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ON THE HYPOCRISY AND FALSEHOOD WHICH PREVAILED
THROUGH THE CORRUPT INFLUENCE OF SAUL'S COURT.
David, destitute of human comfort, craveth help from God, 1-2; he comforteth himself with God's judgments on the wicked, and confidence in God's tried promises, 3–8.
To the chief Musician,' upon Sheminith, [i. e. upon the octave, or bass, the lowest and gravest tone in music,] A Psalm of David.
1 'Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth ;
For the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: With flattering lips and with 'a double heart do they speak.
3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips,
1 Psa. 6, title.
* Or, Save.
a Isa. 57. 1. Mic. 7. 2.
b Jer. 9. 8. Rom. 16. 18. Heb. a heart and a heart, 1 Chron. 12. 88.
And the tongue that speaketh 'proud things;
4 Who have said, "With our tongue will we prevail; Our lips are our own: who is lord over us?"
"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now will I arise," saith the LORD;
"I will set him in safety from him that 'puffeth at him.” 6 The words of the LORD are pure words:
As silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD!
Thou shalt preserve 'them from this generation forever.
8 The wicked walk on every side,
When the vilest men are exalted.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALM XXII.
PSALM OF DAVID.
About five miles south of Ziph was the ancient city, or village, of Maon, situated on a conical hill, surrounded by a rich, arable country, especially on the north and west. On the east, toward the Dead Sea, at no great distance, joins the desert of Judah, called, in this section, "the desert of Maon." To this place David retreated, to avoid the treacherous Ziphites, and thither Saul hastily pursues him. The open country about Maon, where the mountains flare out into broad basins and upland valleys, was favourable to the pursuit of Saul, and highly dangerous to David. At first David had taken lodgement in the open country, (1 Samuel xxiii, 24,) but, on the arrival of Saul with his soldiers, he retreated to a hill, and took shelter in a rocky cave. The emissaries of the Ziphites had so closely watched him, and the movements of Saul had been so rapid and cautious, that the retreat of David was discovered, and the hill on which he lay concealed was surrounded by the soldiers of Saul, before he was apprized of his danger. He soon, however, saw his perilous position; the companies of Saul invested him on all sides; and before the last avenue of escape should be closed up, it is said of him, emphatically, that "he made haste to get away for fear of Saul."
It is probable, however, that escape was now impossible. All the circumstances of the account go to show that David was completely in the power of his enemy, and that he was perfectly aware of his condition. All he could now do was to elude, for the present, the observation of the enemy, who was making slow and cautious advances toward the summit of the hill.
How long he remained in this suspense between life and death, we know not; probably, however, for several hours— perhaps a night or two was thus spent. David was fully convinced of the fruitlessness of any attempt to escape; and from the shedding of blood in his own defence, he always, during all his persecutions by Saul, recoiled with horror. Nothing was now left him but hope in God. God might, even now, deliver
him; and, with his eye on his pursuers, he waits for succour from above. Psalm xxii describes the life-struggle of a soul in the jaws of death, surrounded by furious and strong enemies, (compare verses 12-16, with 1 Samuel xxiii, 26,) overwhelmed with their reproaches, self-despairing, crying out to God alone plaintively, bitterly, appealingly, confidingly. In the midst of his agony, God appears for his relief. The Philistines have made new irruptions upon the border of Israel; the kingdom is thrown into sudden alarm; just now a messenger arrives with the intelligence; not a moment is to be lost. Saul abandons the pursuit of David, and hastens back to protect his frontier against these old and deadly enemies of the Hebrew name. The latter part of the Psalm, from verse 22, seems to have been written when the hope of deliverance had reached the persecuted exile. 1 Samuel xxiii, 24-28.
This Psalm is also prophetic of Messiah's humiliation. (See section on Messianic Psalms.)
WHEN DAVID WAS SURROUNDED BY THE SOLDIERS OF SAUL AT MAON.
David complaineth in great discouragement, 1-8; he prayeth in great distress, 9–21 ; he praiseth God for gracious deliverance, 22–31.
¶ To the chief Musician, upon Aijeleth Shahar, [upon, or after, the hind of the morning,] A Psalm of David.
My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?
Why art thou so far 'from helping me,
And from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime-but thou hearest
And in the night season, and 'am not silent.
But thou art holy,
O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel! 4 Our fathers trusted in thee:
They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
■ Mat. 27. 46.
1 Heb. from my salvation.
b Heb. 5. 7.
2 Heb. there is no silence to me.
* Deut. 10. 21.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered:
They trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I am a worm, and no man;
A freproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn:
They 'shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 "He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him:
Let him deliver him, 'seeing he delighted in him.” 9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb:
Thou art my God from my mother's belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; For there is 'none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me:
Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They 'gaped upon me with their mouths, As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are 'out of joint:
It is melted in the midst of
And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;
And thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me;
The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me:
may tell all my bones:
They look and stare upon me.
18 They "part my garments among them, And cast lots upon my vesture.
But be not thou far from me, O LORD! O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword;
My "darling from the "power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth;
For thou hast heard me from the horns of the uni
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him;
All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
And fear him, all ye the seed of Israel!
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction
of the afflicted;
Neither hath he hid his face from him;
But when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation:
I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
Luke 28. 27, 85.
"Luke 23. 34.
Psa. 10. 1.
10 Heb. only one. Psa. 85. 17.
11 Heb. hand.
They shall praise the LORD that seek him:
Your heart fshall live forever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn
unto the LORD:
And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S:
And he is the governor among the nations.
w2 Tim. 4. 17.
Isa. 34. 7. Acts 4. 27.