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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 9



Verses 1-20

9 and 10. Yahweh the Refuge of His People.—These two Pss., divided in MT, were originally one, This is proved by the fact that they are one in LXX. and Vulg., by the absence of title over Psalms 10, and, conclusively, by the evidence that 9 and 10 form one acrostic poem. It was arranged in strophes of four lines each, the first letter of each strophe being one of the letters of the Heb. alphabet in regular succession. This system is carried out in the whole of Psalms 9-2 in Psalms 10. So far we have the first twelve letters of the alphabet, the only omission being that of the fourth letter, which, however, can be supplied by an easy and convincing emendation. Then from Psalms 10:3 to Psalms 10:11 the acrostic character disappears and can be recovered only by precarious emendation. It reappears in Psalms 10:12 and continues to the end, where the strophes begin with the last four letters of the alphabet. This irregularity implies great corruption in MT, and shows, like the comparison of Psalms 18 with 2 Samuel 22, that any absolute trust in that text is misplaced.

The subject-matter raises a further difficulty. The poem is in part a triumphal song over Israel's foes, but the writer oscillates between the thought of foreign oppressors and of godless Israelites who defy Yahweh and spoil the orphan and the afflicted. A very slight emendation in Psalms 10:16, "proud" instead of "nations," removes this second difficulty. But a third remains: the Psalmist begins with gratitude for the defeat of his adversaries and changes his song to one of supplication for a victory which is not yet secure.

Psalms 9:13 f. Observe the contrast between the gates of Sheol and those of Zion.

Psalms 10:4. Here, as always in the OT, the atheism meant is practical not theoretical. The "godless" believe in a God who lives far away and does not trouble Himself with human affairs.

Psalms 10:5. Read, "He prospers in his ways at all times." The villages in Psalms 10 may, being unwalled, have fallen an easy prey to the enemy, or, more probably, they have become nests of robbers. The LXX. Psalms 10:8 reads, "He sitteth in ambush with the rich."


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 9:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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