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6 I am weary with my groaning; all the iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice night make I iny bed to swim ; I water my of my weeping. couch with my tears.
9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; 7 Mine eye is consumed because of the Lord will receive my prayer. grief; it waxeth old because of all mine 10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and enemies.
sore vexed : let them return and be ashamed 8 'Depart from me, all ye workers of suddenly.
+ Or, every night.
5 Matt. 7. 23, and 23. 41.
Luke 13. 21.
TITLE, Sheminithi'-Literally, the eighth. In 1 Chron. xv, 21, the word occurs in connection with harps, 1 whence it is commonly thought to denote an eight-stringed
harp. Of this, however, our translators appear to have been doubtful, for they introduce the original word untranslated, “With harps on the Sheminith to excel. If we took this explanation, we should suppose that the person to whom this is addressed was he who, in the great division of Neginoth, or stringed instruments, had particular charge of the eight-stringed harps. But we do not see any satisfactory evidence from the text in Chronicles that any musical instrument is intended. Calmet thinks that it denotes the eighth band of musicians; and as, in that case, this band consisted of harpers, the present psalm would, on this ground, be addressed to the chief of the harpers. Gesenius supposes that the word is a
musical term, denoting a particular tone; adding, ‘From 1 Chron. xv. 21, it appears to have been the lowest of the three parts or voices; according to Forkel, the fundamental bass, sung by men. Hengstenberg says: “The correct interpretation is given by those who take it for an indication of time. The by “upon,” is then put to mark the relation of the particular to the general, that which forms its substratum upon which it is laid, and according to which it is measured and regulated. But our ignorance of Hebrew music renders all more minute explanations impossible.'
Verse 3. • O Lord, how long ?'--'This Domine usquequo, was Calvin's motto. The most intense pain, and in his lifetime he suffered much, could never extort from him another word.
8 The Lord shall judge the people : judge i David prayeth against the malice of his enemies and according to mine integrity that is in
me, O Lord, 'according to my righteousness, professing his innocence. 10 By faith he seeth his defence, and the destruction of his enemies.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the 'words of Cush the Benjamite.
come to an end; but establish the just : 'for
the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. i O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust :
10 My defence is of God, which saveth save me from all them that persecute me, and
the upright in heart. 1 deliver me:
11° °God judgeth the righteous, and God 2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending is angry with the wicked every day. it in pieces, while there is 'none to deliver. 12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword;
3 0 LORD my God, if I have done this ; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. if there be iniquity in my hands;
13 He hath also prepared for him the in4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was struments of death; he ordaineth his arrows at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him against the persecutors. that without cause is mine enemy :)
14 "Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, 5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and
and hath conceived mischief, and brought take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon
forth falsehood. the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. 15 °He made a pit, and digged it, 'and is | Selah.
fallen into the ditch which he made. 6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up
16 His mischief shall return
upon thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: head, and his violent dealing shall come down and awake for me to the judgment that thou upon his own pate. hast commanded.
17 I will praise the LORD according to his 7 So shall the congregation of the people righteousness : and will sing praise to the compass thee about: for their sakes therefore name of the LORD most high. return thou on high. i Or, business. 3 Heb. My buckler is upon Cod.
his own TITLE, “ Shiggaion.”—This word (paw) is very difficult be taken as an answer to the calumnious charge that he to explain. The Septuagint has simply 'Psalm of David, had sought the king's life, and had made an ill return for and so the Vulgate. That the term refers to the Psalm
6 Or, God is a righteous judge. 8 lleb. He hath rigged a pit.
Psal. 9. 15, and 10. 2. Prov. 5. 22.
2 Heb, not a delirerer,
3 Psal. 19. 20.
+ 1 Sam. 16. 7. 1 Chron. 28. 9. Psal. 139, 1. Jer. 11. 20, and 17. 10, and 20.12.
