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Psalms 34:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[[A Psalm] of David; when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.]] I will bless Jehovah at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.]] I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[[A Psalm] of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.]] I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.]] I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[[A Psalm] of David; when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.]] I will bless Jehovah at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[David's. When he disguised his sanity before Abimelech,—who dismissed him, and he departed. [An Alphabetical Psalm.]]] Let me bless Yahweh at all times, Continually be his praise in my mouth.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— By David, in his changing his behaviour before Abimelech, and he driveth him away, and he goeth. I do bless Jehovah at all times, Continually His praise [is] in my mouth.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For David, when he changed his countenance before Achimelech, who dismissed him, and he went his way. [1 Samuel 21] I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A [Psalme] of Dauid, when he changed his behauiour before Abimelech: who droue him away & he departed.]] I will blesse the LORD at all times: his prayse [shall] continually [bee] in my mouth.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his countenance before Abimelech; and he let him go, and he departed.]] I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall be continually in my mouth.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[[A Psalm] of Dawid, when he changed his behaviour before Avimelekh; who drove him away, and he departed.]] I will bless Yahweh at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[[A Psalm] of Dwi דָּוִד, 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
when he changed 8138
{8138} Prime
A primitive root; to fold, that is, duplicate (literally or figuratively (); by implication to transmute (transitively or intransitively).
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
his behaviour 2940
{2940} Prime
From H2938; properly a taste, that is, (figuratively) perception; by implication intelligence; transitively a mandate.
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
vmele אֲבִימֶלֶך; 40
{0040} Prime
From H0001 and H4428; father of (the) king; Abimelek, the name of two Philistine kings and of two Israelites.
who drove him away, 1644
{1644} Prime
A primitive root; to drive out from a possession; especially to expatriate or divorce.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
and he departed.]] y3212
[3212] Standard
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(1980) Complement
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
I will bless 1288
{1288} Prime
A primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason).
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
at all x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
times: 6256
{6256} Prime
From H5703; time, especially (adverbially with preposition) now, when, etc.
his praise 8416
{8416} Prime
From H1984; laudation; specifically (concretely) a hymn.
[shall] continually 8548
{8548} Prime
From an unused root meaning to stretch; properly continuance (as indefinite extension); but used only (attributively as adjective) constant (or adverbially constantly); elliptically the regular (daily) sacrifice.
[be] in my mouth. 6310
{6310} Prime
From H6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), whether literally or figuratively (particularly speech); specifically edge, portion or side; adverbially (with preposition) according to.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 34:1-4

_ _ Psalms 34:1-22. On the title compare 1 Samuel 21:13. Abimelech was the general name of the sovereign (Genesis 20:2). After celebrating God’s gracious dealings with him, the Psalmist exhorts others to make trial of His providential care, instructing them how to secure it. He then contrasts God’s care of His people and His punitive providence towards the wicked.

_ _ Even in distress, which excites supplication, there is always matter for praising and thanking God (compare Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 34:1-10

_ _ The title of this psalm tells us both who penned it and upon what occasion it was penned. David, being forced to flee from his country, which was made too hot for him by the rage of Saul, sought shelter as near it as he could, in the land of the Philistines. There it was soon discovered who he was, and he was brought before the king, who, in the narrative, is called Achish (his proper name), here Abimelech (his title); and lest he should be treated as a spy, or one that came thither upon design, he feigned himself to be a madman (such there have been in every age, that even by idiots men might be taught to give God thanks for the use of their reason), that Achish might dismiss him as a contemptible man, rather than take cognizance of him as a dangerous man. And it had the effect he desired; by this stratagem he escaped the hand that otherwise would have handled him roughly. Now, 1. We cannot justify David in this dissimulation. It ill became an honest man to feign himself to be what he was not, and a man of honour to feign himself to be a fool and a mad-man. If, in sport, we mimic those who have not so good an understanding as we think we have, we forget that God might have made their case ours. 2. Yet we cannot but wonder at the composure of his spirit, and how far he was from any change of that, when he changed his behaviour. Even when he was in that fright, or rather in that danger only, his heart was so fixed, trusting in God, that even then he penned this excellent psalm, which has as much in it of the marks of a calm sedate spirit as any psalm in all the book; and there is something curious too in the composition, for it is what is called an alphabetical psalm, that is, a psalm in which every verse begins with each letter in its order as it stands in the Hebrew alphabet. Happy are those who can thus keep their temper, and keep their graces in exercise, even when they are tempted to change their behaviour. In this former part of the psalm,

