Psalm 70

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.

1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
Make haste to help me, O Lord!

Let them be ashamed and confounded
Who seek my life;
Let them be turned back and confused
Who desire my hurt.

3 Let them be turned back because of their shame,
Who say, “Aha, aha!”

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!”

But I am poor and needy;
Make haste to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay.

Just like Psalms 42 and 43, Psalms 70 and 71 constitute a single cohesive unit (and, originally, perhaps, a single psalm), as indicated by the observations that (1) the first three verses of Psalm 71 are the same (with minor variations) as the first three verses of Psalm 31, which is explicitly attributed to David (see also the clear parallels between 71:5-6 and 22:9-11); (2) Psalm 71 is the only psalm in Book Two (Psalms 42-72) without a heading1—except for Psalm 43, which is clearly “of a piece” with Psalm 42; and (3) in a few old Hebrew manuscripts these two psalms are presented as one. The reason for distinguishing Psalm 70 as a separate psalm my well be due to the fact that it represents an iteration, with minor variations, of Psalm 40:11-17. — Wechsler, pages 180-181.


[In Psalm 70]—which represents an iteration of the last section of Psalm 40—David implores God’s speedy help, picking up on the idea with which he began the last section of the previous psalm—i.e., that he is afflicted and needy (v.5, to which cf. Psalm 69:29: “I am afflicted and suffering pain”) and that God alone is his help and deliverer (to which cf. also his parallel ending in Psalm 38:22). — Wechsler, page 181.

Aha (v.3) = lit. “our desire!”—so would we have it.

Williams’ take:

The purpose of this Psalm is to animate the courage and sustain the faith of the remnant of Jacob in their future day of trouble by remembering the sufferings of the Divine Son of David predicted in Psalm 40 and recorded in the Gospels. …

The Remnant, hated and oppressed by their future enemies, will use this Psalm: and calling to remembrance the similar hatred suffered by their Messiah, will, like Him, and animated by His Spirit in them wait patiently for Jehovah to deliver them out of their distresses: being assured that the Elohim who delivered Him will deliver them.

As throughout the Psalms so here, Christ makes Himself one with the redeemed and prays for them as if for Himself. — Williams, page 354.

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