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In the Shadow of Your Wings

A Prayer of David.

1Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
2From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!

3You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
4With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
7Wondrously show11Or Distinguish me by your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.

8Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.

13Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14from men by your hand, O Lord,
from men of the world whose portion is in this life.22Or from men whose portion in life is of the world
You fill their womb with treasure;33Or As for your treasured ones, you fill their womb
they are satisfied with children,
and they leave their abundance to their infants.

15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.


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6. I have called upon thee, etc. This verb being put in the past tense denotes a continued act; and, therefore, it includes the present time. The Hebrew word כי, ki, which we translate surely, often signifies because, and if it is so understood in this passage, the meaning will be, that David took encouragement to pray, because, depending upon the promise of God, he hoped that his prayers would not be in vain. But, perhaps, it may be thought preferable to change the tense of the verb as some do, so as to give this meaning, I will pray, because I have hitherto experienced that thou hast heard 358358     The Septuagint renders the verb in the past tense, “Επηκουσας μου,” “Thou hast heard me.” The Syriac and Vulgate give a similar rendering. The verb, in the Hebrew, is in the future; but it is a common thing in Hebrew to use the future tense for the past. my prayers. I have, however, chosen the exposition what appears to me the more simple. David, in my judgment, here encourages and animates himself to call upon God, from the confident hope of being heard, as if he had said, Since I call upon thee, surely, O God, thou wilt not despise my prayers. Immediately after he beseeches God to bestow upon him the blessings of which he told us he entertained an assured hope.




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