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18. Psalm 18

1I love thee, O Jehovah, my strength.

2Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

My God, my rock, in whom I will take refuge;

My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.

3I will call upon Jehovah, who is worthy to be praised:

So shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4The cords of death compassed me,

And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.

5The cords of Sheol were round about me;

The snares of death came upon me.

6In my distress I called upon Jehovah,

And cried unto my God:

He heard my voice out of his temple,

And my cry before him came into his ears.

7Then the earth shook and trembled;

The foundations also of the mountains quaked

And were shaken, because he was wroth.

8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,

And fire out of his mouth devoured:

Coals were kindled by it.

9He bowed the heavens also, and came down;

And thick darkness was under his feet.

10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly;

Yea, he soared upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his hiding-place, his pavilion round about him,

Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

12At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,

Hailstones and coals of fire.

13Jehovah also thundered in the heavens,

And the Most High uttered his voice,

Hailstones and coals of fire.

14And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;

Yea, lightnings manifold, and discomfited them.

15Then the channels of waters appeared,

And the foundations of the world were laid bare,

At thy rebuke, O Jehovah,

At the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16He sent from on high, he took me;

He drew me out of many waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy,

And from them that hated me; for they were too mighty for me.

18They came upon me in the day of my calamity;

But Jehovah was my stay.

19He brought me forth also into a large place;

He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness;

According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21For I have kept the ways of Jehovah,

And have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his ordinances were before me,

And I put not away his statutes from me.

23I was also perfect with him,

And I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24Therefore hath Jehovah recompensed me according to my righteousness,

According to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful;

With the perfect man thou wilt show thyself perfect;

26With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure;

And with the perverse thou wilt show thyself froward.

27For thou wilt save the afflicted people;

But the haughty eyes thou wilt bring down.

28For thou wilt light my lamp:

Jehovah my God will lighten my darkness.

29For by thee I run upon a troop;

And by my God do I leap over a wall.

30As for God, his way is perfect:

The word of Jehovah is tried;

He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.

31For who is God, save Jehovah?

And who is a rock, besides our God,

32The God that girdeth me with strength,

And maketh my way perfect?

33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet:

And setteth me upon my high places.

34He teacheth my hands to war;

So that mine arms do bend a bow of brass.

35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation;

And thy right hand hath holden me up,

And thy gentleness hath made me great.

36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me,

And my feet have not slipped.

37I will pursue mine enemies, and overtake them;

Neither will I turn again till they are consumed.

38I will smite them through, so that they shall not be able to rise:

They shall fall under my feet.

39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle:

Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40Thou hast also made mine enemies turn their backs unto me,

That I might cut off them that hate me.

41They cried, but there was none to save;

Even unto Jehovah, but he answered them not.

42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind;

I did cast them out as the mire of the streets.

43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people;

Thou hast made me the head of the nations:

A people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44As soon as they hear of me they shall obey me;

The foreigners shall submit themselves unto me.

45The foreigners shall fade away,

And shall come trembling out of their close places.

46Jehovah liveth; and blessed be my rock;

And exalted be the God of my salvation,

47Even the God that executeth vengeance for me,

And subdueth peoples under me.

48He rescueth me from mine enemies;

Yea, thou liftest me up above them that rise up against me;

Thou deliverest me from the violent man.

49Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the nations,

And will sing praises unto thy name.

50Great deliverance giveth he to his king,

And showeth lovingkindness to his anointed,

To David and to his seed, for evermore.

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15. And the sources of the waters were seen. In this verse, David doubtless alludes to the miracle which was wrought when the chosen tribes passed through the Red Sea. I have before declared the purpose for which he does this. As all the special benefits which God in old time conferred upon any of the children of Abraham as individuals, were so many testimonies by which he recalled to their remembrance the covenant which he had once entered into with the whole people, to assure them that he would always continue his grace towards them, and that one deliverance might be to them a token or pledge of their perpetual safety, and of the protection of God, David fitly conjoins with that ancient deliverance of the Church the assistance which God had sent from heaven to him in particular. As the grace which he declares God had shown towards him was not to be separated from that first deliverance, since it was, so to speak, a part and an appendage of it, he beholds, as it were at a glance, or in an instant, both the ancient miracle of the drying up of the Red Sea, and the assistance which God granted to himself. In short, God, who once opened up for his people a way through the Red Sea, and then showed himself to be their protector upon this condition, that they should assure themselves of being always maintained and preserved under his keeping, now again displayed his wonderful power in the defense and preservation of one man, to renew the remembrance of that ancient history. From this it appears the more evidently, that David, in using these apparently strange and exaggerated hyperboles, does not recite to us the mere creations of romance to please the fancy, after the manner of the heathen poets, 407407     “En usant de ces hyperboles et similitudes qui semblent estranges et excessives ne nous recite pas des fables et contes faits a plaisir a la fakon des Poietes profanes.” — Fr. but observes the style and manner which God had, as it were, prescribed to his people. At the same time, we ought carefully to mark the reason already adverted to, which constrained him to magnify the grace of God in a style of such splendid imagery, namely, because the greater part of the people never made the grace of God the subject of serious consideration, but, either through wickedness or stupidity, passed over it with shut eyes. The Hebrew word אפיקים, aphikim, which I have rendered sources, properly signifies the channels of rivers; but David, in this passage, evidently means that the very springs or sources of the waters were laid open, and that thus it could be discerned whence proceeds the great and inexhaustible abundance of waters which supply the rivers, and by which they always continue to flow on in their course.




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