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Psalm Thirty Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

The actual name of the Philistine king who drove David away at the time of his feigned madness was Achish (1 Samuel 21:10-15). However, Abimelech was a generic title of Philistine kings. See Genesis 20:2 and Genesis 26:1, with footnote on Genesis 20:2.

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

in my mouth. Psalm 34 is an acrostic psalm, with each of its twenty-two verses beginning with the corresponding letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

Psalm 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

were lightened. This unique adjective, “lightened,” has the root meaning of “sparkle.” It is often used to describe a fast-flowing, cascading, sparkling stream of water. Thus, when God answers our prayers in special ways, it results in “sparkling” or “radiant” countenances, as they “light up” with joy.

Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

angel of the Lord. God's “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) have been created to serve, among other things, as “ministering spirits” to those who are “heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 34:12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

desireth life. Psalm 34:12-16 is quoted in 1 Peter 3:10-12.

Psalm 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Psalm 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

keepeth all his bones. This psalm of “the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19) is, in the deepest sense, a Messianic psalm. Contrary to the usual practice in crucifixion, Jesus died before His executioners could break His bones (John 19:33-36).

Psalm 34:21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

Psalm 34:22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.