7 Job 15. 33. Isa. 59. 4. James 1, 15,
the benefits he had received from him. It is possible, itself, and not to any instrument or other circumstance, is
however, that Cush is here not a proper name, but an evident from what follows, which he sang unto the Lord.' epithet, black, which in all ages expresses moral turpitude The word now shagah, from which it is usually derived,
when transferred to the mind. In that case the proba
bility would still remain that Saul is intended rather than means 'to err or wander;' but how this sense is to be in
any other Benjamite ; as the name Cush may be regarded troduced has puzzled the commentators. Some apply the as a play upon that of his father Kish-transferred by a error or wandering to David's conduct, and read, * for the
poetical licence to himself. sin (or ignorance) of David ;' others call it ‘a wandering Verse 7. .So shall the congregation of the people compass song' with respect to its metre; and others with a reference thee about.' — This, with the preceding and following, reto the supposed circumstances under which it may have present a scene of judgment, after the manner of the East, been written, when David wandered from one place to when the king, surrounded by the crowds of contending another to avoid the persecution of Saul; but Hengstenberg parties, ascends the throne, and thence gives forth his and others conceive that it takes the name from having judgment. reference to the errors and transgressions of the wicked;
12. • He hath bent his bow, and made it ready::- The which is equally applicable here and in Habakkuk iii., the superscription of which is the only other place in which
Hebrew word literally signifies that he hath trodden on
his bow,' that is, so as to bend it. Arrian, in his account the word occurs. Calmet, however, as well as Kennicott, Rosenmüller, Geddes, De Wette, Tholuck, and others,
of India, says: Such of the warriors as combat on foot derive the word from an Arabic word signifying sadness,
carry a bow which is as long as a man. When they want distress; and therefore consider the word Shiggaion as
to bend it they set it on the ground, and tread it with the equivalent to an elegy or plaintive song.
right foot, while they draw on the string. • Cush the Benjamite.'- We read of no person of this
13. ' He ordaineth his arrows.?- This might more exactly
be rendered, “ he maketh his arrows burning. This image name in the history of David; but there were two Ben
would seem to be deduced from the use of such fiery arrows jamites, Saul and Shimei, from whom David received very
as are described by Ammianus Marcellinus. They coninjurious treatment. One of these persons is therefore
sisted of a hollow reed, to the lower part of which, under generally supposed to be referred to. If so, the proba
the point or barb, was fastened a round receptacle of iron, bility would seem to be that Saul is intended, as his
for combustible materials, so that such an arrow had the father's name was Kish ("p), a name not very different form of a distaff. The reed, as the above author says, from Cush (WID); and then the words’ of which David was filled with burning naphtha; and when the arrow was complains may be those found in ). Sam. xxii. 7, 8, which shot from a slack bow (for if discharged from a tight bow Saul addressed to his officers, and which resulted in the the fire went out), it struck the enemies' ranks and remassacre of the priests for having relieved David : or, mained infixed, the flame consuming whatever it met with : since in v. 4 the Psalmist clearly refers to the fact that he water poured on it increased its violence; there was no had already at least once spared the life of Saul, when it other means to extinguish it but by throwing earth upon was in his power, it may be referred to a later period, and it. Similar darts or arrows, which were twined round with tar and pitch, and set fire to, are described by Livy as having been made use of by the inhabitants of the city of Saguntum, when besieged by the Romans. An allusion to such arrows is also made in Ephesians vi. 16.
15. · He made a pit, and digged it.'—The practice of making pitfalls was anciently not only employed for ensnaring wild beasts, but was also a stratagem used against
men-the enemy-in time of war. The idea therefore refers to a man who, having made such a pit, whether for man or beast, and covered it over so as completely to disguise the danger, did himself inadvertently tread on his own trap, and fall into the pit he had prepared for another.
4 *What is man, that thou art mindful of
him ? and the son of man, that thou visitest God's glory is mugnified by his works, and by his love
5 For thou hast made him a little lower To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. than the angels, and hast crowned him with
glory and honour. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the works of thy hands; thou hast put all the heavens.
things under his feet: 2 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings 7 'All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts hast thou kordained strength because of thine of the field; enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the and the avenger.
sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of the seas. of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which 9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy thou hast ordained ;
name in all the earth! 2 Heb. founded.
5 Heb. Flocks and oxen all of them.
1 Matt, 21. 16.
3 Job 7. 17. Psal. 144. 3. Ileb. 2, 6.
4 I Cor. 15. 27.
TITLE, 'Gittith.'—This word is usually derived from na gath, but variously explained. In the first place, the word Gath is the name of one of the Philistine cities; and it is therefore supposed by some that the word denotes that the psalm was to be played upon any instrument which had been invented or made at Gath, and which had from thence been introduced among the Hebrews-so the Targum Paraphrase, “ upon the harp which was brought from Gath'-or else to a tune which had originated there, just as some of our own tunes bear the names of places. But others suppose that the psalm was composed while David was at Gath, and has hence its title. Then, again, gath signifies a • wine-press;' and hence the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Ethiopic render, ó for the wine-presses,' supposing, perhaps, that it was composed to be sung at the feast of tabernacles when the vintage was just got in; or, indeed, if this idea be followed out, why might it not have been sung by the treaders of the grapes ? for that they did sing as they trod in the wine-press we know. The three Psalms to which this word is prefixed are all of a cheerful character.
