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The depravity of man.]

PSALMS. [The treachery of the Ziphims.

6 The righteous also shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him:

7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. 8 But I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints. (G)


[Omit this and the following Psalm in Family Reading.]

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath.

Maschil; A Psalm of David.

HE fool hath said in his heart, There

is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. 2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand,


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To the chief Musician on Neginoth. Maschil; A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?

SAVE me, O God, by thy name, and

judge me by thy strength. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah, 4 Behold, God is mine helper: the LORD is with them that uphold


(G) The wicked character and miserable fate of Doeg-The history of this wretch has already passed under our review transiently: (1 Sam. xxi. 7; xxii. 9, &c.) And from what occurs in this short psalm, we may farther remark, that his character was not only execrable to David, but detestable in the sight of God. Doeg appears to have been one of those sycophants, with whom tyrants are generally surrounded, and who are ready to engage in any dirty work which they think will recommend themselves to promotion or reward. His first wish was, no doubt, to betray David; but, being disappointed by David's prudence and activity, he wreaks his vengeance on God's high priest and his attendants. On

his unmanly cowardice, in falling upon the unarmed priests and their helpless families, David seems here to taunt him"Oh, mighty man!" and "Oh, deceitful tongue!"

It is probable that, by this time, the vengeance of God had overtaken him, for (in ver. 7.) he points at him and says, "Lo! this is the man that made not God his strength, but trusted in his riches," &c. Now Doeg, as chief of Saul's herds men and master of his mules, might take care to enrich himself; but he was a stranger to God, and probably never wor shipped in his house. On the contrary, David represents himself ** like a young olive fresh and green," planted, and flou. rishing in the house of God.


Ver.7. In his wickedness - Marg. " substance." As he was Saul's chief herdsman, it is probable his riches consisted chiefly in cattle.

PSALM LIII. Title, Mahalath is supposed to mean the same (or nearly so) with Nehiloth, title of Psalm v. which see. Maschil has occurred repeatedly.

We have omitted this psalm in family reading, being the same as Psalm xiv. except a few verbal differences, the principal of which here follows:

Ver. 5. Where no fear was. -See Deut xxviii. 65. Instead of the words following in psalm xiv. viz. "God is in the congregation of the righteous," which gave their enemies suflicient ground to fear, the expression seems here applied to Israel: They feared where there was no ground to fear, considering God was on their side, as is since evident, by his scattering the bones of their besiegers; i. e, he hath

destroyed them utterly. We are inclined to consider the former psalm as the original, written by David, and this as altered by some later prophet, to adapt it to another occasion.

PSALM LIV. Title- The history referred to in the title of this psalm, we have already remarked upon in 1 Sam. xxiii. 19, &c.-xxvi. 1, &c. The Ziphites, in order to obtain favour with Saul, be trayed David; and the troops of Saul had nearly surrounded him and his company, when they were sent for away to repel an invasion of the Philistines; and thus David providentially escaped, and penned this short psalm in grateful acknowledgment of the mercy. But we have omitted this psalm also in family reading, because we consider it of a private nature, and find in it no devotional sentiment but what occurs, and is more fully expressed, in other psalms. It requires neither note nor explanation.

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my soul. 5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies. cut them off in thy truth. 61 will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.


To the chief Musician on Neginoth. Mas chil :A Psalm of David.

GIVE ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.

2 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;

3 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away,

and be at rest.

7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm und tempest.

9 Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go about it, upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.

[of Ahithophet.

11 Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.


12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:

13 But it was thou, a man mine

equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

16 As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me.

17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him : he hath broken his covenant.

21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.


PSALM LV. Ver.2. 1 mourn-Boothroyd," Am distressed, confused, distracted.". And make a Take the waves of the sea." Bp. Horne. Ver. 4. My heart is sore pained- Trembleth with pain." Ainsworth, Hammond, &c. Ver.9. Divide their tongues-That is, their counsels, which actually came to pass. 2 Sam. xvii. 7. Fiolence and Strife are here personified, as centinels, or patrol, who guard the city; Sorrow, Sickness, &c, as reigning in the midst.

Ver. 13. A man, mine equal-Heb." According to my own rank;" namely, Ahithophel.

Ver. 14. We took sweet counsel - Heb. "Who sweetened counsel:" counsel is sweetened by triendship.

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Ver. 15. Quick into hell — Or, “álive into the [rave," like Korah and his company. Num. xvi.


Ver. 18. From the battle (or conflict) that was

22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD,

against me-Or, (as the LXX)" from them that draw near to (fight) me."-For there were mang with me-Or rather, "Many (to fight) with me." See Ainsworth.

