|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
56:1-7 Be merciful unto me, O God. This petition includes all the good for which we come to throne of grace. If we obtain mercy there, we need no more to make us happy. It implies likewise our best plea, not our merit, but God's mercy, his free, rich mercy. We may flee to, and trust the mercy of God, when surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers. His enemies were too hard for him, if God did not help him. He resolves to make God's promises the matter of his praises, and so we have reason to make them. As we must not trust an arm of flesh when engaged for us, so we must not be afraid of an arm of flesh when stretched out against us. The sin of sinners will never be their security. Who knows the power of God's anger; how high it can reach, how forcibly it can strike?
Verse 6. - They gather themselves together, they hide themselves; or, "they gather themselves together; they set an ambush." They mark my steps, when they wait for my soul; literally, they, even they, mark my steps; i.e. they themselves, grand as they are, condescend to be spies, and track my footsteps.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They gather themselves together,.... And meet in some one place, to contrive ways and means to do hurt, and then assemble together again to put them in execution; as did the Jews with respect to Christ, Matthew 26:3. Aben Ezra supposes a various reading without any reason; and that, instead of which Jarchi renders "they lodge", and the Septuagint, and the versions following that, "they sojourn", it should be read "they assemble in troops": because they were many: but the sense is, "they stay" (x), or continue in some certain place:
they hide themselves; the Targum adds, "in ambush": they lay in wait, and caused others to lie in wait for him, in order to take him; as did Saul and his men, and the servants of the king of Gath;
they mark my steps; they observed where he went, that they might seize him; or they observed his heels, as the old serpent did the Messiah's, that he might bruise them; or they watched for his halting, as Jeremiah's familiars did for his;
when they wait for my soul; to take away his life, to destroy him; see Psalm 119:95; they wanted not a will to do it, they only waited for an opportunity. The Targum is,
"as they waited, they did to my soul:''
or rather, "after they had hoped for my soul" (y): when they had entertained hopes of taking him, this animated them to do the above things.
(x) "Commorabuntur", Montanus; "simul ipsi morantur", Vatablus; so Gussetius, p. 166. (y) Vid. Gusset. Ebr. Comment. p. 361.
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