Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 84:9

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Behold, O God, our shield - We have no Protector but thee. Thou seest the deadly blows that are aimed at us; cover our souls; protect our lives!

Look upon the face of thine anointed - Consider the supplications sent up by him whom thou hast appointed to be Mediator between thee and man - thy Christ. But some apply this to David, to Zerubbabel, to the people of Israel; and each has his reasons.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, O God our shield - Our defense, as a shield is a defense in the day of battle. Compare Psalm 5:12, note; Psalm 18:2, note; Psalm 33:20, note. It is an appeal to God as a protector. The psalmist was an exile - a wanderer - and he looked to God as his defense.

And look upon the face of thine anointed - Look favorably upon; look with benignity and kindness. The word anointed here is the word “Messiah” - משׁיח mâshı̂yach (Greek, Χριστός Christos “Christ”; see the notes at Matthew 1:1). Compare the notes at Psalm 2:2. It here refers, however, evidently to the author of the psalm; and the word used is evidence that the author was David, as the anointed of the Lord, or someone set apart to the kingly office. It is true that this word was applicable to other kings, and also to priests and prophets, but the circumstances in the case concur best on the supposition that David is referred to. The allusion here is not to Christ; and the language does not suggest or justify the use which is often made of it when prayer is offered, that “God would look upon us in the face of his anointed” - whatever may, or may not be, the propriety of that prayer on other, grounds.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In all our addresses to God, we must desire that he would look on Christ, his Anointed One, and accept us for his sake: we must look to Him with faith, and then God will with favour look upon the face of the Anointed: we, without him, dare not show our faces. The psalmist pleads love to God's ordinances. Let us account one day in God's courts better than a thousand spent elsewhere; and deem the meanest place in his service preferable to the highest earthly preferment. We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Through he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.