Shiggaion—a plaintive song or elegy. Though obscure in
details, this title seems to intimate that the occasion of this Psalm
was some event in David's persecution by Saul. He prays for relief
because he is innocent, and God will be glorified in his vindication.
He thus passes to the celebration of God's righteous government, in
defending the upright and punishing the wicked, whose malignant devices
will result in their own ruin; and, confident of God's aid, he closes
1, 2. Though many enemies set upon him, one is
singled out as prominent, and compared to a wild beast tearing his prey
to pieces (compare 1Sa 20:1; 23:23; 26:19).
3. if I have done this—that is, the
crime charged in the "words of Cush" (compare 1Sa 24:9).
4. If I have injured my friend.
yea, I have delivered, &c.—This
makes a good sense, but interrupts the course of thought, and hence it
is proposed to render, "if I have spoiled my enemy"—in either
case (compare 1Sa 24:4-17; 31:8, 11).
5. This is the consequence, if such has been
mine honour—(compare Ps 3:3; 4:2)—my personal and official
6. God is involved as if hitherto careless of
rage—the most violent, like a flood
rising over a river's banks.
the judgment … commanded—or,
"ordained"; a just decision.
7. compass thee—as those seeking
return thou on high—assume the
judgment seat, to be honored as a just Ruler by them.
8. Though not claiming innocence in general,
he can confidently do so in this case, and in demanding from the Judge
of all the earth a judgment, he virtually asks acquittal.
9. the hearts and reins—the affections
and motives of men, or the seat of them (compare Ps 16:7; 26:2); as we use heart and bosom or
10. defence—literally, "shield" (Ps 5:12).
11. judgeth—as in Ps 7:8.
the wicked—Though not expressed, they
are implied, for they alone are left as objects of anger.
12, 13. They are here distinctly pointed out,
though by changing the person, a very common mode of speech, one is
selected as a representative of wicked men generally. The military
figures are of obvious meaning.
13. against the persecutors—Some render
"for burning," but the former is the best sense. Arrows for burning
would be appropriate in besieging a town, not in warring against one
man or a company in open fight.
14. The first clause expresses the general
idea that wicked men labor to do evil, the others carry out the figure
15, 16. 1Sa 18:17; 31:2 illustrate the statement whether alluded
to or not. These verses are expository of Ps 7:14, showing how the devices of the wicked
end in disappointment, falsifying their expectations.
17. his righteousness—(Ps 5:8). Thus illustrated in the defense of His
servant and punishment of the wicked.