English Basic Explanation - Chapter 69
Psalm 69 is a poignant description of the Jewish people's plight in exile and their longing for redemption. It begins with images of floodwaters and quicksand (verses 2-3) with which David depicts the sense of desperation and hopelessness that has so often gripped Am Yisrael throughout their ordeals in exile. This feeling is further illustrated by David's description of his "croaky voice" that has tired from shouting in prayer to God (verse 4). The Jewish people have despaired to such a point where they find it difficult even to turn to God in prayer.
In particular, David emphasizes here the shame and degradation that Am Yisrael must endure among hostile nations. Besides appearing strange and peculiar to the foreign peoples (verse 9), the Jewish people's constant state of anxiety, sorrow and mourning has subjected them to ongoing ridicule and contempt (verses 11-13). Even worse, the enemy nations have not only jeered at Benei Yisrael's suffering, but have worked towards exacerbating it as much as they can. David describes the hungry, displaced exiles as being fed "poison" and given "vinegar" to drink (verse 22), symbolic of how their poverty and distress was met with even more oppression.
Towards the end of this Psalm (verses 23-29) David prays to the Almighty to visit retribution upon the enemy nations who oppressed and tormented the Jewish people. The particularly harsh and bitter tone reflects the accumulated feelings of resentment and frustration that have resulted from the many centuries of prejudice and hostility. David concludes with a prayer for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the cities of Yehuda, which will be settled by "the offspring of His servants" and "those who love His Name" – those who have remained steadfastly loyal to God even throughout the periods of hardship and suffering, and have not forsaken the Torah even under the harsh conditions of exile.