|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
58:6-11 David prayed that the enemies of God's church and people might be disabled to do further mischief. We may, in faith, pray against the designs of the enemies of the church. He foretells their ruin. And who knows the power of God's anger? The victories of the Just One, in his own person and that of his servants, over the enemies of man's salvation, produce a joy which springs not from revenge, but from a view of the Divine mercy, justice, and truth, shown in the redemption of the elect, the punishment of the ungodly, and the fulfilment of the promises. Whoever duly considers these things, will diligently seek the reward of righteousness, and adore the Providence which orders all thing aright in heaven and in earth.
Verse 8. - As a snail which molteth, lot every one of them pass away; or, "let them be as a snail, which melteth and passeth away" (Revised Version). Snails in Palestine, during dry seasons, often shrink, shrivel up, and disappear from their shells (Tristram, 'Natural History of the Bible,' p. 296). Like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun; rather, that hath not seen the sun (Professor Cheyne, Revised Version); i.e. "let them be as an abortion" (comp. Job 3:16).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As a snail which melteth, let everyone of them pass away,.... As a snail when it comes out of its shell liquefies, drops its moisture, and with it makes a "path", from whence it has its name in the Hebrew language; and so the Targum here,
"as the snail moistens its way;''
which moistness it gradually exhausts, and melts away, and dies: so the psalmist prays that everyone of his enemies might die in like manner. Some think reference is had to the snail's putting out its horns to no purpose when in danger, and apply it to the vain threatenings of the wicked; a strange difference this, between a roaring young lion, Psalm 58:6, and a melting snail. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, render it, "as wax which melteth": see Psalm 68:2;
like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun; see Job 3:16. The Targum is,
"as an abortive and a mole, which are blind and see not the sun.''
So Jarchi renders it a "mole", agreeably to the Talmud (g). Or, "let them not see the sun" (h); let them die, and never see the sun in the firmament any more; Christ, the sun of righteousness; nor enjoy the favour of God, and the light of his countenance; nor have the light of life, or eternal glory and happiness; see Psalm 49:19.
(g) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 6. 2.((h) "ne videant solem", Pagninus, Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8, 9. Other figures of this utter ruin; the last denoting rapidity. In a shorter time than pots feel the heat of thorns on fire—
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