Spurgeon's Treasury of David, “Title. "A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his Son." You will remember the sad story of David's flight from his own palace, when in the dead of the night, he forded the brook Kedron, and went with a few faithful followers to hide himself for awhile from the fury of his rebellious son. Division. This Psalm may be divided into four parts of two verses each. Indeed, many of the Psalms cannot be well understood unless we attentively regard the parts into which they should be divided. They are not continuous descriptions of one scene, but a set of pictures of many kindred subjects. As in our modern sermons, we divide our discourse into different heads, so is it in these Psalms. There is always unity, but it is the unity of a bundle of arrows, and not of a single solitary shaft.
- 1. PSALM 3 COMMETARYWritten and edited by Glenn PeasePREFACEI have collected quotes from many old sources, and some new ones. The old are all in publicdomain, but the new ones are not. Therefore, if any of the contemporary authors I quote do notwish their wisdom to be included in this commentary they can let me know, and I will remove it.My e-mail is email@example.comITRODUCTIO1. David Guzik, This is the first Psalm with a title: A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalomhis son. James Montgomery Boice points out that since the titles for Psalms are in the canonicaltext of the Hebrew Bible, They are to be taken with absolute seriousness throughout. Theevents are recorded in 2 Samuel 15-18, but the heart is recorded in this Psalm.2. Spurgeon's Treasury of David, Title. A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom hisSon. You will remember the sad story of David's flight from his own palace, when in the dead ofthe night, he forded the brook Kedron, and went with a few faithful followers to hide himself forawhile from the fury of his rebellious son. Remember that David in this was a type of the LordJesus Christ. He, too, fled; he, too, passed over the brook Kedron when his own people were inrebellion against him, and with a feeble band of followers he went to the garden of Gethsemane.He, too, drank of the brook by the way, and therefore doth he lift up the head. By very manyexpositors this is entitled THE MORIG HYM. May we ever wake with holy confidence inour hearts, and a song upon our lips!Division. This Psalm may be divided into four parts of two verses each. Indeed, many of thePsalms cannot be well understood unless we attentively regard the parts into which they shouldbe divided. They are not continuous descriptions of one scene, but a set of pictures of manykindred subjects. As in our modern sermons, we divide our discourse into different heads, so is itin these Psalms. There is always unity, but it is the unity of a bundle of arrows, and not of a singlesolitary shaft. Let us now look at the Psalm before us. In the first two verses (Psalms 3:1-2) youhave David making a complaint to God concerning his enemies; he then declares his confidencein the Lord (Psalms 3:3-4), sings of his safety in sleep (Psalms 3:5-6), and strengthens himself forfuture conflict (Psalms 3:7-8).3. Steven Cole gives us a picture of just how great a crisis David was dealing with in this prayer.It was Davids most traumatic, humiliating experience in his entire life. Everything that he hadspent his life working for had suddenly unraveled. Many whom he had thought were allies and
2. friends had abandoned him and sided with his rebellious son. And the most painful wound of allwas the treachery and betrayal of Absalom. It brought home to David his own failure as a father.One son was murdered, a daughter was raped, and the murderer was now after his own fatherslife in addition to his kingdom. Life was falling apart for David.4. Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, This is a Psalm of David that he composed when his son Absalomstarted a coup to overthrow his father and take over the kingdom. Like most of the Psalms,there is a contrast. Here, it is one of lament, meaning despair, anguish, and struggle as well asconfident praise and peace. A hope in the mist of fear and hopelessness can be had for us if ourfocus is in the right place. David is fleeing for his life, as his son Absalom, a young man ofcontempt and malevolence, seeks what is not his and seeks to take his own father's life. Yet, allDavid could do is pray that his son's life be saved anyway, and modeled for us trust in the Lord,even in times of dire stress and chaos. The people once loyal to David had turned on him andwere mocking God saying even God cannot help you to the point that his antagonists saw his faithin God as a waste. David turned to God anyway and did not listen to the mockers; he sought theOne in whom trust can be placed without hesitation or worry. David was confident in his Lordand knew He could helpand He did help. God took David and rescued Him and restored hiskingdom; when it was time, his son Solomon took over. David's enemies were put to shame and todeath. His son Absalom was killed by his own vanity as his long, luscious hair was caught in atree where he hung helplessly until a soldier, who was loyal to David, speared him. God proved toDavid, to his enemies, and to us today that He is the One who saves and blesses His people (2Sam. 15-18).A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.1 O LORD, how many are my