Psalm 55

1 Give ear to my prayer, God;
And hide not thyself from my supplication.
2 Attend unto me, and answer me:
I am restless in my complaint, and moan,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the oppression of the wicked;
For they cast iniquity upon me,
And in anger they persecute me.
4 My heart is sore pained within me:
And the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

1-6, 10. The grievousness of temptations is described, in which He prays to the Father. P. P.

5, 6. These things are said concerning temptations in which evil and falses break in from hell and strike with terror for fear of damnation, for the good are terrified and tremble from imminent dangers of the soul, thus from the irruption of evils into the thoughts and intentions of the will. There are therefore various commotions of the mind which are specially signified by trepidations of the heart, terrors of death, fear, trembling, and horror, which are mentioned according to the order in which they succeed. E. 677.

5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
And horror hath overwhelmed me.
6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!
Then would I fly away, and be at rest.
7 Lo, then would I wander far off,
I would lodge in the wilderness. [Selah
8 I would haste me to a shelter
From the stormy wind and tempest.
9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue;
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

6-8. The subject here treated of is temptation and distress. Fearfulness and trembling describe that distress; the investigation of truth in that state and circumspection as to whither he may turn himself is signified by ” Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest.” The wings of a dove stand for the spiritual affection of truth, to fly away and be at rest means to rescue the life thereby from damnation. That there is as yet no hope of deliverance is signified by, ” Lo, then would I wander far off and remain in the wilderness.” E. 282.

7-9. He would fain give up the combats, because of their grievousness. P. P.

9 See Psalm xi. 6. R. 343.

See Psalm xi. 6. E. 419.

10 See Psalm xlviii. 2. R. 194.

10-12. See Psalm xviii. 49. A. 6353.

10-15. The malice of the hells is described. P. P.

10 Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof;
Iniquity also and mischief are in the midst of it.
11 Wickedness is in the midst thereof:
Oppression and guile depart not from its streets.
12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me;
Then I could have borne it:
Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify
himself against me;
Then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal,
My companion, and my familiar friend.
14 We took sweet counsel together;
We walked in the house of God with the throng.

11 12. By a wall is signified that which protects, and in speaking of the church the Word in the literal sense is signified. R. 898.

12 See Psalm xvii. 1. E. 866.

15 Let death come suddenly upon them,
Let them go down alive into Sheol;
For wickedness is in their dwelling, in the midst of
16 As for me, I will call upon God;
And Jehovah will save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noonday, will I complain,
and moan;
And he will hear my voice.
18 He hath redeemed my soul in peace from the battle
that was against me;
For they were many that strove with me.
19 God will hear, and answer them,
Even he that abideth of old, [Selah]
The men who have no changes,
And who fear not God.
20 He hath put forth his hands against such as were at
peace with him:
He hath profaned his covenant.

16 They will be cast down into hell. P. P.

17-19, 23. Prayer to the Father, and He will bring help, P. P.

18, 19. Here therefore shall be adduced the passages which prove that Jehovah and the Lord are one, and because they are one and not two, that the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah himself, is by the assumption of the Human the Redeemer and Saviour. Isaiah lxiii. 16: Psalm xix. 14: Jeremiah 1. 34, etc. R. 281.

See Psalm xix. 15. R. 613.
See Psalm xix. 15. E. 328.

19 See Psalm iv. 7-9. R. 306.

In the celestial sense by the third commandment is meant conjunction with the Lord, and then peace because there is protection from hell, for by Sabbath is signified rest, and in this highest sense peace. The Lord is therefore called the Prince of peace, and also He calls himself peace. T. 303.

Salvation by conjunction with the Lord is signified, and the consequent removal of evils and falsities. E. 365.
He hath ransomed — redeemed — my soul in peace. D. P., Page 87.

20 See Psalm xxii. 24. R. 527.

The fear of Jehovah signifies worship in which there is sanctity by truths. E. 696.

20-22, 24. against the evil and hypocrites. P. P.

21 His mouth was smooth as butter,
But his heart was war:
His words were softer than oil,
Yet were they drawn swords.
22 Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain
He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.
23 But thou, O God, wilt bring them down into the pit
of destruction:
Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half
their days;
But I will trust in thee.

22 A smooth or alluring mouth is predicated of falsity, and the heart and soft things therefrom of evil. A. 3527.

22, 24. These things are said of those who make a pretence of good affections whilst they speak falsities by which they seduce. By the words of their mouth being smoother than butter is signified good pretended by the affections, butter standing for the good of external affection. Their words being softer than oil signifies similar things, oil standing for the good of internal affection. Yet were they drawn swords signifies that nevertheless they are falsities destroying good and truth, drawn swords signifying falsities destroying. But thou, O God, shalt cast them down into the pit signifies into the hell where the destructive falsities of that kind prevail. E. 537.

24 By guile is signified the false which is not from ignorance but from a deliberate purpose of deceiving, as is the case with the impious. F. 866.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)