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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Psalms 7

 

 


Verses 1-17

Psalm 7

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

1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust:

Save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion,

Rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this;

If there be iniquity in my hands;

4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me;

(Yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it;

Yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth,

And lay mine honor in the dust. Selah.

6 Arise, O Lord, in thine anger,

Lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies:

And awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about:

For their sakes therefore return thou on high.

8 The Lord shall judge the people:

Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just:

For the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

10 My defence is of God,

Which saveth the upright in heart.

11 God judgeth the righteous,

And God is angry with the wicked every day.

12 If he turn not he will whet his sword;

He hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death;

He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity,

And hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

15 He made a pit, and digged it,

And is fallen into the ditch which he made.

16 His mischief shall return upon his own head,

And his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness:

And will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Title.—For an explanation of Shiggaion, vid. Introduct. Ewald, Maurer, G. Baur, Hitzig, find the tradition of the composition of this Psalm confirmed by its contents and language. Yet Hitzig refers to 1 Samuel26, whilst Hengstenberg more properly regards 1 Samuel24. as indicating the circumstances; but he aptly reminds us that the greater portion of Benjamin for a long time adhered to the house of Saul ( 1 Chronicles 12:29), and is disposed to refer the title to the author himself. Most interpreters properly take Cush to be a proper name, but suppose, on account of the time, not the message of Cushi mentioned ( 2 Samuel 18:32), but one of the tale-bearers mentioned only in general ( 1 Samuel 24:9). There is no occasion to find in Cush the figurative designation of a man of black wickedness (the Jewish interpreters, except Aben Ezra), and then think particularly of Saul. Kimchi and Hengst. find even a reference to his father Kish. The reference to the slanderer Shimei (Luther et al.) with a similar figurative interpretation does not agree with the time of composition. [Riehm: “Since Psalm 7:4 b agrees entirely with the fact that David, according to 1 Sam24. and26, protected Saul’s life from his companions in arms, David, also at that time, as in this Psalm, asserting his innocence and appealing to the judgment of God, ( 1 Samuel 24:12 sq, 1 Samuel 24:16; 1 Samuel 26:18; 1 Samuel 26:23 sq.), the supposition that David composed the Psalm towards the end of the persecution of Saul is very reasonable. We might then conjecture that the slander of this Cush caused his departure to the king of Achish of Gath.”—C. A. B.] It is not to be recommended to translate: “with regard to,” as Jeremiah 7:22; Jeremiah 14:1; Deuteronomy 4:21, instead of “on account of the words.

The structure of the strophes is very uneven, and not very complete, hence they have been very differently divided. In my opinion, after the introductory cry for help which the threatened Psalmist makes, Psalm 7:1-2, there follows a strong protestation of his innocence with respect to the accusations raised against him, Psalm 7:3-5. On this he bases his invocation of Jehovah to begin and carry on his judgment, Psalm 7:6-7. The Psalmist then, with a good conscience, claims this judicial activity of God especially for himself, Psalm 7:8-9, expresses his trust in Divine protection, as well as his confidence in the punishment of the unconverted by God, Psalm 7:10-13, sees the ruin of his enemies already before his eyes, Psalm 7:14-16, and closes with the assurance of his joyful gratitude, Psalm 7:17.

[Perowne. “ ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right,’ might stand as the motto of this Psalm. In full reliance on God’s righteousness, David appeals to Him to judge his cause. The righteous God cannot but save the righteous and punish the wicked.”—C. A. B.]

Str. I. [Delitzsch: “With this word of faith, hope, and love, this holy captatio benevolentiæ, David begins likewise, Psalm 10:1; Psalm 16:1; Psalm 31:1; compare71:1. The perfect is inchoative: in thee have I taken my refuge = in thee do I trust.

Psalm 7:2. The persecutors are regarded as wild beasts, as lions who rend their prey and crush their bones. Thus do they thirst for his ‘soul,’ that is for his life.”—C. A. B.]

