Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 7:1-17. Shiggaion—a plaintive song or elegy. Though obscure in details, this title seems to intimate that the occasion of this Psalm was some event in David's persecution by Saul. He prays for relief because he is innocent, and God will be glorified in his vindication. He thus passes to the celebration of God's righteous government, in defending the upright and punishing the wicked, whose malignant devices will result in their own ruin; and, confident of God's aid, he closes with rejoicing.
1, 2. Though many enemies set upon him, one is singled out as prominent, and compared to a wild beast tearing his prey to pieces (compare 1Sa 20:1; 23:23; 26:19).
Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
3. if I have done this—that is, the crime charged in the "words of Cush" (compare 1Sa 24:9).
If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
4. If I have injured my friend.
yea, I have delivered, &c.—This makes a good sense, but interrupts the course of thought, and hence it is proposed to render, "if I have spoiled my enemy"—in either case (compare 1Sa 24:4-17; 31:8, 11).
Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
5. This is the consequence, if such has been his conduct.
mine honour—(compare Ps 3:3; 4:2)—my personal and official dignity.
Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
6. God is involved as if hitherto careless of him (Ps 3:7; 9:18).
rage—the most violent, like a flood rising over a river's banks.
the judgment … commanded—or, "ordained"; a just decision.
So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
7. compass thee—as those seeking justice.
return thou on high—assume the judgment seat, to be honored as a just Ruler by them.
The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
8. Though not claiming innocence in general, he can confidently do so in this case, and in demanding from the Judge of all the earth a judgment, he virtually asks acquittal.
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
9. the hearts and reins—the affections and motives of men, or the seat of them (compare Ps 16:7; 26:2); as we use heart and bosom or breast.
My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
10. defence—literally, "shield" (Ps 5:12).
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
11. judgeth—as in Ps 7:8.
the wicked—Though not expressed, they are implied, for they alone are left as objects of anger.
If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
12, 13. They are here distinctly pointed out, though by changing the person, a very common mode of speech, one is selected as a representative of wicked men generally. The military figures are of obvious meaning.
He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
13. against the persecutors—Some render "for burning," but the former is the best sense. Arrows for burning would be appropriate in besieging a town, not in warring against one man or a company in open fight.
Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
14. The first clause expresses the general idea that wicked men labor to do evil, the others carry out the figure fully.
He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
15, 16. 1Sa 18:17; 31:2 illustrate the statement whether alluded to or not. These verses are expository of Ps 7:14, showing how the devices of the wicked end in disappointment, falsifying their expectations.
His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
17. his righteousness—(Ps 5:8). Thus illustrated in the defense of His servant and punishment of the wicked.