|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 14. - Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them. God's "arrows" are often spoken cf. Job felt them within him (Job 6:4). David has already said of them, that they are "ordained against the persecutors" (Psalm 7:13). We may understand by the expression any sharp pains, mental or bodily, which God sends. And he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. The effect of the tempest of God's wrath is to "scatter" and "discomfit" the enemy (comp. Exodus 14:24). Instead of" and he shot out lightnings," our Revisers give, and lightnings manifold, which is perhaps better.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, he sent out his arrows,.... By which thunderbolts, cracks of thunder, and flashes of lightning, seem to be meant; see Psalm 77:17; comparable to arrows shot, and sent out of a bow; and may denote, either the doctrines of the Gospel, which were sharp in the hearts of Christ's enemies, and are either the means of subduing them to him, or of destroying them, being the savour of death unto death; or however, like arrows, give great pain and uneasiness where they stick, and grievously distress and torment; as does the fire which comes out of the mouth of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:5. The Targum is,
"he sent his word as arrows;''
or else the judgments of God are meant, as famine, pestilence, and the sword, which God sent unto, and spent upon the Jewish nation, Deuteronomy 32:23;
and scattered them; among the nations of the world, where they have been dispersed ever since;
and he shot out lightnings; or "many lightnings", so the Targum:
and discomfited them; troubled, terrified, and distressed them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. The fiery brightness of lightning, in shape like burning arrows rapidly shot through the air, well represents the most terrible part of an awful storm. Before the terrors of such a scene the enemies are confounded and overthrown in dismay.
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