Str. II. [Barnes: O Lord, my God.—“A solemn appeal to God for the sincerity and truth of what he is about to say.”—C. A. B.]—If I have done this.—Most ancient interpreters refer this to the accusation of his opponents presupposed as known, most recent interpreters since Rosenm. following Isaki, to that which follows; vid. however the reasons for the former reference in Hitzig, which are worthy of consideration. Most ancient translations then unite שלמי רע, Psalm 7:4, whose accentuation also most MSS. have and give as the sense: If I have recompensed him, who has recompensed me with evil. So also among recent interpreters: Sachs, Böttcher, Olsh, Hitzig. Hitzig rejects the assertion of Hengst. and Hupf. that שלם has the meaning of recompense only in the Piel, yet he translates: “If I do evil to him who recompenses it to me.” He prefers the connection of the words which is indicated in only one MSS, an Erfurt Codd. (vid. variations in J. H. Mich.), yet which lies at the basis of the translations of the Chald, Kimchi, Luther, Calv, Rudinger, Hengst, Hupf, De Wette, Delitzsch. All of these however find the idea of friend expressed (literally, he who is at peace with me), according to the fundamental meaning of the word in question, in the Kal: to be whole, that Isaiah, negatively, unhurt; positively, perfect, thence partly, ready, complete; partly, well, sound, in good condition; then by transfer, favorable, moral entireness and freedom from harm (Hupf.), comp. Psalm 20:10; 41:9; Jeremiah 38:22. גמל moreover means not only recompense, but properly to render something to some one (comp. 1 Samuel 24:18) with the idea of meritoriousness or obligation of such action.—And plundered,etc.—This clause, regarded as defective by Olsh, is taken as a parenthesis with the Rabbins by Calv, Rud, J. H. Mich, Ewald, Köster, Thol, Hupf. [A. V.], and explained in the sense rendered possible by the signification of the word: “Rather I delivered.” But the propriety of the use of the word for booty taken in war, is derived from the fundamental meaning of the word in the Kal: to draw off (shoes, clothes) which also occurs in the Aramaic for the Piel, and in Hebrew is at least undeniable in the noun, whilst otherwise at least the signif.: “draw forth, deliver,” ( Psalm 6:4), is proved in the Piel. The majority, even Hengst. and Delitzsch, refer it with this interpretation to the occurrence in the cave where David cut off the skirt of Saul’s garment ( 1 Samuel 24:4-5). Hitzig, with Chald, supposes a metathesis for the sake of the explanation: and oppressed, etc. The interpretation of the Sept, and Vulg, as conclusion and imprecation, = then will I retire from my enemies empty, that Isaiah, conquered, misses the sense.

Psalm 7:5. Honor means either dignity, and indeed as well particularly the royal dignity of David (Calv, Geier, J. H. Mich.) as personal honor in general (Hitzig), otherwise also designated as crown (89:39; Isaiah 28:1) and power ( Isaiah 63:6); then the dust indicates the smut of the deepest humiliation; or as Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:12; Psalm 57:8; Psalm 108:2; Genesis 49, soul here = life, then dust = grave, Isaiah 26:19 (Rabb. most interpreters). Disgrace and humiliation are included in the expression at all events (Hengst, Hupf.). Respecting the soul as the reflection of the Divine כבוֹד, vid., Delitzsch, Bibl. Psychol., II. ed., 1861.

Str. III. Psalm 7:6. Arise.—So Psalm 9:19; Psalm 10:12, after the example of Moses ( Numbers 10:35; comp. Psalm 3:7). It is parallel with the following lift up thyself, as Psalm 94:2; Isaiah 33:10, and awake, as Psalm 35:23; Psalm 44:23; Psalm 59:5. The character of the expression as merely figurative follows from Psalm 121:4.—For me is a pregnant construction. We must supply: turn. For the Psalmist requests first of all judicial interference. Yet we cannot translate: Up for me in judgment! Thou makest booty (Hitzig), or: stir up judgment for me, (Chald. and some interpreters mentioned by Rosenm.), or: awake for me in judgment that Thou hast commanded (Sept, Syr, Jerome [A. V.]). Moreover the last clause is not imperative: order judgment (Rosenm, De Wette). Yet it is allowable to unite the last clause with the relative (Köster, Hengst.) for which Ewald puts the participle, or with a particle of cause (Geier, et al.), since the Psalmist bases his prayer on the general Divine arrangement of justice, and His administration in judgment (Calv, Hupf.) [Hupfeld translates thus: “Awake for me; judgment hast thou commanded.” This seems to be the best construction.—C. A. B.] Instead of against the overflowings, Sept, following a false derivation, translates: “In the limits.” [“Because of the rage of mine enemies,” A. V, is incorrect, it should be, “against the rage of mine enemies.”—C. A. B.]

