« AnteriorContinuar »
God's way is again put for his dealings, or dispensations. His providence towards the Psalmist was marked by perfect righteousness and faithfulness. It fulfilled his promises and displayed his perfections.
31, 32. Metaphors. "The word of Jehovah is tried. He is a shield to all who trust in him," v. 30. There is an analogy between the trial of metals by fire, and a demonstration by experience of the truth of God's promises, and his word is said to be tried, to indicate that proof by experiment of its verity. The office of a shield is to intercept the weapons aimed at the person who holds it, and cause them to glance aside or rebound. God is called the shield of those who trust him, to signify that he protects them in a resembling manner from the dangers that threaten them.
The Psalmist now ascribes to God the endowments and training by which he was fitted to be a successful warrior.
33. Metaphor. "For who is God save Jehovah; and who is a rock besides our God?" v. 31. God is here again exhibited as a rock and the only rock, to signify his unchangeableness as the support of his people.
34. Metaphor. "The Almighty girding me with strength, and who has made my way perfect," v. 32.
To gird, was to bind the dress so as to render it compatible with freedom and energy of action. To gird the Psalmist with strength, was to place him in a condition that, like a direct gift of power, made it practicable to him to act with extraordinary ease and effect in contending with his foes.
35. Hypocatastasis: in the substitution of way for the conditions or circumstances in which God had placed him. The Almighty had made his way -the course in which he had been led-perfect. It was adapted to his safety and success, and verified God's promises.
36. Comparison. "Making my feet like hinds"," v. 33, in swiftness and agility.
37. Hypocatastasis. "And placing me on my heights," v. 33, the lofty or fortified ridges or cliffs from which he could watch the movements and repel the assaults of his enemies. His being placed on those heights, is used to represent his being put in positions that were favorable both to his assailing his foes, and defending himself from their attacks.
38. Hypocatastasis. "Teaching my hands to war, and my arms have bent a bow of brass," v. 34. Teaching his hands, is put for his being placed in conditions that led him to acquire skill. He was trained by his circumstances, which were of God's
appointment, to the expert use of his arms. He was endowed, also, with superior strength, as was shown by his use of a brazen bow. He had not simply bent it once, the implication is, but it was the bow he was accustomed to use.
39, 40, 41. Hypocatastases. "And givest me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand holds me up, and thy condescension makes me great," v. 35. The gift of a shield is put for the bestowment of analogous means that secured his safety from the weapons of his assailants; holding him up with the hand, is put for resembling aids of providence by which God sustained him; and making him great for making him powerful and renowned.
42. Hypocatastasis. "Thou enlargest my steps under me, and my ancles do not fail," v. 36. Enlarging his steps, which was enlarging the places on which he set his feet, so that his ancles did not turn aside, as happens when the feet are set on an uneven or narrow surface, is put for analogous arrangements of providence by which his course was rendered easy and secure.
Here is thus in v. 31-36, a beautiful enumeration of the natural gifts and providential appointments by which God had fitted him to be a successful warrior. He had endowed him with strength, agility, and fleetness. He had disciplined him to
skill in the use of arms. He had placed him in conditions in which he could act with freedom and promptitude. He had set him on the high places from which he could observe the movements of his enemies and repel their attacks. He had been as a shield to him in times of danger; and had, in every relation, made the condition in which he had been placed, favorable to his security and success. All these peculiar advantages and favors he recognises as the gift of God. He next enumerates the victories God had granted him over his enemies.
43. Hypocatastasis. "I pursue my enemies and overtake them, and turn not back until I destroy them. I shall smite them, and they cannot rise; they shall fall beneath my feet. And thou hast girded me with strength for the battle; thou bowest my adversaries under me," v. 37-39. As he exhibits God as bestowing, at the time when he composed the Psalm, the gifts he recounted; so he here represents him as then giving the victories and still to give them, which he had granted in the wars that were past. Girding with strength is put for placing him in conditions to act with great energy and effect.
44. Hypocatastasis. "And my enemies, thou hast given to me their back; and my haters, I will destroy them. They shall call, but there is no
deliverer; to Jehovah, but he hears them not," v. 40, 41. Giving him the back of his enemies, which is the attitude of flight, is put for causing them to flee. Their crying to God for help indicates their hopeless defeat, and despair of themselves. They cried to him, not for victory, but only for deliverance from the instant death with which they were threatened.
45, 46. Comparisons. "And I beat them small as dust before the wind; as dirt in the street I pour them out," v. 42. His enemies thrown into disorder by his onset, instead of a compact host, were disorganized, and fled in disarray, like dust that is driven by the wind.
47. Metaphor in the use of pouring his enemies, to indicate that he would cast them down and disregard them as he would pour out the worthless dirt of the street.
After this celebration of the triumphs God had given him, he proceeds to commemorate the results of his victories, peace, superiority to other nations, and the submission to him of foreigners.
48. Metaphor. "Thou deliverest me from the strivings of the people, thou settest me the head of the nations; a people I have not known shall serve me," v. 43. Head is used by analogy for chief. By the strivings of the people, are probably meant