Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
Shiggaion--a plaintive song or elegy. Though obscure in details,
this title seems to intimate that the occasion of this Psalm was some
event in David's persecution by Saul. He prays for relief because he is
innocent, and God will be glorified in his vindication. He thus passes
to the celebration of God's righteous government, in defending the
upright and punishing the wicked, whose malignant devices will result
in their own ruin; and, confident of God's aid, he closes with
1, 2. Though many enemies set upon him, one is singled out as
prominent, and compared to a wild beast tearing his prey to pieces
1Sa 20:1; 23:23; 26:19).
3. if I have done this--that is, the crime charged in the "words of
4. If I have injured my friend.
yea, I have delivered, &c.--This makes a good sense, but interrupts
the course of thought, and hence it is proposed to render, "if I have
spoiled my enemy"--in either case (compare
1Sa 24:4-17; 31:8, 11).
5. This is the consequence, if such has been his conduct.
Ps 3:3; 4:2)
--my personal and official dignity.
6. God is involved as if hitherto careless of him
(Ps 3:7; 9:18).
rage--the most violent, like a flood rising over a river's banks.
the judgment . . . commanded--or, "ordained"; a just decision.
7. compass thee--as those seeking justice.
return thou on high--assume the judgment seat, to be honored as a
just Ruler by them.
8. Though not claiming innocence in general, he can confidently do
so in this case, and in demanding from the Judge of all the earth a
judgment, he virtually asks acquittal.
9. the hearts and reins--the affections and motives of men, or the
seat of them (compare
Ps 16:7; 26:2);
as we use heart and bosom or breast.
10. defence--literally, "shield"
11. judgeth--as in
the wicked--Though not expressed, they are implied, for they alone
are left as objects of anger.
12, 13. They are here distinctly pointed out, though by changing
the person, a very common mode of speech, one is selected as a
representative of wicked men generally. The military figures are of
13. against the persecutors--Some render "for burning," but the
former is the best sense. Arrows for burning would be appropriate in
besieging a town, not in warring against one man or a company in open
14. The first clause expresses the general idea that wicked men
labor to do evil, the others carry out the figure fully.
1Sa 18:17; 31:2
illustrate the statement whether alluded to or not. These verses are
showing how the devices of the wicked end in disappointment, falsifying
17. his righteousness--
Thus illustrated in the defense of His servant and punishment of the