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Psalm 7

Plea for Help against Persecutors

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the L ord concerning Cush, a Benjaminite.


O L ord my God, in you I take refuge;

save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,


or like a lion they will tear me apart;

they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.



O L ord my God, if I have done this,

if there is wrong in my hands,


if I have repaid my ally with harm

or plundered my foe without cause,


then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,

trample my life to the ground,

and lay my soul in the dust. Selah



Rise up, O L ord, in your anger;

lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;

awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.


Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,

and over it take your seat on high.


The L ord judges the peoples;

judge me, O L ord, according to my righteousness

and according to the integrity that is in me.



O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,

but establish the righteous,

you who test the minds and hearts,

O righteous God.


God is my shield,

who saves the upright in heart.


God is a righteous judge,

and a God who has indignation every day.



If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;

he has bent and strung his bow;


he has prepared his deadly weapons,

making his arrows fiery shafts.


See how they conceive evil,

and are pregnant with mischief,

and bring forth lies.


They make a pit, digging it out,

and fall into the hole that they have made.


Their mischief returns upon their own heads,

and on their own heads their violence descends.



I will give to the L ord the thanks due to his righteousness,

and sing praise to the name of the L ord, the Most High.

In the second clause of the fourth verse, he proceeds farther, and states, that he had been a friend, not only to the good, but also to the bad, and had not only restrained himself from all revenge, but had even succoured his enemies, by whom he had been deeply and cruelly injured. It would certainly not be very illustrious virtue to love the good and peaceable, unless there were joined to this self-government and gentleness in patiently bearing with the bad. But when a man not only keeps himself from revenging the injuries which he has received, but endeavours to overcome evil by doing good, he manifests one of the graces of a renewed and sanctified nature, and in this way proves himself to be one of the children of God; for such meekness proceeds only from the Spirit of adoption. With respect to the words: as the Hebrew word חלץ chalats, which I have translated to delivers signifies to divide and to separate, some, to prevent the necessity of supplying any word to make out the sense, 103103     In the clause, “And have NOT delivered him that persecuted me without cause,” the word not is a supplement, there being nothing for it in the Hebrew text. thus explain the passage, If I have withdrawn myself from my persecutors, in order not to succour them. The other interpretation, however, according to which the verb is rendered to deliver or rescue from danger, is more generally received; because the phrase, to separate or set aside, is applied to those things which we wish to place in safety. And thus the negative word not must be supplied, an omission which we will find not unfrequently occurring in The Psalms.

5 Let mine enemy pursue It is a striking proof of the great confidence which David had in his own integrity, when he is willing to endure any kind of punishment, however dreadful, provided he should be found guilty of any crime. If we could bring a good conscience like this before God, his hand would be more quickly stretched forth to afford us immediate assistance. But as it often happens that those who molest us have been provoked by us, or that we burn with the desire of revenge when offended, we are unworthy of receiving succour from God; yea, our own impatience shuts the gate against our prayers. In the first place, David is prepared to be given over to the will of his enemies, that they may seize his life, and throw it down to the ground; and then to be publicly exhibited as an object of their mockery, so that, even after he is dead, he may lie under eternal disgrace. Some think that the כבוד kebod, which we have translated glory, is here to be taken for life, and thus there will be three words, soul, life, glory, signifying the same thing. But it appears to me, that the meaning of the passage will be fuller if we refer the word glory to his memory, or his good name, as if he had said, Let my enemy not only destroy me, but, after having put me to death, let him speak of me in the most reproachful terms, so that my name may be buried in mire or filth.

6 Arise, O Jehovah David here sets the anger of God in opposition to the rage of his enemies; and when we are in similar circumstances we should act in the same manner. When the ungodly are inflamed against us, and cast forth their rage and fury to destroy us, we ought humbly to beseech God to be inflamed also on his side; in other words, to show in truth that he has, no less zeal and power to preserve us, than they have inclination to destroy us. The word, Arise, is taken in a figurative sense, for to ascend into a judgment-seat, or rather to prepare one’s self to make resistance; and it is here applied to God, because, while he delays to succour us, we are very apt to think him asleep. Accordingly, David also, a little after, beseeches him to awake; for it seemed on the part of God something like the forgetfulness of sleep to give no assistance to an individual who was so much afflicted and oppressed on all hands.

In the end of the verse he shows that he asks nothing but what is according to the appointment of God. And this is the rule which ought to be observed by us in our prayers; we should in every thing conform our requests to the divine will, as John also instructs us, (1 John 5:14.) And, indeed, we can never pray in faith unless we attend, in the first place, to what God commands, that our minds may not rashly and at random start aside in desiring more than we are permitted to desire and pray for. David, therefore, in order to pray aright, reposes himself on the word and prose mise of God; and the import of his exercise is this: Lord, I am not led by ambition, or foolish headstrong passion, or depraved desire, inconsiderately to ask from thee whatever is pleasing to my flesh; but it is the clear light of thy word which directs me, and upon it I securely depend. Since God, of his own good pleasure, had called him to be one day king, it belonged to him to defend and maintain the rights of the man whom he had chosen for his servant. David’s language, therefore, is the same as if he had said, “When I was well contented with my humble condition in private life, it was thy pleasure to set me apart to the honourable station of being a king; now, therefore, it belongs to thee to maintain this cause against Saul and his associates who are using their efforts to defeat thy decree in making war upon me.” The Hebrew word עורה, urah, which we have rendered awake thou, 105105     “Lequel nous avons traduit Veille.”—Fr. might also be taken transitively for to build up, or to establish the right of David. The sum of the whole, however, comes to this, that David, trusting to the call of God, beseeches him to stretch forth his hand for his relief. The faithful must, therefore, take care not to exceed these bounds, if they desire to have God present with them to maintain and preserve them.

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