Introduction to Psalm 71
This psalm is without a title, but is thought to be David's: the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and all the Oriental ones, ascribe it to him; and both the subject and style show it to be his. According to the title of the Syriac version, it was composed by him when Saul made war against the house of David; but this is not likely, since it was written by him in his old age, Psalms 71:9; rather, according to Kimchi and Arama, it was penned when he fled from his son Absalom: there are several things in it which incline to this. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions call it
"A Psalm of David, of the sons of Jonadab, and of the first that were carried captive;''
and so the Ethiopic and Arabic versions. Apollinarius says the sons of Jonadab composed it; but without any foundation for it; and the Syriac version is, it is a prophecy concerning the sufferings and resurrection of the Messiah; and so Jerom and others interpret it. The literal meaning respecting David seems best, though it may be applied to the church, and to any believer in distress. Theodoret thinks it was written by David in the person of the captives in Babylon.