_ _ I. David engages and excites himself to praise God. Though it was his fault that he changed his behaviour, yet it was God's mercy that he escaped, and the mercy was so much the greater in that God did not deal with him according to the desert of his dissimulation, and we must in every thing give thanks. He resolves, 1. That he will praise God constantly: I will bless the Lord at all times, upon all occasions. He resolves to keep up stated times for this duty, to lay hold of all opportunities for it, and to renew his praises upon every fresh occurrence that furnished him with matter. If we hope to spend our eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend as much as may be of our time in this work. 2. That he will praise him openly: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Thus he would show how forward he was to own his obligations to the mercy of God and how desirous to make others also sensible of theirs. 3. That he will praise him heartily: “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, in my relation to him, my interest in him, and expectations from him.” It is not vainglory to glory in the Lord.

_ _ II. He calls upon others to join with him herein. He expects they will (Psalms 34:2): “The humble shall hear thereof, both of my deliverance and of my thankfulness, and be glad that a good man has so much favour shown him and a good God so much honour done him.” Those have most comfort in God's mercies, both to others and to themselves, that are humble, and have the least confidence in their own merit and sufficiency. It pleased David to think that God's favours to him would rejoice the heart of every Israelite. Three things he would have us all to concur with him in: —

_ _ 1. In great and high thoughts of God, which we should express in magnifying him and exalting his name, Psalms 34:3. We cannot make God greater or higher than he is; but if we adore him as infinitely great, and higher than the highest, he is pleased to reckon this magnifying and exalting him. This we must do together. God's praises sound best in concert, for so we praise him as the angels do in heaven. Those that share in God's favour, as all the saints do, should concur in his praises; and we should be as desirous of the assistance of our friends in returning thanks for mercies as in praying for them. We have reason to join in thanksgiving to God,

_ _ (1.) For his readiness to hear prayer, which all the saints have had the comfort of; for he never said to any of them, Seek you me in vain. [1.] David, for his part, will give it under his hand that he has found him a prayer-hearing God (Psalms 34:4): “I sought the Lord, in my distress, entreated his favour, begged his help, and he heard me, answered my request immediately, and delivered me from all my fears, both from the death I feared and from the disquietude and disturbance produced by fear of it.” The former he does by his providence working for us, the latter by his grace working in us, to silence our fears and still the tumult of the spirits; this latter is the greater mercy of the two, because the thing we fear is our trouble only, but our unbelieving distrustful fear of it is our sin; nay, it is often more our torment too than the thing itself would be, which perhaps would only touch the bone and the flesh, while the fear would prey upon the spirits and put us out of the possession of our own soul. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; having sought the Lord, and left his case with him, he could wait the event with great composure. “But David was a great and eminent man, we may not expect to be favoured as he was; have any others ever experienced the like benefit by prayer?” Yes, [2.] Many besides him have looked unto God by faith and prayer, and have been lightened by it, Psalms 34:5. It has wonderfully revived and comforted them; witness Hannah, who, when she had prayed, went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. When we look to the world we are darkened, we are perplexed, and at a loss; but, when we look to God, from him we have the light both of direction and joy, and our way is made both plain and pleasant. These here spoken of, that looked unto God, had their expectations raised, and the event did not frustrate them: Their faces were not ashamed of their confidence. “But perhaps these also were persons of great eminence, like David himself, and upon that account were highly favoured, or their numbers made them considerable;” nay, [3.] This poor man cried, a single person, mean and inconsiderable, whom no man looked upon with any respect or looked after with any concern; yet he was as welcome to the throne of grace as David or any of his worthies: The Lord heard him, took cognizance of his case and of his prayers, and saved him out of all his troubles, Psalms 34:6. God will regard the prayer of the destitute, Psalms 102:17. See Isaiah 57:15.

