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Prayer for deliverance]
To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David. DELIVER me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the
2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked: preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
6 I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
7 O God the LORD, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
10 Let burning coals fall upon them let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence. (B)
tual connexion with the Deity, that David proposes to keep himself at such a distance from "blood-thirsty men;" that is, from Pagan idolaters, who almost universally delighted in offering human sacrifices. These men he considers as his enemies, because they were God's enemies; he hates them because they hate his God; and he bids them keep at a distance from him, from a conviction that God would destroy them, and from a fear of being involved in the same ruin: so the children of Israel withdrew from Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. (See Num. xvi. 26, 27.)
The psalm concludes with another appeal to God, to search and try him, and if there were in him any deceit and falsehood, to "lead" him "in the way of life everlasting."
"Searcher of hearts, my thoughts review;
Through each disguise, thy servant's mind.
(B) David prays for deliverance from his enemies.-The burden of this psalm resembles that of several others. He is beset by implacable and restless enemies, and calls upon God for deliverance from them. If by "the head" of these, as Mr. Ainsworth supposes, Ahithophel were intended, it fixes the time and occasion to be that of Absalom's rebellion, one of the most distressing periods of David's life; and yet it is observable he never complains of him, but lays all the blame on his confederates or advisers. Whether he had ground for this, or whether he was wholly blinded by his fond partiality for that worthless youth, we need not inquire: it may be more useful to remark, that our bitterest trials often arise out of our fond partialities. David made an idol of him, and Providence made him his tormentor. We are delivered from idols of wood and stone, O let us beware of making idols of flesh and blood!
The poison of asps. See Note on Ps. lviii. 4.
Ver. 8. Lest they exalt themselves-Marg. "Let them not be exalted."
Ver. 9. As for the head-that is, the chief; perhaps Ahithophel. Let the mischief of their own lips cover them-Or, "The mischief cover them." Both Ainsworth and Horne translate this and the two following verses, very properly, in the future.
Ver. 11. An evil speaker-Heb. "A man of tongue." -To overthrow (him) - Marg, "To (his) overthrow."
A Psalm of David.
LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
7 Our bones are scattered at the
grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the LORD: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own
nets, whilst that I withal escape. (C)
6 When their judges are overthrown trouble.
(C) David prays to be kept from temptation.-The learned Mr. Peters considers this psalm to have been composed by David, just before his flight to Achish, king of Gath, when he had a second time spared Saul's life, but could trust him no longer." (See 1 Sam. xvi. and xvii. 1, 2.) And this idea is adoptel by Bishop Horne. At a distance from the tabernacle and its ordinances, he intreats that his own prayer may be accepted, instead of the offering up of incense, and as the evening sacrifice. Taking refuge among idolaters, he prays that a guard might be set over his lips, that he might say nothing that could give counte. nance to their crimes, and especially, that he might be kept from eating of their sacrifices, which he calls their "dainties," and which, no doubt, were the richest delica
cies of their tables, and attended with plentiful libations of their choicest wines. And are there not many among us, that have reason to pray against the like temptation, from the dainties of some professing Christians?
Another passage meriting our remark, is the salutary nature of friendly reproof"Let the righteous smite me," instead of a deadly stroke, it shall be as preeious oil, which instead of breaking, shall salubriate and refresh my head. The sixth and seventh verses require a different translation, as in our Notes. We need not wonder at some difficulties in writings of 3000 years old. The conclusion is, how ever, easy and practical. In all our difficulties, our eyes should be directed to God, who will not leave the soul destitute that trusts in him.
PSALM CXLI. Ver. 2. Let my prayer be set forth-Heh. " directed."
Ver. 4. To practise wicked works-Peters, "To attempt enterprises in wickedness, with," &c. (Dissertation on Job, p. 339, &c.)
Ver. 5. It shall be a kindness-Marg. "Let the righteous smite me kindly, and reprove me." But we prefer the text-It shall be an excellent oil. -Dr. Boothroyd here properly inserts the compa rative as, which must necessarily be understood.
Ibid. For yet my prayer shall be in their calamities-Peters and Horne," Against their wickedness." So Ainsworth.
Ver. 6. When their judges, &c.-We confess we can make no intelligible sense of this version; but Mr. Peters and Bp. Horne read, "Their judges have been dismissed in the sides of the rock; and heard my words that they were sweet."
Ver.7. Our bones are scattered, &c.-Mr. Peters renders this somewhat differently: "Like as when one cutteth and cleaveth, (so) have our bones been scattered on the earth, at the command of Saul." This is supposed to allude to the massacre of the priests at Nob, (85 persons) by Doeg the Edomite, under the command of Saul, whose name signities the grave, or hell.
Ver. 8. Leave not my soul destitute-Heb. "Make not my soul bare."
