Ps 17:1-15. This Psalm is termed a prayer because
the language of petition is predominant. With a just cause, sincerely
presented, the writer prays for a just decision and help and
protection. Pleading former mercies as a ground of hope, he urges his
prayer in view of the malice, pride, rapacity, and selfishness of his
foes, whose character is contrasted with his pious devotion and delight
in God's favor.
2. sentence—acquitting judgment.
from thy presence—Thy tribunal.
things that are equal—just and right,
do Thou regard.
3. proved … visited …
tried—His character was most rigidly tested, at all times,
and by all methods, affliction and others (Ps 7:10).
purposed that, &c.—or, my mouth
does not exceed my purpose; I am sincere.
4. works of men—sinful practices.
by the word of thy lips—as a guide
119:9, 11, 95).
5. May be read as an assertion "my steps or
goings have held on to Thy paths."
6. wilt hear me—that is, graciously
7. Show—set apart as special and eminent
8:18; Ps 4:3).
thy right hand—for Thy power.
8. Similar figures, denoting the preciousness
of God's people in His sight, in De 32:10, 11; Mt 23:37.
9. compass me—(compare Ps 118:10-12).
10. enclosed … fat—are become
proud in prosperity, and insolent to God (De 32:15; Ps
11. They pursue us as beasts tracking their
12. The figure made more special by that of a
13-15. disappoint—literally, "come
before," or, "encounter him." Supply "with" before "sword" (Ps 17:13), and "hand" (Ps 17:14). These denote God's power.
14. men … world—all men of this
present time. They appear, by fulness of bread and large families, to
be prosperous; but (Ps 17:15) he
implies this will be transient, contrasting his better portion in a
joyful union with God hereafter.