33. Making my feet like hinds'1 feet, and he hath set me upon my high places. 34. Teaching my hands to war:and a bow of steel2 will be broken by my arms. 35. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy clemency hath increased me. 36. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, and my feet have not staggered.
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,
1 "Faisant, ascavoir, me donnant legerete de pieds." -- Note, Fr. marg. "Making, namely, giving me swiftness of feet."
2 "It should be brass, and not steel. A bow of steel," says Dr Adam Clarke, "is out of the question. In the days of David, it is not likely that the method of making steel was known. The method of making brass out of copper was known at a very early period of the world; and the ancients had the art of hardening it, so as to work it into the most efficient swords." Horsley reads, "Thou hast made my arms like a brazen bow." This is also the reading of the Septuagint, Vulgate, Jerome, and all the versions. But the reading of Calvin, which is that of our English version, seems preferable, and is more expressive. To bend a strong bow was anciently considered a proof of great strength, much more to compress it so as to break it. To bend a bow of brass is still more expressive, and still more so to do it by the arms without requiring the assistance of the foot, which was then usually employed in making that effort.