David, loaded with unjust calumny, calls upon God to be his advocate and defender, and commits his innocence to the Divine protection. In the first place, he protests that his conscience did notaccuse him of the wickedness laid to his charge. Secondly, he shows how greatly it concerns the glory of God that he should execute judgment against the ungodly. Thirdly, to inspire his mind with confidence, he seriously reflects upon the goodness and righteousness of God, and sets before him the divine promises. Lastly, as if he had obtained the desire of his heart, he derides the folly and the vain attempts of his enemies; or rather, depending upon the aid of God, he assures himself that all their endeavours against him shall turn to their own destruction.
Shiggaion of David, which he sung unto Jehovah,
upon the words of Cush the Benjamite.
With respect to the word Shiggaion, the Jewish interpreters are not agreed. Some understand it to mean a musical instrument. To others it seems to be a tune to which a song is set. Others suppose it to have been the beginning of a common song, to the tune of which David wished this psalm to be sung. Others translate the Hebrew word, delight, or rejoicing.1 The second opinion appears to me the most probable, namely, that it was some kind of melody or song, as if one should term it Sapphic or Phaleucian verse.2 But I do not contend about a matter of so small importance. Again, the psalm is said to have been composed upon the words of Cush. I cannot subscribe to the interpretation, (although it is the commonly received one,) that words here mean affairs, or business. To put word for a matter, or an affair, is, I allow, a common form of speech among the Jews; but as David a little after declares that he was falsely accused of some crime, I doubt not but he here speaks of the accusation or calumny itself, of which, as I judge, Cush, some one of Saul's kindred, was the author, or, at least, the instrument who preferred and circulated it. The opinion of some who say that Saul is here spoken of under a fictitious name, is not supported by any argument of sufficient weight. According to them, David avoided calling him by his own name, in order to spare the royal dignity. David, I admit, had great reverence for the holy anointing; but as he expressly names Saul in other places where he reprehends him not less severely, and paints him in colours no less black than he does in this psalm, why should he suppress his name here, and not in these passages? In my opinion, therefore, he here expresses by his proper name, and without figure, a wicked accuser, who had excited hatred against him by falsely charging him with some crime, and who had either been bribed by the king to do this, or, currying the royal favour, had calumniated David of his own accord; for David, we know, was very much slandered, as if he had been ungrateful and treacherous towards the king, his father-in-law. Saul, indeed, belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. We do not, however, think that he is the person here mentioned, but that it was one of Saul's relations, one who belonged to the same tribe with him, who falsely accused David.
1 "Delectation, ou Resjouissance."--Fr.
2 "Ascavoir que c'a este une espece de melodie ou certain chant, comme nous scavons que selon la diversite des nations et langues, il y a diverses mesures de vers."--Fr. "Namely, that it was a kind of tune or song, as we know, that, according to the diversity of nations and languages, there are different measures of verse."