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A priestly or Levitical psalm (see Psalms 26:6-8), calm and regular, composed of twelve verses, each verse a distich. The writer has nothing to reproach himself with; he can appeal to the strict tribunal of God without fear. The protest against apostasy is evidently made not for himself alone, but for the pious part of the community.
(1) Judge me—i.e., do me justice, “vindicate me.”
I shall not slide.—Rather, I have trusted in Jehovah without wavering.
(2) Try.—Rather, purify, according to the right reading. LXX., try by fire.
(3) For thy lovingkindness . . .—God’s favour was before him as an encouragement, and God’s truth formed the rule of his life.
(4) Dissemblers—i.e., hypocrites.
(5) Evil doers.—With idea of violence; from a root meaning to break in pieces.
(6) I will wash.—First a symbolical action (Deuteronomy 21:6 seq.; Matthew 27:24), then a figure of speech (Job 9:30; Ezekiel 36:25). The Levitical authorship or, at all events, the Levitical character of the psalm appears from comparison of this with Exodus 30:17 seq.
So will I.—Better, that I may, &c. There is no other reference in Jewish literature to the custom of pacing round the altar, but it was a very natural and obvious addition to a gorgeous ceremonial—like the processions in churches where a high ceremonial is adopted. It is, however, implied from the Talmud that it was part of the ceremonial of the Feast of Tabernacles for people to march round the altar with palms.
(7) That I may . . .—Literally, to make to hear the voice of praise.
(9) Gather not.—Better as in margin. The psalmist prays that he may be spared to worship in the sanctuary, when doom falls on evildoers and carries them off. The LXX. and Vulg. have “destroy not.”
(12) My foot standeth.—It seems more in accordance with the general drift of the poem to take this verse, When I stand in an even or level place [i.e., when I am rescued from the difficulties which now beset me] I will praise Jehovah in the congregation.
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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent