|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
57:1-6 All David's dependence is upon God. The most eminent believers need often repeat the publican's prayer, God be merciful to me a sinner. But if our souls trust in the Lord, this may assure us, in our utmost dangers, that our calamities will at length be overpast, and in the mean time, by faith and prayer, we must make him our refuge. Though God be most high, yet he condescends so low, as to take care that all things are made to work for good to his people. This is a good reason why we should pray earnestly. Look which way we will on this earth, refuge fails, no help appears; but we may look for it from heaven. If we have fled from the wrath to come, unto Jesus Christ, he that performed all things needful to purchase the salvation of his people, will do for us and in us all things needful for our enjoyment of it. It made David droop to think there should be those that bore him so much ill-will. But the mischief they designed against him, returned on themselves. And when David was in the greatest distress and disgrace, he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thine own name. Our best encouragement in prayer, is taken from the glory of God, and to that, more than to our own comfort, we should have regard in all our petitions for mercy.
Verses 6-11. - The strophe of "triumphant confidence" now begins, but with an echo from the strophe of complaint. The enemy is still at work, still plotting against the psalmist, still seeking to do him a mischief; but the efforts made are in vain. They only bring the enemy himself into trouble (ver. 6), and cause the psalmist to pour forth a song of joy (vers. 7-11). Verse 6. - They have prepared a net for my steps (comp. Psalm 9:15; Psalm 10:10; Psalm 25:15; Psalm 31:4; Psalm 35:7). These metaphors from the chase are peculiarly appropriate at the time when Saul was "hunting David upon the mountains" (1 Samuel 26:20). My soul is bowed down; rather, they have bowed down my soul; literally, he has bowed down; but the alternate use of the singular and the plural, without any real change of subject, is very common. They have digged a pit before me (comp. Psalm 7:15; Psalm 119:85). Into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Here is the first note of triumph - a very familiar note (Psalm 7:15; Psalm 9:15; Psalm 39:8; Psalm 141:10), but one always sounded with marked satisfaction.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They have prepared a net for my steps,.... They laid snares for him, as the fowler does for the bird, in order to take him. It denotes the insidious ways used by Saul and his men to get David into their hands; so the Pharisees consulted together how they might entangle Christ in his talk, Matthew 22:15;
my soul is bowed down; dejected by reason of his numerous enemies, and the crafty methods they took to ensnare and ruin him; so the soul of Christ was bowed down with the sins of his people, and with a sense of divine wrath because of them; and so their souls are often bowed down; or they are dejected in their spirits, on account of sin, Satan's temptations, various afflictions, and divine desertions. The Targum renders it,
"he bowed down my soul;''
that is, the enemy; Saul in particular. The Septuagint, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, "they bowed down my soul"; the same that prepared a net for his steps; everyone of his enemies; they all were the cause of the dejection of his soul: the Syriac version leaves out the clause;
they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves; contriving and seeking to find out the places where David's haunt was, Saul got into the very cave where he and his men were; and had his skirt cut off, when his life might as easily have been taken away, 1 Samuel 23:22. See Psalm 7:15.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. (Compare Ps 7:15; 9:15, 16).
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