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Yet God is mine helperJEHOVAH my life's support. On mine enemies may their malice revert ! For thy truth's sake, O God! cut them off. To thee I will liberally facrifice : thy gracious name, JEHOVAH! I will praise : when thou hast rescued me out of every distress, and I have seen mine enemies punished.
NOTES. Ver. 5. For the arrogant. The present Heb. as now pointed, has strangers. But the Ziphites were not strangers; and the true reading is arrogant, infolent, proud: which is still that of several mss. and was followed by the Chaldee paraphraft. So also a parallel place in psalm 86. 14.-Ver. 6. Jebovah my life's fiapport, Lit. “ Jehovah is among the supports of my life:” a mere Hebraism, or rather Arabicism : frequent in the Koran.
PSALM LV.Gal. LIV. The tenor of this psalm seems to indicate, that it was composed
duri:g the rebellion of Abshulom. FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN; ON THE NEGI I
NOTH: A DIDACTIC PSALM OF DAVID. GIVE ear, O God! to my prayer : hide not thy face from my petition : be attentive to me, and hear me. Agitated with musings, I roar out, because of the clamors of the enemy, because of the violence of the wicked. For to me they falsely impute iniquity; and in fury set themselves against me. Mine heart palpitateth, within me ; on me are fallen the terrors of death : fear and trembling have seized me, and horror hath me overwhelmed.
O! think I, that I had wings!
Confound, JEHOVAH! confound their counsels:
It was not an open foe, who reviled me
May sudden death seize on them-
But God I invoke-JEHOVAH will save me!
Their mouth was softer than butter, but immediate warfare was in their heart! their words were smoother than oil; but, in reality, were drawn swords.
Rely thou on JEHOVAH ! he will support thee : he will never suffer the righteous to totter. But those, O God, thou wilt precipitate into the pit of perdition ! Bloody and deceitful men shall not live half their days : but in thee will I put my trust.
Ver. 16. Alive may they go down to Hades! The meaning is not that they should be swallowed up by the earth alive, but that ihey should die a hasty and violent death : which was actually the case with both Ahithophel and Abfhalom; although David's imprecation must have been limited to the former. See the Note on ver. 19.Ver. 18. and make my voice be beard. I follow the reading of Syr. and one Heb. ms. The rest have, and he will hear my voice, Ver. 19. I think this and the following verses have been generally misunderstood. They appear to me to refer to Abíhalom only, whom his tender father wished rather to be reclaimed than ruined. See 2 Sam. 18. 4. and 33. Perhaps some others of his near kindred were also among the conspirators : hence he sometimes uses the plural number, and sometimes the fingular; but the plural is often used for one, and both fingulars and plurals may here refer only to Abíhalom. I use the plural throughout.–Ver. 21. One inay perceive here, I think, an indirect accusation of Ablhalom's ingratitude. He had been recalled from banishment, pardoned for the murder of his brother, and readmitted into royal favour; and had, doubtless, on that occasion promised to be a dutiful son and obedient subject for the future. But the first thing he does is to steal the hearts of the people, and at last break out in open rebellion against the best of fathers. See 2 Sama 14. 33. and 15. 112.
PSALM LVI.-al. LV. It is the remark of Secker (in bis ms. notes) that this psalm seemetb not peculiarly to suit the title; which imports that it was composed by David, when be was surprised by the Philistines at Gath. Interpreters indeed refer us to 1 Sam. 21.11–15. but what connection that passage can bave with the subječt of this psalm, I cannot perceive. But I bave more than once already noticed, that the titles are of small authority: and the reader may refer the psalm to any other more probable occurrence. If Gatb and the Pbilistines be at all concerned in it, it must be referred to tbat period wben David and bis 600 men were under the protec. tion of the king of Gatb, during Saul's persecution. See i Sam. 27. 1–7. The word in the title, wbicb is commonly rendered took, or surprised, is susceptible of a very different meaning; which I bave expressed in my translation. But I must refer to my Critical Remarks, for this and several other difficult passages tbat occur in this psalm.
I FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN; ON THE IONATH
ELEMREHOKIM; A GOLDEN PSALM OF DAVID;
HAVE pity on me, O GOD!
From day to day I am in dread :
Secretly they meet, and mark my steps,
O God! thou hast numbered my wanderings ; .
When I invoke thee, let mine enemies retreat : by this I shall know that God is with me. In God I will glory, whatever me befall ! In God I will glory, whatever me befall! In God I will trust, and nothing fear of all that men can do to me. The vows, O God! which to thee I make, with praises to thee I will pay : when thou shalt have rescued my life from death; nay, prevented my feet from sipping ; that I may walk before God, in the light of the living.
NOTES. There are difficulties in this psalm, that to many have appeared infurmountable: and whether I have been able to surmount them all, I much doubt myself. My version, I presume, is intelligible: but whether always just, I will not take upon me to say. I will add a few notes for further illustration. In the title I have supposed that the long compound name ionatb-elem-rebokim is some musical instrument; rather than give it a ridiculous appellative meaning, as the antients have generally done. If the word were at all to be rendered, I lould be apt to adopt Houbigant’s version, ON THE AFFLICTION OF AN EXILED PEOPLE, meaning David and his followers, who were then in exile among the Philistines. Some think that it was the beginning of some well known air or tune ; to which this psalm was to be set.Ver. 4. From day to day, &c. This is entirely a conjectural emendation ; but it consists in the change of a single letter; and separating a word from the end of a verse to join it to the next. That word is,