|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:17-28 Though the people of God are, and study to be, quiet, yet it has been common for their enemies to devise deceitful matters against them. David prays, My soul is in danger, Lord, rescue it; it belongs to thee the Father of spirits, therefore claim thine own; it is thine, save it! Lord, be not far from me, as if I were a stranger. He who exalted the once suffering Redeemer, will appear for all his people: the roaring lion shall not destroy their souls, any more than he could that of Christ, their Surety. They trust their souls in his hands, they are one with him by faith, are precious in his sight, and shall be rescued from destruction, that they may give thanks in heaven.
Verse 20. - For they speak not peace. Once more the language of complaint. David's enemies, though they have driven him from the court, and made him a fugitive and a wanderer, were not yet satisfied. They did not speak him peace. They continued to scheme against him. But they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. David, if let alone, was willing enough to have remained "quiet in the land." He was a fugitive and an outlaw; but, could he have obtained a safe refuge - the cave of Adullam, or any other - would gladly have remained peacefully within it. But his enemies would not allow him to remain quiet. They stirred up the jealousy and hatred of Saul by false tales, and caused him to be "hunted upon the mountains" (1 Samuel 26:20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For they speak not peace,.... Meaning to himself, or any good man; as Joseph's brethren could not to him, Genesis 37:4; such were the men David had to do with, Psalm 120:6; and such were the enemies of Christ, who could not give him a good word, nor speak one to him, John 10:20; and such are the enemies of his people, who breathe out nothing but threatenings and slaughter, and not anything that tends to peace, to promote and maintain it. Some versions, as the Septuagint, and they that follow that, render it, "they do speak peace to me"; but then it was in an hypocritical way, as in Psalm 28:3; and as the Jews did to Christ, Matthew 22:16; for it follows:
but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land; meaning not the wicked, as Kimchi thinks; the rich, who live at ease and in quietness, having as much as heart can wish, "with" whom, as he renders it, David's enemies devised mischief in a deceitful way; but the righteous of the earth, as the Targum; such as David and his men were, who desired to live peaceable and quiet lives under Saul's government; and had no intention to disturb his government, or wrest the crown from him; and as the Messiah, David's son, was, "the humble one in the earth"; as the Arabic version renders it in the singular number; a character that well agrees with Christ, who showed great humility in coming into this world, and during his stay in it; it was a state of humiliation with him, and in which he behaved in the most lowly and humble manner; he was the quiet one in the land; he strove not, nor cried, nor was his voice heard in the street; he was not noisy and clamorous, quarrelsome and litigious; but all the reverse; he bore all insults, reproaches, and sufferings, patiently and quietly: and such are his people, so far as they are influenced by his grace and Spirit; they are quiet and peaceable in kingdoms, cities, and neighbourhoods, and in the churches of God; and yet the wicked are continually plotting against them, and devising things, to their hurt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. deceitful matters—or, "words of deceit."
quiet in the land—the pious lovers of peace.
Psalm 35:20 Parallel Commentaries
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