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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 26

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 26:1 « [A Psalm] of David. » Judge me, O LORD for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD [therefore] I shall not slide.

Ver. 1. Judge me, O Lord] i.e. Judge between me and mine enemies; not between me and thee, as R. David expoundeth it, for then I am sure to be found faulty.

For I have walked in mine integrity] viz. Toward Saul, whatever his flattering courtiers suggest against me; as Psalms 7:1-17, which is much like this, and made, as it may seem, about the same time as this, viz. about the beginning of Saul’s persecution raised against David, 1 Samuel 22:7-8, who thereupon appealeth here to God’s just judgment, and stands upon his justification, as holding fast faith and a good conscience.

Therefore I shall not slide] Or, not far; I shall not be greatly moved, Psalms 62:2. Moved I may be, but not removed; shaken, but not shivered; thrust at, but not thrown down, &c., because bottomed and built upon the Rock of Ages, Isaiah 26:4, 2 Corinthians 4:8.


Verse 2

Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

Ver. 2. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me] It must needs be a good conscience that thus boldly offereth itself to God’s trial; so Job 31:6.

Try my reins and my heart] i.e. Mine affections and thoughts; for these are sibi mutuo causae. While I mused the fire kindled, Psalms 39:3. David was neither ambitious nor factious, as his adversaries represented him.


Verse 3

Psalms 26:3 For thy lovingkindness [is] before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Ver. 3. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes] And that is a strong tie upon my conscience. The cords of love are the cords of a man, Hosea 11:4. To sin against mercy is to sin against humanity, it is no less than bestial, than devilish. When, therefore, I am tempted to recompense evil for evil thy lovingkindness comes before me, and reineth me in.

And I have walked in thy truth] i.e. According to thy word: I have led a Bible conversation, though solicited to do otherwise by the courtiers and politicians, with that profane proverb of theirs, πουλυποδος νουν εσχε (Theog.), comply with the times, and be not so strait laced: Religiosum oportet esse, sed non Religantem.


Verse 4

Psalms 26:4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

Ver. 4. I have not sat with vain persons] Who are void of God’s holy fear, but filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, &c., Romans 1:29. Courtiers are such for most part, and David never delighted in such company, to sit with them, especially when they were acting mischief; which while Cromwell did at the condemnation of Lambert, martyr, and Sir John Cheek at other such like meetings, they were cast upon no small snares and inconveniences. See Jeremiah 15:17.

Neither will I go in with dissemblers] Heb. close workers of iniquity, secret and sly sirs, such as hide themselves to do evil, as the Chaldee hath it, Qui secreto male agunt, and can carry their wickedness cleanly and closely, so as that the world shall be little the wiser, versatiles et versutili, multiplices, Protei; such as can serve the times, and shift their sails to the setting of every wind, Machiavellians, Ahithophels, Jonadabs, 2 Samuel 13:3. These men’s wisdom may serve them, as the ostrich’s wings, to make them outrun others upon earth, though it be into hell’s mouth, but help them never a whit toward heaven. David, therefore, would have nothing to do with them, he would neither enter, walk, nor sit with any such, {confer Psalms 1:1} they should not sprinkle him with their court holy water.


Verse 5

Psalms 26:5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

Ver. 5. I have hated the congregation of evildoers] The Church malignant, whose lives are a mystery of iniquity, as Josephus saith of Antipater; qui omnia turbant et miscent, tantum ut ipsi crescere possint, as Aristophanes saith of Cleon; care not whom they ruin, so they may raise themselves, nor what mischief they work to others, so they may drive on their own sinful designs. Luther said of the monks in Germany, that they were so bad, tam desperatae malitiae, ut nihil cogitent quod non idem patrare ausint, that they would stick at no villany whatsoever. David held it a hell to be in company with such incarnate devils. It was once the prayer of a good gentlewoman when she was to die, being in much trouble of conscience, O Lord, let me not go to hell where the wicked are, for, Lord, thou knowest I never loved their company here.

And will not sit with the wicked] But hate the very garment spotted by the flesh, 1:2-3; that is, avoid evil company, saith Mr Perkins, as Leviticus 15:4; so Deuteronomy 22:12. It is not safe coming near stinking carrion, except one have the wind of it. Sin is as catching as the plague.


Verse 6

Psalms 26:6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:

Ver. 6. I will wash mine hands in innocency] As Exodus 40:32, 1 Timothy 2:8; see Deuteronomy 21:6, Isaiah 1:15, James 5:8. If in our addresses to God we cannot wash our hands in innocency, yet we must wash them in tears: Quem poenitet peccasse, pens est innocens, saith Seneca, Penitence is well nigh as good as innocence; but one way or other be sure to come clean when you come to God’s altar, when you draw nigh to him in holy duties. We wash our hands every day, and often, but when we are to sit with some great person we scour them with balls. Sic Egyptii sacerdotes apud Herod. in Euterpe, terrio quoque die corpus eradunt, &c.; so here, we must be always holy, but especially when we present ourselves to the holy eyes of our Creator. And hereby David differenciates himself from the wicked in the use of ordinances, wherein they were as forward as the best (Doeg may set his foot as far into the sanctuary as David, and cry, The temple of the Lord, &c.), but cared not to come clear thereunto; their hands were full of blood, their hearts full of wickedness.

So will I compass thine altar, O Lord] i.e. I will cover it with sacrifices and oblations, and perform what is required of me diligently and cheerfully. The people might not touch the altar, but only see afar off what was done there by the priests. Howbeit, those that were more zealous among them, to the end that they might have a full view of the services, stood not still in one place, but stirred up and down on all sides of the altar; and some such thing David did when he is said to have danced before the Lord, 2 Samuel 6:14.


Verse 7

Psalms 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Ver. 7. That I may publish] This was the end David propounded to himself in all his solemn services; that he might set up God, and not serve himself upon God.

And tell of all thy wondrous works] All God’s mercies to his are wonders if well weighed in their several circumstances. But we commonly deal by them as Solomon did by the brass of the temple, it was so much that he weighed it not.


Verse 8

Psalms 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

Ver. 8. Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house] Much more the people, and the ordinances there, but most of all the Lord himself of that house (as if a man love the schoolmaster for his child’s sake he loveth his child much more), and hence it is that I so hate the society of the ungodly; for what communication hath Christ with Belial? The word rendered habitation some derive from a word that signifieth the eye, and, therefore, render it sight, or beauty; the Seventy ευπρεπειαν, comeliness. The Protestants at Lyons, in France, called their public meeting place paradise.

And the place where thine honour dwelleth] i.e. Where thou thyself dwellest, or thine ark, which is called God’s glory, 1 Samuel 4:21, Psalms 78:61, yea, God’s self, Psalms 132:5, and God’s face, Psalms 105:4.


Verse 9

Psalms 26:9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:

Ver. 9. Gather not my soul with sinners] I have loved thy house, which sinners never delighted in; therefore "gather not my soul with sinners"; so the Syriac senseth it. Let me not die the death of sinners, for I never cared for their company; so the Rabbis. {See Trapp on "Psalms 26:5"} Let me not share with them in punishment, for I could never abide their practice. Balaam would die the death of the righteous, but he liked not of their life. Euchrites would be Croesus vivens, et Socrates mortuus. like like Croesus and die like Socrates, Sir Walter Raleigh would live a Papist (there being no religion like that for licentious liberty and lasciviousness), but die a Protestant. We have some that would gladly dance with the devil all day, and then sup with Christ at night; live all their lives long in Delilah’s lap, and then go to Abraham’s bosom when they die. But this cannot be, as David well understood; and, therefore, both eschewed the life of a wicked person, and deprecated his death: Gather not, or take not away, &c. The righteous is taken away (Heb. gathered, Isaiah 57:1, as men gather flowers and candy them, preserve them); with such to be gathered David would hold it a happiness, but not with sinners with sanguinaries; for such are gathered but as house dust, to be cast out of doors.


Verse 10

Psalms 26:10 In whose hands [is] mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

Ver. 10. In whose hands is mischief] Wicked contrivance. Here we have the true portraiture of a corrupt courtier, such as Saul’s were.


Verse 11

Psalms 26:11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

Ver. 11. But as for me, I will walk] Whatever others do, their example shall be no rule to me to deviate. See my Righteous Man’s Recompense, D. 1.

Redeem me, &c.] For I am likely to suffer deeply for my singularity.


Verse 12

Psalms 26:12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

Ver. 12. My foot standeth in an even place] i.e. Mine affections are in an equal tenor. A good man is τετραγωνος ολοκληρος, the scales of his mind neither rise up toward the beam, through their own lightness, or their overly weened opinion of prosperity; nor are too much depressed with any load of sorrow, but hanging equal and unmoved between both, give him liberty in all occurrences to enjoy himself.

I will bless the Lord] For performance of promises; chiefly in that great panegyris {general assemble} Hebrews 12:23

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 26:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-26.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 6th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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