[Let the congregation of nations surround Thee.—It is better to take this as an optative in harmony with the preceding; so most interpreters. The Lord is exhorted to “arise,” “lift up Thyself,” awake, and so also to assemble the people about Him to witness His judgment, His vindication of the Psalmist.—Over it (for their sakes, A. V, is incorrect).—Perowne: “God is represented as coming down to visit the earth, and to gather the nations before Him, and then as retiring and sitting down above them on the judgment seat.” Delitzsch: “The Psalmist now arranges, so to speak, a judgment scene: the assembly of the nation is to form a circle about Jehovah; in their midst He holdeth judgment, and after judgment has been pronounced, He is to return, ascending back to heaven as a conqueror after battle.”—C. A. B.]—On High is not the judicial seat (Tarnow, Geier, Maur, et al.), or the high seat on Zion (De Wette), in which God will sit down again after that He had apparently left it in the intermission of His judicial activity (Kimchi, Calv, Hupf, yet with a reference to heaven); but heaven, whither God returns after having accomplished judgment in the midst of the assembly of the nations (Ewald, Delitzsch).[FN3] The Psalmist asks the Judge of the world for historical justice, and in mentioning the Divine triumph, not only expresses the assurance that the historical transaction of justice for which he has called upon God, will be successfully carried out, but he asks God that He will carry it out without delay. Thus all the pretended difficulties vanish. As the tribes of Israel are called “people,” Genesis 49:10; Deuteronomy 33:3, Jerome, Kimchi, Hitz, et al., think of them here, especially because congregation is mentioned, as Genesis 26:3; Genesis 35:11. But the reference is not to a political, but a judicial assembly (Hupf.), and it is a Divine attribute, as the following general clause directly declares, to be judge of the nations.

Str. IV. Psalm 7:8. In order to escape these convincing reasons, Hitzig supposes that דין = to direct, govern the opinion, manage, and does not allow that there is a reference to Genesis 18:25, for an explanation, but to Micah 4:13. It certainly does not mean that from the highest court the highest justice is to be expected, and that God, because He judges the peoples, is therefore the regular Judge of the individual, in which case “children of men” should be placed instead of “nations.” No more is the thought expressed, that God by His Spirit leads the assembly of the elders, which represents the tribes of Israel, being invisibly present in their midst ( Deuteronomy 33:5; Leviticus 26:12), in order that, in the judgment of the nations, not human righteousness, but the Divine decision, might have authority. The Psalmist expresses rather the thought, that his cause is not a private affair, but is of historical importance to the world.—To me [“in me,” A. V.].—It is most in accordance with the context to find the thought of recompense expressed in Psalm 7:8 (Chald, Olsh.), and then it is more correct from the language to supply: come (Hupf.), than the explanation “happen to me” (Rosenm, De Wette). The language likewise permits the supposition that it is an emphatic repetition of the suffix with a relative supplied (Vatab, Geier, et al., [A. V.]). Thereby the attribute of righteousness would be made prominent, yet not as a finishing stroke of the pencil (Hitzig), nor as a shield about the person (Hengst. I.), but as the quality found in the person yet to be distinguished by Him (Delitzsch).

[ Psalm 7:9. Hupfeld: “The personal petition is generalized into the petition that God would make an end of the doings of the unrighteous, but would protect the righteous, as it is to be expected from the omniscience of the Judge who searches the secrets of the heart.”—For the trier of hearts and reins is a righteous God—Riehm: “The reins as the seat of strong feelings, inclinations, impulses.” Barnes: “The particular idea here Isaiah, that as God searches the hearts of all men, and understands the secret purposes of the soul, He is able to judge aright, and to determine correctly in regard to their character, or to administer His government on the principles of exact justice. Such is the ground of the prayer in this case, that God, who knew the character of all men, would confirm those who are truly righteous, and would bring the wickedness of the ungodly to an end.”—C. A. B.]

Str. V. Psalm 7:10. Upon God [“of God,” A. V.].—This can mean that the protection is the duty of God (Venema, Ewald, Hengstenb.), but better: God has undertaken it (Hitzig, Delitzsch). The usual translation “with God” is too feeble. Böttcher conjectures ingeniously that originally instead of על, the text was עלי, over me = who covers me.

