Matthew Poole's Commentary
A Psalm of David. Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm seems to be made upon the same occasion with the former, and is mixed, as many others of his Psalms are, of hopes and fears, of prayers and praises.
David prayeth earnestly for himself, Psalm 28:1,2, that he might not be led away with the wicked, Psalm 28:3,4. The reason of his prayer, Psalm 28:5. He blesseth God for hearing him, Psalm 28:6-8; and prayeth for the people, Psalm 28:9.
Be not silent; be not deaf to my prayers, nor dumb as, to thy answers to them: lest I be in the like or same condition with them
that go down into the pit, i.e. a lost creature; as I shall certainly be, if thou dost not succour me.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.i.e. Towards the holy of holies, which is so called, 1 Kings 6:23, compared with 2 Chronicles 3:10: compare also 1 Kings 6:5 8:6, because there the ark was; from whence God gave oracular answers to his people; and to which they accordingly directed their prayers, not only when they drew near to it, but when they were at a distance from it, as Daniel 6:10.
Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.Draw me not away with the wicked: the sense is, either,
1. Do not suffer me to be drawn away by their counsel or example to imitate their evil courses. For God is oft said to do that which he doth not effect, but only permit and order, as 2 Samuel 12:12. Or,
2. Do not draw me into the same snares and mischief with them; do not drag me, as thou dost or wilt do all these malefactors, to execution and destruction. Let me not die the death of the wicked. Compare Psalm 26:9. Thus drawing is used for drawing to death, Job 21:33 Ezekiel 32:20. This seems best to suit with the following context, wherein he imprecateth and foretelleth that destruction upon his enemies which he deprecated for himself.
Mischief is in their heart; which are hypocritical and perfidious persons, whilst I, through thy grace, am upright and sincere. Seeing then I am so unlike them in disposition and practice, let me not be made like them in their ruin.
Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.David useth these imprecations, partly, to vindicate himself from the slanders of his enemies, who reported him to be as wicked as they were, only more close and cunning therein; which, if he had been, he had bitterly cursed himself; which it could not reasonably be presumed that he would do; partly, from his great and long experience of their implacable and incorrigible malignity, not only against him, but against God, and his declared will, and against all truly good men, and that covered with pretences of piety to God, and of peaceableness towards their neighbours, Psalm 28:3, which made their wickedness more inexcusable and detestable; partly, by the instinct and direction of God’s Spirit, by whose inspiration he uttered this as well as the rest of the Psalm; and partly, that hereby he might provoke them to repentance; for this curse belongs only to those who shall obstinately persist in their wicked courses. Add to all this, that as verbs of the imperative mood are oft used by the Hebrews for futures, so these may not be proper imprecations, but predictions of their destruction.
Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.The works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, i.e. the providential works of God, both for and towards his church and people in general; the serious observation whereof would have made them afraid of opposing them, and desirous to join themselves with them; and for and towards me in particular, concerning whose succession to the kingdom God hath so expressly declared his mind and will, and to whom he hath given so many and such wonderful preservations, that they who will not acknowledge it, but continue to oppose it, may well be presumed to be guilty of rebellion against God’s will, and of the contempt of his providence.
He shall destroy them, and not build them up, i.e. destroy them utterly and irrecoverably, because they wilfully shut their eyes against the light of God’s word and works.
Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.He speaks of it as past, either because God had in part heard and answered him already, or because God assured him by his Spirit that he had heard and accepted his prayers, and would assuredly answer him in due time.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.No text from Poole on this verse.
The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.Their strength, i.e. the strength of his people, mentioned in the next verse; the relative being put before the antecedent, which is left to be gathered out of the following matter, as it is Numbers 24:17 Psalm 87:1. Or, his strength; for the Hebrew affix mo, which commonly is plural, is sometimes taken singularly; of which see my Latin Synopsis here, and on Isaiah 53:8. And his, i.e. of his anointed, as the next clause explains it. Or the words may be thus rendered, Strength is or belongs to thee Lord. Heb. The Lord, strength is his, or to him. It is a Hebrew pleonasm.
The saving strength, Heb. the strength of the preservations, or deliverances, or victories, or salvations, i.e. he by whose strength alone he hath got these victories, &c.
Of his anointed, i.e. of me, whom he hath anointed to be king, whom therefore he will defend; he speaks of himself in the third person, which is usual in the Hebrew tongue.
Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.Thine inheritance; Israel, for whom I pray; partly because thou hast in some sort committed them to my charge, and partly because Saul did not take due care of them.
Lift them up; raise them out of their low and afflicted condition, in which they are, by reason of Saul’s weakness and neglect, and by the prevailing power of the Philistines, and advance them to a state of safety and honour, and that not for a season, but with constancy and perpetuity, as it follows.