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* Let ‘Israel now say, That his mercy endureth forever. * Let the house of Aaron now say, That his mercy endureth forever. 4 Let them now that fear the LoRD say, That his mercy endureth forever. 5 I* called upon the LoRD 'in distress: The LoRD answered me, and “set me in a large place. * The "LoRD is "on my side; I will not fear—what can man do unto me? 7 The g LoRD taketh my part with them that help me: Therefore shall"Isee my desire upon them that hate me. 8 It is better to trust in the LoRD Than to put confidence in man. 9. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes. 10 All nations compassed me about; But in the name of the LoRD will I'destroy them. 11 They "compassed me about, Yea, they compassed me about; But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. 12 They compassed me about "like bees, They are quenched "as the fire of thorns; For in the name of the LoRD I will “destroy them. 18 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall; But the LoRD helped me. * The "LoRD is my strength and song, And is become my salvation. * The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: The right hand of the LoRD doeth valiantly.

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e See Psa. 115.9, &c. 2 Heb. for me. l Psa. 88. 17. d Psa. 120. 1. g Psa. 54. 4. m Deut. 1. 44. 1 Heb. out of distress. h Psa. 59. 10. n Eccl. 7. 6. Nah. 1. 10. e Psa. 18. 19 i Psa. 40. 4. Jer. 17. 5, 7. * Heb. cut down. f Psa. 27. 1. Isa. 51. 12. k Psa. 146. 3. o Exod. 15. 2. Isa. 12. 2.

Heb. 18, 6. * Heb, cut them off.

16 The Pright hand of the LoRD is exalted: The right hand of the LoRD doeth valiantly. 17 Il shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the LoRD. 18 The LoRD hath "chastened me sore; But he hath not given me over unto death. 1° Open ‘to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LoRD– 20 This "gate of the Lord, Into which the righteous shall enter. * I will praise thee; for thou hast "heard me, And art become my salvation. * The *stone which the builders refused Is become the head stone of the corner. *This is “the LoRD's doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. * This is the day which the Lord hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. * Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. * Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LoRD ! We have blessed you out of the house of the LoRD. * God is the Lord, which hath showed us “light: Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. * Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: Thou "art my God, I will exalt thee. * O give thanks unto the LoRD; for he is good: For his mercy endureth forever.

p Exod. 15. 6. v Isa. 35. 8. Rev. 21. 27. y Mat. 21. 9. and 28. 89. q Psa. 6.5. Hab. 1. 12. and 22, 14, 15. See Zech. 4, 7. r Psa. 78. 28. - w Psa. 116. 1. z Est. 8. 16. 1 Peter 2. 9. s 2 Cor. 6.. 9. x Mat. 21. 42. Acts 4.11. a Exod. 15. 2. Isa. 25.1. t Isa. 26. 2. Eph. 2. 20. 1 Pet. 2, 4, 7.

u Psa. 24. 7. * Heb. from the LORD.

INTRODUCTION TO PSALMS IX AND XX.

PSALMS OF DAVID.

Two years had passed since the war with Edom, and in this interval of peace David had not been unmindful of his covenant with Saul and Jonathan to show kindness to their posterity. But it was not permitted the king of Israel thus quietly to devote himself to the duties of private friendship, or the internal prosperity of his kingdom. The elements of foreign war were already kindling for a new explosion. “And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.” There had subsisted a personal friendship between David and the deceased king, arising from some kindness shown by the latter, probably during David's persecution by Saul. Upon the news of his death, David despatches messengers to the court of Ammon to tender his condolence to the young king. This act of friendship, so honourable to the heart of David, was fatally misapplied by the crafty courtiers of Hanun, and seized upon as a favourable occasion for breaking from their allegiance to the Hebrew power. They persuaded the imprudent and credulous Hanun, that so far from being intended as an honour to the memory of his father, this embassy from the king of Israel was in reality an act of disguised hostility; and the messengers were nothing less than spies sent “to search the city,” and ascertain the condition of its fortifications.

