|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-51 David's psalm of thanksgiving. - This chapter is a psalm of praise; we find it afterwards nearly as Ps 18. They that trust God in the way of duty, shall find him a present help in their greatest dangers: David did so. Remarkable preservations should be particularly mentioned in our praises. We shall never be delivered from all enemies till we get to heaven. God will preserve all his people, 2Ti 4:18. Those who receive signal mercies from God, ought to give him the glory. In the day that God delivered David, he sang this song. While the mercy is fresh, and we are most affected with it, let the thank-offering be brought, to be kindled with the fire of that affection. All his joys and hopes close, as all our hopes should do, in the great Redeemer.
Verses 5-7. -
"For the breakers of death surrounded me;
Torrents of wickedness [Hebrew, 'of Belial'] terrified me;
Cords of Sheol surrounded me;
Snares of death came suddenly upon me.
In my distress I cried unto Jehovah,
And to my God I cried.
And he heard my voice out of his palace,
And my cry was in his ears." Instead of breakers - waves dashing violently on rocks - Psalm 18:4 has "cords of death;" translated "sorrow" in the Authorized Version. But "cords of death" mean the fatal snares of the hunter, and are not in keeping with "torrents of wickedness." "Belial," literally, "worthlessness," is by many supposed, from the context to mean herd "destruction," that is, physical instead of moral wickedness. So in Nahum 1:11 "a counsellor of Belial" means a ruinous, destructive counsellor. Sheol is the world of the departed, and is equivalent to "death." Cried is the same verb twice used. In Psalm 18:6 it is altered, in the former part of the verse unto "I called" - a change probably suggested by the more fastidious taste of a later age. For temple we should translate palace, or heavenly temple. It is not the temple in Jerusalem, which was not yet built, but God's heavenly dwelling, that is meant. Instead of the terse ellipse, "And my cry in his ears," the full but heavy phrase, "My cry before him came into his ears," is substituted in Psalm 18:6.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. See Gill on Psalm 18:4.
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