|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:10-17 David is confident that he shall find God his powerful Saviour. The destruction of sinners may be prevented by their conversion; for it is threatened, If he turn not from his evil way, let him expect it will be his ruin. But amidst the threatenings of wrath, we have a gracious offer of mercy. God gives sinners warning of their danger, and space to repent, and prevent it. He is slow to punish, and long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish. The sinner is described, ver. 14-16, as taking more pains to ruin his soul than, if directed aright, would save it. This is true, in a sense, of all sinners. Let us look to the Saviour under all our trials. Blessed Lord, give us grace to look to thee in the path of tribulation, going before thy church and people, and marking the way by thine own spotless example. Under all the persecutions which in our lesser trials mark our way, let the looking to Jesus animate our minds and comfort our hearts.
Verse 14. - Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood (comp. Job 15:35; Isaiah 59:4). The "falsehood" intended is probably the bringing of false charges against David (see vers. 3-5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, he travaileth with iniquity,.... Is full of it, and big with it, as a woman with child, and eagerly desires to bring it forth, and is in pain till he commits it;
and hath conceived mischief; that which is injurious to God and the perfections of his nature, a transgression of his law, and an affront to his justice and holiness, is doing wrong to fellow creatures, and harm to themselves, either to their name and credit, or to their substance and estates, or to their bodies and souls, and it may be to them all; and yet this they conceive, they devise it in their hearts, and form schemes how to bring it to pass, and which they do with great freedom, deliberation, and pleasure;
and brought forth falsehood; or "vanity" (k), or a vain thing, as the same word is rendered in Job 15:35; no fruit at all, but wind, or stubble, Isaiah 26:17; that which deceives does not answer the expectation, but the contrary to it; the sense is, that wicked men having devised mischievous things against the saints, they are big with expectations of success, and strive to bring their purposes to bear, but are miserably disappointed, for it all ends in vanity and vexation of spirit to themselves.
(k) "rem inanem", so some in Vatablus; "vanitatem", Gejerum.
The Treasury of David
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
In three graphic pictures we see the slanderer's history. A woman in travail furnishes the first metaphor. "He travaileth with iniquity." He is full of it, pained until he can carry it out, he longs to work his will, he is full of pangs until his evil intent is executed. "He hath conceived mischief." This is the original of his base design. The devil has had doings with him, and the virus of evil is in him. And now behold the progeny of this unhallowed conception. The child is worthy of its father, his name of old was "the father of lies," and the birth doth not belie the parent, for he brought forth falsehood. Thus, one figure is carried out to perfection; the Psalmist now illustrates his meaning by another taken from the stratagems of the hunter. "He made a pit and digged it." He was cunning in his plans, and industrious in his labours. He stooped to the dirty work of digging. He did not fear to soil his own hands, he was willing to work in a ditch if others might fall therein. What mean things men will do to wreak revenge on the godly. They hunt for good men, as if they were brute beasts; nay, they will not give them the fair chase afforded to the hare or the fox, but must secretly entrap them, because they can neither run them down nor shoot them down. Our enemies will not meet us to the face, for they fear us as much as they pretend to despise us. But let us look on to the end of the scene. The verse says, he "is fallen into the ditch which he made." Ah! there he is, let us laugh at his disappointment. Lo! he is himself the beast, he has hunted his own soul, and the chase has brought him a goodly victim. Aha, aha, so should it ever be. Come hither and make merry with this entrapped hunter, this biter who has bitten himself. Give him no pity, for it will be wasted on such a wretch. He is but rightly and richly rewarded by being paid in his own coin. He cast forth evil from his mouth, and it has fallen into his bosom. He has set his own house on fire with the torch which he lit to burn a neighbour. He sent forth a foul bird, and it has come back to its nest. The rod which he lifted on high, has smitten his own back. He shot an arrow upward, and it has "returned upon his own head." He hurled a stone at another, and it has "come down upon his own pate." Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost. Ashes always fly back in the face of him that throws them. "As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him" (Psalm 109:17.) How often has this been the case in the histories of both ancient and modern times. Men have burned their own fingers when they were hoping to brand their neighbour. And if this does not happen now, it will hereafter. The Lord has caused dogs to lick the blood of Ahab in the midst of the vineyard of Naboth. Sooner or later the evil deeds of persecutors have always leaped back into their arms. So will it be in the last great day, when Satan's fiery darts shall all be quivered in his own heart, and all his followers shall reap the harvest which they themselves have sown.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. The first clause expresses the general idea that wicked men labor to do evil, the others carry out the figure fully.
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