[ Psalm 7:11. Delitzsch: “Although God finally lets His wrath break forth, yet He does not do this without previously having threatened the ungodly every day. Comp. Isaiah 66:14; Malachi 1:4. He lets them experience this His wrath in advance that they may be alarmed for their good.”—Angry.—Hupf.: “That Isaiah, toward the wicked = taking vengeance, punishing, inasmuch as the wrath, that Isaiah, the abhorrence which holiness has of evil, is the principle of all Divine punishment.”—Every day.—Barnes: “Continually; constantly; always. This is designed to qualify the previous expression. It is not excitement. It is not temporary passion such as we see in men. It is not sudden emotion, soon to be succeeded by a different feeling when the passion passes off. It is the steady and uniform attribute of His unchanging nature, to be always opposed to the wicked,—to all forms of sin; and in Him, in this respect, there will be no change. The wicked will find Him no more favorable to their character and course of life to-morrow than He is to-day; no more beyond the grave than this side of the tomb. What He is to-day, He will be to-morrow, and every day.”—C. A. B.]

Psalm 7:12. If one turn not [“If he turn not,” A. V.].—In the first clause the subject is the wicked Prayer of Manasseh, in the following clause God (the ancient translators and most interpreters), yet so that it does not mean the special enemy of the Psalmist, but the ungodly as a class (Hengst, Hupf.). Others regard the first word as a particle of assertion, and take the verb in the sense of the adverb “again,” but differ from one another, in that some (Olsh.) regard Jehovah as the subject, others (Ewald, Baur) the wicked Prayer of Manasseh, who will truly whet his sword again, etc. Still others understand likewise the entire description, Psalm 7:12-13, as the verses which follow, in the latter sense of the wicked man and regard the words, if he does not turn, (but) whets his sword, etc., either as the conclusion of the previous verse (Rosenm. following Kimchi), or as the antecedent of Psalm 7:14-15 (Syr, Geier, et al.). These then suppose לוֹ, Psalm 7:13, which is placed before with emphasis, to be reflexive and indeed either = to his purpose (Kimchi, Ew.), or, to his destruction (Aben Ezra). With our explanation of the wicked man not previously mentioned, the subject appears plainly as the object aimed at.—[He hath bent his bow.—In Hebrew, he hath trodden his bow, alluding to the ancient mode of bending the large and stout bows used instead of modern light artillery, with the feet rather than with the arm and hand.—C. A. B.]

Psalm 7:13. The arrows are made into arrows of fire usual in sieges (Cocceius and recent interpreters), not into sharp or poisonous arrows; or hotly pursuing (vid. Rosenm.); or for the burning (Sept, Vulg, Syr.), which according to Ferrand means consumed with wrath, according to Chald, Isaki, Kimchi, Calv.: the persecutors themselves (so A. V.). It is difficult to follow the change of tense in these verses. The first two imperfects, it is better to take as futures on account of the judgment which is surely impending; the perfects then describe the actions which follow and the circumstances described as future; the last imperfect is incidental, thus a real imperfect, that is relative time instead of the participle; or we are to regard “his arrows” as in apposition and the following as a relative clause (Hupf.).

Str. VI. Psalm 7:14. The imperfect stands first, then two perfects follow. Therefore the ancient and usual interpretation is incorrect, which regards the travailing and conception as indicating design, and contrasts it with bringing forth as expressive of the consequences, and thus is compelled to accept a hysteronproteron in the position of the travailing. For the same reasons it is not advisable to refer the first verb חבל to conception according to the Arabic (Seb. Schmidt, Hitzig) in order to derive the gradation which Luther supposes there is in the thought. The first clause rather (as the accents indicate) is in contrast with the two following; yet not as Calv, J. H. Mich, and Hengst, express by the insertion of “but,” as if the first clause expressed the evil design, the contrast consisting of two parts, its consequences; but rather that the first member of the verse states the proposition in general, the second explains it more definitely according to both its factors (Ewald, Köster, Olsh, Hupf, Baur, Delitzsch) which specify the transition from the thought of the heart to its expression (Kimchi). Besides, Hupfeld shows that the nouns have a double sense, and designate the wicked at once as nothingness, and as a curse. [Barnes: “The allusion here is to the pains and throes of child-birth, and the idea is that the wicked man labors or struggles, even with great pain to accomplish his purpose of iniquity.” “It is mischief when conceived, it is falsehood when brought forth. The idea is that after all his efforts and pains, after having formed his scheme, and labored hard to bring it forth, it was abortive.”—C. A. B.] Whilst in אָוֶן the moral idea of evil passes over into the physical of mischief, destruction, it is entirely the reverse with עמל, which literally means fatigue.

