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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 7

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 7:0.

David prayeth against the malice of his enemies, professing his innocency. By faith he seeth his defence, and their destruction.

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

Title. לדוד שׁגיון Shiggaion ledavid. Shiggaion of David Cantio erratica. Houbigant. A wandering song, says Parkhurst, after Fenwick; a song of wanderings, probably composed by David in his wandering, when persecuted by Saul and his servants; in which the Psalmist stands as a type of Christ and his church, persecuted by Satan and his adherents. Who this Cush was, we are nowhere told, if he be not the same with Shimei. He seems by the 3rd and 4th verses to have reproached David, much in the same manner as Shimei did, with his ingratitude to Saul. Some are of opinion, that by Cush, or Cis, is meant Saul himself, the son of Cis; and they have some countenance for their conjecture from the title of the Chaldee; "The interpretation of an ode of David, which he sung before the Lord, when he delivered a poem upon the death of Saul, the son of Cis, who was of the tribe of Benjamin." The full and strong terms, however, in which the person speaking in this psalm declares his innocence, and indeed the whole subject matter of it, seems to assure us, that, on whatever occasion David wrote it, the Holy Spirit led him to use words which, in their full and most proper sense, must have been designed for the mouth of him who was perfectly righteous, and in whose hands there was never any iniquity. He begins the psalm with praying for deliverance from his enemies who pursued him; one more eminently beyond others, we may imagine, from his frequently recurring to the singular number: He then protests his innocence, and proceeds to pray God to do justice to the world and himself; supposes him sitting in judgment, Psa 7:8 and petitions him, as he is sitting, to judge impartially both good and bad. Accordingly he does so from Psalms 7:9-13. His enemy is defeated and falls into his own snare; 14-16 upon which he praises God for this act of justice.

Verse 2

Psalms 7:2. Lest he tear my soul The singular here evidently proves that one particular enemy is referred to; Fenwick supposes it to mean the great enemy and accuser, whose agents and tools wicked men are. Soul sometimes signifies life itself, of which it is the principle; and sometimes it implies the person himself; both which senses are agreeable to this place.

Verse 4

Psalms 7:4. If I have rewarded evil, &c.— Or, If I have repayed [evil] to him who dealt ill with me; or if I have despoiled him, who without cause was my enemy. The verse, according to our translation, points strongly to the cave where David saved Saul from being killed.

Verse 6

Psalms 7:6. Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, &c.— This supposes that God had determined that an exact and solemn judgment should one time or other pass upon the world; and he prays him to awake and arouse himself up to execute it.

Verse 7

Psalms 7:7. For their sakes therefore For that [cause] therefore. The words, compass thee about, allude to the Jewish rite of going round the temple and altar in time of divine worship. So that to compass about, in a triumphant and joyful procession, means, to adore, worship, and praise God. So Psalms 26:6. I will wash mine hands in innocency, and so will I compass, or go round thine altar. See Spencer de Leg. Heb. tom. 2:

Verse 8

Psalms 7:8. According to my righteousness i.e. Referring to David, "Mine innocence, with respect to him, who persecutes me without cause." See the 3rd and 4th verses. In the same sense David calls himself the just or righteous, in the next verse; where the reins signify the same thing with the heart; but the sacred writers usually join these two words together, in describing the knowledge which God has of our inward motions and thoughts, in order to express themselves with the greater force, and the better to denote that God penetrates into our most secret sentiments.

Verse 11

Psalms 7:11. God judgeth, &c.— God is a righteous judge, and a God who avengeth every day.

Verse 12

Psalms 7:12. If he turn not, he will whet his sword Since he will not turn back, he is whetting his sword, i.e. "Since this particular enemy of David's will not turn, &c." The Psalmist is supposed, to see God preparing instruments of vengeance against his pursuers, since they would not turn from pursuing him, nor cease to lay snares for his life.

