|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:11-20 Those who believe that God is greatly to be praised, not only desire to praise him better themselves, but desire that others may join with them. There is a day coming, when it will appear that he has not forgotten the cry of the humble; neither the cry of their blood, or the cry of their prayers. We are never brought so low, so near to death, but God can raise us up. If he has saved us from spiritual and eternal death, we may thence hope, that in all our distresses he will be a very present help to us. The overruling providence of God frequently so orders it, that persecutors and oppressors are brought to ruin by the projects they formed to destroy the people of God. Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves; the contentious bring mischief upon themselves: thus men's sins may be read in their punishment, and it becomes plain to all, that the destruction of sinners is of themselves. All wickedness came originally with the wicked one from hell; and those who continue in sin, must go to that place of torment. The true state, both of nations and of individuals, may be correctly estimated by this one rule, whether in their doings they remember or forget God. David encourages the people of God to wait for his salvation, though it should be long deferred. God will make it appear that he never did forget them: it is not possible he should. Strange that man, dust in his and about him, should yet need some sharp affliction, some severe visitation from God, to bring him to the knowledge of himself, and make him feel who and what he is.
Verse 15. - The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made. It is uncertain whether the writer here reverts to the judgment already executed (vers. 3-6), or with the eye of faith sees as past the judgment which he confidently anticipates (vers. 19, 20). Whichever he intends, there can be no doubt that he means it to be understood that the stratagems of the enemy brought about (or would bring about) their downfall. In the net which they hid is their own foot taken. A second metaphor, expressing the same idea as the preceding (comp. Psalm 7:15, 16; Psalm 10:2; Psalm 35:8; Psalm 141:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Heathen are sunk into the pit that they made,.... The psalmist having determined to praise the Lord, and called upon others to join with him in it, here enters upon it: for, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra observe, this is "the praise" he was desirous to show forth, which is occasioned by the destruction of God's enemies, and the deliverance of his people: by "the Heathen" are meant not the Philistines, as Kimchi interprets it, who thought to cause Israel to fall, and fell themselves; but this is spoken prophetically of the nations of the earth, who have joined in the idolatry of antichrist, the Gentiles, by whom the holy city has been trodden under foot; even the several antichristian states, that will be destroyed by the pouring out of the seven vials, and especially the last, at the battle of Armageddon; and which will be brought on by themselves, with a design to destroy the whole kingdom and interest of Christ, but will issue in their utter ruin, which this phrase is expressive of; see Revelation 18:3. The metaphor is taken from hunters, who dig pits for the wild beasts to fall into, that they may the more easily take them, into which they fall themselves; see Psalm 7:15. Wicked men are mischievous and crafty, but sometimes they are taken in their own craftiness;
in the net which they laid is their own foot taken; which may signify the same thing as before, that the mischief they design for others falls upon themselves; only as the former phrase denotes their utter destruction like the sinking of a millstone in the sea, by which the irrecoverable ruin of Babylon is expressed, Revelation 18:21; this may design the restraint and hinderance of them from doing the evil they would; their feet are entangled, that they cannot run to shed blood; and their hands are held, that they cannot perform their enterprise; and their wrath in restrained and made to praise the Lord. The metaphor is taken from fowlers, who lay nets and snares for birds, and cover them that they may not be seen, but fall into them unawares; see Psalm 124:7.
The Treasury of David
15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
In considering this terrible picture of the Lord's overwhelming judgments of his enemies, we are called upon to ponder and meditate upon it with deep seriousness by the two untranslated words, Higgaion, Selah. Meditate, pause. Consider, and tune your instrument. Bethink yourselves and solemnly adjust your hearts to the solemnity which is so well becoming the subject. Let us in a humble spirit approach these verses, and notice, first, that the character of God requires the punishment of sin. Jehovah is known by the judgment which he executeth; his holiness and abhorrence of sin are thus displayed. A ruler who winked at evil would soon be known by all his subjects to be evil himself, and he, on the other hand, who is severely just in judgment reveals his own nature thereby. So long as our God is God, he will not, he cannot spare the guilty; except through that one glorious way in which he is just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. We must notice, secondly, that the manner of his judgment is singularly wise, and indisputably just. He makes the wicked become their own executioners. "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made, &c." Like cunning hunters they prepared a pitfall for the godly and fell into it themselves the foot of the victim escaped their crafty snares, but the toils surrounded themselves: the cruel snare was laboriously manufactured, and it proved its efficacy by snaring its own maker. Persecutors and oppressors are often ruined by their own malicious projects. "Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves;" the contentious are involved in ruinous costs; the vicious are devoured with fierce diseases; the envious eat their own hearts; and blasphemers curse their own souls. Thus, men may read their sin in their punishment. They sowed the seed of sin, and the ripe fruit of damnation is the natural result.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15, 16. The undesigned results of the devices of the wicked prove them to be of God's overruling or ordering, especially when those results are destructive to the wicked themselves.
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