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Psalms 64:1 « To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. » Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
A Psalm of David ] Of like argument with the former. The Arabic prefaceth, when Taluth (i.e. Saul) persecuted him. By this and many the like psalms we may see that David did not complain for nothing; and his singular constancy under so many trials may well make us resolve as Jerome did when he had read the Life of holy Hilarion, he rolled up the book and said, Well, Hilarion (David) shall be the champion that I will imitate.
Ver. 1. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer ] Or, in my meditation. To an effectual prayer must concur meditation, invocation, affection, and belief of audience, as here.
Preserve my life ] Heb. lives; so usually called for the many faculties, operations, revolutions, commodities of life.
Psa 64:2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
Ver. 2. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked ] Or, from the mystery of evil doers, from the Church malignant, that mystery of iniquity. See the contrary, Psalms 111:1 .
From the insurrection, &c. ] Heb. from their tumult, their hurricum, their open force, as well as from their secret fraud. Let thy protection equal their projects, who turn every stone to undo me.
Psa 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, [and] bend [their bows to shoot] their arrows, [even] bitter words:
Ver. 3. Who whet their tongue like a sword ] The tongue in its form resembleth a flaming sword, and being set on fire of hell, it woundeth deeply and dangerously. It is ordinary with David to compare aulicas criminationes cum armis castrensibus, court calumnies with warlike weapons, Psalms 5:6 ; Psalms 5:9-10 Psa 11:5-6 Psalms 57:4 . See there.
And bend their bows to shoot their arrows ] Heb. bend their arrow, that is, as Psalms 11:2 , "they bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string," &c. See a like phrase Jeremiah 9:3 .
Even bitter words ] Virulent and venomous, quae leviter volant, non leviter violant; for as Medius in Plutarch saith, though the wound they make be haply healed, yet there will be still a scar, ηη ουλη μενει της διαβολης (Plut.). An aspersion, though not fully believed, leaveth behind it a lower estimation of the party than before.
Psa 64:4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
Ver. 4. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect ] Innocence and integrity is no target against calumny; but every Zopyrus shall be sure of his Zoilus, who, right or wrong, will shoot him down if he can, Aliquid saltem adhaerebit (Machiavel).
Suddenly do they shoot at him ] As the hunter when he lieth hidden in a bush; or as when hedges are lined, as they call it, with musketeers, which gall and kill.
And fear not ] They are not at all touched either with reverence toward God or respect to man, but are utterly debauched, they ride on without reins, &c. There is an elegance in the original that cannot be translated into English.
Psa 64:5 They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
Ver. 5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter ] Thus he riseth in his complaint, and showeth how, by the neglect of piety and humanity, they were grown obdurate and obstinate, yea, confident, or rather impudent, in their evil practices.
They commune of laying snares privily ] viz. To entangle and entrap me. See Nehemiah 4:11 , See Trapp on " Neh 4:11 "
They say, Who shall see them? ] God, who is all eye, shall, but they, having hid God from themselves, think they can likewise hide themselves and their snares from God. But
- εχει θεος εκδικον ομμα
Psa 64:6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward [thought] of every one [of them], and the heart, [is] deep.
Ver. 6. They search out iniquities ] Abstrusissima quaeque exquisierunt; they search the devil’s skull for new inventions; who is ready enough to lend them his seven heads to plot and his ten horns to push at good people. How wittily wicked was Saul to destroy David, if he could have done it! See his counsel to the Ziphites, 1 Samuel 23:22 .
They accomplish a diligent search ] Heb. a search searched, i.e. They seek out all occasions, they try all tricks, they do all that can be done to undo me. Whereunto he fitly subjoineth this epiphonema by way of exclamation, Adeo intimum viri et cor profundum est, So deep is the inward part and heart of man (for so I read it)! so deep and fathomless, so deceitful, and desperately wicked.
Psa 64:7 But God shall shoot at them [with] an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
Ver. 7. But God shall shoot at them, &c. ] He shall overshoot them in their own bow, pay them home in their own coin; he will deal with them lege talionis, for he loveth to retaliate, see Psalms 64:4 , they shall find that he can handle his arms a fair deal better against them than they did against David.
With an arrow suddenly ] As was Ahab, and the rich fool, Luke 12:16-21 , while he sat pruning himself like a bird on a bough, death fetched him off suddenly by his shaft shot at him, and down be came tumbling. See 1 Thessalonians 5:3 .
Psa 64:8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
Ver. 8. So they shall make their own tongue, &c. ] According to Pro 12:13 Psalms 59:12 . See Trapp on " Pro 12:13 " See Trapp on " Psa 59:12 "
And all that see them shall flee away ] With horror and astonishment. Heb. They shall wander about in their flight; this is spoken of their favourites and abetters fearing to fall under the like punishment, and being agitated by the furies of their own evil consciences.
Psa 64:9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
Ver. 9. And all men shall fear ] Seeing such and such banged up in gibbets, as it were, for a terror to others, Poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes.
And shall declare the work of God ] viz. His power and providence, which some doubt till thus powerfully convinced, as Claudian was by the destruction of Ruffinus.
Abstulit hunc tandem Ruffini poena tumultum,
Absolvitque deos; et non iam ad culmina rerum
Iniustos crevisse queror; tolluntur in altum,
Ut lapsu graviore ruant -
Psa 64:10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
Ver. 10. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord ] Not myself only, but all the saints shall be comforted, confirmed, and occasioned to make their boast in God with a holy gloriation, Inde arripient sanctae cuiusdam iactantiae argumentum (Beza).
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 64". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13