Psalm 7:15-16. Some put that which is here said in the historical past, on account of the tenses, and suppose particularly Saul’s destruction (Kaiser, Hitzig). But they are prophetical perfects followed by the imperf. conversive, which often expresses merely the consequences of that which has gone before. Hupfeld contends against taking the relative clause as present, but Hengst, Delitzsch, Hitzig, maintain it; comp. Gesenius, § 123, 3 a. The enemy is still working at the pit of waylaying, when the Divine judgment strikes him, and indeed in the form of retaliation. The reference back to Psalm 7:2 is to be noticed; so likewise the reference of Psalm 7:1; Psalm 7:7, to Psalm 7:8 b.

Str. VII. Psalm 7:17. Hence David in the conclusion does not praise some future thanksgiving after an actual deliverance, but from a thankful heart he begins to praise God, whose revelation of Himself is the source of his correct knowledge of Him, and whose name therefore is the pledge of His righteous dealings, which are eternally the same, as well as the means of true prayer to Him, and the object of thankful praise. ‘Elyôn is not to be connected with shêm as an adjective (Hitz.) but is to be taken as in apposition to Jehovah on the basis of Genesis 14:22Sæpe orâtio, quem pæne desperantem recipit, exultantem relinquit (Bernard).

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. If a man commits himself personally to God, he may also with good courage refer all his affairs to God, and even when he is in the worst relations with mighty and embittered enemies he may resign himself to the protection of God, and appeal in the confidence of a good conscience to the Divine judgment.

2. From the omnipresence of God, by which He fills heaven and earth, is to be distinguished His manifestation in history by means of acts of revelation, whereby He makes Himself known, and proves Himself to be Saviour, as well as Judge of the individual, as well as of nations. But since omnipresence is essential to God, it is not done away with by the actual operation of His presence and government in the world. But the personal execution of the special acts of the government of the world by the God of Revelation is illustrated by the figure of His coming down upon earth; likewise the conclusion of such special acts is described as the reascension of God to the heights of heaven; both, in connection with the form of expression, that God as infinitely exalted above all beings in this world, Almighty and Holy, has His throne in the Heavens.

3. In like manner in connection with the hearing of prayer the special acts of God in judgment and salvation are represented as His awaking, standing up, raising Himself, although the Divine government of the world suffers no interruption, and has no pauses.

4. The righteous rule of God demands that He should not deceive the trust of the believing, who seek in Him preservation, protection, and help, and that He should take those who devise evil, and endeavor to prepare destruction for others, in their own snares, and cause them to fall into the pits which they themselves have dug. But we may at the same time ask God “that He also may become warm, when the ungodly are red-hot, and cast out the flames of their rage,” (Calvin).

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

God’s assistance is the strongest, quickest, and surest help; yet He would be asked in faith.—He who takes refuge with God should not forget that God is a righteous Judge.Without God, lost; saved by God; therefore escaped to God, remaining with God; and with God, the world, and all enemies overcome.—He who can oppose the accusations of his enemies with a good conscience, may likewise flee to God with the confidence of faith, against their strong assaults.—It is easy to do no injury to a friend; but it is difficult to do no harm to an enemy, who is given into our hands, especially when he persecutes us without cause.—The Lord in heaven is likewise Judge on earth; in this the pious have consolation, the wicked terror, all a warning—God does not overlook individuals, although He rules and judges the entire world.—God beats the enemies of His servants with their own weapons, but He has likewise His own peculiar weapons.—The righteousness of God defends the innocent.

Starke: It is proper for us to assert our innocence; for by continual silence we would make even our good cause suspected.—Trust in God must be maintained and increased by prayer.—If God decrees it, tyrants treat the pious as badly as wild beasts of prey the weak lambs.—It is a great consolation in persecution that we can oppose our enemies with the power and strength of God. If God has commanded the authorities to exercise righteousness, He cannot refuse them a suitable protection.—God and His honor are interested in protecting the pious.—The righteousness of faith before God must be distinguished from righteousness and innocence of life before man; yet a true Christian must be able to console himself with both.—God does not allow the righteous to fall, but the more honesty He finds in their hearts, the more He strengthens them in His grace.—God tries the ungodly as a righteous Judges, but the believing as a righteous but reconciled Father.—A Christian throws away the shield and sword of his own revenge, and yet does not remain naked and defenceless before his enemies; for the hand of the Lord strives for him, and covers him with a strong shield.—If the ungodly have reason to think of the righteousness of God with trembling, the believing remember it with joy, and praise, and thankfulness.—The punishment of retaliation is the surest mark of the Lord’s care for the actions of the children of men.

