Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 3:1-8. For the historical occasion mentioned, compare 2Sa 15:1-17:29. David, in the midst of great distress, with filial confidence, implores God's aid, and, anticipating relief, offers praise.
1. Lord … increased—The extent of the rebellion (2Sa 15:13) surprises and grieves him.
Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
2. say of my soul—that is, "of me" (compare Ps 25:3). This use of "soul" is common; perhaps it arose from regarding the soul as man's chief part.
no help … in God—rejected by Him. This is the bitterest reproach for a pious man, and denotes a spirit of malignant triumph.
Selah—This word is of very obscure meaning. It probably denotes rest or pause, both as to the music and singing, intimating something emphatic in the sentiment (compare Ps 9:16).
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
3. But—literally, "and" (Ps 2:6). He repels the reproach by avowing his continued trust.
shield—a favorite and often-used figure for protection.
my glory—its source.
lifter up of mine head—one who raises me from despondency.
I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
4. cried … heard—Such has been my experience. The latter verb denotes a gracious hearing or answering.
out of—or, "from."
his holy hill—Zion (Ps 2:6). His visible earthly residence.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
5. the Lord sustained me—literally, "will sustain me," as if his language or thought when he laid down, and the reason of his composure.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
6. ten thousands of people—or, "myriads," any very great number (compare 2Sa 16:18).
Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
7. Arise, O Lord—God is figuratively represented as asleep to denote His apparent indifference (Ps 7:6). The use of "cheekbone" and "teeth" represents his enemies as fierce, like wild beasts ready to devour (Ps 27:2), and smiting their cheekbone (1Ki 22:24) denotes violence and insult.
thou hast broken—God took his part, utterly depriving the enemy of power to injure.
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
8. An ascription of praise to a delivering God, whose favor is an efficient benefit.