Psalm 144:7
Send your hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;
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(7) Rid.—The Hebrew verb means “to tear asunder,” and is used of the gaping of the mouth (Psalm 22:13). The meaning here is got from the cognate Arabic, and Syriac

Strange children.—Literally, sons of the stranger.

144:1-8 When men become eminent for things as to which they have had few advantages, they should be more deeply sensible that God has been their Teacher. Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. A prayer for further mercy is fitly begun with a thanksgiving for former mercy. There was a special power of God, inclining the people of Israel to be subject to David; it was typical of the bringing souls into subjection to the Lord Jesus. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.Send thine hand from above - Margin, as in Hebrew, "hands." See the notes at Psalm 18:16 : "He sent from above."

Rid me, and deliver me out of great waters - Thus Psalm 18:16 : "He took me, he drew me out of many waters." As God had done it once, there was ground for the prayer that he would do it yet again.

From the hand of strange children - Strangers: strangers to thee; strangers to thy people, foreigners. See Psalm 54:3 : "For strangers are risen up against me." The language would properly imply that at the time referred to in the psalm he was engaged in a warfare with foreign enemies. Who they were, we have no means now of ascertaining.


Ps 144:1-15. David's praise of God as his all-sufficient help is enhanced by a recognition of the intrinsic worthlessness of man. Confidently imploring God's interposition against his enemies, he breaks forth into praise and joyful anticipations of the prosperity of his kingdom, when freed from vain and wicked men.

Either of the heathen nations, which envy and hate me; or of the rebellious Israelites, who, though they profess themselves to be the Lord’s people, yet in truth and for their carriage to me are like the barbarous heathens. Send thine hand from above,.... From the high heavens, as the Targum; that is, exert and display thy power in my deliverance, and in the destruction of my enemies; as follows:

rid me, and deliver me out of great waters; out of great afflictions, which, for quantity and quality, are like many waters, overflowing and overwhelming; see Isaiah 43:2; or out of the hands of enemies, many, mighty, and strong, whom he compares to waters; as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech observe: and so the Targum,

"deliver me from the multitudes or armies, that are like to many waters;''

see Revelation 17:1. It may be applied to the sorrows and sufferings of Christ, the antitype of David, with which he was overwhelmed; to the billows of divine wrath which went over him; to the floods of ungodly men that encompassed him; and to the whole posse of devils, Satan, and his principalities and powers, that attacked him; see Psalm 18:4;

from the hand of strange children; which explains what is meant by "great waters": wicked men chiefly; either Gentiles, the children of a people of a strange nation, and of a strange language, and of strange sentiments of religion, and that worship a strange god: such as the Edomites, Moabites, Philistines, &c. who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise: or else the Israelites, who were degenerated from their ancestors, such of David's subjects that rebelled against him; so the Ziphims are called strangers that rose up against him, Psalm 54:3; and such were the enemies of Christ, both the Romans, who were Heathens and aliens; and the people of the Jews, his own countrymen, who were a generation of vipers; see Acts 4:27; such as Juvenal calls (l) "filii morum", who inherited the vices of their fathers.

(l) Satyr. 14. v. 52.

Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great {f} waters, from the hand of strange children;

(f) That is, deliver me from the tumults of they who should be my people but are corrupt in their judgment and enterprises, as though they were strangers.

7. Stretch forth thine hands from on high:

Rescue me, and deliver me out of many waters, out of the hand of strangers.

From Psalm 18:16; Psalm 18:45, description being again changed to prayer. For hands some MSS and all Ancient Versions read hand. The word rendered rescue is a word used in this sense only here and in Psalm 144:10-11 in the O.T., but common in Aramaic. It is an indication of the late date of the Psalm. Great or many waters are a figure for overwhelming dangers, here particularly the attacks of foreign enemies, or possibly the tyranny of foreign rulers.Verse 7. - Send thine hand from above; literally, reach out thy hands from on high. Rid me; rather, rescue me. And deliver me out of great waters. "Great waters," or "deep waters," is a common metaphor in the Psalms for serious peril. David's peril at this time was from the hand of strange children; literally, sons of strangers; i.e. foreign foes. The whole of this first strophe is an imitation of David's great song of thanksgiving, Psalm 18. Hence the calling of Jahve "my rock," Psalm 18:3, Psalm 18:47; hence the heaping up of other appellations in Psalm 144:2, in which Psalm 18:3 is echoed; but וּמפלּטי־לי (with Lamed deprived of the Dagesh) follows the model of 2 Samuel 22:2. The naming of Jahve with חסדּי is a bold abbreviation of אלהי חסדּי in Psalm 59:11, 18, as also in Jonah 2:8 the God whom the idolatrous ones forsake is called הסדּם. Instead of מלחמה the Davidic Psalms also poetically say קרב, Psalm 55:22, cf. Psalm 78:9. The expression "who traineth my hands for the fight" we have already read in Psalm 18:35. The last words of the strophe, too, are after Psalm 18:48; but instead of ויּדבּר this poet says הרודד, from רדד equals רדה (cf. Isaiah 45:1; Isaiah 41:2), perhaps under the influence of uwmoriyd in 2 Samuel 22:48. In Psalm 18:48 we however read עמּים, and the Masora has enumerated Psalm 144:2, together with 2 Samuel 22:44; Lamentations 3:14, as the three passages in which it is written עמי, whilst one expects עמים (ג דסבירין עמים), as the Targum, Syriac, and Jerome (yet not the lxx) in fact render it. But neither from the language of the books nor from the popular dialect can it be reasonably expected that they would say עמּי for עמּים in such an ambiguous connection. Either, therefore, we have to read עמים,

(Note: Rashi is acquainted with an otherwise unknown note of the Masora: תחתיו קרי; but this Ker is imaginary.)

or we must fall in with the strong expression, and this is possible: there is, indeed, no necessity for the subduing to be intended of the use of despotic power, it can also be intended to God-given power, and of subjugating authority. David, the anointed one, but not having as yet ascended the throne, here gives expression to the hope that Jahve will grant him deeds of victory which will compel Israel to submit to him, whether willingly or reluctantly.

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