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PSALM XVII.
David, humbly confiding in the goodness of his cause, here makes

an earnest appeal to the justice, the wisdom, and the loving-kind-
ness of Jehovah, beseeching that he may be delivered from the
fury of the iniquitous persecutors, by whom he is attacked. The
persecutors are, probably, Saul and his followers, one of whom
(Doeg the Edomite,) inhumanly slew “the priests of the Lord,”
because they had not hesitated to assist David in his necessities.

1 Sam. xxii. 18. H EAR the right, O Lord: consider [attend | 1 Sam. 24. 11, 12. Il unto] my complaint; and hearken unto my Dan. 9. 18, 19. prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

2 Let my sentence come forth from thy pre- Neh. 1. 6, &c. sence; and let thine eyes look upon the thing 2 Thess. 1.6, &c. that is equal.

3 Thou hast proved and visited mine heart Job 27.5. in the night-season: thou hast tried me, and / 1 John 5. 18. shalt find no wickedness in me; for I am utterly purposed, that my mouth shall not offend [transgress]

4 Because of men's works, that are done Job 15. 16. against the words of thy lips, I have kept me i 1 Pet. 4. 2, 3. from the ways of the destroyer. .

glorious and happy dwelling in heaven, and along which, after the resurrection, I shall be allowed to walk. The verse may be applied, both to the Messiah and to his type. We must not suppose this and similar passages of the Psalms to have been otherwise than imperfectly comprehended, at the time of their promulgation, for such a notion would tend to contradict a principal characteristic in the plan of prophecy ; but only, that enough of their meaning was, from the first, apparent, to convince the men of those days, that their proper application was hidden in the darkness of futurity. See on Psalm xxxiv. 20.

I Hear the right. “Give ear to my just cause."

2 And let thine eyes, fic. And do Thou, as the supreme judge of mankind, decide this matter, and give sentence according to equity, that is, “according to my righteousness, and according to the innocency that is in me.Psalm vii. 8.

3 Thou hast proved, &c. David must have felt well assured of his own upright intentions, before he could declare, that Jehovah neither had found, nor would find, in him any wickedness of deed or of tongue against Saul. He says, nevertheless, that his inmost thoughts had been subjected to a strict examination, and even in the night-time, when the heart is most free from disguise ; that he had been tried likewise, and with the same accuracy too, that the purity of metals is tested in the fire. Psalm Lxvi. 9. 1 Pet. i. 7.

4 Because of men's works, fic. Because I thoroughly perceive the great wickedness of all those, who act in direct opposition to thy

Jer. 10. 23.

Ps. 66. 16, &c.
Isai. 37. 20.

Ex. 15. 6.
Rom. 5. 20, 21.

Ruth 2. 12.
Luke 13. 34.

Luke 12. 4, 5.
Rev. 13. 5, &c.

I 5 O hold thou up my goings in thy paths,

that my footsteps slip not. 16 I have called upon thee, O God, for thou

shalt [wilt] hear me: incline thine ear to me, and hearken unto my words.

7 Shew thy marvellous loving-kindness, thou, that art the saviour of them, which put their trust in thee, from such as resist thy right hand.

8 Keep me as the apple of an eye: hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

9 From the ungodly that trouble (oppress] me. Mine enemies compass me round about to take away my soul : L 10 They are inclosed in their own fat, and their mouth speaketh proud things:

11 They lie waiting in our way on every side, turning their eyes down to the ground;

12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a lion's whelp, lurking in secret places.

13 Up, Lord, disappoint him, and cast him down: deliver my soul from the ungodly, which | is a sword of thine;

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revealed word, I have ever studiously avoided pursuing the same unholy paths, in which my violent oppressor delights to walk; wherefore, in just abhorrence of his evil courses, I refused not to spare his life, though he diligently strove to kill me. 1 Sam. xxvi. 8, 9.

5 Thy paths. God's paths are those of righteousness, which he desires all men to follow; still, without the aid of his Spirit, we shall assuredly stumble therein and fall. Psalm xxv. 4. Isai. viii. 11, 13.

7 From such as resist, 8c. From those, who rebel against thy power and authority, by endeavoring to destroy him, whom thou deignest to protect with thy right hand.

8 As the apple, fc. What is peculiarly valuable, and, at the same time, easily exposed to danger, must, of course, be guarded with more than ordinary solicitude: no one willingly runs the risk of injuring the pupil of his eye. Deut. xxxii. 10. Zech. ii. 8.

9 My soul. See on Psalm vii. 2.

11 Turning their eyes, fc. That, like wild beasts lying in wait on the track of their prey, they may “mark my steps.” Psalm Lvi. 6.

12 A lion's whelp. The word thus translated appears to signify a lion in the vigor of youth, and fully capable of pursuing his prey.

13 Up, Lord, &c. David now supplicates, that, in the character of a powerful champion, God would speedily overtake his pursuers, and save him by force from their deadly assaults. Psalm xxxv. 2, 3. The Almighty can, at his pleasure, control the wicked, inasmuch as they are only instruments raised up and employed by him to execute his judgments. Isai, x. 5. Zech. ix. 13. For the same reason, in the next

14 From the men of [which are] thy hand, Luke 16. 25. O Lord, from the men, I say, and from the evil Jam. 5. 5. world; which have their portion in this life, whose bellies thou fillest with thy hid treasure.

15 They have children at their desire, and Job 27. 14. leave the rest of their substance for their babes.

16 But, as for me, I will behold thy presence | 2 Cor. 3. 18. [face] in righteousness; and, when I awake up 1 John 3. 2, 3. after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it. |

Evening Praper.

Psalm XVIII. INSPIRED authority informs us, that this Psalm was composed by

David, and sung “in the day, that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul.” 2 Sam. xxii. 1. But, most probably, it was used on two occasions, and that we may thus account for the trifling differences between it, as it stands in the history, and as we read it here. It fully details David's dangers and sufferings, together with the wonderful deliverances wrought for him by the Almighty: moreover, there are contained in it confident expectations of future protection from the same Divine Being, to whom he thankfully and

verse, “the evil world,” or the ungodly, are styled the men of his hand. Esek. xxix. 20.

14 Thy hid treasure. Thy choicest treasure: that, which, to speak after the manner of men, is hidden from the common gaze, and preserved with much care. Deut. xxxii. 34. All temporal advantages must be meant, not merely such as gratify the bodily appetites.

15 They have children, fc. The Israelites esteemed a large family an invaluable blessing. Psalm cxxvii. 6: cxxviii. 3. See on Psalm cxiii. 8. - The rest of their substance. What, with all their prodigality and luxury, they are themselves unable to consume.

16 I will behold, fc. An allusion is, perhaps, intended to the actual presence of God, as symbolically represented by a bright cloud, which stood over the ark in the holy of holies. Exod. xxv. 22. Lev. xvi. 2. Because this life does not constitute my portion, as it does that of the wicked, I will resolutely continue, “in an honest and good heart," to enter into thy tabernacle, and devoutly to worship thee there. For, when I shall be raised from the sleep of death, and, in requital of my patient obedience, shall have my vile body fashioned like unto thy glorious body (Phil. üi. 21), that happy change, which I now confidently anticipate, will be a sufficient recompense to me for my present afflictions, and for being compelled to behold the temporal prosperity of my relentless persecutors. The former clause of this verse is here interpreted of David's determination as to his future conduct in this world, and only the latter, of the state of existence hereafter. Some persons, however, imagine both to express his firm expectation of happiness in another life.

piously attributes, both the glory of all his victories, and his peace. able establishment in a very widely extended dominion. The sublimity, however, of the figures used in the Psalm: the consent of ancient expositors, even Jewish as well as Christian; but, especially, the quotation made from it by St. Paul (ver. 50), ali tend to convince us, that the kingdom of the Messiah is described under that of David.

Phil. 4. 6, 7.

Isai. 12. 2. IT WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength: the Col. 1. 11.

1 Lord is my stony rock, and my defence [fortress], my saviour, my God, and my might in whom I will trust, my buckler, the horn also

of my salvation, and my refuge [high tower]. Rom. 8. 31. 2 I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy

to be praised; so shall I be safe from mine

enemies. Matt. 27. 24, 3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and Mark 14. 33, 34. the overflowings of ungodliness [floods of un

godly men] made me afraid. Eccles. 9. 12. 4 The pains of hell came about me: the

snares of death overtook me. Matt. 26. 39. 5 In my trouble I will call upon the Lord,

and complain unto my God.

