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Psalm Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.

Nehiloth. Nehiloth occurs only here, and is of uncertain meaning. It possibly means “wind instruments” and is so rendered in some editions of the Bible. Its unique use here may be connected with the fact that Psalm 5 is the first of the imprecatory psalms.

Psalm 5:1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

consider my meditation. Prayer can be expressed in words, but also without words in meditation, and God can respond to both.

Psalm 5:2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

in the morning. Although prayer is always good, there is special blessing associated with prayer and meditation early in the day. Guidance is needed for the activities of the day; rest is needed for the night. Note the example of Abraham (Genesis 19:27), Jacob (Genesis 28:18), Moses (Exodus 24:4), Gideon (Judges 6:38), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:19), and especially that of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Mark 1:35).

Psalm 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psalm 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

speak leasing. Note also Psalm 4:2. “Leasing” is an archaic term meaning “falsehood.” The Hebrew word is translated “leasing” only in these two verses.

Psalm 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Psalm 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

Psalm 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

Destroy thou them. This is the first of many “imprecations” in the Psalms, wherein God-fearing men actually pray for God to torture and destroy their enemies. This seems alien to the spirit of Matthew 5:44 (“I say unto you, Love your enemies”), especially in view of the fact that these “imprecatory psalms” are divinely inspired. The distinction, however, is to be made between our personal enemies and the enemies of God. David says in a later psalm: “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? ... I hate them with perfect hatred” (Psalm 139:21-22). There is no personal vindictiveness involved in desiring and praying that God will be vindicated when His enemies are defeated and judged. David here is praying for judgment against such men, not because they have injured him personally but because “they have rebelled against thee.”

Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

put their trust. Compare Psalm 2:8.

Psalm 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.