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Psalm 3:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 I will call aloud to Jehovah,
and he answered me from his holy mountain. Selah
I will call aloud to Jehovah. That is, in these troubles, as he had always done in affliction. The form of the verb here is future—“I will cry” or call unto the Lord; probably, however, designed to state a general habit with him, that when troubles came, he always called on the Lord. He speaks now of himself as if amid the trouble; gives utterance to the feeling which he has always had in his sorrows; and says, “I will call upon the Lord,” thus declaring his purpose to make his appeal confidently to him. Thus, the language is not so much retrospective as it indicates the uniform state of his mind amid afflictions.
And he answered me. Not merely mentally, but he gave utterance to the deep anguish of his soul in words. So the Savior did in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39); and so, perhaps, most persons do in deep affliction. It is natural then to cry out for help; and besides the fact that we may hope that any prayer then, though mental only, would bring relief by being answered, there is a measure of relief found by the very act of giving utterance or vent to the deep and, as it were, pent-up feelings of the soul. In calmer times, we are satisfied with unuttered aspirations, gentle exclamations, with sweet mental communion with God; in overwhelming trials, we give utterance to our feelings in the earnest language of pleading. The psalmist refers to what he had constantly found to be true, that God was a hearer of prayer.
Out of his holy mountain. Zion. See Ps. 2:6. That was the place to which David had removed the ark, and which was regarded, therefore, as the peculiar dwelling place of the Most High. To him, as dwelling in Zion, prayer was accustomed to being offered, and there he was accustomed to answering prayer. To this fact, David here refers to one that had been illustrated in his former days. To that God who had thus answered him, he felt that he might confidently appeal now.
Selah. Indicating another strophe or musical pause. See Notes on ver. 2.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews