Psalm 30:1-12

A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the house of David.

1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”

Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:

“What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?

10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Perhaps written on the occasion of the events recorded in 2 Samuel 5:11-12, immediately following the capture of Jerusalem. Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house. So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

Or …

It would seem more than likely that the Temple is intended, seeing that the vast majority (viz. hundreds) of references to a specific “house” in the Old Testament are to the Temple … That the intended reference is to the dedication of the Temple is also supported by early Jewish tradition, according to which this psalm was recited in the Temple on the eight days of Hanukkah, which feast commemorates the (re)dedication of the Temple. David’s wording in vs. 6-7 also suggest a time when eh was well established in the “security” of his Jerusalem palace … This psalm would have been written by David, on the basis of God’s assurance in 2 Samuel 7:13, in anticipation of Solomon’s building and dedication of the Temple. The theme of chastisement is quite apropos in this regard, since David was denied the privilege of building the Temple in chastisement for his bloodthirstiness (1 Chronicles 28:3), and in the same breath that God declares that Solomon will build the Temple He emphasizes chastisement as a primary expression of His paternal solicitude (2 Samuel 7:14). — Wechsler, page 92

song (introduction) — Used in the heading of 30 psalms … Beyond indicating a certain type of song — possibly with a certain kind of musical accompaniment — the precise meaning of this term is unclear. — Wechsler, page 131.

grave (v.3) = Sheol

This statement which, as characteristic of David, is expressed from an eternal perspective — i.e., though he will still die and, like everyone, go to Sheol, he has the present assurance of knowing that God will raise him therefrom to a life of eternal “incorruptibility” in His presence; thus God will bring to completion the process of renewal that he already began in David by having given him spiritual life (as indicated by his statement “Thou hast give me life”) that he should not go down to the pit (meaning either that he should not remain in Sheol, or, perhaps, that he should not descend to the “lowest” part of Sheol reserved for unbelievers, the residents of which are never given spiritual life by God. — Wechsler, page 93

you have kept me alive (v.3) = should be ” You have given me life”

life (v.5) — including eternity

for a night (v.5) = lit. “in the evening”

The first line of verse 7 properly belongs at the end of verse 6. God had given David prosperity (v.6) and, as a result, David became proud and stopped relying on God.

You hid your face (v.7) — used frequently to describe God’s chastisement (not judgment)

troubled (v.7) — the Hebrew word here means “a shattering terror”

be my Helper (v. 10) — alludes to God’s promise and self-disclosure of His name to Moses in Exodus 3:12 (“I will be with you”), which in turn implies that David, like Moses, is here affirming his own fundamental inability to undertake God’s charge of ruling Israel (cf. Exodus 3:11: “Who am I … that I should lead the sons of Israel …?) as well as his consequent dependence on God to help him in doing so. — Wechsler, page 94

my glory (v.12) — my song of glory

Williams, as usual, takes a Messianic approach:

The superscription states that this song is “of David” i.e., it concerns the Messiah, and that it is to be sung at the dedication of the House, that is, at the dedication of the future millennial temple.

The figure of a sick man at the point of death, but brought back from the very mouth of the grave, is used to express the past and future history of the nation [of Israel].

David and Israel could, with limitation, sing this song, but the ear of God waits to hear it sung in perfect tune and fullness by David’s Son and Lord. — Williams, page 319.

I find it very easy to accept that Israel will sing a psalm of praise at the dedication of the millennial temple, and even that it will be this psalm. But as to whether the Messiah Himself will sing it, and whether that is it’s primary purpose and meaning — rather than a direct application to David and Israel in David’s time — I remain unconvinced but curious.

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