Ver. 19. Even he that abideth of old-Ainsworth, "from antiquity;" Boothroyd," from eternity.". Because they have no changes ("no reverses,") therefore, &c.-That is, they suppose they also shall live for ever; or, at least, that things will go on the same for ever. See 2 Peter iii. 4.

Ver. 20. He hath broken-Heb. "Profaned," or violated.

Ver. 21. His words were drawn swords-That is, weapons of destruction.

Ver. 22. Cast thy burden-Mar. "Gift;" allotment. Ver. 23. Bloody and deceitful men-Heb. "Men of blood and deceit."Shall not live out half, &c. -i.e. they shall be cut off in the midst of their days. See Jer. xvii. 11


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and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. 23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction : bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. (H)


[Omit in Family Reading.] To the chief Musician upon Jonath-elemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

BE merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up; for they be many that fight against me, O thou Most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

5 Every day they wrest my words: all

their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they


[of Saul and his party.


hide themselves, they mark my steps, 7 Shall when they wait for my soul. cast down the people, Ŏ God. they escape by iniquity? in thine anger tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? 9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. 10 In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. 11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. 12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. 13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death; wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

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(H) David's Prayer against his enemies. -There seems no doubt but this psalm was composed with reference to Absalom's rebellion, and the desertion of Ahithophel to his cause, as recorded 2 Sam. xv. 30-37. A period this of great alarm and singular distress, which led David not only to pray to God; but to wish for "the wings of a dove," that he might find refuge in the wilderness. The circumstance which seemed most to affect David was, that Ahithophel, who had been one of his confidential counsellors, should join in the conspiracy: a circumstance which has been compared with the conduct of Judas, who betrayed our Lord, though it does not appear that Judas was ever remarkable for his wisdom, or distinguished by his master above his ather apostles, as was the case with Peter, James, and John; nor did our Lord follow his betrayer with execrations, as David did Ahithophel, and the other traitors, a

circumstance that marks conspicuously the difference between the type and antitype, and between the Jewish and Christian dispensations.

Toward the close, however, of this psalm, mingled with language which seems the result of aggravated and exasperated feelings, we have some sentiments full of piety and wisdom, from which we shall select the sixteenth verse. "Cast thy burden (or allotment) upon the Lord," &c.; on which we may remark, that whatever allotment we receive from God, whether of prosperity or adversity, it is our duty to refer it back to him: "He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord," and he will repay him; or, if our lot be adverse," he will sustain" under every burden, and "never suffer the righteous to be moved" from his foundation.


PSALM LVI. Title -Jonath-elem-rechokim. The dumb dove in far (or distant) places." The late learned Editor of Calmet, from comparing this title with ver. 6. of the psalm preceding, had a suspicion that it is here misplaced, and belonged originally to that psalm.-Expos. Index, p. 138.

Ver. 2. Mine enemies-Heb. " observers;" spies. The same term is used in several other psalms.

Ver. 8. Put thou my tears in thy bottle. The Romans used to preserve some of their tears in a sort of urns, or vials, called ampulice, and which they deposited in the sepulchres of their deceased friends;

"His arm will well sustain The children of his love; The ground on which their safety stands No earthly pow'r can move.' "Watts.

and from this verse it should seem that the Hebrews had a similar custom.

Ver. 13. Thou hast delivered.-The event here referred to, will be found 1 Sam. xxix. 3, &c. We omit this psalm for the same reason as we omitted the 54th. The first verses will be found in the psalm following; the last, in psalm cxvi. 8.

PSALM LVII. Title-Al-taschith-Marg. "Destroy not; meaning, probably, that this was a prayer to God, not to suffer him to be destroyed. The two psalms following bear the same title.

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of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

2 I will cry unto God most high; runto God that performeth all things for me.

3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all

the earth.

6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.


[divine protection.

8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

9 I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. 11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. (I)


To the chief Musician. Al-taschith; Michtam of David.

ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4 Their poison is like the poison of


(1) David again implores protection from his enemies, under the shadow of the Almighty's wings.-This is a very ancient image, as may be seen in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and in classic authors; but is by bone so beautifully employed as by the sacred writers. We meet with it first in the narrative of the creation, when the Spirit of God "brooded" upon the chaos, as a dove over her nest, (Gen. i. 2.) Again, Moses represents the Almighty as bearing up his people as an eagle doth her young upon her wings. (Deut. xxxii. 11, 12.)

And the

Psalmist here, and elsewhere, speaks of the divine Being under the same image, as spreading abroad his wings for the protection of his children from their enemies. (Psalm xci. 1-4.)

