4. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed before the truth. Selah. 5. That thy beloved may be delivered,1 save with thy right hand, and hear me. 6. God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice: I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 7. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is mine strength of my head; Judah is my lawgiver.2 8. Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast my shoe: Palestina, triumph over me.
He next proceeds to address God again in prayer; although, I may observe in passing, the words which follow,
1 "Ou, que tes bien aimez soyont delivrez." -- Fr. marg. "Or, let thy beloved be delivered."
2 "Ou, gouverneur." -- Fr. marg. "Or, governor."
3 Boothroyd gives a translation similar to this, and thinks that this is required by the connection. But see note 3, p. 397.
4 Hamer has given a very ingenious explanation of this passage, derived from the manners of the East. "It seems," says he, "that the modern Eastern people have looked upon the giving them a banner as a more sure pledge of protection 'than that given by words.' So Albertus Aquensis tell us, that when Jerusalem was taken in 1099, about three hundred Saracens got upon the roof of a very lofty building, and earnestly begged for quarter, but could not be induced, by any promises of safety, to come down, until they had received the banner of Tancred [one of the chiefs of the Crusade army] as a pledge of life. It did not, indeed, avail them, as that historian observes; for their behavior occasioned such indignation that they were destroyed to a man. The event showed the faithlessness of these zealots, whom no solemnities could bind; but the Saracens surrendering themselves upon the delivery of a standard to them, proves in what a strong light they looked upon the giving them a banner; since it induced them to trust it when they would not trust any promises. Perhaps the delivery of a banner was anciently esteemed, in like manner, an obligation to protect, and the Psalmist might consider it in this light, when, upon a victory gained over the Syrians and Edomites, after the public affairs of Israel had been in a bad state, he says, 'Thou hast showed thy people hard things, etc.; thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee.' Though thou didst for a time give up thine Israel into the hands of their enemies, thou hast now given them an assurance of thy having received them under thy protection." -- Observations, volume 3, pp. 496, 497. Harmer supposes that our translation, which speaks of a banner displayed, is inaccurate; observing, that it is most probable that the Israelites anciently used only a spear, properly ornamented to distinguish it from a common one -- a supposition which he founds on the fact, that a very long spear, covered all over with silver, and having a ball of gold on the top, was the standard of the Egyptian princes at the time of the Crusade wars, and was carried before their armies. He proposes to read, "Thou hast given an ensign or standard [
5 The Latin is here concise -- "Nam in ipsa varietate David magnitudinem gratiae commendat." Accordingly, the French version amplifies the passage -- "Car David en proposant la diversite et la changement d'un temps a l'autre magnifie," etc.
6 "Cum praeclaris elogiis." -- Lat. Amplified in the French version as follows: -- "l'ornant de titres excellens, et lui faisant des promesses authentiques."
7 This is the reading of Mudge, Street, Archbishop Secker, and Morrison. "Should not the word be read, in his sanctuary? whence the divine oracles were issued forth. David, having received a favorable answer, perhaps by Urim and Thummim, delivers himself in a strain of the fullest confidence of victory over his enemies." -- Dimock.
8 Shechem lay in Samaria, and, therefore, by it the whole of Samaria may be intended. The valley of Succoth, or booths, received its name from Jacob's making booths, and feeding his cattle there. (See Genesis 33:17, 18.) It lay beyond the Jordan, and it may be employed to designate the whole of that district of country. Though Samaria, and the country beyond the Jordan, were now in the hands of the enemy, yet David anticipates the time when he would gain complete and absolute possession of them, which he expresses by dividing, and meting them out. The allusion is to the dividing and measuring out of land; and it was a part of the power of a king to distribute his kingdom into cities and provinces, and to place judges and magistrates over them.
9 Gilead and Manasseh were beyond the Jordan. The tribe of Gad, which was in Gilead, was distinguished for its warlike valor.
11 This office of washing the feet was in the East commonly performed by slaves, and the meanest of the family, as appears from what Abigail said to David when he took her to wife, "Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord," 1 Samuel. 25:41; and from the fact of our Savior washing his disciples' feet, to give them an example of humility, John 13:5. The word
12 Edom or Idumea was inhabited by the Edomites, or posterity of Edom, that is, Esau, (the elder brother of Jacob,) who, on account of his profanity in selling his birthright for a mess of red pottage -- called in Hebrew Edom -- had this name imposed upon him to the perpetual disgrace of himself and his posterity, (Genesis 25:30; 36:8, 9; Hebrews 12:16.) The expression, "Over Edom will I cast my shoe," has been differently explained by interpreters. Some, as Gataker and Martin, read, "To Edom will I cast my shoe;" and suppose that the reference is to the custom which then prevailed, of the master employing his meanest servant to untie, take off, and cleanse his shoes, (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16 ;) and that David intimates, that the Edomites would become his menial slaves, who would perform to him the lowest offices. "And the prophet," observes Martin, "uses the word throw, which marks an action done in a passionate and angry manner, in allusion to the circumstance that masters, when employing their servants with whom they are displeased to take off their shoes, hold out their feet to them with violence, as if they would thrust their feet against them." The LXX. and Vulgate read, "will extend my shoe." And Bishop Horne is of opinion, that the meaning is, "extending his shoe," that is to say, putting his feet upon them; and this, it is well known, was the manner in which Eastern conquerors were wont to treat their captives. But there is another ancient custom to which others suppose the passage refers. The ancients were wont to throw their shoes and sandals, when soiled with dirt, into some obscure corner before they sat down to meat, and many might possibly have some mean place in their houses into which they commonly threw them; and, therefore, the throwing of the shoe over or on Edom might mean, as Bucer expounds it, "Edom will be as the place into which I cast my shoe." But whatever may be the precise allusion, the meaning conveyed undoubtedly is, that David would make a complete conquest of Edom, that he would reduce it to the lowest subjection. And such was actually the case, as we learn from 2 Samuel 8:14. "Abu Walid would have
13 "The apostrophe to Philistia is the language of irony and of defiance. -- 'Philistia, triumph thou over me!' as if he had said, 'Thou hast been used to insult and triumph over me; but circumstances are now reversed, and it is my turn to shout and triumph over thee.' See Psalm 108:9." Williams' Cottage Bible.
14 "Philistia, be thou glad of me, rather, Philistia, welcome we (as thy conqueror) with shouts; a hard task for the vanquished to perform." -- Cresswell. Bishop Horne reads, "Over Philistia give a shout of triumph." Horsley reads, "Over Philistia is my shout of triumph." "I take," says he, "