foes!How many rise up against me!1. If your own son is running you out of town, and most all of your so-called friends are on hisside, and you are forced to flee like a criminal from your palace, you are in a mega crisis, and thatis where David is. When life gets this bad, we say it is hell on earth, and that is where David feelshe is. His foes are in the majority, and the masses are rising up against him. It looks hopeless, andwhere can you go when all looks so bleak and hopeless? You go to the Lord, of course. Prayer issometimes the only avenue we have to travel when all other ways are blocked. It is our emergencyline to the only Power that can deal with hopeless situations and change them to hopeful ones.God becomes our deliverer in times like these. By his grace it is possible to be saved when there isno earthly resource to achieve it. This is just one of many cases where David has his life savedwhen it was hanging by a thread. David was among the great wise men because he knew where toturn in hopeless situations.1B. Jamison, For the historical occasion mentioned, compare 2 Samuel 15:1-17:29. David, in the 3. midst of great distress, with filial confidence, implores Gods aid, and, anticipating relief, offerspraise. The extent of the rebellion (2Sa_15:13) surprises and grieves him.2.Barnes, A Psalm of David - literally, belonging to David; that is, belonging to him as theauthor. This is marked in the Hebrew as the first verse, and so in the Syriac version, the LatinVulgate, and the Septuagint, making in the Hebrew, and in each of these versions, nine verses inthe psalm instead of eight, as in our translation. This may have been prefixed to the psalm by theauthor himself, for it was not uncommon in ancient times for an author to prefix his name to hisown composition, as is commonly done by the apostle Paul in his epistles. It is not absolutelycertain, however, that this was done in the Psalms by the authors themselves, but it may havebeen done by him who collected and arranged the Psalms, indicating the prevalent belief inregard to the authorship, and under the Spirit of inspiration.When he fled from Absalom his son - On the occasion of his fleeing. That is, it was composed atthat time, or was subsequently composed in remembrance of it.Lord, how are they increased - How are they multiplied; or, how numerous they are. Perhaps theidea is, that at first they seemed to be comparatively few in number, but had now so multiplied asto endanger his crown and life. This is an appropriate expression on the supposition that it refersto Absalom. At first the number of those who adhered to Absalom was not so great as to excitemuch alarm; but by the arts of a demagogue, by complaining of the government, by saying that ifhe were made a judge in tim land, every man would have justice done him 2Sa_15:4-5, he wonthe hearts of the people, and gathered so many under his standard as to make it necessary thatthe king should flee from Jerusalem to a place of safety.That trouble me - literally, my enemies. The allusion is to those who were now enlisted underAbsalom, and who were engaged in endeavoring to overthrow the government.Many are they that rise up against me - That is, that have become my enemies.3. Clarke, Lord, how are they increased that trouble me? - We are told that the hearts of allIsrael went after Absalom, 2Sa_15:13; and David is astonished to find such a sudden and generalrevolt. ot only the common people, but his counselors also, and many of his chief captains. Howpublicly does God take vengeance for the sins which David committed so privately! In thehorrible rebellion of Absalom we see the adultery of Bathsheba, and the murder of Uriah. owthe words of athan begin to be fulfilled: The sword shall not depart from thy house.4. Gill, Lord, how are they increased that trouble me?.... David's enemies increased in theconspiracy against him, 2Sa_15:12; the hearts of the men of Israel were after Absalom, andagainst him. Christ's enemies increased when Judas with a multitude came to take him; when thebody of the common people cried out, Crucify him; when the assembly of the wicked enclosedhim, and pierced his hands and his feet. And the enemies of God's people are many; the men ofthis world are against them; legions of devils oppose them; and they have swarms of sins in theirown hearts; and all these give trouble. David's enemies troubled him; he wept as he went up thehill, to think that his own son should seek to destroy him; that his subjects, whom he had ruled solong with clemency, and had hazarded his person in war for their defense, and to protect them intheir civil and religious rights, should rebel against him. Christ's enemies troubled him, whenthey bound and led him away as a malefactor; when they spit upon him, smote and buffeted him;when they scourged and crucified him, and mocked at him. The enemies of the saints aretroublers of them; in the world, and from the men of it, they have tribulation; Satan's 4. temptations give them much uneasiness and distress; and their indwelling sins cause them to cryout, Oh wretched men that we are! This address is made to the Lord, as the Lord Godomniscient, who knew the case to be as it was, and who had a concern in it not being without hiswill, but according to it, he having foretold it, and as he who only could help out of it: and thepsalmist delivers it in a complaining way, and in an expostulat