Calvin: The door is closed to prayer unless it is opened with the key of trust.—Osiander: No one will deceive the Lord God with his hypocrisy.—It is the most pleasant of offerings to God when we celebrate His benefits, in order that others also may know His goodness and turn to Him.—Bugenhagen: No one can injure another without injuring himself much more severely in his conscience.—Franke: Three chief principles of prayer: 1) A childlike trust in God; 2) a good and cheerful conscience; 3) God’s righteousness and strong government—Renschel: God is not a Judge who punishes daily, but who threatens daily; for if God should punish us always, and as often as we deserve it, the world would no longer endure; therefore thou shouldest know, that God’s long-suffering invites thee to repentance.—Herberger: To suffer with an innocent conscience is nothing but favor with God. It is faith’s crown of glory that we can say: “Lord my God!”—God is a searcher of hearts: mark that, thou who sinnest secretly.—Hast thou prayed with tears, then return thanks with joy.—Thanksgiving is the best tune and song.—In prayer and thanksgiving no one should waver.—Tholuck: David was not one of those visionary pious men who, while mindful of that which God will do in heaven and in the future, forget that which He does daily in the present and upon earth.—Stiller: The ungodly have their time when they rule; but God has likewise His time when He pushes them from their seats.—Taube: How precious to a believing Christian the testimony and blessing of a good conscience in the calamities allotted to him: 1) he can step quietly before his God and pray for help; 2) he can prove his good cause with entire cheerfulness and call upon God to Judges 3) he knows and praises the righteousness of God which is in favor of the pious and against his enemies.—Kurtz: The kingdom of God comes not only with grace to the penitent, but also with judgment to the impenitent.

[Matth. Henry: The sinner’s head with its politics conceives mischief, contrives it with a great deal of art, lays his plot deep, and keeps it close; the sinner’s heart with its passions travails with iniquity, and is in pain to be delivered of the malicious projects it is hatching against the people of God. But what doth it come to when it comes to the birth? It is a falsehood, it is a cheat upon himself, it is a lie in his right hand; he cannot compass what he intended, nor if he gain his point, will he gain the satisfaction he promised himself.—Spurgeon: As the shadow follows the substance, so envy pursues goodness. It is only at the tree laden with fruit that men throw stones. If we would live without being slandered we must wait till we get to heaven. Let us be very heedful not to believe the flying rumors which are always harassing gracious men. If there are no believers in lies there will be but a dull market in falsehood, and good men’s characters will be safe. Ill-will never spoke well. Sinners have an ill-will to saints, and therefore be sure they will not speak well of them.—We can not pray too often, and when our heart is true, we shall turn to God in prayer as naturally as the needle to its pole.—God defends the right. Filth will not long stick on the pure white garments of the saints, but shall be brushed off by Divine providence to the vexation of the men by whose base hands it was thrown upon the godly.—Truth like oil is ever above, no power of our enemies can drown it—The best day that ever dawns on a sinner brings a curse with it. Sinners may have many feast days, but no safe days. From the beginning of the year even to its ending, there is not an hour in which God’s oven is not hot and burning in readiness for the wicked, who shall be as stubble.—God’s sword has been sharpening upon the revolving stone of our daily wickedness, and if we will not repent, it will speedily out us in pieces. Turn or burn is the sinner’s only alternative.—Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost. Ashes always fly back in the face of him that throws them.—C. A. B.]

Footnotes:

FN#3 - Hupfeld: “But the reference to that which God does after the judgment is not only a very simple and feeble addition, but is also contrary to that which follows in the context where the Divine judgment is carried still further out; yes, it is in a certain measure contrary to the entire course and spirit of the Psalm, and the Psalm generally, which would represent God as stepping forth from His retirement, as from a cloud which hitherto concealed Him, and as actively at work, and would not lead Him back again.” “The distance between the heavenly seat of the Judge and the earthly assembly is not to be measured mathematically, but must be regarded according to its nature from a poetical point of view, in which the cleft between heaven and earth vanishes, just as we see it overleaped in the constant interchange of the heavenly and earthly seats of God, heaven and Zion. The idea is this, God in contrast with His previous inactivity is again to Judges, that Isaiah, to interfere and reinstate justice, which has been ignored and disturbed.” “It is true, this is a limited human conception of the Divine government and righteousness which is ever the same and uninterrupted; yet it is a feeling natural to religious feeling and an almost unavoidable anthropomorphism, the same as there is in the formula, Arise, awake, Psalm 7:6, and the like.”—C. A. B.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Psalms 7:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/psalms-7.html. 1857-84.

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Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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