We will set up our banners - We will erect our standards; or, as we should say, we will unfurl our flag. Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710. "This means that the psalm is pre-exilic.". In all ages, it has been God who rules among the kingdoms of men and exalts over them whosoever is pleasing to Him (Daniel 4:25). "Men who put their trust in chariots, horses and weapons of war and do not rely on the name of the Lord will surely be brought down.". He is certain of success and triumph. Again, all the people take up the vocal declamation of this psalm in the last three verses. May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. The word occurs often in the Scriptures, and is sometimes rendered offering, and sometimes oblation. (Psalms 20:7). Defend thee - Margin, as in Hebrew, set thee on a high place. Copyright StatementJames Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. It would seem that the victory prayed for and It expresses the joy which they would have in the expected deliverance from danger, and their conviction that through his strength they would be able to obtain it. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. There was, indeed, exultation, but it was exultation in the belief that God would grant success - an exultation connected with, and springing from prayer. The whole psalm, therefore, is an expression of a strong confidence in God; of a sense of the most complete dependence on him; and of that assurance of success which often comes into the soul, in an important and difficult undertaking, when we have committed the whole cause to God. Then they call, in joyful exultation and triumph, on God as the great King over all, and supplicate his mercy and favor, Psalm 20:9. In all ages, the smaller units of an army have always cherished their own individual banners, tokens, or emblems; and this reference is to the fact that the children of Israel here promised to acknowledge their allegiance to God in the various standards that would be elevated by the various tribes. Each nation has its own standard; but it is difficult to determine what precisely was the form of the standards used among the ancient Hebrews. This, according to the view given in the introduction, is the response of the king. Psalm 20:5 New International Version (NIV) 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. The meaning is, We will not forget that our reliance is not on armies, but on God, the living God. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Of the precise occasion on which it was composed nothing can be known with certainty, for there is no historical statement on the point, and there is nothing in the psalm to indicate it. The idea is, such help as he needed; such as would make him safe. "Jehovah answer thee in the day of trouble. The psalm, too, is a model for us to imitate when we embark in any great and arduous enterprise. Even the greatest of … They pray that the Lord would defend the king in the day of trouble; that the name of the God of Jacob would defend him; that he would send him help from the sanctuary, and strengthen him out of Zion; that he would remember his offerings and accept his burnt sacrifice; that he would grant him according to his own heart, and fulfill all his counsel. Chapter 20 It is the will of God that prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, should be made, in special manner, for kings and all in authority. All other rights reserved. Furthermore, "The reference to the army of Israel as unequipped with cavalry and chariots (Psalms 20:7) favors the early date. "A Psalm of David" may mean merely, "A Psalm about David," and not necessarily a Psalm written by David. Bibliography InformationCoffman, James Burton. And fulfil all thy counsel - All that thou hast designed or undertaken in the matter; that is, may he enable thee to execute thy purpose. The phrase implies that God would interpose to save them; it expresses alike their confidence in that, and the fact that such a deliverance would fill their hearts with joy and rejoicing. The use of horses in war was early known in the world, for we find mention of them in the earliest periods of history. (John 13:18) Psalms 45:6 ) In this view, the use of the second person in Psalms 20:1-5 is not unnatural. Commentaries on Psalms A list of the best commentaries on Psalms ranked by scholars, journal reviews, and site users. As such he is invoked here; and the prayer is, that the Great Protector of the Hebrew people would now defend the king in the dangers which beset him, and in the enterprise which he had undertaken. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! Compare Isaiah 44:2. This Psalms is a form of prayer delivered by David to the people, to be used by them for the king, when he went out to battle against his enemies. These furnished great advantages in war, by the speed with which they could be driven against an enemy, and by the facilities in fighting from them. Military standards, however, were early used (compare Numbers 1:52; Numbers 2:2-3, Numbers 2:10, Numbers 2:18, Numbers 2:25; Numbers 10:14, Numbers 10:25), and indeed were necessary whenever armies were mustered for war, For the forms of ancient standards, see the article in Kitto‘s Cyclopaedia of the Bible, “Standards.”. Send thee help - Margin, thy help. " After the times of Solomon, Israel possessed many chariots and horses.  