Psalm 144:10
It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.
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(10) David his servant.—See Psalm 18:50.

144:9-15 Fresh favours call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated. It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit. Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischiefs, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Saviour, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.It is he that giveth salvation unto kings - Margin, "Victory." The Hebrew word means "salvation," but it is used here in the sense of deliverance or rescue. Even "kings," with all their armies, have no hope but in God. They seem to be the most powerful of men, but they are, like all other people, wholly dependent on him for deliverance from danger. David thus recognizes his own entire dependence. Though a king in the divine purpose and in fact, yet he had no power but as derived from God; he had no hope of deliverance but in him. It is implied further that God might as readily be supposed to be willing to interpose in behalf of kings as of other people when their cause was right, and when they looked to him for aid. See the notes at Psalm 33:16 : "there is no king saved by the multitude of an host." Compare Psalm 44:5-6.

Who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword - Who has done it; who can do it again; on whom alone David is dependent as all other men are. David speaks of himself by name elsewhere. See Psalm 18:50; 2 Samuel 7:26. He refers to himself also under the name of "the king," Psalm 61:6; Psalm 63:11. Caesar, in his writings, often speaks of himself in the same way.


Ps 144:1-15. David's praise of God as his all-sufficient help is enhanced by a recognition of the intrinsic worthlessness of man. Confidently imploring God's interposition against his enemies, he breaks forth into praise and joyful anticipations of the prosperity of his kingdom, when freed from vain and wicked men.

Kings are not preserved by their own power or prudence, but by God’s special providence, which for the public good of the world watcheth over them.

It is he that giveth salvation to kings,.... Which is the reason of singing the new song to the Lord, or this is the matter of it. The Lord is the Preserver of men and beasts, the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believe; who are in a spiritual sense kings and priests unto God; and in a temporal sense he saves high and low, rich and poor: but there is a particular providence respecting kings; who, as they are the powers ordained of God, and are his vicegerents on earth, and represent him, so they are preserved by him; were they not, there would soon be an end to all public order and government: they cannot save themselves; nor are they saved by their bodyguards about them; nor is any king saved by the multitude of his host, but by the Lord, Psalm 33:16. Or, "he that giveth victory to kings"; over their enemies; which is not obtained by the strength and force of their armies, and by their military skill valour; but by the right hand and arm of the Lord: and therefore, whenever this is the case, a new song should be sung to him; see Psalm 98:1. David no doubt has regard to himself, and to the many salvations God had wrought for him, and the victories he had given him; as also to the King Messiah, whom God heard and helped, as man and Mediator, in the day of salvation, and gave it to him, and in which he rejoiced, Isaiah 49:8;

who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword; David literally, the servant of the Lord by creation, redemption, and grace, as well as by his office, as king of Israel; him the Lord delivered from the sword of Goliath, as the Targum; from the sword of Saul, as Jarchi and Kimchi; and from the sword of strange children, as Arama; of all his enemies he had been or was engaged with in war: and David mystically, Christ the son of David, God's righteous servant, he chose, called, upheld; and in whom he was glorified, by doing his work diligently, faithfully, and completely; him he delivered from the sword of justice, when he had satisfied it; and from wicked men, like a sword; and from all his enemies, and death itself, when he raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; see Psalm 22:20. Aben Ezra thinks there is a defect of the copulative "and": and that it should be read, "from the sword and evil"; every evil person or thing; and observes, that some take it for an adjective, and understand it of an evil camp or company.

It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his {i} servant from the hurtful sword.

(i) Though wicked kings are called God's servants, as was Cyrus in Isa 45:1, for he uses them to execute his judgments: yet David because of God's promise and they who rule godly are properly so called, because they do not serve their own affections, but set forth God's glory.

10. Cp. Psalm 18:50. Who giveth salvation (or victory) unto kings may be meant as a general truth not to be limited to Israel only (cp. Psalm 33:16), and David his servant may denote the typical ruler of Jehovah’s people (cp. Ezekiel 34:23); or the reference may be historical, who gave victory … who rescued David.

the hurtful (lit. evil) sword] i.e. from the calamity of war. The Targ. renders ‘the evil sword of Goliath,’ but the reference is quite general.

Verse 10. - It is he that giveth salvation unto kings. There has always been a belief, especially in the East, that "a divinity doth hedge a king." Saul himself was regarded by David as sacrosanct, and to kill him, even at his own request, was a sacrilege (2 Samuel 1:14-16). Who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. David speaks of himself by name, not only here, but in Psalm 18:50; 2 Samuel 7:26. Psalm 144:10With the exception of Psalm 108:1-13, which is composed of two Davidic Elohim-Psalms, the Elohim in Psalm 144:9 of this strophe is the only one in the last two Books of the Psalter, and is therefore a feeble attempt also to reproduce the Davidic Elohimic style. The "new song" calls to mind Psalm 33:3; Psalm 40:4; and נבל עשׂור also recalls Psalm 33:2 (which see). The fact that David mentions himself by name in his own song comes about in imitation of Psalm 18:51. From the eminence of thanksgiving the song finally descends again to petition, Psalm 144:7-8, being repeated as a refrain. The petition developes itself afresh out of the attributes of the Being invoked (Psalm 144:10), and these are a pledge of its fulfilment. For how could the God to whom all victorious kings owe their victory (Psalm 33:16, cf. 2 Kings 5:1; 1 Samuel 17:47) possibly suffer His servant David to succumb to the sword of the enemy! חרב רעה is the sword that is engaged in the service of evil.
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