The occasion of this psalm appears to have been David's conscientiously refraining from doing any injury to Saul, when he had him wholly in his power: (1 Sam. xxiv.) An act of honour and generosity this, which, for the moment, appears to have affected the obdurate heart of Saul; but not to have broken the confederacy of his enemies against him. These enemies were men of fierce and fiery dispositions, setting all on fire around them, and being themselves set on fire of hell. (See James iii. 6.) As to himself, he declares his resolution fixed to glorify God, both with heart and tongue, which he calls his glory. "The tongue then becomes the glory of man, (says Bishop Horne,) when it is employed in setting forth the glory of God."


Ver. 1. In the shadow of thy wings.-The hieroglyphic here referred to, is that of the winged globe in the front of their temples. The classical writers Exchatus and Euripides, have been referred to; but the image is so natural, that we believe it may be found in the poets of almost all countries.

Ver.3. And save me-Ainsworth and Horsley place a semicolon at me; and render the next line, "He hath (or shall) put to reproach them," &c. Ver. 4. Are set on fire-With rage and malice. Ver. 7. I: fixed.-Ainsworth, Firmly prepared."

PSALM LVIII. Ver. 1. O congregation.-The term, according to Ainsworth, signifies any company bound together; a confederacy, or conspiracy. Ye weigh the violence, &c. That is, instead of weighing out equal justice, as they ought to do, they weighed out violence and vengeance.

Ver. 3. As soon as they be born-Heb. " From the belly." See Ps. xxii. 10.

Ver. 4. Their poison is like-Heb. "According to the likeness of the poison of a serpent."-The deaf adner-Marg. Or asp."

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a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

5 Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.


[of David's enemies.

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (K)


[Omit in Family Reading.] To the chief Musician. Al-taschith; Michtam of David; when Saul sent and they watched the house to kill him.

DELIVER me from mine enemies, 0 my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from 3 For, lo, they lie in wait bloody men. for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. 4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault:


(K) The depravity of the wicked, and especially of the men that had conspired against the psalmist's life.-This and the next psalm, according to Bishop Patrick, precede the foregoing in date; and their order appears to be retrograde; the next being of earlier date than this, and this of earlier date than the preceding. The faction of Saul are here addressed as confederated to take away David's life"Do ye, indeed, speak righteousness (or righteously,) O ye confederates?" and describes them, from their natural depravity and depraved habits, as having their minds full of the poison of serpents, and the ferocity of lions; and not to be won upon by any acts of generosity or kindness, as was sufficiently evident, from the fact referred to in the preceding psalm, when the psalmist not only refused to injure, but resolutely protected Saul's life. Saul, for the moment, appears to have been charmed by it; but they were like deaf adders, who could not be charmed. (See 1 Sam. xxiv, 16-22)

David then predicts their ruin in lan guage, which, though imprecatory in its form, should rather be considered as prophetic. To break the teeth of a lion, is to deprive him of the power of destruction; and the melting of an army, is its defeat and being scattered. The metaphor of the pot and the thorns is an evident allusion to the manners of the Arabs, who, when they want to cook their food, collect bushes and brambles, living or dead, (that is, green or dry,) to make a blaze; but, says he, "before your pots can feel the thorns," (that is, before they can be sensibly affected with heat,) they shall be melted like the snow, or swept away as with a whirlwind, in a manner indicative of the power which does it; so that men shall say, " Verily, there is a reward for the righteous."

"Thus shall the judgment of the Lord,
Safety and joy to saints afford;
And all that hear shall join and say,
'Sure there's a God that reigns on high,
A God that hears his children cry,
And will their sufferings well repay."-Watts.


Ver. 5. Charming never so wisely-Marg. "Be the charmer never so cunning." The fact, that serpents may be so charmed by music as to render them innoxious, seems indisputable; and from this text it is equally certain that the charmer's art, in some cases, fails. See Calmet's Dict. by Taylor, in Asp. Comp. Ps. xcí, 13.

Ver. 7. He bendeth .. his arrows-An eliptical form of expression, not uncommon in Hebrew. See Ps. Ixiv. 3.

Ver. 9. Both living and in his wrath-Heb. "As living as wrath;" but some critics apply the phrase

to the fuel here referred to, both green and dry. So

Bishops Patrick and Lowth.

Ver. 11. A reward of the righteous-Heb. "Fruit of the righteous." Reward is the fruit of obedience.

PSALM LIX. Title-The title of this psalm sufficiently explains the occasion of its being written, which is recorded, 1 Sam. xix. 11.

Ver. 1. Defend me-Heb. "From them that rise up against me, set me on high."

Ver. 4. They run and prepare-That is, to attack

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