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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 17



Verses 1-15

XVII. The Prayer of a Godly Man for Deliverance from his Foes.—These foes are not foreign enemies but worldly Jews who persecute their pious and innocent neighbours. The cry for Divine help is made in Psalms 17:1 and is repeated in Psalms 17:6; Psalms 17:13.

Psalms 17:1-5. In Psalms 17:2 follow mg.

Psalms 17:3 b. With slight alteration of the text translate "Thou shalt find no evil thought in me; my mouth shalt not transgress." Such self-complacency is common in the Pss. and is a marked point of divergence from Christian piety.

Psalms 17:4 is hopelessly corrupt; even RV requires an emended text and "As for the works of men" gives no satisfactory sense.

Psalms 17:6-12. — Psalms 17:10 a. "They have closed their fat" (cf. mg.), i.e. their gross, unreceptive heart. This is a good description of worldly Jews, but is quite unsuitable if applied to foreign invaders.

Psalms 17:14. Translate, "from men with thy right hand, O Yahweh, from men whose portion is from this world all their life long, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure," etc. Another admirable description of worldly Jews. Two points deserve notice. (a) The Psalmist rises above the common notion which prevails in the Pss. and OT generally, that material prosperity is always a token of Divine approval. (b) The Psalmist, probably though not certainly, has in his mind the hope of life after death. But this hope is not definitely expressed (p. 371). In Psalms 17:15 "When I wake" is best taken in its literal sense. The Psalmist when morning dawns will visit the Temple. Then like Isaiah (Isaiah 6) he hopes to see the "glory" of Yahweh or His "beauty" (Psalms 27:4). "Glory" indeed is the LXX rendering of the word which is commonly and more strictly translated by "likeness."


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 17:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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