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4 Concerning the works of men, by the 11 They have now compassed us in our word of thy lips I have kept me from the steps: they have set their eyes bowing down paths of the destroyer.
to the earth; 5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that 12 'Like as a lion that is greedy of his my footsteps slip not.
prey, and as it were a young lion olurking in 6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt secret places. hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, 13 Arise, O LORD, 'disappoint him, cast and hear my speech.
him down : deliver my soul from the wicked, 7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O "which is thy sword : thou 'that savest by thy right hand them 14 "From men which are thy hand, O which put their trust in thee from those that LORD, from men of the world, which have rise up against them.
their portion in this life, and whose belly thou 8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide fillest with thy hid treasure : ''they are full me under the shadow of thy wings,
of children, and leave the rest of their sub9 From the wicked 'that oppress me, from stance to their babes. 'my deadly enemies, who compass me about. 15 As for me, I will behold thy face in
1o They are inclosed in their own fat: righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I with their mouth they speak proudly.
awake, with thy likeness. 3 Heb. be not moved. 4 Or, that savest them which trust in thee from those that rise up against thy right hand.
5 Heb, that waste me. 6 Heb. my enemies against the soul.
7 Heb. the likeness of him (that is, of every one of them) is as a lion that desireth to ravin. a Heb, sitting. 9 Heb. prevent his face. 10 Or, by the sword. 11 Or, from men by ihine hand. 12 Or, their children are full.
I left the camp unattended, and quite forgetful of danger, to examine some ancient aqueducts.' Having examined them, he was about to proceed to the Fountain of Elisha, when— I was approached by two Bedouins, armed with
Psalm XVII.-If it should seem necessary to find a particular occasion for this Psalm, we should certainly refer it to one of David's times of great distress, and the intimations agree better with his troubles under Saul, than with those which Absalom occasioned.
Verse 8. 'Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of thy wings.'-No one fails to observe the beauty of these simple images. The first evidently refers to the solicitude with which one guards that most precious and delicate organ, the eye, in time of danger; but it is not agreed whether the other refers to the outspread wings of the cherubim over the mercy-seat, or to the tender assiduities of the parent hen in covering her brood with her wings. We know the latter circumstance supplied a touching image to our Saviour (Matt. xxiii. 37).
8. “The apple of the eye.”—Literally “the eye's daughter.' Son' and daughter, in the Syro-Arabic group of languages, as we have had more than one occasion to shew, is applied to what belongs to another, or is dependant upon him; for example, arrows are named in Lam. iii. 13, sons of the quiver.'
10. `In their own fat.'—We know that, in the figurative language of Scripture, fatness denotes pride. This connection of ideas is still maintained in the East, where, when it is intended to indicate a proud man, he is said to be fat, or to look fat, whether really so or not. In China the ideas of dignity and fatness are so closely associated, that no man who is lean can well hope to obtain a place of authority or distinction.
