Psalm 69

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Lilies.” A Psalm of David.

1 Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.

3 I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Those who hate me without a cause
Are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

O God, You know my foolishness;
And my sins are not hidden from You.

6 Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me;
Let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel.

7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;
Shame has covered my face.

8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother’s children;

9 Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

10 When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting,
That became my reproach.

11 I also made sackcloth my garment;
I became a byword to them.

12 Those who sit in the gate speak against me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But as for me, my prayer is to You,
O Lord, in the acceptable time;
O God, in the multitude of Your mercy,
Hear me in the truth of Your salvation.

14 Deliver me out of the mire,
And let me not sink;
Let me be delivered from those who hate me,
And out of the deep waters.

15 Let not the floodwater overflow me,
Nor let the deep swallow me up;
And let not the pit shut its mouth on me.

16 Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good;
Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.

17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
For I am in trouble;
Hear me speedily.

18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it;
Deliver me because of my enemies.

19 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor;
My adversaries are all before You.

20 Reproach has broken my heart,
And I am full of heaviness;
I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none.

21 They also gave me gall for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

22 Let their table become a snare before them,
And their well-being a trap.

23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see;
And make their loins shake continually.

24 Pour out Your indignation upon them,
And let Your wrathful anger take hold of them.

25 Let their dwelling place be desolate;
Let no one live in their tents.

26 For they persecute the ones You have struck,
And talk of the grief of those You have wounded.

27 Add iniquity to their iniquity,
And let them not come into Your righteousness.

28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
And not be written with the righteous.

29 But I am poor and sorrowful;
Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.

30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull,
Which has horns and hooves.

32 The humble shall see this and be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.

33 For the Lord hears the poor,
And does not despise His prisoners.

34 Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.

35 For God will save Zion
And build the cities of Judah,
That they may dwell there and possess it.

36 Also, the descendants of His servants shall inherit it,
And those who love His name shall dwell in it.

This psalm is among those more frequently referenced (directly in five instances and indirectly in at least seven more) in the New Testament with application to Christ and His circumstances—concerning which David, being a prophet, could “look ahead” with clarity and speak of in detail (see Acts 2:29-31). — Wechsler, page 178


The reference to “those who have hated me [David speaking, as the prophets often do, in the first-person, as a medium for God] without a cause” (v.4a, see also Psalm 35:19a) is cited by Jesus in John 15:25 to epitomize the central sin of His generation. Indeed, the angst caused by this rejection is further underscored by the statement in v. 8 (“I have become estranged from my brothers…”), which clearly applies to the situation described in Mark 3:21. A primary catalyst for this rejection is indicated in verse 9a—which is likewise applied directly to Jesus in John 2:17—to wit: the zeal for God’s house (i.e., for the presence of God that dwelt in the Temple) that consumed Him, which let Him to do and say things that, unless perceived in the same spirit, were highly divisive and extremely offensive—such as cleansing the Temple (John 2:13-22) and calling religious leaders “a brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7). Verse 9b is cited in Romans 15:3 with direct reference to Christ’s humble submission to the “reproaches of those who reproach” God—referring to those who implicitly reject God the Father (despite their outward obedience) by offering Him only rote worship while inwardly rejecting the claims upon their heart of His Word and now, of His Son (cf. John 8:18-19; Isaiah 29:13; Luke 18:9ff.). Verse 21 (“for my thirst they gave me vinegar …”) refers to the culmination of Christ’s rejection on the cross (see John 19:28; Matthew 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23, 36; Luke 23:36). — Wechsler, pages 178-179.


The sense of verses 6 and 7 is, that God’s abandonment of His beloved Son at Calvary might upset the faith of those who confide in God for deliverance from human or satanic hatred. He prayed that they might understand that He, as the Guilt-offering, should be so forsaken. — Williams, pages 353-354.


Verses 22-23 are cited in Romans 11:9-10 together with Deuteronomy 29:4 to make the point that the rejection of Jesus by the majority of His people was both the result and a reinforcement of their having been hardened (Romans 11:7)—which same point is also emphatically made by God in Isaiah 6:10 (quoted as the paradigm of Christian ministry in all four Gospels and Acts), to wit: it is part of the purpose of God’s Word to cause the heart of hearers, if not to be softened, then to be hardened—and because of human depravity (which is certainly no greater in the Jewish people than in anyone else), the reaction to Jesus, as the incarnation of God’s Word (John 1:14), was predominantly characterized by hardening. It is important to keep in mind, moreover, that the motivation underlying this imprecation of those who reject Him is not their detriment per se, but rather the manifestation, and hence vindication, of God’s justice—as exemplified by the application of verse 25 to the divine judgment of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:18-20), “which become known to all who were living in Jerusalem.” The reference to being “blotted out of the book of life” (v.28), like the parallel phraseology in Revelation 3:5, does not mean that one can loose their salvation once such is given by God, but rather, as indicated by the parallelism in the second part of the verse, it is a figure of speech intended to emphasize that such individuals were never recorded n the book of life with the righteous in the first place. — Wechsler, pages 179-180.


There were about twenty-five Old Testament predictions concerning [Christ’s] sufferings which found their fulfillment during the last twenty-four hours up to and including His death and burial. All had been fulfilled now except this 21st verse of the sixty-ninth Psalm.

In John 19:28-30 we read, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.” The Holy Spirit was writing history a thousand years before the event when He wrote the words of Psalm 69:21. — Pettingill, pages 129-130.

And make their loins shake continually (v.23) — see Deuteronomy 28:64-68, in which Moses predicts what will happen to Israel if the nation rebels against God.

God’s deliverance of His Servant will serve not only as another occasion for the Servant Himself to offer the Father praise and thanksgiving (v.30), but it will also cause the humble who have see it (i.e., accepted it) to be glad (v.32)—for on the basis of the Servant’s deliverance the heart of these “humble” (i.e., those “who seek God”) will revive (lit. “be made alive”), hearkening to the promise of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26. The closing phraseology of this psalm (vs. 34-36) looks forward to the time when God’s kingdom will finally be established and His will for mankind realized, when all who are in heaven and earth will praise Him and only those who love His name will dwell in it. — Wechsler, page 180.


An animal for sacrifice should be full-grown and ceremonially pure. Horns determined the one and hoofs the other (v.31). — Williams, page 354.

Williams’ take:

The theme is the sufferings of Christ as the Guilt-offering. Psalm 22 predicted His suffering as the Sin-offering, and Psalm 40 as the Burnt-offering. He, as the Guilt-offering, restored that which He took not away; that is, He perfectly restored to God the love and obedience of which man had robbed God; and, at the same time, he voluntarily charged Himself with man’s foolishness and guiltiness, called them His own, thereby declaring Himself to be the guilty person (see Leviticus 5:14-16). — Williams, page 353.

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