Introduction to Psalm 39

To the chief Musician, [even] to Jeduthun, a Psalm of David. Some take Jeduthun to be the name of a musical instrument, as Jarchi, on which, and others the first word of a song, to the tune of which, this psalm was sung, as Aben Ezra; though it seems best, with Kimchi and others, to understand it as the name of the chief musician, to whom this psalm was sent to be made use of in public service; since Jeduthun was, with his sons, appointed by David to prophesy with harps and psalteries, and to give praise and thanks unto the Lord,

1 Chronicles 16:41; he is the same with Ethan {s}. The occasion of it is thought, by some, to be the rebellion of his son Absalom; so Theodoret thinks it was written when he fled from Absalom, and was cursed by Shimei; or rather it may be some sore affliction, which lay upon David for the chastisement of him; see Psalms 39:9; and the argument of the psalm seems to be much the same with that of the preceding one, as Kimchi observes.

{s} Vid. Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 513, 805.