Parallel Bible VersionsHebrew Bible Study Tools

Psalms 56:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[For the Chief Musician; set to Jonath elem rehokim. [A Psalm] of David. Michtam; when the Philistines took him in Gath.]] Be merciful unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up: All the day long he fighting oppresseth me.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.]] Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[For the choir director; according to Jonath elem rehokim. A Mikhtam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.]] Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Jonathelem-rechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.]] Be merciful to me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[To the chief Musician. On Jonathelem-rechokim. Of David. Michtam; when the Philistines took him in Gath.]] Be gracious unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up: all the day long fighting he oppresseth me.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[To the Chief Musician. Upon "The Dove of God from the distant Sea." David's. A precious Psalm. When the Philistines seized him in Gath.]] Show me favour, O God, For weak man hath panted for me, All the day, a fighter oppresseth me:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— To the Overseer.—'On the Dumb Dove far off.'—A secret treasure of David, in the Philistines' taking hold of him in Gath. Favour me, O God, for man swallowed me up, All the day fighting he oppresseth me,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Unto the end, for a people that is removed at a distance from the sanctuary: for David, for an inscription of a title (or pillar) when the Philistines held him in Geth. Have mercy on me, O God, for man hath trodden me under foot; all the day long he hath afflicted me fighting against me.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[To the chiefe musician vpon Ionath Elem Rechokim, Michtam of Dauid, when the Philistines tooke him in Gath.]] Be mercifull vnto mee, O God, for man would swallow me vp: he fighting daily, oppresseth me.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[For the end, concerning the people that were removed from the sanctuary, by David for a memorial, when the Philistines caught him in Gath{gr.Geth}.]] Have mercy upon me, O God; for man has trodden me down; all the day long he warring has afflicted me.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[To the chief Musician upon Yonath Elem Rechoqim, Mikhtam of Dawid, when the Pelishtim took him in Gath.]] Be merciful unto me, O Elohim: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[To the chief Musician 5329
{5329} Prime
A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
Yna lem Rkm יוֹנַת־אֵלֶם־רְחֹקִים, 3128
{3128} Prime
יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחֹקִים
yownath 'elem r@choqiym
{yo-nath' ay'-lem rekh-o-keem'}
From H3123 and H0482 and the plural of H7350; dove of (the) silence (that is, dumb Israel) of (that is, among) distances (that is, strangers); the title of a ditty (used for a name of its melody).
Mitm מִכתָּם 4387
{4387} Prime
From H3799; an engraving, that is, (technically) a poem.
of Dwi דָּוִד, 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
when the Plitm פְּלִשׁתִּים 6430
{6430} Prime
Patrial from H6429; a Pelishtite or inhabitant of Pelesheth.
took 270
{0270} Prime
A primitive root; to seize (often with the accessory idea of holding in possession).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
him in Ga גַּת.]] 1661
{1661} Prime
The same as H1660; Gath, a Philistine city.
Be merciful 2603
{2603} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2583); properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto me, O lhm אֱלֹהִים: 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
man 582
{0582} Prime
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
would swallow me up; 7602
{7602} Prime
A primitive root; to inhale eagerly; figuratively to covet; by implication to be angry; also to hasten.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
he fighting 3898
{3898} Prime
A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
daily 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
oppresseth 3905
{3905} Prime
A primitive root; properly to press, that is, (figuratively) to distress.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 56:1-2

_ _ Psalms 56:1-13. Upon Jonath-elem-rechokim — literally, “upon the dove of silence” of distant places; either denoting a melody (see on Psalms 9:1) of that name, to which this Psalm was to be performed; or it is an enigmatical form of denoting the subject, as given in the history referred to (1 Samuel 21:11, etc.), David being regarded as an uncomplaining, meek dove, driven from his native home to wander in exile. Beset by domestic and foreign foes, David appeals confidently to God, recites his complaints, and closes with joyful and assured anticipations of God’s continued help.