11, 12.— They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.:—The whole passage gives a graphic picture of a person surprised, compassed, and dodged by enemies, eagerly watching to take him for a single moment at advantage. The images are derived from circumstances which are of no uncommon occurrence at the present day in Palestine. It forcibly reminds us of an adventure which occurred to Dr. Olin, when he unadvisedly strayed at some distance from the caravan near Jericho. The traveller in these unfortunate countries hears so many tales of robbery and violence, that they cease to produce any feelings of alarm, or even to ensure the necessary forethought and caution. It was hardly an hour after listening to such recitals (which he gives] that
I first saw them, to be engaged in taking care of some to be tedious, they retreated a few paces; and, after conhorses which were grazing loose near by, but soon left sulting together for a moment, commenced urging me to them and advanced directly up to me. I felt at once the go with them to the wady that opens into the mountain unpleasantness of my situation, and saw my gross impru- near the Jerusalem road, pointing eagerly in that direction, dence in wandering a mile or more from the camp alone, and exclaiming, “El deir, el ain," as if acquainted with and in a region which, I had such good reason to know, the objects of my visit. They even seemed disposed to was full of robbers. It was too late, however, to retreat take hold of my hands, and lead me towards these interestand I had only to make the best of my situation, and ing objects. I declined their civilities with a resolute learn more prudence for the future. I saluted my un- tone, designing to let them know that I took them for welcome visitors with a courteous salam, at the same time robbers, and at the same time keeping near them, as the stepping back a little, as they had approached nearly best position for the use of my weapons, should that bewithin arm's length. I had no weapons, not so much as a come necessary. After some minutes they retired towards walking stick. Franks, however, are believed by these the western mountain, and I, when they were gone a good people to go always well armed: an impression which I distance, commenced my return to the camp, at first very tried to confirm by putting my hand in my bosom, as if carelessly, as being in no hurry, but, as soon as I thought to see that my pistols were ready for service. At the prudent, at a quicker step: It was now after sunset, I same time I armed myself with a couple of heavy stones, crossed the ravine by walking along the channel of the with which I hoped, if necessary, to prevent mischief from lower aqueduct. Here I met several English gentlemen the crazy matchlocks, which must be ignited by the aid of our party, and heard from them of some additional of a flint and steel before becoming very formidable. robberies that had been committed during the afternoon The fellows halted, in seeming suspense as to what they upon some of the pilgrims, who had proceeded without a should do. They looked at the encampment, a mile guard a little beyond the camp:' distant, but still conspicuously in view, and near enough 13, 14. ' Thy sword....thy hand, etc. - Dr. Hammond for the report of a musket to be heard. They were very renders these clauses more intelligibly, ' Deliver my soul small men, even for Bedouins; and I thought they eyed from the wicked by thy sword, and by thy hand from the my stature of six feet with an appearance of respect, men of this age.' which, under the circumstances, was certainly gratifying Thy hid treasure.'— Better, choice things,' or to me. After a season of suspense, which seemed to me dainties.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came
down: and darkness was under his feet. David praiseth God for his manifold and marvellous blessings.
10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did
fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant
wind. of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of 11 He made darkness his secret place; 'this song in the day that the LORD delivered him
his pavilion round about him were dark waters from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand
and thick clouds of the skies. of Saul: And he said,
12 At the brightness that was before him I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals
2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, of fire. and my deliverer; my God, 'my strength, in 13 The Lord also thundered in the heawhom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn vens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail of my salvation, and my high tower.
stones and coals of fire. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy 14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scatto be praised : so shall I be saved from mine tered them; and he shot out lightnings, and enemies.
discomfited them. 4 *The sorrows of death compassed me, 15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the floods of ‘ungodly men made me and the foundations of the world were discoafraid.
vered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of 5 The 'sorrows of hell compassed me the breath of thy nostrils. about: the snares of death prevented me. 16 He sent from above, he took me, he
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, drew me out of 'many waters. and cried unto my God: he heard my voice 17 He delivered me from my strong out of his temple, and my cry came before enemy, and from them which hated me: for him, even into his ears.
they were too strong for me. 7 Then the earth shook and trembled ; the 18 They prevented me in the day of my foundations also of the hills moved and were calamity : but the LORD was my stay. shaken, because he was wroth.
19 He brought me forth also into a large 8 There went up a smoke 'out of his nos- place; he delivered me, because he delighted trils, and fire out of his mouth devoured : in me. coals were kindled by it.
20 The LORD rewarded me according to ? Heb. my rock.
3 Or, cords. 6 Heb. by his. 7 Or, great waters.
3 Psal. 116. 3.
4 Heb. Belial,
my righteousness ; according to the cleanness 37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overof my hands hath he recompensed me.
taken them : neither did I turn again till they 2i For I have kept the ways of the LORD, were consumed. and have not wickedly departed from my 38 I have wounded them that they were God.
not able to rise : they are fallen under my 22 For all his judgments were before me, feet. and I did not put away his statutes from me. 39 For thou hast girded me with strength
23 I was also upright before him, and I unto the battle : thou hast subdued under kept myself from mine iniquity.
me those that rose up against me. 24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed 40 Thou hast also given me the necks of me according to my righteousness, according mine enemies ; that I might destroy them to the cleanness of my hands 'in his eyesight. that hate me.