However, the use of the word "king" refutes such a supposition, because Simon Maccabaeus was never, in any sense, a king. Sanctuary— From the tabernacle in Zion, where the ark then was; toward which the Israelites directed their prayers. As noted above, this reference to Israel's not having chariots and horses is applicable only to the times prior to Solomon who vastly multiplied such instruments of ancient warfare. They are brought down and fallen - That is, those who trust in chariots and horses. II. The name of the God of Jacob - The word name is often put in the Scriptures for the person himself; and hence, this is equivalent to saying, “May the God of Jacob defend thee.” See Psalm 5:11; Psalm 9:10; Psalm 44:5; Psalm 54:1; Exodus 23:21. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. The Hebrew word - דשׁן dâshên - means properly to make fat, or marrowy, Proverbs 15:30; to pronounce or regard as fat; to be fat or satiated, or abundantly satisfied, Proverbs 13:4. It seems that he was going forth to war to deliver his country from trouble, having offered sacrifices and prayers Psalm 20:3 for the purpose of securing the divine favor on the expedition. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will make mention of Jehovah our God. The example is one which suggests the propriety of always entering upon any enterprise by solemn acts of worship, or by supplicating the divine blessing; that is, by acknowledging our dependence on God, and asking his guidance and his protecting care. They had manifested such zeal in the cause, and they had offered so earnest petitions, that he could not doubt that God would smile favorably on the undertaking, and would grant success. Biblical examples of this are the armies of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and that of Sennacherib before the walls of Jerusalem, which "melted like snow in the glance of the Lord," as stated in Byron's immortal poem. Gerald H. Wilson, NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC), Zondervan, 2002, 1,024 pp. "We will set up our banners" (Psalms 20:5). Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 20 « Previous Chapter 19 Next » Chapter 21 Rashi 's Commentary: Show Hide Show content in: English Both Hebrew Chapter 20 1 For the conductor, a song of David. Of his right hand - The right hand is the instrument by which mainly we execute our purposes; and by constant use it becomes in fact more fully developed, and is stronger than the left band. This is the language of exultation and triumph in God; of joyful trust in him. One name is … "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Alas, it is the destiny of every child of God to confront the day of trouble. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Here it refers to the war-chariot, or the vehicle for carrying armed men into battle. Hence, it is used to denote “strength.” See Exodus 15:6; Judges 5:26; see Psalm 17:7, note; Psalm 18:35, note. Depressed though we may now be, yet we are certain of victory. Here, too, it would seem that he had been worshipped, and his aid implored, in view of this expedition; here the royal psalmist had sought to secure the divine favor by the presentation of appropriate sacrifices and offerings Psalm 20:3. He will hear him from his holy heaven - Margin, “from the heaven of his holiness.” So the Hebrew. They who trusted in horses and in chariots would be overcome; they who trusted in God alone would triumph. (a) the people, Psalm 20:5, latter clause; expressing a desire for his success and triumph, “The Lord fulfil all thy petitions.”, (b) the king, Psalm 20:6; expressing confidence of success from the observed zeal and cooperation of the people: “Now know I that the Lord sayeth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.”. Psalm 20:7-9. He is here invoked as the supreme monarch. Bibliography InformationBarnes, Albert. Psalms 20:2 Context 1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble - According to the view expressed in the introduction to the psalm, this is the language of the people praying for their king, or expressing the hope that he would be delivered from trouble, and would be successful in what he had undertaken, in the prosecution of a war apparently of defense. It is called the Book of Psalms; so it is quoted by St. Peter, Acts 1:20. Let the King - That is, let “God,” spoken of here as the Great King. As far as we can understand the passage, it really makes no difference which it means. Prayer is not inconsistent with the most confident anticipation of success in any undertaking; and confidence of success can only spring from prayer. If it was intended to be employed in public service, it was doubtless to be sung by alternate choirs, representing the people and the king. “Some,” is the language of this chorus, “trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God,” Psalm 20:7. All people, when they go to war, have standards or banners, whether flags or some other ensigns, around which they rally; which they follow; under which they fight; and which they feel bound to defend. Thy burnt sacrifice - The word used here denotes bloody offerings; see the note at Isaiah 1:11. In the beginning Psalm 20:1-4 there is an earnest “desire” that God would hear the suppliant in the day of trouble; in the close there is an earnest “prayer” to him from all the people that he “would” thus bear. And in the name of our God - This indicates a sense of dependence on God, and also that the enterprise undertaken was in order to promote his honor and glory. Upon the axle stood a light frame, open behind, and floored for the warrior and his charioteer, who both stood within. This was his seat; his throne; where he abode among the people. The word salvation here means deliverance; to wit, from the anticipated danger. Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed - Saveth, or will save, the king, who had been anointed, or consecrated by anointing to that office. In Persia, the chariots, elevated upon wheels of considerable diameter, had four horses abreast; and in early ages, there were occasionally hooks or scythes attached to the axles.” - Kitto, “Cyclo.” In early ages these constituted a main reliance in determining the result of a battle. From the sanctuary - From the tabernacle, or the holy place where God was worshipped, and where he was supposed to reside, Exodus 28:43; Exodus 29:30; Exodus 35:19; Exodus 39:1. "Commentary on Psalms 20:4". This, according to the view suggested in the introduction, is the response of the people, expressing their desire that the king might be successful in what he had undertaken, and that the prayers which had been offered for success might be answered. Cheyne attempted to date this Psalm in the times of Simon Maccabaeus. This is put in strong contrast with others, who relied, some on their chariots, and some on their horses, while “they” relied alone on God. While Compare 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Nehemiah 9:27-28; Psalm 14:2; Psalm 102:19. heaven is represented as the dwelling-place of God, and it is there that he hears and answers our prayers. May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. The reference here is undoubtedly to the enemies against whom the king was about to wage war, and the language here is indicative of his certain conviction that they would be vanquished. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, "Help from the sanctuary ... out of Zion", "Remember all thy offerings ... accept thy burnt-sacrifice", "They are bowed down and fallen ... we are ... upright", "Save, Jehovah: Let the King answer us when we call. The word” trouble” here used would seem to imply that he was beset with difficulties and dangers; perhaps, that he was surrounded by foes. Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar David was a martial The desire of the blessing goes forth in the form of prayer, for God only can grant the objects of our desire. This psalm purports to be “A Psalm of David,” nor is there any reason to doubt that he wrote it. 1983-1999. A king going forth to war implores the protection of a greater king than himself - the King of all nations; and who, therefore, had the disposal of the whole result of the conflict in which he was about to engage. Psalm 21 – The Joyful King The title of this psalm is the same as several others: To the Chief Musician.A Psalm of David. So certain was he now of this that he could speak of it as if it were already done. Psalms 20 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this verse-by-verse commentary contain gems of information found nowhere outside the ancient Jewish writings Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary Psalms 9:20 Psalms 9:19 Psalms 9 Psalms 10:1 Put them in fear, O Lord ; Let the nations know that they are but men. A Psalm of David. The word means an offering of any kind or anything that is presented to God, except a bloody sacrifice - anything offered as an expression of thankfulness, or with a view to obtain his favor. The word rendered “brought down” - כרע kâra‛ - means “to bend,” “to bow” (as the knees); and then it refers to one who bows down before an enemy, that is, one who is subdued, Isaiah 10:4; Isaiah 65:12; Psalm 72:9; Psalm 78:31. "Fulfill all thy counsel" (Psalms 20:4). we find the speculations of various writers about "when" any given Psalm was written are of little interest and still less importance. Hear us when we call - As we now call on him; its we shall call on him in the day of battle. "Some trust in chariots, etc." Psalms 8:6 - "Thou hast put all things under his feet" (Hebrews 2:6-10) Psalms 41:9 - "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." "We will triumph in thy salvation" (Psalms 20:5). But we are risen, and stand upright - That is, he sees this in anticipation. The blessing of God upon the king or ruler is automatically a blessing upon all of his subjects; and the people vocalizing this petition here acknowledge this principle. Never should we look for success unless our undertaking has been preceded by prayer; and when our best preparations have been made, our hope of success is not primarily and mainly in them, but only in God. "Save, Jehovah: Let the King answer us when we call." 20:1-9 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. The point or the moment of the psalm is when those sacrifices had been offered, and when he was about to embark on his enterprise. On the sides of the frame hung the war-bow, in its case; a large quiver with arrows and darts had commonly a particular sheath. " However, we prefer the ASV, especially when the word "King" is capitalized, thus recognizing the Lord as the true King of Israel. "They are bowed down and fallen ... we are ... upright" (Psalms 20:8). In this Psalm there are the following parts: - I. The repeated intercession of the The desire for success should be accompanied with earnest prayer and supplication on our part; and when our friends express the desire that we may be successful, there should have been on our part such acts of devotion - such manifest reliance on God - such religious trust - that they can simply pray for our success to be in accordance with our own prayer. “They “are” brought down.” He sees them in anticipation prostrate and subdued; he goes forth to war with the certainty on his mind that this would occur. on StudyLight.org Adam Clarke Commentary Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them In Psalm 20:3the answer is expected out of Zion, in the present instance it is looked for from God's holy heavens; for the God who sits enthroned in Zion is enthroned for ever in the heavens. 