|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
143:7-12 David prays that God would be well pleased with him, and let him know that he was so. He pleads the wretchedness of his case, if God withdrew from him. But the night of distress and discouragement shall end in a morning of consolation and praise. He prays that he might be enlightened with the knowledge of God's will; and this is the first work of the Spirit. A good man does not ask the way in which is the most pleasant walking, but what is the right way. Not only show me what thy will is, but teach me how to do it. Those who have the Lord for their God, have his Spirit for their Guide; they are led by the Spirit. He prays that he might be enlivened to do God's will. But we should especially seek the destruction of our sins, our worst enemies, that we may be devotedly God's servants.
Verse 12. - And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies. In thy goodness towards me, remove those enemies whose conduct towards me has been described in vers. 3, 4. And destroy all them that afflict my soul. This is David's ordinary prayer with respect to his enemies, whom be counts as God's adversaries, and the persecutors of faithful Israel (see Psalm 5:10; Psalm 7:9; Psalm 10:15; Psalm 28:4, 5; Psalm 35:4-6, 8, etc.). For I am thy servant. Entitled, therefore, to thy special care and protection (comp. Psalm 27:9; Psalm 69:17; Psalm 86:2, 4, 16; Psalm 116:16, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies,.... Which, though an act of vindictive justice, and terrible righteousness to them, would be an act of grace and mercy to him, who thereby would be delivered from them: or, "for thy grace" (b); for the sake of it, for the honour of it, do this; those being, as Cocceius thinks, despisers of the grace of God;
and destroy all them that afflict my soul; by their persecutions, reproaches, and blasphemies. These clauses, with those in Psalm 143:11, are read in the future tense, "thou shalt quicken--bring out--cut off--destroy", in the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; and so may be considered as a prophecy of what would be the case of David and his enemies, or of the Messiah and his, here typified; as well as a prayer for those things;
for I am thy servant; by creation, by redemption and grace; and by office, being set upon the throne for the service of God and his people, and therefore pleads for his protection and help; and the rather, as he was the servant of God; and not they, his enemies, as Kimchi observes.
(b) "propter misericordiam tuam", Pagninus; "propter benignitatem tuam", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "pergratiam tuam", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. God's mercy to His people is often wrath to His and their enemies (compare Ps 31:17).
thy servant—as chosen to be such, entitled to divine regard.
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