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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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David, having taken many strongholds which, on account of their steep and difficult access, were believed to be impregnable, extols the grace of God in this particular. When he says that God had given him feet like hinds’ feet, he means that he had given him unusual swiftness, and such as does not naturally belong to men. The sense, therefore, is, that he had been aided by God in an extraordinary manner, so that like a roe he climbed with amazing speed over inaccessible rocks. He calls the strongholds, which, as conqueror, he had obtained by right of war, his high places; for he could justly boast that he took possession of nothing which belonged to another man, inasmuch as he knew that he had been called to occupy these fortresses by God. When he says that his hands had been taught and framed to war, he confesses that he had not acquired his dexterity in fighting by his own skill, nor by exercise and experience, but had obtained it as a gift through the singular goodness of God. It is true in general, that strength and skill in war proceed only from a secret virtue communicated by God; but David immediately after shows that he had been furnished with greater strength for carrying on his wars than what men commonly possess, inasmuch as his arms were sufficiently strong to break even bows of brass in pieces True, he had by nature a vigorous and powerful bodily frame; but the Scripture describes him as a man of low stature, and the similitude itself which he here uses implies something surpassing the natural strength of man. In the following verse, he declares that it was by the grace of God alone that he had escaped, and been kept in perfect safety: Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation. By the phrase, the shield of God’s salvation, he intimates, that if God had not wonderfully preserved him, he would have been exposed unprotected to many deadly wounds; and thus God’s shield of salvation is tacitly opposed to all the coverings and armor with which he had been provided. He again ascribes his safety to the free goodness of God as its cause, which he says had increased him, or more and more carried him forward in the path of honor and success; for, by the word increase, he means a continuation and an unintermitted and ever growing augmentation of the tokens of the divine favor towards him.




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