25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thy- 41 They cried, but there was none to save self merciful ; with an upright man thou wilt them: even unto the LORD, but he answered shew thyself upright;
them not. 26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself 42 Then did I beat them small as the dust pure; and with the froward thou wilt foshew before the wind : I did cast them out as the thyself froward
dirt in the streets. 27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people ; | . 43 Thou hast delivered me from the strirbut wilt bring down high looks.
ings of the people; and thou hast made me 28 For thou wilt light my 'candle: the the head of the heathen: a people whom I LORD
my God will enlighten my darkness. have not known shall serve me. 29 For by thee I have "run through a 44 "As soon as they hear of me, they shall troop; and by my God have I leaped over a obey me: *the strangers shall 21 submit wall.
themselves unto me. 30 As for God, his way is perfect : ''the 45 The strangers shall fade away, and be word of the LORD is ''tried : he is a buckler afraid out of their close places. to all those that trust in him.
46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my 31 "For who is God save the LORD ? or rock; and let the God of my salvation be who is a rock save our God ?
exalted. 32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, 47 It is God that avengeth me, and and maketh my way perfect.
2*subdueth the people unto me. 33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and 48 He delivereth me from mine enemies : setteth me upon my high places.
yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise 34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that up against me: thou hast delivered me from a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
the violent man. 35 Thou hast also given me the shield of 49 Therefore will I "give thanks unto thy salvation : and thy right hand hath holden thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing me up, and thy gentleness hath made me praises unto thy name. great.
50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; 36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, that "my feet did not slip.
and to his seed for evermore. 9 Heb. before his eyes.
10 Or, wrestle.
11 Or, lamp.
14 Or, refined, 1$ Or, with thy meekness thou hast multiplied me.
19 Heb. at the hearing of the ear. 20 Heb. the sons of the stranger. 21 Or, yield feigned obedience,
23 Heb. giveth avengements for me. 24 Or, destroyeth. 25 Heb. a man of violence.
77 Or, confess.
Heb. with. 13 Psal. 12. 6, and 119. 140. Prov. 30. 5.
17 Heb. mine ankles.
12 Or, broken. 15 Deut. 32. 39. 1 Sam. 2. 2. Psal. 86. 8. Isa. 45. 5. 18 Heb. caused to bow. 22 Heb. lie.
26 Rom. 15. 9.
PSALM XVIII.-This sublime ode is the same, with some alterations, as that which has been already given in 2 Sam. xxii., where the occasion that gave rise to it is particularly stated. Dr. Kennicott justly describes this magnificent Psalm as containing the noblest imagery that ever was expressed in words ; particularly in that portion which describes the coming of the Lord in anger to avenge and deliver his afflicted servant.
Verse 6. Out of his temple.'— It has been shewn in the note to v. 7, that the term here used might be applied to the tabernacle as the place of the Lord's abode ; the temple, properly so called, not having been yet built : but
it has here the higher signification of God's ' dwellingplace in the high heavens, for which the earnest cry uttered upon the earth is not unheard or disregarded by him.' The intended apposition is lost if we overlook the fact that heaven is here designated as `his temple.'
8. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils.'-Chandler (in his History of David) observes, that this expresses the Lord's anger and indignation by a comparison derived from the circumstances which indicate such emotions in man. The ancients made the nose or nostrils the seat of angry emotions, on account of the heated, vehement breath which came from them under such conditions. On the same grounds, the physiognomists regarded wide, open my arms, which would seem to denote that he could do nostrils as a sign of angry and fiery dispositions.
this with the strength of his arms only, without requiring 10. · The wings of the wind.'-—To ascribe wings to the the assistance of the foot, which was so usually employed wind is a striking but sufficiently obvious metaphor. It that the phrase usually rendered to bend the bow, is occurs in the heathen poets. They are also represented literally to tread the bow.' This surely brings out as winged on ancient monuments. On the Tower of the a better view than that which modern interpreters have Winds, at Athens, the eight principal winds are exhibited usually chosen, after some of the ancient versions, 'maketh like young men with wings.* Virgil ascribes wings to the my arms like a bow of brass.' lightning also ('Æneid,' v. 319).
42. “I beat them small as the dust before the wind? — The 29. • Leaped over a wall!—This probably refers to his original has crush them ;' and as dust is not crushed behaving taken some remarkable town by scaling the ram- fore the wind, but driven away by it, the sense must be parts.
that they resembled dust in that they were crushed with 33. 'My feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high as much facility as the dust is driven by the wind; implaces.”—This is repeated by Habakkuk nearly in the plying that their destruction was as a mere pastime to him. same words (Hab. iii. 19). It offers a double allusion, 42. I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets,' or not only to the proverbial swiftness of the animal, but to rather of the streets.' Hengstenberg and others seem the ease and safety with which it stands and leaps in high to have stumbled in interpreting this verse, from not and dangerous places—upon the mountains and among adverting to the fact that in the East all household refuse the rocks. Bochart conjectures that there may also, in and filth is cast forth into the streets, where all of it that the first clause, be an allusion to the uncommon solidity is at all edible is soon cleared away by birds and dogs, and hardness of the hoofs, which Virgil compares to brass, and all that is not is speedily dried up by the sun. To and by which the animal is the better enabled to tread the cast forth any one, therefore, as the dirt of the streets, is rocks with ease.
a strong image of contempt and rejection. The image 34. 'A bow of steel is broken by mine arms.'-Instead applies to the putting forth or ejection of the dirt from of steel,' we should read brass. We do not see any the houses into the streets, and not to the trampling ditficulty in understanding this text as our version gives down and dispersion of the dirt ordinarily found in it. As it was a test of great strength to bend certain large streets, as Hengstenberg supposes. This explanation disand very strong bows, how much more so to bring the penses with the necessity for a circuitous interpretation string home with such force and compression as to break of the 'pouring out,' which the other requires. the bow! Then also there may be an emphasis in 'by
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, re1 T'he creatures shew God's glory; 7 the word, his joicing the heart: the commandment of the grace. 12 David prayeth for grace.
LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
for ever : the judgments of the LORD are true THE 'heavens declare the glory of God; and and righteous altogether. the firmament sheweth his handywork.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night yea, than much fine gold : ''sweeter also than unto night sheweth knowledge.
honey and "the honeycomb. 3 There is no speech nor language, * 'where 11 Moreover by them is thy servant their voice is not heard.
warned: and in keeping of them there is great 4 * *Their line is gone out through all the reward. earth, and their words to the end of the world. 12 Who can understand his errors ? cleanse In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, thou me from secret faults.
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of 13 Keep back thy servant also from prehis chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to sumptuous sins ; let them not have dominion
over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall 6 His going forth is from the end of the be innocent from the great transgression. heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, "con- sight, O LORD, "my strength, and my reverting the soul : the testimony of the LORD deemer. is sure, making wise the simple.
run a race.
1 Gen. 1. 6.
2 Or, without these their voice is heard. 5 Or, their rule, or, direction. 6 Or, doctrine. 7 Or, restoring. 10 Psal, 119. 103.