Verse 3. ' When I consider thy heavens,' etc.—. This Psalm,' says Hengstenberg, ' needs no historical exposition, and bears none. It has been often said, that David was raised to the adoration of God by the sight of the starry sky. And in this way it has been commonly explained why in the third verse, amid the glorious works of God in the heavens, the sun is omitted, and the moon and the stars only are mentioned. That this idea is not well grounded, we shall see when we come to the exposition of
the verse. That David composed this psalm, not as a shepherd, as some have supposed, for the sake of their sentimentality, but as king, is probable from the familiar reference in the Psalm to the kingly glory (compare verses 1 and 5). In his shepherd-state, David had not yet applied himself to indite psalms; and in him also was verified the proverb, “ The wine-press only produces the wine," and this, “ necessity makes men pray." It was in the persecutions that he endured from Saul that the springs of divine song were made to flow in him.'
6. 'All things under his feet.'— This allusion is taken from the custom of setting the foot upon a conquered enemy-implying the most humble subjection of the latter, and the most complete and triumphant superiority of the former. We have already illustrated this custom. The allusion to it is almost everywhere preserved in popular language, in which the oppressed are said to be trodden under feet, and so on. In the East, it is used, however, less to denote oppression than in acknowledging or claiming a proper superiority or subjection, Mr. Roberts illustrates this from the popular phraseology of the Hindoos. * The worshippers of the gods often say in their devotions : “We put your feet upon our heads." Truly the feet of Siva are upon my head.”. My gooroo, my gooroo, have I not put your feet upon my head ?” • My lord, believe not that man; your feet have always been upon my head." “Ah! what a mighty king was he; all things were under his feet."
heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous
works. 1 David praiseth God for executing of judgment. 11 He inciteth others to praise him. 13 He prayeth
2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee : I that he may have cause to praise him.
will sing praise to thy name, O thou most
High. To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben, A Psalm of 3 When mine enemies are turned back, David.
they shall fall and perish at thy presence. I WILL praise thee, O LORD, with my whole 4 For 'thou hast maintained my right and 1 Heb. thou hast made my judgment.
my cause ; thou satest in the throne judging 13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; con‘right
sider my trouble which I suffer of them that 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hate me, thou that liftest me up from the hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out gates of death : their name for ever and ever.
14 That I may shew 'forth all thy praise 6 °O thou enemy, destructions are come to in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will a perpetual end : and thou hast destroyed rejoice in thy salvation. cities; their memorial is perished with them. 15 "The heathen are sunk down in the pit
7 But the LORD shall endure for ever : he that they made : in the net which they hid is hath prepared his throne for judgment. their own foot taken. 8 And ‘he shall judge the world in righte
16 The Lord is known by the judgment ousness, he shall minister judgment to the which he executeth: the wicked is snared in people in uprightness.
the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Se9 The Lord also will be 'a refuge for the lah. oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, 10 And they that know thy name will put and all the nations that forget God. their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not 18 For the needy shall not alway be forforsaken them that seek thee.
gotten : the expectation of the poor shall not 11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwell- perish for ever, eth in Zion: declare among the people his
19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail : doings.
let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, 20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the he remembereth them : he forgetteth not the nations may know themselves to be but men. cry of the humble.
Selah. 2 Heb. in rightecusness. 3 Or, The destructions of the enemy are come to a perpetunl ond: and their cities hast thou destroyed, &e. 6 lleb, an high place.
8 Or, afflicted.
* Psal. 96. 13, and 98. 9.
5 Psal. 37. 39, and 46. 1, and 91.2.
9 Psal. 7. 16.
7 Gen, 4. 5.
TITLE, · Upon Muth-labben.'-These words have been in v. 6, their memorial is perished ;' in v. 12, when he very variously read. They are a nuo by al muth labben, maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them; and
in v. 17, the wicked shall be turned into hell.' Analogous as read by our translators. But as the first two words
examples of an enigmatical designation, by a change of occur as one word in the title to Ps. xlvi., and as a great
letters, are Sesach for Babel, and the Leb Kamai for number of manuscripts and editions have them as one here,
Kasdem in Jeremiah, both according to the alphabet we will take them to be so understood. Then nunsy Atbash. See on this and similar enigmatical designations, almuth, as the plural of op sy almah, denotes • damsels' Christologie, part ii., pp. 74-76 (Keith's trans.). Such
an enigmatical description of the subject is peculiarly apor virgins,' and may be supposed to refer to a company
propriate in the superscriptions of the Psalms, and finds in or choir of female singers or musicians; then, as the word them, as our exposition will shew, a great number of ana
a la-ben means in the obvious signification with a logies. It derives special support from 2 Sam. iii. 33, youth,' we seem to arrive at the signification that the words
where David laments, •Died Abner as the fool dieth ?' ¡udicate the musical performers of the psalm, and that it say nib?; compare also 1 Sam. xxv. 38, “ And it came was intended to be sung or performed by a chorus of to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, damsels, to whom the youths answered in alternate re- that he died.' Though the word is here to be taken as an sponses. The frequent changes of person this Psalm
adjective, yet it would seem that David had his eye upon favour the conclusion that it is of this responsive kind. that circumstance, which he viewed in the light of a preCalmet, however, who concedes that almuth refers to a
diction (comp. 1 Sam. xxv. 26), when Abigail said, Let band of maidens, conceives that la-ben means “to Ben ;' thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as for Ben happens to be the name of one of the chief musi- Nabal.' cians enumerated in 1 Chron. xv. 18; and finding him to Verse 15. * In the net which they hid is their own foot be thus associated with the almuth, he may be concluded taken: --The image here is from the mode of taking wild to have been the superintendent or director of the per- beasts by means of strong ropes or nets, which were comformances of the female choir.
