Psalm 17 – In the Shadow of Your Wings

Only 5 psalms (17, 86, 90, 102, and 140) are called prayers in the superscript, although many more than that are prayers.  There is no reason to ascribe this one to anyone other than David.  His enemies were varied – the Philistines certainly had no love for him (1 Samuel 18:27), within the kingdom itself there was, of course, Saul (1 Samuel 19:11-20); and within his own family there was Absolam, and all those who conspired with him against David (2 Samuel 15:11-17).

wings-02The prayer asks for God’s assurance that he is in the right, and that his enemies will not prevail against him.  He expresses his faith that God will hear him and will answer.  The symbol of wings as protection in verse 8 is repeated often in scripture, especially the poetry of the psalms, but also in Matthew 23:37.

The psalm continues in verses 6-7 with the translation in the ESV of God’s steadfast love, but the word in Hebrew is “hesed” – which involves great mercy, faithfulness to fulfill promises, and His majestic covenant love.  He proclaims God as his savior, and we are reminded of the saving grace of the Son of God who is our own defender and Savior.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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