|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.
Verse 66. - And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts; rather, backward, so that they fled before him (comp. Psalm 40:14; Psalm 70:2, etc.). There is no allusion to 1 Samuel 5:6-12. The reference is rather to the many victories of Israel over the Philistines, which began under Samuel (1 Samuel 7:10), and continued under Saul and David. He put them to a perpetual reproach. Covered them, that is, with shame and disgrace. The shame culminated, perhaps, in David's victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40-51).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts,.... Not the Israelites, as Kimchi interprets it, but the Philistines, who in another battle were put to flight, and turned their backs, and so were smitten in their hinder parts; or rather this has reference to the Philistines being smitten with haemorrhoids, or piles in their posteriors, while the ark was retained a captive by them, 1 Samuel 5:6, and so the Targum paraphrases it,
"and he smote them that troubled them with haemorrhoids in their posteriors;''
the Greek version, as quoted by Suidas (c), is, "he smote his enemies on the back parts of the seat"; signifying, he says, a disease, modestly expressed:
he put them to a perpetual reproach; either by causing their idol Dagon to fall before his ark, and be broken upon the threshold of the house of the idol; in memory of which the priests ever after, nor any that came in thither, trod upon the threshold, 1 Samuel 5:3, or rather through their sending golden images of their haemorrhoids, and golden mice along with the ark, which were reserved to their perpetual reproach: other instances of the Lord's regard to Israel follow, in providing a proper place for the ark, and appointing a suitable governor over the people.
(c) In voce
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
66. And he smote … part—or, "struck His enemies' back." The Philistines never regained their position after their defeats by David.
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