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David complaineth to God of the severity of his judgments, 1–3; with better hope he prayeth for deliverance, 4, 5; he comforteth himself in God's promises, and prayeth for that help wherein alone he trusteth, 6–12.
T To the chief Musician upon Shushan-eduth, [i. e., upon the lily of testimony, Michtam of David, to teach, [i. e., a golden Psalm of David for instruction;] when he strove with Aram-naharaim, [i. e., Syria of the two rivers, or Mesopotamia,] and with Aram-zobah, [i. e., with the Syrians of Zobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom, in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand.
1 O God, "thou hast cast us off, thou hast 'scattered us, Thou hast been displeased—O turn thyself to us again. * Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: Heal "the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. 3 Thou “hast showed thy people hard things: Thou "hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. 4 Thou “hast given a banner to them that fear thee, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah! * That othy beloved may be delivered; Save with thy right hand, and hear me. * God hath & spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will "divide Shechem, And mete out the valley of Succoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim *also is the strength of my head;
Judah is my lawgiver; a Psa. 44. 9. d Isa. 51.17, 22. Jer. 25, 15. h Josh. 1. 6. 1 Heb. broken. e Psa. 20. 5. i Josh. 18. 27. b2 Chron. 7. 14. f Psa. 108. 6, &c. k See Deut. 83.17.
c Psa. 71. 20. g Psa. 89. 35. 1 Gen. 49. 10.
* Moab is my washpot;
* Who will bring me into the 'strong city?
10 Wilt not thou, O God, which "hadst cast us off? And thou, O God, which didst "not go out with our
11 Give us help from trouble;
* Through God "we shall do valiantly;
David encourageth himself to praise God, 1–4; he prayeth for God's assistance, according to his promises, 6–10; his confidence in God's help, 11–13.
T A Song, or Psalm of David.
1 O "God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, Even with my glory. * Awake, "psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. * I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. * For thy mercy is great above the heavens; And thy truth reacheth unto the 'clouds. * Be “thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, And thy glory above all the earth;
* Psa. 57.7. b Psa. 57. 8–11. 1 Or, skies. e Psa. 57. 5, 11.
* That "thy beloved may be delivered: Save with thy right hand, and answer me. 7. God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, And mete out the valley of Succoth. * Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of my head; Judah “is my lawgiver; 9 Moab is my washpot; Over Edom will I cast out my shoe; Over Philistia will I triumph. 10 Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom ? 11 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? And wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? * Give us help from trouble; For vain is the help of man. * Through God we shall do valiantly; For he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
The conquest of Edom completed the triumph of the Israelitish arms, and raised that nation to a height of grandeur and power which overshadowed the kingdoms of Western Asia. Besides the wealth accruing from regular tribute and gifts from the subjugated kings, three important paths of commerce now lay within the dominions of David, through which he might control the eastern trade as far as India, and that of the eastern coast of Africa as far south as merchants, by the rude navigation of the age, had been able to penetrate. One route lay from the head navigable waters of the Euphrates through Syria to Damascus, and thence to Phoenicia and Egypt; the other lay from the head of the Persian Gulf through Arabia Petraea to Egypt; and the third was the commerce of the Red Sea, which David now could control through the ports of Elath and Eziongeber, at the head of the Elanitic Gulf, [Gulf of Akaba.] Of all these important fruits of David's conquests, Solomon afterward availed himself, but unhappily made the Tyrians by sea, and innumerable caravans by land, the ministers to his own luxury and pomp, rather than to the necessities and comforts of his numerous subjects. The Tyrians, who everywhere swept the seas with their numerous trading-vessels, were now dependent on David for permission to pass through his territories, or to occupy his ports on the Red Sea, in order to carry on their commerce with the East. But with Hiram, king of Tyre, both David and Solomon were always in amicable alliance. The fame of the kingdom of Israel from this time spread abroad, and reached to the remotest civilized nations west of the Indus. Five hundred years after David's conquest, the emperor of Persia found in the historical archives at Babylon, that “there had been mighty kings over Jerusalem, which had ruled over all countries beyond the river [Euphrates]; and toll, tribute, and custom was paid unto them.” (See Ezra iv, 11–22.) David was not insensible to the greatness of his achievements. But he had not entered into these wars from the promptings of ambition, and he now contemplated the height of power to which his kingdom had arisen, less as a hero and a great monarch, than as an humble servant of Jehovah, through whom the knowledge and glory of the one God was to be diffused among the idolatrous nations. The glory of Israel was the glory of the Church of God, and the prosperity of David was the success of Jehovah's servant. The Psalms used on this occasion, we must suppose, were chanted, as David, with his generals and army, (who had now returned from the war with Edom,) and with innumerable citizens, was entering the city of Jerusalem in triumph, and approaching the tabernacle, which was at that time their temple, on Mount Zion. Psalm coviii is responsive, and I have given the order in which it was chanted, according to Dr. A. Clarke, in the contents at the head of the Psalm. The Psalm is prophetic of Messiah, (compare verse 22 with Matthew xxi, 42; Acts iv, 11; 1 Peter ii, 4;) and was the last of the Psalms composing the great hallel, or chant, which the Jews in later days sung at the close of the Passover. It was, therefore, probably this Psalm which our Lord and his disciples sung after eating the Passover, when it is said, (Matthew xxvi, 30,) “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.” Psalm covii and the first four verses of Psalm coviii are to be taken together, according to Kennicott, as part the first of Psalm czviii. Bishop Horsley takes Psalm czvii as the exordium of Psalm czviii. This seems more natural than to connect Psalm czvii with the preceding one, as is done in thirty-two manuscripts.
PS ALMS C XVII A N D C XVIII.
ON THE CLOSE OF DAVID'S WARS WITH SYRIA AND EDOM.
A general erhortation to praise God for his mercy and truth, Psalm 117, and Psalm 118, 1–4; the Psalmist, by his own experience, encourages the people to trust in God, and shows the advantage of it, 5–9; he describes his enemies and shows how God enabled him to destroy them, 10–13; the people rejoice on the account, 15, 16; he speaks again of the help he received of the Lord, and desires the Levites to open to him the door of the sacred tabernacle, that he may go in and praise the Lord, 17–19; the Levites open the gate, 20; David enters and offers praise, 21; the priests acknowledge the hand of the Lord in the deliverance wrought, 22–24; David prays for prosperity, 25; the priest performs his office, blesses the people, and all join in praise, 26, 27; David expresses his confidence, 28; the general do.cology, or chorus, 29.
! O "praise the LoRD, all ye nations!
And the truth of the LORD endureth forever.
! O "give thanks unto the LoRD; for he is good: Because his mercy endureth forever.
a Rom. 15. 11. b1 Chron. 16.8, 84. Psa. 106.1.