|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 8. - Whose mouth speaketh vanity; rather, fraud (comp. Psalm 18:45). A feigned submission of some foreign enemy is probably glanced at. And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. The right hand was lifted up in the taking of a solemn oath (see Ezekiel 20:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whose mouth speaketh vanity,.... Vain words, lies, flatteries, and deceit, Psalm 12:2; when they speak loftily of themselves, and contemptuously of others; when they deliver out threatenings against some, and make fair promises to others; it is all vanity, and comes to nothing;
and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood; their strength and power to perform what they boast of, threaten, or promise, is fallacious, is mere weakness, and cannot effect anything; or their treaties, contracts, and covenants, they enter into and sign with their right hand, are not kept by them; they act the treacherous and deceitful part. The Latin interpreter of the Arabic version renders it, "their oath is an oath of iniquity"; and Ben Balaam in Aben Ezra, and R. Adnim in Ben Melech, say the word so signifies in the Arabic language; and Schultens (m) has observed the same: but the word in that language signifies the right hand as well as an oath, and need not be restrained to that; it is better to take it in the large sense, as Cocceius (n) does; whether they lifted up the hand to pray, or to swear; or gave it to covenant with, to make contracts and agreements; or stretched it out to work with; it was a right hand of falsehood.
(m) Observat. Philolog. p. 195. (n) Lexicon, col. 312.
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