_ _ (2.) For the ministration of the good angels about us (Psalms 34:7): The angel of the Lord, a guard of angels (so some), but as unanimous in their service as if they were but one, or a guardian angel, encamps round about those that fear God, as the life-guard about the prince, and delivers them. God makes use of the attendance of the good spirits for the protection of his people from the malice and power of evil spirits; and the holy angels do us more good offices every day than we are aware of. Though in dignity and in capacity of nature they are very much superior to us, — though they retain their primitive rectitude, which we have lost; — though they have constant employment in the upper world, the employment of praising God, and are entitled to a constant rest and bliss there, — yet in obedience to their Maker, and in love to those that bear his image, they condescend to minister to the saints, and stand up for them against the powers of darkness; they not only visit them, but encamp round about them, acting for their good as really, though not as sensibly, as for Jacob's (Genesis 32:1), and Elisha's, 2 Kings 6:17. All the glory be to the God of the angels.

_ _ 2. He would have us to join with him in kind and good thoughts of God (Psalms 34:8): O taste and see that the Lord is good! The goodness of God includes both the beauty and amiableness of his being and the bounty and beneficence of his providence and grace; and accordingly, (1.) We must taste that he is a bountiful benefactor, relish the goodness of God in all his gifts to us, and reckon that the savour and sweetness of them. Let God's goodness be rolled under the tongue as a sweet morsel. (2.) We must see that he is a beautiful being, and delight in the contemplation of his infinite perfections. By taste and sight we both make discoveries and take complacency. Taste and see God's goodness, that is, take notice of it and take the comfort of it, 1 Peter 2:3. he is good, for he makes all those that trust in him truly blessed; let us therefore be so convinced of his goodness as thereby to be encouraged in the worst of times to trust in him.

_ _ 3. He would have us join with him in a resolution to seek God and serve him, and continue in his fear (Psalms 34:9): O fear the Lord! you his saints. When we taste and see that he is good we must not forget that he is great and greatly to be feared; nay, even his goodness is the proper object of a filial reverence and awe. They shall fear the Lord and his goodness, Hosea 3:5. Fear the Lord; that is, worship him, and make conscience of your duty to him in every thing, not fear him and shun him, but fear him and seek him (v. 10) as a people seek unto their God; address yourselves to him and portion yourselves in him. To encourage us to fear God and seek him, it is here promised that those that do so, even in this wanting world, shall want no good thing (Heb. They shall not want all good things); they shall so have all good things that they shall have no reason to complain of the want of any. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of the spiritual life (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalms 84:11); and, as to this life, they shall have what is necessary to the support of it from the hand of God: as a Father, he will feed them with food convenient. What further comforts they desire they shall have, as far as Infinite Wisdom sees good, and what they want in one thing shall be made up in another. What God denies them he will give them grace to be content without and then they do not want it, Deuteronomy 3:26. Paul had all and abounded, because he was content, Philippians 4:11, Philippians 4:18. Those that live by faith in God's all-sufficiency want nothing; for in him they have enough. The young lions. often lack and suffer hunger — those that live upon common providence, as the lions do, shall want that satisfaction which those have that live by faith in the promise; those that trust to themselves, and think their own hands sufficient for them, shall want (for bread is not always to the wise) — but verily those shall be fed that trust in God and desire to be at his finding. Those that are ravenous, and prey upon all about them, shall want; but the meek shall inherit the earth. Those shall not want who with quietness work and mind their own business; plain-hearted Jacob has pottage enough, when Esau, the cunning hunter, is ready to perish for hunger.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 34:1

"[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed." I will bless the LORD (a) at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.

(a) He promised never to become unmindful of God's great benefit for his deliverance.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 71:8 Let my mouth be filled [with] thy praise [and with] thy honour all the day.
Psalms 71:14-15 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. ... My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness [and] thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers [thereof].
Psalms 145:1-2 [[David's [Psalm] of praise.]] I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. ... Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Isaiah 24:15-16 Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, [even] the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. ... From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, [even] glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.
Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
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Ps 71:8, 14; 145:1. Is 24:15. Ac 5:41; 16:25. Ep 5:20. Col 3:17. 1Th 5:18. 2Th 1:3; 2:13.

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