Ver. 10. Let the wicked fall (Peters and Horne, "the wicked shall fall," &c.) into deep pitsBp. Horsley, "Into the chasms (of the yawning earth:)" alluding to the punishment of Korah, Da than, and Abiram, Num. xvi. 31-35. So Parkhurst. Whilst that I withal escape-Peters, "And I shall still escape," Heb. "Pass over," i.. avoid their snares.
my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead,
4 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7 Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee,
9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake for thy righteousness" sake bring my soul out of trouble.
PSALM CXLII. (D) Prayer, the psalmist's resource in trouble-This is a prayer of David "when he was in the cave," most probably of Adullam, whither he fled when in danger, both from Saul and from the Philistines. (1 Sam. xxii. 1.) He was then, doubtless, in a state of utter destitution and of extreme danger; when, at times, he was probably obliged escape alone and unattended, and when
snares were literally laid to entrap his feet, as for the beasts of the forest. Then he "cried unto the Lord;" as he elsewhere says, "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard, and delivered him out of all his troubles." (Psalm xxxiv. 6.)
"Come, magnify the Lord with me;
I sought th' eternal God, and he
PSALM CXLII. Title-Maschil. The term will be found explained in title of Ps. xxxii; "instructive," or "giving instruction," as the margin reads. Ver. 1. I cried- Bp. Horne, "I will cry." The Hebrew language having no present tense, frequent. ly uses the preter and future promiscuously for it; Bp. Horne therefore renders this psalm wholly in the present tense, except the two first verses: but the general current of translators, from Ainsworth to Boothroyd, render it as ours have done, and we think july; for we consider it as a recollection of the substance of the prayers which he offered to God while in the cave, though it is not to be supposed that he had the opportunity there to write them
Ver. 4. I looked on my right hand-Marg. "Look on my right band and see; but we prefer the text.
Ver. 10. Thy spirit is good, lead me, &c.-Or, "Let thy good spirit lead me," Ainsworth & Horne.
8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.
10 It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.
11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.
13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
15 Happy is that people, that is in
There are few of David's psalms, in which he does not complain of enemies, many of them arising from the eminence of his situation, and others sent as the punishment of his sins. (2 Sam. xii. 10.) Our situation may be materially different from his, but there are none of us without our enemies, against which we have the need of divine aid; but especially do we need the teaching and quickening influ ences of God's Holy Spirit, for which the psalmist here prays
"Teach me to do thy holy will,
PSALM CXLIV. Ver. 1. The Lord my strength -Heb. "My rock."
Ver. 2. My goodness-Marg. "Mercy;" i. e. the source of it: but there seems great probability that we should read with the Syriac, "My fortress," as in Ps. xviii. 1. the words being very similar in Hebrew. So Drs. Durell and Boothroyd.My people-"The peoples;" i. e. his enemies. So Dathe, and Boothroyd,
Ver. 3. Lord, what is man!-See Psalm viii. 4; xxxix. 5, 6,
2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.
7 They shall abundantly utter the hemory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
[of God celebrated.
8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
10 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
15 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
PSALM CXLIV. Another Psalm of David, uniting Prayer and praise.-Bishop Horne supposes this psalm was composed soon after he ascended the throne, when he was deeply engaged in military affairs, in which, as be had the sanction of the Almighty, so was he authorized in looking to him for wisdom to direct him, and for strength to support him; in addition to which he implores the aid of storm and tempest, which on former occasions had been afforded to Israel against their enemies. (1 Sam.
David then goes on to pray for national prosperity that the youth might shoot up like plants-strong and hale; that the maidens might be furnished with every attractive accomplishment; that their gra
naries might be filled with corn, and their pastures with sheep; their oxen or bullocks, strong to labour, and no complaining in the streets for want of work or food. "The psalmist concludes," as is remarked by Bishop Horne," with pronouncing the happiness of the Israelites, when in the state of prosperity above described, and their far greater happiness in 'having Jehovah for their God; who, by settling them in peaceful possession of the land of Canaan and the Jerusalem below, gave them a pledge and foretaste of that love, which stood engaged by covenant to bring them and us to his everlasting rest in the Jerusalem above."
"O happy we, while thus our race
PSALM CXLV. Title-An hymn. This is the same word which, in the plural, is applied to the whole book of psalms, Tehillim. This is also one of the psalms called alphabetical, but defective in The verse which should begin with the letter Nun; but this verse is supplied by the LXX, between Verses 13 and 14; viz." The Lord is faithful ir all his words; and holy (or merciful) in all his works." The same verse is found also in the Syriac, Vulgate, Arabic, Ethiopic, and at least one MS. and there could be no danger in supplying it, as the sentiment repeatedly occurs in this book of psalms.
Ver. 3. His greatness is unsearchable-Heb. "Of his greatness there is no search."
Ver.5. Wondrous works- Heb." wondrous things, or words."
Ver. 6. Declare thy greatness-Heb. "It" Ver. 8. Of great mercy-Heb. "Great in mercy. Ver. 13. An everlasting kingdom-Heb. " A kingdom of ages."
Ver. 14. All that be bowed down-Bent double, as it were, with grief or trouble, See Ainsworth. So Ps. cxlvi. 8
Ver. 15. Wait upon-Marg, “look unto."