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AND David spoke to the Lord the words of this canticle, in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul,

Ver. 1.  Spoke, &c.  By comparing this with the 17th Psalm, we may be convinced how much the Hebrew varies, particularly if we examine also the MSS.  Kennicott specifies no less than 600 variations in this one canticle, and refutes the opinion of those who say that the 17th Psalm is a second edition, corrected by David's own hand, as the MSS. frequently shew that inaccuracies of the printed copies.  He has collated them with Walton's Polyglott.  The variations are not however all distinct from each other, sometimes twenty MSS. having the same various readings, and may of the relate to the letter v.  See Diss. ii. p. 565.  We shall give the explication in the order of the Psalms.  The collation of parallel passages is of infinite advantage.  Frequently (H.) the words differ so as to explain one another.


--- Saul.  He is specified as the most dangerous.  David, by divine inspiration, thanks God for his deliverance from all his enemies, both corporal and spiritual, enjoying peace of mind on account of his sins being forgiven, and all his opponents repressed.  W.


--- This year, the thirty-seventh of David's reign, was free from any commotion.  Yet the king seems to have given way to a little vanity, on account of the many valiant men whom God had collected in his service; (C. xxiii.) and hence he consented to the unfortunate resolution of numbering his subjects.  Salien, A. 3016.

2 And he said: The Lord is my rock, and my strength, and my saviour.


3 God is my strong one, in him will I trust: my shield, and the horn of my salvation: he lifteth me up, and is my refuge: my saviour, thou wilt deliver me from iniquity. 4 I will call on the Lord who is worthy to be praised: and I shall be saved from my enemies.


5 For the pangs of death have sur rounded me: the floods of Belial have made me afraid. 6 The cords of hell compassed me: the snares of death prevented me. 7 In my distress I will call upon the Lord, and I will cry to my God: and he will hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry shall come to his ears.

Ver. 7.  Temple.  David was now busy in making preparations for it.

8 The earth shook and trembled, the foundations of the mountains were moved, and shaken, because he was angry with them. 9 A smoke went up from his nostrils, and a devouring fire out of his mouth: coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 11 And he rode upon the cherubims, and flew: and slid upon the wings of the wind.

Ver. 11.  Upon.  Cardell (M.) would translate the Heb. "as in contest."

12 He made darkness a covering round about him: dropping waters out of the clouds of the heavens.
13 By the brightness before him, the coals of fire were kindled.

Ver. 13.  Kindled.  The words abju abru seem to be wanting here, as they are found in Syr. Arab. and the Psalm.  Kennicott would render this most striking image, "at the brightness of his presence his clouds removed; They kindled into colas of fire," &c.  Diss. i.

14 The Lord shall thunder from heaven: and the most high shall give forth his voice.

Ver. 14.  Shall.  Heb. as well in the past tense.  "The Lord thundered," &c.  H.

15 He shot arrows and scattered them: lightning, and consumed them. 16 And the overflowings of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid open at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the spirit of his wrath.

Ver. 16.  Overflowings.  Heb. "channels," the waters receding as at the Red Sea, and at the passage of the Jordan.

17 He sent from on high, and took me, and drew me out of many waters. 18 He delivered me from my most mighty enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. 19 He prevented me in the day of my affliction, and the Lord became my stay. 20 And he brought me forth into a large place, he delivered me, because I pleased him. 21 The Lord will reward me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands he will render to me. 22 Because I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

Ver. 22.  God.   Perhaps David might have written this before his fall; or, if afterwards, his sincere repentance had restored him to his former state.

23 For all his judgments are in my sight: and his precepts I have not removed from me. 24 And I shall be perfect with him: and shall keep myself from my iniquity.
25 And the Lord will recompense me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands in the sight of his eyes. 26 With the holy one thou wilt be holy: and with the valiant perfect.

Ver. 26.  Holy; treating all according to their deserts.  H.

27 With the elect thou wilt be elect: and with the perverse thou wilt be perverted. 28 And the poor people thou wilt save: and with thy eyes thou wilt humble the haughty. 29 For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and thou, O Lord, wilt enlighten my darkness.

Ver. 29.  Lamp.  Heb. Thair, "thou wilt light" my lamp, seems deficient; as it is found in some MSS. Syr. Arab.  Ps. xvii. &c.  Kennicott.

30 For in thee I will run girded: in my God I will leap over the wall. 31 God, his way is immaculate, the word of the Lord is tried by fire: he is the shield of all that trust in him. 32 Who is God but the Lord: and who is strong but our God? 33 God who hath girded me with strength, and made my way perfect. 34 Making my feet like the feet of harts, and setting me upon my high places.


35 He teacheth my bands to war: and maketh my arms like a bow of brass.


36 Thou hast given me the shield of my salvation: and thy mildness hath multiplied me.
37 Thou shalt enlarge my steps under me: and my ankles shall not fail. 38 I will pursue after my enemies, and crush them: and will not return again till I consume them. 39 I will consume them and break them in pieces, so that they shall not rise: they shall fall under my feet. 40 Thou hast girded me with strength to battle: thou hast made them that resisted me to bow under me. 41 My enemies thou hast made to turn their back to me: them that hated me, and I shall destroy them. 42 They shall cry, and there shall be none to save: to the Lord, and he shall not hear them. 43 I shall beat them as small as the dust of the earth: I shall crush them and spread them abroad like the mire of the streets. 44 Thou wilt save me from the contradictions of my people: thou wilt keep me to be the head of the Gentiles: the people which I know not, shall serve me,

Ver. 44.   Me.  Though David conquered some Gentiles, and some were converted to the true faith under the Old Testament, yet the fulness of the Gentiles belongs to the Church of Christ, the perpetual stability of which is here foretold, v. 51.  W.

45 The sons of the stranger will resist me, at the hearing of the ear they will obey me. 46 The strangers are melted away, and shall be straitened in their distresses. 47 The Lord liveth, and my God is blessed: and the strong God of my salvation shall be exalted: 48 God who giveth me revenge, and bringest down people under me, 49 Who bringest me forth from my enemies, and liftest me up from them that resist me: from the wicked man thou shalt deliver me.


50 Therefore will I give thanks to thee. O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name.


51 Giving great salvation to his king, and shewing mercy to David his anointed, and to his seed for ever.
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