1870. Whatever instrumentality we may employ, we will remember always that our hope is in God, and that he only can give success to our arms. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. At this point in the ceremonial use of this psalm, a single speaker, perhaps the king himself, the high priest, or a prophet, using the first person singular, announces God's acceptance of the sacrifice and divine assurance that the prayers of the people upon behalf of the king are going to be answered favorably. A benediction of the people for their king, ver. Some trust in chariots — This again was spoken by the people.The word trust is not in the Hebrew, which is more literally translated, These in their chariots, and those on their horses, but we will remember, make mention of, or, celebrate, the name of the Lord our God; that is, we will remember, or make mention of it, so as to boast of or trust in it. They were usually very simple. The Lord fulfil all thy petitions - The prayers offered in connection with the sacrifice referred to in Psalm 20:3 (compare Psalm 20:4). The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Literally, “with the strengths of salvation.” The answer to the prayer will be manifest in the strength or power put forth by him to save. The idea is, that he would grant his upholding hand in the day of peril. 20:1-9 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. 1-4. You can find the best commentary on Psalms for you using the tools on the right side. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". (b) the king, Psalm 20:5, first part. Even the greatest of men must be much in prayer. The word means the same as defend him, for the idea is that of being set on a high place, a tower, a mountain, a lofty rock, where his enemies could not reach or assail him. Baigent pointed out that this Psalm is still used ceremonially in prayers for the Queen of England in Anglican services.. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-20.html. This means merely that the enemy shall be defeated and humiliated and that Israel shall be triumphant and exalted. "Now know I that Jehovah saveth his anointed; With the saving strength of his right hand.". "Commentary on Psalms 20:4". They were an acknowledgment of guilt, and they were offered with a view to secure the pardon of sin, and, in connection with that, the favor of God. They consisted of “a light pole suspended between and on the withers of a pair of horses, the after end resting on a light axle tree, with two low wheels. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. Jacob was the one of the patriarchs from whom, after his other name, the Hebrew people derived their name Israel, and the word seems here to be used with reference to the people rather than to the ancestor. James M. Hamilton provides a fresh translation and canonical interpretation of the Psalms. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. This proves, also, that a sacrifice had been made with a view to propitiate the divine favor in regard to the expedition which had been undertaken; that is, a solemn act of devotion, according to the manner of worship which then obtained, had been performed with a view to secure the divine favor and protection. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble -, Grant thee according to thine own heart -, Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed -, But we will remember the name of the Lord our God -, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Confident as they are of success and triumph, yet they do not forget their dependence on God; they do not forget that victory must come from his hand. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. With the saving strength - That is, he will interpose with that saving strength. Thus the close of the psalm corresponds with the beginning. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. The word here employed occurs in the Psalms only in the following places: Psalm 20:3; Psalm 40:6; Psalm 96:8; where it is rendered offering and offerings; Psalm 45:12, rendered gift; Psalm 72:10, rendered presents; and Psalm 141:2, rendered sacrifice. Commentary for Psalms 20 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. On the meaning of the phrase in the title, “To the chief Musician,” see the note at the title to Psalm 4:1-8. This psalm is a prayer, and the next a thanksgiving, for the king. Also, as Watkinson observed, "It was this attitude that nerved the youthful David in his victorious combat with Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45). The God of Jacob, or the God of Israel, would be synonymous terms, and either would denote that he was the Protector of the nation. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Discussion for Psalms 20 Click here to view What Do You Think of Psalms 20? And some in horses - Some in cavalry, commonly a very material reliance in war. