What does Psalm 63:8 mean?
ESV: My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
NIV: I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
NASB: My soul clings to You; Your right hand takes hold of me.
CSB: I follow close to you; your right hand holds on to me.
NLT: I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
KJV: My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
NKJV: My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.
Verse Commentary:
A theme of this psalm has been David's total reliance on the Lord (Psalm 63:1). That trust comes from experiences where God proved Himself to David (Psalm 63:7), and David's response of seeking spiritual intimacy with God. Here, that imagery continues as David speaks of being as close to God as possible: "clinging" to Him. The Hebrew word used here refers to extremely close contact, or "sticking." This is the same root word used in Genesis to refer to the closeness of husbands and wives in marriage (Genesis 2:24). It is also used in the story of Ruth (Ruth 1:14), who famously stayed loyal and near to her mother-in-law, Naomi (Ruth 1:16). Another version of the word is part of Boaz's instructions for Ruth to remain close to other women while gleaning (Ruth 2:8).

David maintained strong, active commitment because of his sense of God's power. For most people, the right hand is naturally dominant. In ancient writing, the "right hand" is a symbol of one's greatest strength. References to the right hand of God evoke His incredible might. Believers need not fear difficult circumstances, "for [God] has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5–6).
Verse Context:
In Psalm 63:5–8, David exults in the Lord. The prior verses compared David's desire to know God with physical thirst and hunger. Now, he makes a comparison between the satisfaction of good food and the joy of worship. David looks to the past and sees the Lord's powerful work in his life. As a result, he confidently trusts in God and expresses delighted praise.
Chapter Summary:
David longs to know God the same way a man wishes for water and rest when wandering in the desert. Praise to God is as satisfying as eating rich foods. David trusts entirely in the Lord and His protection. The enemies who seek David's throne will be defeated; in his confidence David plans to rejoice when this occurs. This psalm was inspired by David's hasty retreat from Absalom's rebellion, through the wilderness (2 Samuel 17:27–29).
Chapter Context:
This song was inspired by David's experiences during the rebellion of his son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13–14). Other writings associated with this event include Psalms 3, 4, 5, 8, 41, and 62. When David evacuated Jerusalem, his traveling group made a difficult journey through dry, uninhabited wilderness areas (2 Samuel 16:14; 17:2, 27–29). The song creates a parallel between David's physical needs and his desire to reconnect with the Lord.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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