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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 26



Verse 1

1. Judge me, O Lord—He appeals directly to the omniscience and righteousness of God for vindication.

Integrity—Wholeheartedness; the doing in good faith and whole consent what was believed to be right.

Verse 2

2. Examine me—Search me, try me as metals in the fire, as the word denotes. He invites the Searcher of hearts to institute the closest scrutiny, so self-conscious was he of upright intentions.

Reins… heart—An intensive form of speech denoting the innermost thoughts and feelings. He uncovers all his thoughts before God, and submits himself to the divine mercy and judgment. See on Psalms 16:7; Psalms 25:6

Verse 3

3. Lovingkindness… truth—Same as “mercy and truth,” Psalms 25:10, which see. God’s truth had been the line by which he walked, and his saving mercy the end he sought. See John 3:21

Verse 4

4. Hitherto David has based his prayer upon his relation to God; in Psalms 26:4-5 he pleads his discreet and pure associations with men.

Vain persons— Literally, mortals of vanity, or emptiness. “Vanity” is here used generically for evil or wickedness of all sorts, especially falsehood and deceit.

Go in with dissemblers—To “go in” is to join, unite with, have familiar intercourse with. “Dissemblers” are, literally, the veiled men, the concealed, hidden men, men who cover up their real motives.

Verse 6

6. Wash mine hands in innocency—As a sign of innocence. The symbol is explained Deuteronomy 21:6. Compare Psalm 27:24. Or, as approach to the altar immediately follows, it may refer to the custom of the priests. See on Exodus 30:17-21; Psalms 24:4 and Psalms 73:13.

Compass—Supposed by some to refer to the marching in solemn procession round the altar, but more probably means “near and habitual approach.”Hupfeld.

Verse 7

7. That I may publish—For this purpose he approaches the altar and joins in the public praise.

Wondrous works— “The latest of these is the bringing him home from the exile he had suffered because of the rebellion of Absalom.”Delitzsch.

Verse 8

8. Lord, I… loved—He loved God’s house, but “hated the congregation of evil doers,” Psalms 26:5. Psalms 26:6-8 are a plea in support of his integrity and for the judgment of God in his behalf, based upon his love for the house and worship of God, which he urges as proof of his sincere love to God.

Verse 9

9. His prayer concludes with a deprecation (Psalms 26:9-10) of the doom of the wicked.

Gather not my soul with sinners—The word for “gather” often means to take away, as in Isaiah 16:10 : “And gladness is taken away.” Psalms 104:29 : “Thou takest away their breath. Ezekiel 34:29; 2 Chronicles 34:28; Isaiah 57:1. “Gather not away my soul with sinners,” is a clear and emphatic recognition of the common faith in a future state, and the future punishment of the wicked.

Nor my life—A repetition of the prayer of the preceding line.

Verse 10

10. Mischief—The word here denotes crime, infamy.

Full of bribes—See on Psalms 15:5

Verse 11

11. But as for me—Against all the forms of evil and evil men described hitherto, the psalmist opposes his own purpose and desire to “walk in his integrity.” This is the reason why his prayer should be heard.

Verse 12

12. An even place—In a level and plain path.

In the congregations—In the public assemblies, which implies his restoration to Jerusalem and the regular worshipa pledge of the acceptance of all his petitions.


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 26:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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