Acts 12. 5.

1 My stony rock. This expression is taken from the behavior of a man, who, when attacked, retreats to a lofty rock, where he can remain completely out of the reach of his enemies. Ver. 49. See on Psalm xxvii. 5. The horn, fc. The powerful means, by which I am always rescued from danger. The horns of animals are not only ornamental, but serve them as instruments of offence and self-preservation; whence, from the earliest times, they have been adduced by writers as emblems of might.

2 I will call, &c. In consequence of the indiscriminate use of the tenses, David ought, perhaps, to be regarded, all through the Psalm, as intimating his firm reliance on God for the future, equally with his grateful remembrance of the past. But see on Psalm cxvi. 10.

3 The sorrows of death, fc. In this and the following verse, he compares himself, by reason of the greatness of his peril, to a man, who is attacked by such pains of body as are sufficient to bring him to the grave, and which indicate the near approach of death. - The overflowings, fc. Since the river Jordan annually overflowed its banks, when the snow of the neighbouring mountains melted; and since also the whole country of Palestine, from its mountainous character, was liable to torrents and inundations, it became very common with the Hebrews, for dangers through the violence of enemies, to be likened to imminent hazard of drowning from a raging flood of waters. Psalm cxxiv. 3, 4. Isai. viii. 7, 8.

4 Hell. The invisible region of the dead. See on Psalm xvi. 11. -- The snares, &c. See on Psalm xi. 7.

6 So shall he hear my voice out of his holy | 2 Chron. 30. 27. temple; and my complaint shall come before Hab. 2. 20. him, it shall enter even into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked; the very Nah. 1.5. foundations also of the hills shook, and were removed [moved], because he was wroth.

8 There went a smoke out in his presence, Ps. 50. 3. and a consuming fire out of his mouth, so that Dan. 7. 10. coals were kindled at it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came Mark 15. 33. down, and it was dark under his feet.

Heb. 12. 26. 10 He rode upon the cherubims, and did fly; Ezek. 1. 5, &c. he came flying upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place, his Deut. 4. 11. pavilion round about him with dark water, and Joel 2. 2. thick clouds to cover him.

12 At the brightness of his presence his Josh. 10. 11. clouds removed : hail-stones, and coals of fire. | Hab. 3. 4, 5.

6 Out of, 8c. Inclining his ear to me from heaven. See on Psalm xi. 4.

7 The earth trembled, &c. David now commences to relate in what manner he had been succoured ; and wishing to increase, if possible, the dignity and grandeur of the subject, employs a variety of images, which are chiefly taken, however, from the descent of God on mount Sinai.

8 There went a smoke, fc. His appearance was accompanied by a thick smoke, which did, as it were, go before his face. Exod. xix. 18. Our old translators can scarcely be supposed to have purposed expressing the same meaning as that given in the Bible version, where, in order to indicate the intensity of Jehovah's anger, the smoke is declared actually to issue “out of his nostrils.” Ver. 15. - Coals. Put figuratively for lightnings and thunder-bolts.

9 The heavens. The clouds. See on Psalm viii. 1: L. 3.

10 He rode, fc. The cherubims, equally with the angels, are described as constituting God's chariot, to imply, that in all things he uses their service and ministry. Psalm Lxviï. 17. There is, doubtless, a reference to the same awful seat, which he occupied in the holy of holies. 1 Chron. xxviii. 18. Borne up, as he seemed to be, on these spiritual attendants, he moved on in majesty, with the swiftness of the winds, which are figuratively asserted by the Psalmist to have supplied the place of wings to him. Psalm civ. 3.

11 He made darkness, $c. He was compassed about with the obscurity, which arose from “dark water” and “thick clouds;" this formed for him a retreat or tent, where he might remain concealed from human sight. Psalm 1xviii. 34.

12 At the brightness, fc. Afterwards, when he began more and more to discover himself, the splendor of his appearance dispersed the “thick clouds,” which were succeeded by a storm of hail and lightning

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