Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
Save me, O God,.... The petitioner is Christ; not as a divine Person, as such he is blessed for ever, and stands in no need of help and assistance; but as man, and in distressed and suffering circumstances. As a priest, it was part of his work to intercede, as well as to offer sacrifice; and though he did not offer a sin offering for himself, yet he offered up supplications, with strong cryings and tears; and, as the surety of his people, he prayed, in point of right and justice, both for himself and them; see John 17:4. The person petitioned is God the Father, who was able to save him, and always heard him; and did in this petition, Hebrews 5:7; which perfectly agrees with some petitions of Christ, recorded in the New Testament,
John 12:27. These show the weakness of the human nature, the weight of sin upon him, and his sense of the wrath of God; and which, notwithstanding, were made with limitations and restrictions, and even with a correction. Moreover, this may also design help and assistance from his divine Father, which was promised him, and he expected and had, in the acceptable time, in the day of salvation: and he was so saved in death, as that he abolished that, and destroyed him that had the power of it; and was quickly raised from the grave, and thereby saved out of it. And this he could have done himself, but he would be saved in a legal way, in a way of justice; and as a point of honour, when he had done the work, he, as a surety, engaged to do. The reasons enforcing this petition follow:
for the waters are come in unto my soul: the Messiah represents his case, in these words, and in Psalms 69:2, as like to that of a man standing up to his chin in water, and the waters running into his mouth, just suffocating him; and that in a miry place, where he could not set his feet firm, nor get himself out; and even overflowed with the floods, and immersed in the deep waters, and so in the most imminent danger. These overwhelming waters may signify the floods of ungodly men that encompassed him, the assembly of the wicked that enclosed him; and the proud waters that went over his soul, the Gentiles and people of Israel, that were gathered against him to destroy him; and so the Targum interprets it of the camp of sinners, that pressed him on every side, as water: the whole posse of devils may also be designed, for now was the hour and power of darkness; Satan, and his principalities and powers, came in like a flood upon him, to swallow him up; innumerable evils, the sins of his people, came upon him from every quarter, and pressed him sore; the curses of the law fell upon him, which may be compared to the bitter water of jealousy that caused the curse. These entered into him, when he was made a curse for his people; and the wrath of God went over him, and lay hard upon him, and came about him like water, into his very soul, which made him exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.