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lest he devour my soul like a lion,
and tear it in pieces, while there is none to help! Jehovah, my God! if I have done any such thing,
or if there be any wickedness in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that dealt friendly with me,
—nay, I delivered him that without cause is mine enemythen let mine enemy persecute my soul and take it, 1 yea, let him tread my life down upon the earth,
and lay mine honour in the dust!
II. he trusteth his cause to the everlasting justice of God:
Stand up, Jehovah, in Thy wrath,
lift up Thyself with vengeance on mine oppressors !
arise up for me, and command judgment ! and let the congregation of the peoples come about Thee,
and return Thou above their heads on high ! Jehovah judgeth the peoples; give sentence in my cause,
O Jehovah ! according to my righteousness and mine innocency, so be
it done unto me! let the wickedness of the ungodly come to an end, but
stablish Thou the just, Orighteous God, that triest the very hearts and reins. My shield is with God,
who helpeth them that are true of heart;
Ver. 2. he: the change from plural to singular points to a special enemy.
Ver. 4. The abruptness with which the Psalmist interrupts the supposition of his treachery by a positive assertion of his generosity, together with metrical reasons, suggested to Ewald the idea that two lines have fallen out, which are thus supplied by a reference to 1 Sam. xxiv. 17:
'If I have rewarded evil unto him that dealt friendly with me,
[and enmity unto him that is at peace with me; yea, if I have not rewarded his evil with good),
and delivered him that without cause is mine enemy.' Ver. 7. on high. The Psalmist in a vision sees God leaving the judgment seat and return. ing to heaven. For similar prophetic visions of judgment, cp. 59. 1. 3 and note.
Ver. 11. with God, i.e. kept in the armoury of God.
God is a judge of the righteous,
and a God that is angry every day.
III. for He shall make the plots of the traitors recoil on themselves. May be he will whet his sword again!
yea, he bendeth his bow and maketh it ready, he prepareth him weapons of death,
his arrows he maketh arrows of fire, but lo! he travaileth with a thing of nought,
he conceiveth destruction and will bring forth deceit; he made a grave and digged it deep,
and is fallen into the pit that he had made ! his mischief shall return upon his own head,
his violence shall fall on his own pate ! O let me praise Jehovah according to His righteousness,
let me sing praise to the name of Jehovah, the most High!
Ver. 12. angry, i.e. with the wicked, which the A. V. supplies.
Ver. 14. arrows of fire. Cp. Ephes. vi. 16, ‘fiery darts,' a metaphor from the arrows tipped with fire used in sieges.
$$ 3–5. PSALMS xxiv. xv. Ci.
THE establishment of David's kingdom, the capture of Jebus, the
1 triumphal entry of the Ark from Kirjath-jearim, and the consecration of the city of David are commemorated in these three Psalms.
On the death of Ishbosheth the throne of Israel was vacant. David, already for seven years king of the two tribes in Hebron, was called on by the united voice of the nation to fill it. Full of the spirit and the power of the King of heaven, whose vicegerent on earth he was now to be, he fixed upon the stronghold of Jebus, as the capital of his new empire. This great fortress, hitherto believed to be impregnable, was presently taken by Joab, and became from that day the city of David.
But if the earthly king was to have his house there, so also was the heavenly King whose power he wielded : and accordingly David's first thought was to fetch the Ark from its exile at Kirjath-jearim. The first attempt to remove it was unsuccessfull; but the king, true to his great purpose, of making his capital not only the political but the religious centre of the nation, made fresh preparations for conveying it to the Holy City; nothing was omitted which could render the triumphal procession worthy of the great occasion, which was to lead up the ark of God to His dwelling-place in Jerusalem. The procession was headed by David himself, in his double character of priest and king? Once more was heard the well-known shout which accompanied the raising of the ark during the journeys of the Israelites: “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. Arise, O Lord, unto Thy rest; Thou and the ark of Thy strength.' The dance was led and accompanied on the harp by the king. Amid the pealing of trumpets and the shout as of a mighty host ringing through the valleys of Hinnom and of Kidron, the procession wound its way up the steep ascent to mount Zion.