Verse 13

Psalms 7:13. He ordaineth his arrows, &c.— He will make his {arrows to pursue. / pursuing arrows.}

Verse 14

Psalms 7:14. Behold, he travaileth, &c.— This verse is by some expositors more clearly rendered thus: Behold he is travailing with his iniquity; for he had conceived mischief, and therefore he will bring forth falsehood. The sense is, that all his wicked designs and endeavours would be frustrated: He will bring forth falsehood: i.e. "He will be so far from succeeding in what he undertook, that it will but miserably deceive him in the end, and turn to his own confusion." See Proverbs 11:18.

Verse 15

Psalms 7:15. He made a pit, &c.— This is a proverbial mode of speech often used in Scripture: it is taken from pits which are digged and then covered with the leaves of trees, or some such unstable materials, either to make men fall into them, as in the time of war; or else wild beasts, who are hunted into them.

REFLECTIONS.—1. This Psalm opens with David's professed dependance upon God. O Lord, my God, in whom I have a sure interest, and who art bound to me in the tenderest relation, in thee do I put my trust, at all times, and under all difficulties. Note; They who continue thus to make God their refuge, can never be moved.

2. He cries to God to save him from the malice of his persecutors; strong and cruel as a lion, they threatened to tear him in pieces; and he was without help in himself, or a friend to protect him. Note; When we are weak, then are we strong; the farther all human dependance is removed, the more shall we be led to rely on God alone.

3. He appeals to God for the innocence that there was in him respecting the things laid to his charge. Note; (1.) It is an unspeakable comfort, under the world's malignant aspersions, to be conscious of our own innocence. (2.) However wicked men may strive to blacken us, we have a God to appeal to, the protector of the injured; and he will shortly make our righteousness appear as the light, and our just dealings as the noon-day.

4. Having lodged his appeal with God, he looks up to him as the righteous judge.
5. He prays, O let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, either by their conversion, and forsaking their evil ways, or by the final coming of that blessed kingdom, where sin can never enter: but establish the just, or the righteous man, meaning himself, and including every believer who is justified by faith in Christ, and made righteous by the Spirit of grace. He begs that God would establish them in every divine and gracious disposition; that they may be strengthened with might in the inner man, and enabled to persevere unshaken: and in confidence of this he rests satisfied; for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins, discovers his enemies through every veil of hypocrisy, and knoweth them that are his, though compassed with infirmity, and is convinced of their simplicity and godly sincerity before him. Note; It is a blessed thing when we can with comfort regard the righteous God as the searcher of hearts.

6. Having committed his cause to God, he concludes,
(1.) His deliverance sure. My defence, says he, is of God, or, my shield is of God: he will cover me as safely as under a shield from the arrows of my enemies: which saveth the upright; they are sure of his protection; and God judgeth the righteous, is a righteous judge; and therefore they who approve themselves before him, may be assured that he will vindicate them from every accusation. Note; Out of God's favour there is no safety; in it, no danger.

(2.) His enemies' destruction is certain, unless they repent: for God is angry with the wicked every day, he marks their continual provocations, and especially that radical enmity of heart, which is ever working within, to bring forth fruit unto death. If he turn not, he will whet his sword: God delighteth not in the death of a sinner; however great his provocations, when he returns to God, God will turn from the fierceness of his wrath against him. How should such goodness lead us to repentance! But, if he persists, his ruin lies at his own door; he has rejected his own mercies, and must perish in his iniquity. God's glittering sword is whetting for judgment; the arrow of death is fitting to the string; and all his instruments of vengeance ready; and shall we despise the longsuffering of our God? Sinner, tremble at thy aggravated guilt, and seize the moment which mercy prolongs, lest slighted patience provoke implacable vengeance. Let the persecutors of God's people especially be warned; on them he will empty his quiver.

(3.) All the mischievous devices of the sinner are vain, and can end but in his own ruin: the conceptions of his devilish wisdom will prove abortive; into the pit that he digged for others, himself shall fall; and all the evils which he meditated against the innocent recoil upon his own head, and overwhelm him with misery insupportable.
(4.) David concludes with his grateful tribute of praise due for these righteous acts of the Lord. Every instance of such divine interposition shall minister to him constant matter for a song of thanksgiving to the Lord most High. Note; They who are kept ever trusting, will be ever praising.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 7". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/psalms-7.html. 1801-1803.
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