 51:1-19 102:1-7Psalms 130:1-8143:1-12) and certainly its language well becomes the lip of a penitent, for it expresses at once the sorrow,(Ps 6:3,6-7), the humiliation (Psalms 6:2,4
), and the hatred of sin (Psalms 6:8), which are theunfailing marks of the contrite spirit when it turns to God. O Holy Spirit, beget in us the truerepentance which needeth not to be repented of. The title of this Psalm is "To the chief Musicianon eginoth upon Sheminith (1 Chronicles 15:21), A Psalm of David," that is, to the chief musician with stringed instruments, upon the eighth, probably the octave. Some think it refers tothe bass or tenor key, which would certainly be well adapted to this mournful ode. But we are notable to understand these old musical terms, and even the term "Selah," still remainsuntranslated. This, however, should be no difficulty in our way. We probably lose but very littleby our ignorance, and it may serve to confirm our faith. It is a proof of the high antiquity of thesePsalms that they contain words, the meaning of which is lost even to the best scholars of theHebrew language. Surely these are but incidental (accidental I might almost say, if I did notbelieve them to be designed by God), proofs of their being, what they profess to be, the ancientwritings of King David of olden times.Division. You will observe that the Psalm is readily divided into two parts. First, there is thePsalmist's plea in his great distress, reaching from the first to the end of the seventh verse. Thenyou have, from the eighth to the end, quite a different theme. The Psalmist has changed his note.He leaves the minor key, and betakes himself to more sublime strains. He tunes his note to thehigh key of confidence, and declares that God hath heard his prayer, and hath delivered him outof all his troubles.”
1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your angeror discipline me in your wrath.
1. David recognizes that he deserves rebuke and discipline, but he pleads that God would not doso in anger and wrath, for he, though a sinner, is still his child, and he loves the Lord with all hisheart. He pleads that he would be dealt with in love rather than wrath. Love still rebukes and

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