on Psalms 20 :9
Save, Lord - This verse was spoken by all the congregation, and was the chorus and conclusion of the piece.
The verse may be read, Lord, save the king! He will hear as in the day of our calling. The Vulgate, Septuagint, Ethiopic, Arabic, Anglo-Saxon, read the verse thus: Lord, save the king! and hear us whensoever we shall call upon thee. The Syriac reads differently: The Lord will save us: and our king will hear us in the day in which we shall call upon him. This refers all to God: while the others refer the latter clause to David. Lord, save David; and David will save us. "If thou preservest him, he will be thy minister for good to us." This appears to be the easiest sense of the place, and harmonizes with all the rest.
on Psalms 20 :9
Save, Lord - "Yahweh, save." This is still an earnest prayer. Confident as they are of success and triumph, yet they do not forget their dependence on God; they do not forget that victory must come from his hand. There was, indeed, exultation, but it was exultation in the belief that God would grant success - an exultation connected with, and springing from prayer. Prayer is not inconsistent with the most confident anticipation of success in any undertaking; and confidence of success can only spring from prayer.
Let the King - That is, let "God," spoken of here as the Great King. The connection and the parallelism demand this interpretation, for to God only is this prayer addressed. He is here invoked as the supreme monarch. A king going forth to war implores the protection of a greater king than himself - the King of all nations; and who, therefore, had the disposal of the whole result of the conflict in which he was about to engage.
Hear us when we call - As we now call on him; its we shall call on him in the day of battle. Thus the close of the psalm corresponds with the beginning. In the beginning Psalm 20:1-4 there is an earnest "desire" that God would hear the suppliant in the day of trouble; in the close there is an earnest "prayer" to him from all the people that he "would" thus bear. The desire of the blessing goes forth in the form of prayer, for God only can grant the objects of our desire. The whole psalm, therefore, is an expression of a strong confidence in God; of a sense of the most complete dependence on him; and of that assurance of success which often comes into the soul, in an important and difficult undertaking, when we have committed the whole cause to God. The psalm, too, is a model for us to imitate when we embark in any great and arduous enterprise. The desire for success should be accompanied with earnest prayer and supplication on our part; and when our friends express the desire that we may be successful, there should have been on our part such acts of devotion - such manifest reliance on God - such religious trust - that they can simply pray for our success to be in accordance with our own prayer. Never should we look for success unless our undertaking has been preceded by prayer; and when our best preparations have been made, our hope of success is not primarily and mainly in them, but only in God.
on Psalms 20 :9
20:9 Let the king - God, the supreme monarch, the king of kings, and in a peculiar manner the king of Israel.