Influenced by these evil counsels, the obsequious king rashly ordered the arrest of the messengers of David, and subjected them to the lowest insult that could be inflicted upon the pride and honour of an Oriental; their beards were shaven, and their long flowing robes were cut short below the waist, and in this condition they were returned to their master.

The king of Ammon was now aware that he had violated the faith of friendly nations, by thus insulting foreign ambassadors, and had consequently committed himself beyond recall to a war with Israel. He accordingly lost no time in making the most formidable preparations. The subjugated nations of Syria he knew were more than willing to throw off the Hebrew yoke, and waited only a favourable moment for such an attempt. By various means, therefore, he endeavours to instigate them to revolt, and by hiring from among them mercenary troops, (the first instance of the kind on record,) he at length succeeds in raising an army of thirty-three thousand men. These were all that could be raised on this occasion from four Syrian nations. The Syrian army now march to Medeba, in the southeast of the tribe of Reuben, and encamp in the broad plain before that city. Meantime the Hebrew army is already on its march to the city of Ammon. David does not accompany the expedition, but entrusts it to his faithful generals. As they approach the enemy, they find the Ammonites drawn up in order of battle before the gates of their capital, Rabbah, and the Syrians further south toward Medeba, extending their lines as if to surround the Israelites. Joab, a lion in war, perceived at once the design of the enemy, and, with his usual address, divided his army into two detachments; the one, headed by Abishai, was to attack the Ammonites, while he with the other wheeled to the right, and fell furiously upon the Syrians. Victory was not long doubtful. The Syrians fled from the field, and the Ammonites retreated into the city and closed the gates. But the fate of the war was not yet decided. Hadarezer, king of Zobah, the principal Syrian ally, and the most powerful of the Syrian kings, soon rallied the scattered army, and now exerted his utmost power to arouse the Syrian nations to one united effort for the recovery of their liberty. He then passed the Euphrates, to whose banks his kingdom extended, and instigated the Syrians of Mesopotamia, or, more properly, the Assyrians, to take up arms and make common cause with their western and southern neighbours against the alarming power of the Hebrews. The efforts of Hadarezer took effect, and the movement of the northern nations now became formidable, and threatened to wrest from David all the most valuable fruits of his foreign conquests. With his usual promptness, therefore, he resolves to anticipate the enemy. Quitting his palace, he raises a numerous army, and, crossing the Jordan, marches boldly through the kingdom of Damascus to Helam, in Syria, three hundred miles from his capital, and near the banks of Euphrates, where the enemy was mustering his vast preparations for war. Here he met the allied army, headed by Shobach, general of Hadarezer, and overthrew them with a terrible carnage. Seven hundred chariots of war were taken; and seven thousand men who fought in them, together with forty thousand footmen, were slain. Shobach himself fell in the engagement. By this decisive battle the power of the revolting Syrian nations was completely broken, and they now hastened to renew their allegiance to Israel. David returns again to his capital with his victorious army, laden with spoils and crowned with honours. His power is more firmly established than ever, and the provinces henceforward are at rest. Except with Ammon universal peace is restored. The following Psalms seem properly to date here. Psalm ix is regarded by Patrick, Poole, Hitzig, and others, to be a public prayer offered up for victory on the eve of the expedition. Psalm xx is David's thanksgiving ode for victory after his return. Read 2 Samuel ix and x; 1 Chronicles xix.

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David praiseth God for the erecution of judgment upon the heathen nations, his enemies, 1–6; he encourageth himself in the Lord, knowing that he will ever judge righteously, 7–10; he inciteth others to praise him, 11, 12; he prayeth for continued help, 13, 14; he magnifies the Lord for his judgment upon the heathen who had conspired for his ruin, and prays for help against the oppressor, 15–20.

T To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben, [or, upon the Virgin Mode. To Ben.] A Psalm of David.

! I will praise thee, O Lord! with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works.

* I will be glad and "rejoice in thee; I will sing praise to thy name, O "thou Most High!

* When mine enemies are turned back, They shall fall and perish at thy presence.

a Psa. 5.11. b Psa. 56. 2. and 83.18.

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