mon among ancient nations, but which the use of fire-arms Hengstenberg repudiates these explanations, and prefers has rendered less frequent in modern times, except among that of Grotius, who supposed that a was put by a trans
barbarous nations. Lichtenstein (as quoted by Rosenmül
ler), speaking of the hunting of the Koofra (Kafirs), says: position of letters for Sq; nabal, and that the superscription "They catch much game by means of nets: in the woody dismarks the object of the Psalm. But Grotius erred in this, that
tricts they often make low hedges, miles in length, between
which they leave openings. In these openings, through which he took Say as a proper name, upon the dying of Nabal-a
the game tries to escape, they conceal snares, which are subject to which the psalm could not possibly refer—instead placed so ingeniously that the animals are caught in them of upon the dying of the fool. With the rectification of by the leg, and cannot extricate themselves. Also lions this error, the superscription accords precisely with the and elephants are caught in this manner : the latter, when contents; the destruction of the fool (comp. Ps. xiv.) is they have been brought by means of fire, or by tame actually the subject of the Psalm. Precisely corresponding elephants, to a narrow place, where they cannot turn back, words are used in v. 5, thou hast destroyed the wicked are caught by throwing ropes round their legs. compare also in v. 3, they shall perish at thy presence Ropes and pooses are meant by the figurative expression
WILD ELEPHANT CAUGHT BY Ropes. snares of death (2 Sam. xxii. 6), which the people of the ancient world used both in the chase and in war. The word is sometimes rendered net, as in this passage. Arrian, in his Treatise on Hunting, relates that Cyrus met with wild asses in the plains of Arabia, which were so swift that none of his horsemen were able to catch them. Yet the young Libyans, even boys of eight years of age or not much older, had pursued them, mounted on their horses, without saddle or bridle, till they threw a noose over them, and thus took them. He gives instruction to pursue stags with trained horses and dogs, till they can be either shot with arrows or taken alive by throwing a noose over them. These are the strong snares which Pollux means when he speaks of the wild asses; and they are also the same as those in which Habis, the natural son of au
Ox CAUGHT IN LASSO.-Ancient Egyptian, ancient Spanish king, was taken. He was exposed when with them over the mountains, and traversed forests, till a child, and suckled by a hind : having grown up among he was at length caught in a noose. In the same manner the stags, he had attained their swiftness, so that he fled
Ulloa saw the Gnasos (one of the aboriginal Peruvian nations) catch with their nooses (the Spanish lasso) the most active and cautious man as easily as the wild bull. Some English pirates once approaching their shore, and thinking to drive off the Gnasos with their fire-arms, the latter threw their nooses towards the vessel, and so pulled on shore those who had not fallen down at first sight. One who was caught escaped with his life, notwithstanding he had been thus violently drawn from the boat to the shore, the noose having caught him over the shoulder on the one side, and the arm on the other ; but it was sometime before he was able to recover his strength. In the same manner the Sagarthian horsemen in the Persian army used their nooses in war (Herodotus). These people, who, according to Stephanus, lived on the Caspian Sea, had no other arms than a noose and a dagger, to kill with the one
the enemy whom they had caught with the other. The GAZELLE CAUGHT IN LASSO.-Ancient Egyptian.
same is related by Pausanias of the Sauromati.
2 "The wicked in his pride doth persecute
the 1 David complaineth to God of the cutrage of the
?let them be taken in the devices poor :
that they have imagined. wicked. 12 He prayeth for remedy. 16 He profesecth his confidence.
3 For the wicked boasteth of liis 'heart's
desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why LORD abhorreth. hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
4 The wicked, through the pride of his 1 Ieb. In the pride of the wicked he doth persecute.
2 Psal. 7. 16. and 9. 16. Prov. 5. 22. 4 Or, the coretous blesscth himself, he abhorreth the LORD.
3 Heb. soul's.