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57. Psalm 57

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

2I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

3He shall send from heaven, and save from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

4My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

6They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

7My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

8Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

9I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

To him we find David appealing in the words that follow, Exalt thyself, O God! above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. To perceive the appropriateness of this prayer, it is necessary that we reflect upon the height of audacity and pride to which the wicked proceed, when unrestrained by the providence of God, and upon the formidable nature of that conspiracy which was directed against David by Saul, and the nation in general, all which demanded a signal manifestation of divine power on his behalf. Nor is it a small comfort to consider that God, in appearing for the help of his people, at the same time advances his own glory. Against it, as well as against them, is the opposition of the wicked directed, and he will never suffer his glory to be obscured, or his holy name to be polluted with their blasphemies. The Psalmist reverts to the language of complaint. He had spoken of the cruel persecution to which he was subjected, and now bewails the treachery and deceit which were practiced against him. His soul he describes as being bowed down, in allusion to the crouching of the body when one is under the influence of fear, or to birds when terrified by the fowler and his nets, which dare not move a feather, but lie flat upon the ground. Some read, He has bowed down my soul But the other is the most obvious rendering, and the verb כפף, caphaph, is one which is frequently taken with the neuter signification. Although the Hebrew word נפש, nephesh, rendered soul, is feminine, this is not the only place where we find it with a masculine adjunct.

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