Read – Background On Psalms 6

Psalm 6 is the 6th psalm from the Book of Psalms. The Psalm gives its author as King David. David’s supposed intention in writing the psalm was that it would be for anyone suffering from sickness or distress or for the state of the Kingdom of Israel while suffering through oppression.[1]

The Geneva Bible (1599) gives the following summary:

When David by his sins had provoked God’s wrath, and now felt not only his hand against him, but also conceived the horrors of death everlasting, he desireth forgiveness. 6 Bewailing that if God took him away in his indignation, he should lack occasion to praise him as he was wont to do while he was among men. 9 Then suddenly feeling God’s mercy, he sharply rebuketh his enemies which rejoiced in his affliction.
The psalm is the first of the seven Penitential Psalms, as identified by Cassiodorus in a commentary of the 6th century AD. Many translations have been made of these psalms, and musical settings have been made by many composers.


Psalm 6 is in three parts, distinguished by the person.

1 First, the psalmist addresses God and
2 speaks for himself, and
3 finally speaks to his enemies.

The psalmist expresses his distress in parts 1 and 2 and uses a rich palette of words to describe this distress, “powerless,” “bone shaking,” “extreme distress”. He even expresses his distress by the excessiveness “of tears bathed layer”, “eye consumed by grief,” …

In stating the enemies of the Psalmist, we understand that this distress is caused by relational problem. But it is unclear if he is innocent. However, he says he will be reinstated and that his opponents will be confounded. Trouble seems primarily psychological, but is also expressed through the body. It is as much the body as the soul of the psalmist cries out to God. In fact, it is also touched in his spiritual being, faced with the abandonment of God. In the absence of God emerges the final hope of the Psalmist, expressed confidence cry in the last three verses.