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18. Psalm 18

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.

2The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved 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 darkness was under his feet.

10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

13The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.

19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

32It is 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 a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

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, that my feet did not slip.

37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen 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 given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.

42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

46The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

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28. For thou shalt light my lamp. In the song in Samuel, the form of the expression is somewhat more precise; for there it is said not that God lights our lamp, but that he himself is our lamp. The meaning, however, comes to the same thing, namely, that it was by the grace of God that David, who had been plunged in darkness, returned to the light. David does not simply give thanks to God for having lighted up a lamp before him, but also for having converted his darkness into light. He, therefore, acknowledges that he had been reduced to such extremity of distress, that he was like a man whose condition was forlorn and hopeless; for he compares the confused and perplexed state of his affairs to darkness. This, indeed, by the transference of material things to things spiritual, may be applied to the spiritual illumination of the understanding; but, at the same time, we must attend to the subject of which David treats, that we may not depart from the true and proper meaning. Now, as he acknowledges that he had been restored to prosperity by the favor of God, which was to him, as it were, a life-giving light, let us, after his example, regard it as certain that we will never have the comfort of seeing our adversities brought to an end, unless God disperse the darkness which envelops us, and restore to us the light of joy. Let it not, however, be distressing to us to walk through darkness, provided God is pleased to perform to us the office of a lamp. In the following verse, David ascribes his victories to God, declaring that, under his conduct, he had broken through the wedges or phalanxes of his enemies, and had taken by storm their fortified cities. 425425     The last clause, By my God have I leaped over a wall, is rendered by the Chaldee, “I will subdue fortified towers.” Hammond renders it, “By my God I have taken a fort.” In support of this view, he observes that the word שור, shur, from שור, shor, to look, signifies both a wall, from which to observe the approach of the enemy, and a watch-tower and fort; that if we take שור, shur, as meaning a wall, the verb דלג, dalag, will be rightly rendered to leap over; but if שור, shur, means a fort, then the verb will mean to seize on it suddenly, and will therefore be best translated to take it. Thus we see that, although he was a valiant warrior, and skilled in arms, he arrogates nothing to himself. As to the tenses of the verbs, we would inform our readers once for all, that in this psalm David uses the past and the future tenses indifferently, not only because he comprehends different histories, but also because he presents to himself the things of which he speaks as if they were still taking place before his eyes, and, at the same time, describes a continued course of the grace of God towards him.




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