11 Heb. the dropping of honeycombs.
8 Heb, without their voice heard.
4 Rom. 10. 18. 8 Heb. truth, 9 Psal. 119. 72, 127. Prov. 8. 19. 12 Or, much,
13 Heb. my rock.
Verse 1. ' The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.In the East the contemplation of the heavens is peculiarly adapted to give a deep impression of the greatness of God as the Creator. Very vivid is the impression which we retain of the solemnizing and exalting effect of the beautiful heavens
above our head during our frequent night journeys, or when, in the time of summer, we have rested beneath its open cope, and remained for hours awake wrapt in devont admiration of the glorious scene. Nor by day is the view of the vast firmament of deep blue, unbroken by the smallest fragment of cloud, less admirable to those whose eyes have been accustomed to a far different prospect. ment, were performed by the man and woman under a The celebrated traveller Carsten Niebuhr, is described by tent or canopy erected for that purpose. Into this chamber his son as solacing himself in his blind and lame old age the bridegroom was accustomed to go with his bride, that with the distinct images of Eastern travel which his mind he might talk with her more familiarly, which was conretained. He said to us, that as he lay thus blind upon sidered as a ceremony of confirmation to the wedlock. his bed, the images of all that he had seen in the East While he was there, no person was allowed to enter : his were ever present to his soul; and that it was therefore friends and attendants waited for him at the door, with no wonder that he could speak of them as of yesterday. torches and lamps in their hands; and when he came out, he In like manner there was vividly reflected to him in the was received by all that were present with great joy and hours of stillness the nocturnal view of the deep Asiatic acclamation. To this ancient custom the Psalmist appears heavens, with their brilliant host of stars, which he had to allude in this magnificent description of the heavens. so often contemplated; or else their blue and lofty vault 10. Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.'_We by day: and this was his greatest enjoyment.'
speak of the sweetness of honey, without making any such 4, 5. "In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which distinctions of quality as here implied. But whoever has is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.'-This com- eaten honey newly taken out of a honeycomb, or chewed parison cannot be well understood but by reference to the fresh honeycomb before the cups or cells have been some peculiarities in the marriage ceremonies of the opened, is sensible of a peculiar delicacy of flavour which ancient Jews, as repeated by Buxtorf in his Synagoga will be sought for in vain after the honey has for any Judaica. The espousals by money, or a written instru- length of time been expressed or clarified.
the name of our God we will set up our ban1 The church blesseth the king in his exploits. 7 Her
ners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. confidence in God's succour.
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his
anointed; he will hear 'him from his holy To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
heaven 'with the saving strength of his right THE LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; hand. the name of the God of Jacob 'defend thee. 7 Some trust in chariots, and some in
2 Send 'thee help from the sanctuary, and horses : but we will remember the name of *strengthen thee out of Zion.
the LORD our God. 3 Remember all thy offerings, and 'accept 8 They are brought down and fallen : but thy burnt sacrifice. Selah.
we are risen, and stand upright. 4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, 9 Save, LORD : let the king hear us when and fulfil all thy counsel.
5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in
2 Heb. thy help
4 Heb. turn to ashes : or, make fat. 5 Heb. from the heaven of his holiness.
6 Heb. by the strength of the salvation of his right hand.
* Psalm XX.—This Psalm is generally supposed to have been composed by David about the time of the war with the Ammonites and Syrians, as recorded in 2 Sam. x.
There were a great number of chariots and horses brought into the field against him on that occasion : and to this he seems to refer in verse 7.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation: 1 A thanksgiving for victory: 7 Confidence of further
honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6 For thou hast 'made him most blessed To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
for ever: thou hast *made him exceeding
glad with thy countenance. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; 7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and and in thy salvation how greatly shall he through the mercy of the most High he shall rejoice!
not be moved. 2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, 8 Thine hand shall find out all thine and hast not withholden the request of his enemies : thy right hand shall find out those lips. Selah.
that hate thee. 3 For thou preventest him with the bless- L. 9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in ings of goodness : thou settest a crown of pure the time of thine anger: the Lord shall gold on his head.
swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire 4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it shall devour them. him, even length of days for ever and ever. 10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the 1 Heb. set him to be blessings.
2 Heb. gladded him with joy.