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35

You have given me the shield of your salvation,

and your right hand has supported me;

your help has made me great.


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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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