New Defender's Study Bible Notes
56:1 man would swallow me up. This “michtam” of David (see note on Psalm 16: Title) was written while being pursued by Saul on one side and surrounded by the Philistines in the city of Goliath on the other. No wonder that he felt like he was about to be swallowed up. Nevertheless, he trusted God and was not afraid (Psalm 56:3-4,10-11,13).
56:8 tears into thy bottle. Ancient “tear bottles” (or wineskins) have been excavated by archaeologists in Israel, used to catch and preserve one’s tears during times of grief. It is probable that the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:38) was using the tears thus collected during many nights of sorrow, offering these in confession of her repentance and trust in Christ for forgiveness. David notes here that, in effect, God has a tear bottle for each of His children, for He cares about the occasions that bring tears to our eyes, whatever the cause.
56:8 in thy book. This is probably a reference to God’s “book of remembrance” (Malachi 3:16).
Psalm 57 (title) Al-taschith. “Al-taschith” means “Destroy not.” It is used in the headings of Psalms 57, 58, 59 and 75. This historical reference in the title is to I Samuel 22:1-5, when David was in the cave of Adullam.