Psalm 143:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

King James Bible
And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

American Standard Version
And in thy lovingkindness cut off mine enemies, And destroy all them that afflict my soul; For I am thy servant.

Douay-Rheims Bible
and in thy mercy thou wilt destroy my enemies. And thou wilt cut off all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

English Revised Version
And in thy lovingkindness cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul; for I am thy servant.

Webster's Bible Translation
And of thy mercy cut off my enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Psalm 143:12 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The poet pleads two motives for the answering of his prayer which are to be found in God Himself, viz., God's אמוּנה, truthfulness, with which He verifies the truth of His promises, that is to say, His faithfulness to His promises; and His צדקה, righteousness, not in a recompensative legal sense, but in an evangelical sense, in accordance with His counsel, i.e., the strictness and earnestness with which He maintains the order of salvation established by His holy love, both against the ungratefully disobedient and against those who insolently despise Him. Having entered into this order of salvation, and within the sphere of it serving Jahve as his God and Lord, the poet is the servant of Jahve. And because the conduct of the God of salvation, ruled by this order of salvation, or His "righteousness" according to its fundamental manifestation, consists in His justifying the sinful man who has no righteousness that he can show corresponding to the divine holiness, but penitently confesses this disorganized relationship, and, eager for salvation, longs for it to be set right again - because of all this, the poet prays that He would not also enter into judgment (בּוא בּמשׁפּט as in Job 9:32; Job 22:4; Job 14:3) with him, that He therefore would let mercy instead of justice have its course with him. For, apart from the fact that even the holiness of the good spirits does not coincide with God's absolute holiness, and that this defect must still be very far greater in the case of spirit-corporeal man, who has earthiness as the basis of his origin-yea, according to Psalm 51:7, man is conceived in sin, so that he is sinful from the point at which he begins to live onward - his life is indissolubly interwoven with sin, no living man possesses a righteousness that avails before God (Job 4:17; Job 9:2; Job 14:3., Job 15:14, and frequently).

(Note: Gerson observes on this point (vid., Thomasius, Dogmatik, iv. 251): I desire the righteousness of pity, which Thou bestowest in the present life, not the judgment of that righteousness which Thou wilt put into operation in the future life - the righteousness which justifies the repentant one.)

With כּי (Psalm 143:3) the poet introduces the ground of his petition for an answer, and more particularly for the forgiveness of his guilt. He is persecuted by deadly foes and is already nigh unto death, and that not without transgression of his own, so that consequently his deliverance depends upon the forgiveness of his sins, and will coincide with this. "The enemy persecuteth my soul" is a variation of language taken from Psalm 7:6 (חיּה for חיּים, as in Psalm 78:50, and frequently in the Book of Job, more particularly in the speeches of Elihu). Psalm 143:3 also recalls Psalm 7:6, but as to the words it sounds like Lamentations 3:6 (cf. Psalm 88:7). מתי עולם (lxx νεκροὺς αἰῶνος) are either those for ever dead (the Syriac), after שׁנת עולם in Jeremiah 51:39, cf. בּית עולמו in Ecclesiastes 12:5, or those dead time out of mind (Jerome), after עם עולם in Ezekiel 26:20. The genitive construction admits both senses; the former, however, is rendered more natural by the consideration that הושׁיבני glances back to the beginning that seems to have no end: the poet seems to himself like one who is buried alive for ever. In consequence of this hostility which aims at his destruction, the poet feels his spirit within him, and consequently his inmost life, veil itself (the expression is the same as Psalm 142:4; Psalm 77:4); and in his inward part his heart falls into a state of disturbance (ישׁתּומם, a Hithpo. peculiar to the later language), so that it almost ceases to beat. He calls to mind the former days, in which Jahve was manifestly with him; he reflects upon the great redemptive work of God, with all the deeds of might and mercy in which it has hitherto been unfolded; he meditates upon the doing (בּמעשׂה, Ben-Naphtali בּמעשׂה) of His hands, i.e., the hitherto so wondrously moulded history of himself and of his people. They are echoes out of Psalm 77:4-7, Psalm 77:12. The contrast which presents itself to the Psalmist in connection with this comparison of his present circumsntaces with the past opens his wounds still deeper, and makes his prayer for help all the more urgent. He stretches forth his hands to God that He may protect and assist him (vid., Hlemann, Bibelstudien, i. 150f.). Like parched land is his soul turned towards Him, - language in which we recognise a bending round of the primary passage Psalm 63:2. Instead of לך it would be לך, if סלה (Targum לעלמין) were not, as it always is, taken up and included in the sequence of the accents.

Psalm 143:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

of thy mercy

Psalm 54:5 He shall reward evil to my enemies: cut them off in your truth.

Psalm 55:23 But you, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days...

Psalm 136:15-20 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endures for ever...

1 Samuel 24:12-15 The LORD judge between me and you, and the LORD avenge me of you: but my hand shall not be on you...

1 Samuel 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue you, and to seek your soul...

1 Samuel 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle...

for I am thy

Psalm 116:16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, and the son of your handmaid: you have loosed my bonds.

Psalm 119:94 I am yours, save me: for I have sought your precepts.

Cross References
Psalm 52:5
But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

Psalm 54:5
He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.

Psalm 116:16
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.

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