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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.

At the commencement of the psalm, David speaks of having many enemies, and in the second verse he specifies some one in the singular number. And certainly, since the minds of all men were inflamed against him, he had very good reason for praying to be delivered from all his persecutors. But as the wicked cruelty of the king, like a firebrand, had kindled against him, though an innocent person, the hatred of the whole people, he had good reason also for turning his pen particularly against him. Thus, in the first verse, he describes the true character of his own circumstances—he was a persecuted man; and, in the second verse, the fountain or cause of the calamity he was enduring. There is great emphasis in these words which he uses in the beginning of the Psalms O Jehovah my Godly in thee do I trust. The verb, it is true, is in the past tense in the Hebrew; and, therefore, if literally translated, the reading would be, In thee have I trusted; but as the Hebrews often take one tense for another, 9898     “Mais pource que les Hebrieux prenent souvent un temps pour l’autre.”—Fr. I prefer to translate it in the present, In thee I do trust, especially since it is abundantly evident that a continued act, as it is termed, is denoted. David does not boast of a confidence in God, from which he had now fallen, but of a confidence which he constantly entertained in his afflictions. And this is a genuine and an undoubted proof of our faith, when, being visited with adversity, we, notwithstanding, persevere in cherishing and exercising hope in God. From this passage, we also learn that the gate of mercy is shut against our prayers if the key of faith do not open it for us. Nor does he use superfluous language when he calls Jehovah his own God; for by setting up this as a bulwark before him, he beats back the waves of temptations, that they may not overwhelm his faith. In the second verses by the figure of a lion, he represents in a stronger light the cruelty of Saul, as an argument to induce God to grant him assistance, even as he ascribes it to Him as his peculiar province to rescue his poor sheep from the jaws of wolves.

Psalm 7:3-5

3. O Jehovah, my God, if I have done this thing, if there be iniquity in my hands: 4 If I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me, and have not delivered him that persecuted me without cause: 5. Let the enemy pursue my soul and take it; and let him throw down my life to the ground, 9999     “Et foulle ma vie en terre.”—Fr. “And let him trample my life on the ground.” and hold down 100100     “Et qu’il mette.”—Fr. “And lay.” my glory in the dust. Selah.


3 O Jehovah my God Here David, to induce God to show him favour, protests that he is molested unjustly, and without being guilty of any crime. To give his protestation the greater weight, he uses an imprecation. If he has done any wrong, he declares his readiness to bear the blame; yea, he offers to endure the severest punishment, if he is not altogether innocent of the crime of which all men thought him almost convicted. And by entreating God to succour him upon no other condition than this, that his integrity should upon trial be found to be untarnished, he teaches us, by his example, that as often as we have recourse to God, we must make it our first care to be well assured in our own consciences with respect to the righteousness of our cause; for we do him great wrong if we wish to engage him as the advocate and defender of a bad cause. The pronoun this shows that he speaks of a thing which was generally known; whence we may conclude, that the slander which had been raised by Cush was spread far and wide. And as David was condemned, by the false reports and unrighteous judgments which men advanced against him, and saw no remedy on earth, he betakes himself to the judgment-seat of God, and contents himself with maintaining his innocence before the heavenly Judge; an example which all the godly should imitate, in order that, in opposition to the slanderous reports which are spread against them, they may rest satisfied with the judgment of God alone. He next declares more distinctly, that he had committed no crime. And in the fourth verse, he mentions two particulars in self-vindication; first, That he had done no wrong to any one; and, secondly, That he had rather endeavoured to do good to his enemies, by whom notwithstanding he had been injured without any just cause. I, therefore, explain the fourth verse thus: If I have wronged any man that was at peace with me, and have not rather succoured the unworthy, who persecuted me without a cause, etc. Since David was hated of almost all men, as if ambition to reign had impelled him perfidiously to rise up in rebellion against Saul, and to lay snares for the monarch to whom he was bound by the oath of allegiances 101101     “Apres luy avoir fait le serment.”—Fr. “After having sworn the oath of allegiance to him.” in the first part of the verse, he clears himself of such a foul slander. The reason, perhaps, why he calls Saul him that was at peace with him is, that on account of his royal dignity his person ought to be sacred, and secure from danger, 102102    Pource que le nom et titre royal luy devoit estre une sauvegarde et le tenir en seurete.”—Fr. “Because the royal name and title ought to be to him a safeguard, and secure the safety of his person.” so that it should be unlawful to make any hostile attempt against him. This phrase, however, may be understood generally, as if he had said, No one who has meekly restrained himself from injuring me, and has conducted himself kindly towards me, can with truth complain that I have ever injured him in a single instance. And yet it was the general persuasion, that David, in the midst of peace, had stirred up great confusion, and caused war. From this it is just so much the more manifest, that David, provided he enjoyed the approbation of God, was contented with the consolation arising from this, though he should have comfort from no other source.

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