|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-19 The first words, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. 7-15. Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, Heb 5:7. God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.
Verse 10. - And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly. The imagery here transcends all experience, and scarcely admits of comment or explanation. God is represented as borne through the heavens, as he proceeds to execute his purposes, by the highest of his creatures, the cherubim. Elsewhere (Psalm 104:3) he sails through the sky supported on clouds. Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind; rather, he sped swiftly (Kay). The verb used is different from that translated "did fly" in the preceding verse. It is applied elsewhere especially to the eagle (Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 48:40; Jeremiah 49:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly,.... The Targum renders it in the plural number, "cherubim"; and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and by whom may be meant, either the angels, who are as horses and chariots, on whom Jehovah rides, and who art he makes use of as executioners of his wrath and vengeance, Zechariah 6:5; and to whom wings are assigned as a token of swiftness, Isaiah 6:2; or rather the ministers of the Gospel, who are the living creatures in Revelation 4:7; and answer to the "cherubim" in Ezekiel's visions; and whom God made use of, especially after the death of Christ, and when the Gospel was rejected by the Jews, to carry it into the Gentile world, which was done by them with great speed and swiftness; and Maimonides (u) gives a caution, not to understand the phrase, "he did fly", as of God, but of the cherub;
yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind; which may design the speedy help and assistance God gave to his Son, and gives to his people; and the swift destruction of their enemies; see Psalm 104:3; the words in 2 Samuel 22:11, with only the variation of a letter in one word, are, "and he was seen upon the wings of the wind"; which were both true; nor need a various reading be supposed, the psalmist using both words at different times, suitable to his purpose, and which both express his sense. Wings are ascribed to the winds by the Heathen poets, and they are represented as winged on ancient monuments (w).
(u) Moreh Nevochim. par. 1. c. 49. (w) Vide Cuperi Apotheos. Homeri, p. 178. Wings are given to the south wind by Ovid, Metamorph. l. 1. Fab. 7. and by Juvenal, Satyr. 5. v. 10. and by Virgil, Aeneid. 8. v. 430. and who also speaks of wings of lightning, Aeneid. 5. v. 319.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. cherub—angelic agents (compare Ge 3:24), the figures of which were placed over the ark (1Sa 4:4), representing God's dwelling; used here to enhance the majesty of the divine advent. Angels and winds may represent all rational and irrational agencies of God's providence (compare Ps 104:3, 4).
did fly—Rapidity of motion adds to the grandeur of the scene.
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