Though the entire triumphal psalm is not preserved to us, we may form no indistinct idea of what it was, from the description of the holy procession in Chronicles and from the triumphal hymn of the restoration, which has been handed down to us in the 68th Psalm. The moment of its entry within the walls is described in one shortpsalm. To this another short psalm is prefixed, indicating the spirit in which alone the Holy Place should be approached. The two together form a single psalm in the Authorised Version.
One incident of the procession, at first sight trivial, throws a flood of light, not only upon the dramatic life of the scene, but upon the deep meaning, the new spirit which filled the soul of David“. To the contemptuous reproach of his wife, Saul's daughter, Michal, he replies that his dancing and playing was before the Lord, and that at such a moment of rejoicing he could not stay to think of outward honour for himself.
1 2 Sam. vi, 2.
2 § 1o. cx.
In this incident we have the clue to that spiritual conception of his duties and position, which distinguished David from Saul. It was in fact his spiritual conception of the true Israel,—of the high privileges and duties of worshippers in the Holy Place', and above all of the privileges and duties of a king', as one who should carry out Jehovah's counsels upon earth, which distinguished David's reign not only from that of Saul, but from that of any subsequent Jewish monarch. Hence it was that the pious Israelites of later ages looked forward to the reestablishment of David's kingdom in the person of a descendant of David's house as their highest ideal, the ideal of a kingdom in which Israel should be triumphant over all its foes, and righteousness be established on the earth.
§ 3. Psalm xxiv. 7–10.
THIS Psalm was sung at the triumphal + entry of the Ark into the
newly conquered city. The singers were two choirs of priests, the one bearing the Ark and approaching the gates, the other already stationed there as warders.
The approaching procession gives out its summons to the ancient gates of the fortress Jebus to exalts themselves for their new King, a mightier King than had ever entered before, Jehovah enthroned upon His ark and leading His army in triumph to take possession. The warders demand in astonishment, who this new King is ? This demand is answered first by a declaration of the new and more glorious title, by which from this time forward God was to be known. He was no longer to be, as under the Patriarchs, Elohim, 'the strong ones ; nor as under Moses, Jehovah, “the Eternal;' but JEHOVAH GOD OF HOSTS, the Hosts of battle, the Hosts of heaven and earth. The change is important, and is brought prominently forward in the history?; David brought up the 'ark of God, whose name is called by
? Cp. & 4 and $ 5. 4 2 Sam. vi.
Cp. 86. ci.
3 Cp. notes, $ 16. ï. and § 63. lxxii. 5 Prov. xvii. 19.
6 Ex. XV. 3. 7 2 Sam. vi. 2, 18; vii. 25, 26.
the name of the Lord of Hosts, that dwelleth between the Cherubim ;' and ‘he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts! This Psalm is the solemn inauguration of this new and great Name, thus wonderfully introduced for the first time.
It was the organisation of David which gave the Israelites an army capable of coping with their ancient enemies in a fortress which had defied all previous efforts. This very organisation had seemed to Samuel fraught with danger to the ancient Theocracy, but the truer insight of David and the deep religious feeling of the nation found in it only a new revelation of the majesty of Jehovah, who from this time forward 'went? forth with their armies' under the new title, JEHOVAH GOD OF SABAOTH.
At the words “Thou God of Jacob's the first part of the Psalm comes to a full close. The abrupt transition between the two parts has been explained, by supposing the first six verses to have been sung as a prelude by the congregation, as they wound up the ascent to Sion. The difference however is one, not only of form but of matter, and the historical treatment aimed at in the present work compels us to consider them as two separate psalms, of which the inauguration psalm is the earlier. In later times the two, as referring equally to Sion, were naturally united in a single psalm.
The inauguration Psalm gains greatly in significance by standing alone; the employment of the new name of Jehovah, God of Hosts, would in fact lose half its meaning, if the name of Jehovah in the well-known sense had occurred before in the same Psalm. Historically it was the earlier of the two parts: in it Sion is about to receive the Ark and to become the Holy City, while in the later Psalm the same Sion is inentioned in its already well-known character of the Hill of Jehovah and His Holy Place. Again, the didactic character of the later Psalm leads to the conclusion that it was written to supply a lesson, which would not be needed until the increasing fame and grandeur of the Holy Place had attracted thither crowds of wor. shippers,—the lesson namely, that the only true worshipper is he
"§ 119. xliv. 9
: v. 6.
3 $ 4. xxiv. 1-6.