Upon Muthlabben, or, after the manner according to "death to
the Son," by which some song was known, to whose air or melody the
musician is directed to perform this Psalm. This mode of denoting a
song by some prominent word or words is still common (compare Ps 22:1). The Psalmist praises God for deliverance from
his enemies and celebrates the divine government, for providing
security to God's people and punishment to the wicked. Thus encouraging
himself, he prays for new occasions to recount God's mercies, and
confident of His continued judgment on the wicked and vindication of
the oppressed, he implores a prompt and efficient manifestation of the
1. Heartfelt gratitude will find
3-5. When … are turned back—It is
the result of God's power alone. He, as a righteous Judge (Ps 7:11), vindicates His people. He rebukes by
acts as well as words (Ps 6:1; 18:15), and so effectually as to destroy the
names of nations as well as persons.
6. Literally, "As to the enemy finished are
his ruins for ever. Thou [God] hast destroyed," &c. (1Sa 15:3, 7;
27:8, 9). The wicked are
utterly undone. Their ruins shall never be repaired.
7, 8. God's eternal possession of a throne of
justice is contrasted with the ruin of the wicked.
9, 10. The oppressed, and all who know Him
7:1), find Him a sure
11. (Compare Ps 2:6; 3:4).
12. for blood—that is, murders (Ps 5:6), including all the oppressions of His
maketh inquisition—(compare Ge 9:5). He will avenge their cause.
13. gates—or, "regions."
of death—Gates being the entrance is
put for the bounds.
14. gates … Zion—The enclosure of
the city (compare Ps 48:12; Isa 23:12), or, church, as denoted by this phrase
contrasted with that of death, carries out the idea of exaltation as
well as deliverance. Signal favors should lead us to render signal and
15, 16. The undesigned results of the devices
of the wicked prove them to be of God's overruling or ordering,
especially when those results are destructive to the wicked
16. Higgaion—means "meditation," and,
combined with Selah, seems to denote a pause of unusual
solemnity and emphasis (compare Ps 3:2). Though
Selah occurs seventy-three times, this is the only case in which
Higgaion is found. In the view which is given here of the
retribution on the wicked as an instance of God's wise and holy
ordering, we may well pause in adoring wonder and faith.
17. shall be turned—or, "shall turn,"
retreating under God's vengeance, and driven by Him to the extreme of
destruction, even hell itself. Those who forget God are classed with
the depraved and openly profane.
18. (Compare Ps 13:1-6).
the needy—literally, "poor," as
deprived of anything; hence miserable.
expectation of the poor—or, "meek,"
"humble," made so by affliction.
19. Arise—(compare Ps 4:7).
let not man—(Ps 8:4).
let … be judged—and of course
20. By their effectual subjection, make them
to realize their frail nature (Ps 8:4), and deter them from all conceit and