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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Psalms 17



Verse 1

Psalm 17:1-15. This Psalm is termed a prayer because the language of petition is predominant. With a just cause, sincerely presented, the writer prays for a just decision and help and protection. Pleading former mercies as a ground of hope, he urges his prayer in view of the malice, pride, rapacity, and selfishness of his foes, whose character is contrasted with his pious devotion and delight in God‘s favor.

Verse 2

sentence — acquitting judgment.

from thy presence — Thy tribunal.

things that are equal — just and right, do Thou regard.

Verse 3
visited … tried — His character was most rigidly tested, at all times, and by all methods, affliction and others (Psalm 7:10).

purposed that, etc. — or, my mouth does not exceed my purpose; I am sincere.

Verse 4

works of men — sinful practices.

by the word of thy lips — as a guide (Psalm 119:9, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:95).

destroyer — violent man.

Verse 5

May be read as an assertion “my steps or goings have held on to Thy paths.”

Verse 6

wilt hear me — that is, graciously (Psalm 3:4).

Verse 7

Show — set apart as special and eminent (Exodus 8:18; Psalm 4:3).

thy right hand — for Thy power.

Verse 8

Similar figures, denoting the preciousness of God‘s people in His sight, in Deuteronomy 32:10, Deuteronomy 32:11; Matthew 23:37.

Verse 9

compass me — (compare Psalm 118:10-12).

Verse 10
fat — are become proud in prosperity, and insolent to God (Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalm 73:7).

Verse 11

They pursue us as beasts tracking their prey.

Verse 12

The figure made more special by that of a lion lurking.

Verses 13-15

disappoint — literally, “come before,” or, “encounter him.” Supply “with” before “sword” (Psalm 17:13), and “hand” (Psalm 17:14). These denote God‘s power.

Verse 14
world — all men of this present time. They appear, by fullness of bread and large families, to be prosperous; but (Psalm 17:15) he implies this will be transient, contrasting his better portion in a joyful union with God hereafter.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 17:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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