_ _ would swallow — literally, “pants as a raging beast” (Acts 9:1).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 56:1-7

_ _ David, in this psalm, by his faith throws himself into the hands of God, even when he had by his fear and folly thrown himself into the hands of the Philistines; it was when they took him in Gath, whither he fled for fear of Saul, forgetting the quarrel they had with him for killing Goliath; but they soon put him in mid of it, 1 Samuel 21:10, 1 Samuel 21:11. Upon that occasion he changed his behaviour, but with so little ruffle to his temper that then he penned both this psalm and the 34th. This is called Michtama golden psalm. So some other psalms are entitled, but this has something peculiar in the title; it is upon Jonath-elem-rechokim, which signifies the silent dove afar off. Some apply this to David himself, who wished for the wings of a dove on which to fly away. He was innocent and inoffensive, mild and patient, as a dove, was at this time driven from his nest, from the sanctuary (Psalms 84:3), was forced to wander afar off, to seek for shelter in distant countries; there he was like the doves of the valleys, mourning and melancholy; but silent, neither murmuring against God nor railing at the instruments of his trouble; herein a type of Christ, who was as a sheep, dumb before the shearers, and a pattern to Christians, who, wherever they are and whatever injuries are done them, ought to be as silent doves. In this former part of the psalm,

_ _ I. He complains to God of the malice and wickedness of his enemies, to show what reason he had to fear them, and what cause, what need, there was that God should appear against them (Psalms 56:1): Be merciful unto me, O God! That petition includes all the good we come to the throne of grace for; if we obtain mercy there, we obtain all we can desire, and need no more to make us happy. It implies likewise our best plea, not our merit, but God's mercy, his free rich mercy. He prays that he might find mercy with God, for with men he could find no mercy. When he fled from the cruel hands of Saul he fell into the cruel hands of the Philistines. “Lord” (says he), “be thou merciful to me now, or I am undone.” The mercy of God is what we may flee to and trust to, and in faith pray for, when we are surrounded on all sides with difficulties and dangers. He complains, 1. That his enemies were very numerous (Psalms 56:2): “They are many that fight against me, and think to overpower me with numbers; take notice of this, O thou Most High! and make it to appear that wherein they deal proudly thou art above them.” It is a point of honour to come in to the help of one against many. And, if God be on our side, how many soever they are that fight against us, we may, upon good grounds, boast that there are more with us; for (as that great general said) “How many do we reckon him for?” 2. That they were very barbarous: they would swallow him up, Psalms 56:1 and again Psalms 56:2. They sought to devour him; no less would serve; they came upon him with the utmost fury, like beasts of prey, to eat up his flesh, Psalms 27:2. Man would swallow him up, those of his own kind, from whom he might have expected humanity. The ravenous beasts prey not upon those of their own species; yet a bad man would devour a good man if he could. “They are men, weak and frail; make them to know that they are so,” Psalms 9:20. 3. That they were very unanimous (Psalms 56:6): They gather themselves together; though they were many, and of different interests among themselves, yet they united and combined against David, as Herod and Pilate against the Son of David. 4. That they were very powerful, quite too hard for him if God did not help him: “They fight against me (Psalms 56:2); they oppress me, Psalms 56:1. I am almost overcome and borne down by them, and reduced to the last extremity.” 5. That they were very subtle and crafty (Psalms 56:6): “They hide themselves; they industriously cover their designs, that they may the more effectually prosecute and pursue them. They hide themselves as a lion in his den, that they may mark my steps;” that is, “they observe every thing I say and do with a critical eye, that they may have something to accuse me of” (thus Christ's enemies watched him, Luke 20:20), or “they have an eye upon all my motions, that they may gain an opportunity to do me a mischief, and may lay their snares for me.” 6. That they were very spiteful and malicious. They put invidious constructions upon every thing he said, though ever so honestly meant and prudently expressed (Psalms 56:5): “They wrest my words, put them upon the rack, to extort that out of them which was never in them;” and so they made him an offender for a word (Isaiah 29:21), misrepresenting it to Saul, and aggravating it, to incense him yet more against him. They made it their whole business to ruin David; all their thoughts were against him for evil, which put evil interpretations upon all his words. 7. That they were very restless and unwearied. They continually waited for his soul; it was the life, the precious life, they hunted for; it was his death they longed for, Psalms 56:6. They fought daily against him (Psalms 56:1), and would daily swallow him up (Psalms 56:2), and every day they wrested his words, Psalms 56:5. Their malice would not admit the least cessation of arms, or the acts of hostility, but they were continually pushing at him. Such as this is the enmity of Satan and his agents against the kingdom of Christ and the interests of his holy religion, which if we cordially espouse, we must not think it strange to meet with such treatment as this, as though some strange thing happened to us. Our betters have been thus used. So persecuted they the prophets.

_ _ II. He encourages himself in God, and in his promises, power, and providence, Psalms 56:3, Psalms 56:4. In the midst of his complaints, and before he has said what he has to say of his enemies, he triumphs in the divine protection. 1. He resolves to make God his confidence, then when dangers were most threatening and all other confidences failed: “What time I am afraid, in the day of my fear, when I am most terrified from without and most timorous within, then I will trust in thee, and thereby my fears shall be silenced.” Note, There are some times which are, in a special manner, times of fear with God's people; in these times it is their duty and interest to trust in God as their God, and to know whom they have trusted. This will fix the heart and keep it in peace. 2. He resolves to make God's promises the matter of his praises, and so we have reason to make them (Psalms 56:4): “In God I will praise, not only his work which he has done, but his word which he has spoken; I will give him thanks for a promise, though not yet performed. In God (in his strength and by his assistance) I will both glory in his word and give him the glory of it.” Some understand by his word his providences, every event that he orders and appoints: “When I speak well of God I will with him speak well of every thing that he does.” 3. Thus supported, he will bid defiance to all adverse powers: “When in God I have put my trust, I am safe, I am easy, and I will not fear what flesh can do unto me; it is but flesh, and cannot do much; nay, it can do nothing but by divine permission.” As we must not trust to an arm of flesh when it is engaged for us, so we must not be afraid of an arm of flesh when it is stretched out against us.

_ _ III. He foresees and foretels the fall of those that fought against him, and of all others that think to establish themselves in and by any wicked practices (Psalms 56:7): Shall they escape by iniquity? They hope to escape God's judgments, as they escape men's, by violence and fraud, and the arts of injustice and treachery; but shall they escape? No, certainly they shall not. The sin of sinners will never be their security, nor will either their impudence or their hypocrisy bring them off at God's bar; God will in his anger cast down and cast out such people, Romans 2:3. None are raised so high, or settled so firmly, but that the justice of God can bring them down, both from their dignities and from their confidences. Who knows the power of God's anger, how high it can reach, and how forcibly it can strike?

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 56:1

"To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, (a) when the Philistines took him in Gath." Be merciful unto me, O God: for (b) man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

(a) Being chased by the fury of his enemies into a strange country, he was a dumb dove not seeking vengeance.

(b) He shows that if God will help him, it must be now or never for all the world is against him and ready to devour him.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, a golden Psalm,
Psalms 16:1 [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
Psalms 57:1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.
Psalms 58:1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.]] Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?
Psalms 59:1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.]] Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
Psalms 60:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.]] O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.


1 Samuel 21:11-15 And the servants of Achish said unto him, [Is] not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? ... Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this [fellow] to play the mad man in my presence? shall this [fellow] come into my house?
1 Samuel 29:4 And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? [should it] not [be] with the heads of these men?


Psalms 31:9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, [yea], my soul and my belly.
Psalms 57:1-3 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast. ... He shall send from heaven, and save me [from] the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
Psalms 59:10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see [my desire] upon mine enemies.
Psalms 69:13-16 But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. ... Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
Psalms 136:10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:
Psalms 136:15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Psalms 136:17-20 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy [endureth] for ever: ... And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:
Psalms 143:12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I [am] thy servant.


Psalms 21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
Psalms 27:2 When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Psalms 35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
Psalms 57:3 He shall send from heaven, and save me [from] the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
Psalms 106:17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
Psalms 124:3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
Proverbs 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Lamentations 2:2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought [them] down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
Lamentations 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lamentations 2:16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed [her] up: certainly this [is] the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen [it].
Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Random Bible VersesNew Quotes

Chain-Reference Bible Search

1S 21:11; 29:4. Ps 16:1; 21:9; 27:2; 31:9; 35:25; 57:1, 3; 58:1; 59:1, 10; 60:1; 69:13; 106:17; 124:3; 136:10, 15, 17; 143:12. Pv 1:12. Lm 2:2, 5, 16. Ho 8:8. 1Co 15:54.

Newest Chat Bible Comment
Comment HereComplete Biblical ResearchComplete Chat Bible Commentary
Please post your comment on Psalms 56:1.

WWW Chat Bible Commentary

User-Posted Comments on Psalms 56:1

Recent Chat Bible Comments