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? This may be viewed as occurring shortly after the interval during which the sacrifice had been offered; "And the speaker's response of confidence issues in the form of a prophetic oracle, in which the use of the prophetic perfect tense gives the necessary divine assurance to the king and the worshippers.". III. It expresses his confident assurance of success from the interest which the people had expressed in the enterprise, as referred to in the previous verses, and from the earnestness of their prayers in his behalf and in behalf of the enterprise. Drawing on over 20 years of study in the book of Psalms, Dr. Gerald H. Wilson reveals the links between the Bible and our present times. א ל מ נ … Some trust in chariots - This (see the introduction to the psalm) seems to be a “general chorus” of the king and the people, expressing the fullest confidence in God, and showing the true ground of their reliance. The prayer in Psalm 20:1-5breathes self-distrust and confidence in Jehovah, the temper which brings victory, not only to Israel, but to all fighters for God. "Remember all thy offerings ... accept thy burnt-sacrifice" (Psalms 20:3). The occasion that prompted the writing of this psalm is supposed to have been that of David's start of a war against Syria, at some considerable time after the return of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem by King David. Out of Zion - The place where God was worshipped; the place where the tabernacle was reared. And accept - Margin, turn to ashes, or make fat. Though commonly read in isolation, the Psalms are best read as a collage that tells a story of God’s faithfulness to his people through his king. It would seem, however, from the psalm, that it was composed on some occasion when the king was about going to war, and that it was designed to be used by the people of the nation, and by the king and his hosts mustered for war, as expressing mutually their wishes in regard to the result, and their confidence in each other and in God. At that moment the people lift up the voice of sympathy and of encouragement, and pray that those sacrifices might be accepted, and that he might find the deliverance which he had desired. Regarding the date of the Psalm. This indicates that the ark of the covenant had now been transferred to Jerusalem, an event which is described in 2 Samuel 6:12-19. " The evident reference to that event, implicit in these words, also strongly favors the Davidic authorship of the psalm, concerning which Rawlinson said, "There is no reason to doubt the Davidic authorship, asserted in the title and admitted by most critics.". The first person plural pronoun in Psalms 20:5 shows that it is the voice of the people who are vocalizing this petition in the sanctuary itself upon behalf of their king. So the Hebrew. "Help from the sanctuary ... out of Zion" (Psalms 20:2). Then they see their enemies fallen and subdued, while their armies stand upright and firm, Psalm 20:8. In similar circumstances we approach God, not by an offering which we make, whether bloody or bloodless, but through the one great sacrifice made by the Redeemer on the cross for the sins of the world. The prayer here is, that God would accept those offerings, and hear those supplications, and would now send the desired help from the sanctuary where he resided; that is, that he would grant his protection and aid. The second strophe, Psalm 20:5 (latter part), and Psalm 20:6. It was also true of David. It was not in their own strength, nor was it to promote the purposes of conquest and the ends of ambition; it was that God might be honored, and it was with confidence of success derived from his anticipated aid. The word rendered chariots - רכב rekeb - means properly riding, and then a vehicle for “riding,” a wagon, a chariot. This might be a reference to the prayers and offerings of King David in days gone by; but as Ash wrote, "It more likely refers to the sacrifices being offered upon the occasion of the Psalm's use. The connection and the parallelism demand this interpretation, for to God only is this prayer addressed. Dummelow favored the LLX rendition of this, which has, "O Lord, save the king: and answer us when we call. It is a liturgical hymn used ceremonially upon the occasion of a king's coronation, or upon the occasion of his going into battle. Grant thee according to thine own heart - According to thy wishes; according to the desires of thy heart. May the Lord grant all your requests. But we will remember the name of the Lord our God - That is, we will remember God - the name, as before remarked, often being used to denote the person. Remember all thy offerings - On the meaning of the word here used, see the note at Isaiah 1:13, where it is rendered oblations. According to this idea, and as seems to me to be manifest on the face of the psalm, it is composed of alternate parts as if to be used by the people, and by the king and his followers, in alternate responses, closing with a chorus to be used by all. You can read through all of Psalms 20 below.Click the verse number to read commentary, definitions, meanings, and notesfor that particular Psalms 20 verse. It is distinguished from bloody sacrifices, which are expressed by the word in the following clause. It is stated by Rawlinson that this "conjecture is probable.". general chorus of all, Psalm 20:7-9. With the possible exception of Absalom's rebellion, this was perhaps the most terrible trouble David ever faced. It is the eternal assignment for every Christian that he, "Must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
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