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John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible

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Chapter 19
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PSALM XVIII. Chapter Overview

David triumphs in God, verse 1-3.
Praises God for his past deliverances, verse 4-19.
Takes the comfort of his integrity, which God had thereby cleared up, verse 20-28.
Gives God the glory of all his victories, verse 29-42.
Express his hope of what God would do farther, verse 43-50.
This psalm with some few and small variations, is written, 2 Samuel 22:1-51. It was composed by David towards the end of his life, upon the occasion here mentioned. To the chief musician, A psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song, in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul, and he said:

Title of the psalm. Servant-Who esteems it a greater honour to be thy servant, than to be king of Israel. Saul-After the death of Saul, and the conquest of all his succeeding enemies, and his own firm establishment in his kingdom.

Verse 1
Love - Most affectionately, and with my whole soul; as the Hebrew word signifies.

Verse 2
Rock - To which I flee for refuge, as the Israelites did to their rocks. Horn - It is a metaphor from those beasts whose strength lies in their horns.

Verse 4
Death - Dangerous and deadly troubles. Floods - Their multitude, and strength, and violent assaults, breaking in upon me like a flood.

Verse 5
Sorrows - Which brought me to the brink of the grave. Death - Had almost taken hold of me, before I was aware.

Verse 6
Temple - Out of his heavenly habitation.

Verse 7
Then - Then God appeared on my behalf in a glorious manner, to the terror and confusion of all mine enemies, which is here compared to an earthquake.

Verse 8
There went, &c. - All these seem to be figurative expressions, denoting the greatness of his anger.

Verse 9
Bowed - By producing thick and dark clouds, whereby the heavens seem to come down to the earth. Came - Not by change of place, but by the manifestation of his presence and power on my behalf.

Verse 10
Cherub - Or, upon the cherubim, upon the angels, who are also called God's chariots, Psalms 68:17, upon which he is said to sit and ride. All which is not to be understood grossly, but only to denote God's using the ministry of angels, in raising such storms and tempests. Fly - As swiftly as the wind.

Verse 11
Darkness - He covered himself with dark clouds. Waters - Watery vapours.

Verse 12
At - His glorious and powerful appearance. Passed - Or, passed away, vanished, being dissolved into showers.

Verse 14
Arrows - Lightnings. Them - Mine enemies.

Verse 15
Discovered - By mighty earthquakes, which overturned the earth, and made its lower parts visible.

Verse 18
Prevented - They had almost surprized me.

Verse 19
Brought - Out of my straits and difficulties, into a state of freedom and comfort. So he ascribes all his mercies to God's good pleasure, as the first spring of them.

Verse 20
Righteousness - Just cause. The innocency of my actions towards Saul, from whose blood I kept my hands pure.

Verse 22
Judgments - I diligently studied and considered them.

Verse 24
Iniquity - From that sin which I was most inclined or tempted to.

Verse 25
Upright - Thou metest to every one the same measure, which he meteth out to others; and therefore thou wilt perform mercy and truth, to those who are merciful and true to others.

Verse 26
Pure - Free from the least mixture or appearance of unrighteousness, or unfaithfulness. Froward - Thou wilt cross him and walk contrary to him.

Verse 28
Lightest - Given me safety, and comfort, and glory, and posterity also.

Verse 29
Troop - Broken through the armed troops of mine enemies. Wall - I have scaled the walls of their strongest cites.

Verse 30
Perfect - His providence, though it may sometimes be dark, yet is always wise and just, and unblameable. Tried - The truth of God's promises is approved by innumerable experiences.

Verse 31
Who - Our Lord is the only God, and therefore there is none, that can hinder him from accomplishing his own work.

Verse 32
Perfect - Perfectly plain and smooth, and clear from impediments.

Verse 33
High-places - Confirms me in that high estate into which he hath advanced me.

Verse 35
Salvation - Thy protection, which hath been to me like a shield. Held - Kept me from, falling into those mischiefs, which mine enemies designed. Gentleness - Thy clemency, whereby thou hast pardoned my sins; thy grace and benignity.

Verse 36
Slipt - As they are apt to do in narrow and uneven ways.

Verse 43
People - From contentions, and seditions, under Saul, and Ishbosheth, and Absalom. Heathens - Of the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Syrians, and others. Not known - Even barbarous and remote nations.

Verse 44
Hear - As soon as they understand my will and pleasure, they shall instantly comply with it.

Verse 45
Close places - Out of their strong holds, where they shall lurk for fear of me.

Verse 46
The Lord - He and he only is the true living God.

Verse 48
Violent man - From Saul: whom for honour's sake he forbears to mention.

Verse 49
Heathen - David is here transported beyond himself, and speaks this in special relation to Christ who was to be his seed, and of whom he was an eminent type, and by whom alone this was done. And therefore this is justly applied to him, and to his calling of the Gentiles, Romans 15:9.

Verse 50
His king - To the king whom God himself chose and anointed, and to all his posterity; and especially to the Messiah, who is called David's seed, Acts 13:23; Romans 1:3.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalm 18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible". <>. 1765.  


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