Psalm 144:2
My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) My goodness·—Or, my lovingkindness, or my grace, a shortened form of “God of my grace” (Psalm 59:10; Psalm 59:17). The expression is exactly analogous to the term” grace,” applied to kings as the source of grace or mercy. For the other epithets, see Psalm 18:2.

Who subdueth.—Psalm 18:47; but the verb is different (cognate with 2Samuel 22:48), and here the singular, “my people,” instead of “my peoples.” Some MSS. indeed have the plural here, and the Syriac and Chaldee followed them, or changed to suit Psalms 18. If we had the historical incidents out of which the psalm sprung we might account for the change.

144:1-8 When men become eminent for things as to which they have had few advantages, they should be more deeply sensible that God has been their Teacher. Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. A prayer for further mercy is fitly begun with a thanksgiving for former mercy. There was a special power of God, inclining the people of Israel to be subject to David; it was typical of the bringing souls into subjection to the Lord Jesus. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.My goodness - Margin, "my mercy." That is, He shows me mercy or favor. All the favors that I receive come from him.

And my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer - See the notes at Psalm 18:2, where the same words occur.

My shield - The same word which in Psalm 18:2 is rendered "buckler." See the notes at that passage.

And he in whom I trust - The same idea as in Psalm 18:2. The tense of the verb only is varied.

Who subdueth my people under me - See the notes at Psalm 18:47. The language is slightly different, but the idea is the same. It is to be remarked that David "here" refers to his people - "who subdueth my people," meaning that those over whom God had placed him had been made submissive by the divine power.

PSALM 144

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.

My goodness; or, my mercy; or, the God of my mercy, as God is called, Psalm 59:10,17; the name of God being easily understood from the foregoing verse. Or, he who is exceeding good or merciful to me, as good as goodness itself; the abstract being put for the concrete, as it is frequently in speeches of God, who is called wisdom, truth, goodness, &c.; and, sometimes of men, as Psalm 12:1 Proverbs 10:29, where faithfulness and uprightness are put for faithful and upright men.

Who subdueth my people under me; who has disposed my people’s hearts to receive and obey me as their king.

My goodness,.... Not only good, but goodness itself; the donor of all the blessings of goodness to him; the author of all goodness in him; the provider of all goodness for him, laid up to be used hereafter. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it my mercy, properly enough; that is, the God of "my mercy", as in Psalm 59:10; who is all mercy, full of mercy, rich and plenteous in it; which is abundant, and from everlasting to everlasting. Or, "my grace" (d); the God of all grace, the giver of every grace, and who is able to make all grace to abound; and from whom every blessing of grace, and every particular grace, as faith, hope, and love, and all the supplies of grace, as well as every good and perfect gift, come: Christ is prevented with all the blessings of goodness; in him all fulness of grace dwells, and with him God keeps his mercy for evermore;

and my fortress; garrison or strong hold: what fortresses or fortifications are to cities, whether natural or artificial, that is God to his people; all his perfections are on their side; and particularly they are kept by his power, as in a garrison, through faith unto salvation, 1 Peter 1:5;

my high tower: the name of the Lord, which is himself, is a strong tower, where his righteous ones that flee to him are safe; and is an "high" one, where they are out of the reach of all their enemies, Proverbs 18:10;

and my deliverer; that delivered him from his temporal enemies; and from his spiritual ones, from sin, Satan, and the world; from all afflictions and temptations, from wrath and ruin, death and hell;

my shield; that protected him from all evil and danger; whose favour encompassed him as a shield; whose salvation was a shield to him; and more particularly the person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of his Son, called the shield of faith, Ephesians 6:16;

and he in whom I trust; not in men, no, not in princes; but in the Lord only; in his Word, as the Targum; for things temporal and spiritual; for the blessings of grace here, and glory hereafter; of these several titles, see more on Psalm 18:2;

who subdueth my people under me; the people of Israel, all the tribes; whose hearts the Lord inclined to make him king over them all, 2 Samuel 5:1. Or, "the people" (f); so the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions; the Heathen people, the Philistines, Ammonites, Edomites, Moabites, and Syrians; see 2 Samuel 8:1. The former reading seems best, and is followed by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and other versions: and this may be typical of the subduing of Christ's people under him; who are made willing, in the day of his power, to receive and own him as their King; profess subjection to his Gospel, and submit to his ordinances.

(d) "gratia mea", Cocceius, Gejerus. (f) "pro" "populos", Piscator.

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who {b} subdueth my people under me.

(b) He confesses that neither by his own authority, power or policy was his kingdom quiet, but by the secret grace of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Cp. Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:47, and notes there.

My goodness] Rather, my lovingkindness, a bold expression for the God of my lovingkindness (Psalm 59:10; Psalm 59:17), to denote Jehovah as the sum and source of lovingkindness. A partial parallel may be found in Jonah 2:8, but in view of the fact that the verse is almost wholly derived from Psalms 18, it seems not improbable that we should read as in Psalm 18:1, my strength (חזקי for חסרי), or as in Psalm 18:2, my cliff (סלעי), which agrees better with the next epithet my fortress or stronghold.

my deliverer] Lit. my deliverer for me, as in 2 Samuel 22:2. In Psalms 18 for me is omitted.

my shield, and he in whom I have taken refuge] A somewhat awkward variation from the text in Psalms 18, “my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield.”

who subdueth my people under me] The phrase resembles the text of 2 Samuel 22:48 (who bringeth down) more closely than that of Psalm 18:47 (and led subject, a different word from that used here). Instead of my people both texts read peoples, which is supported by some MSS and several Versions (Aq. Syr. Jer. Targ.) here. If Israel is the speaker, this reading must be adopted here, and the reference must be to the subjugation of neighbouring nations: but if the leader of the community is speaking, the more difficult reading ‘my people,’ which is supported by the LXX, may be right. The reference will then be to his success in overcoming internal dissensions (cp. “the strivings of my people,” 2 Samuel 22:44) and the establishment of his authority.

Verse 2. - My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust. The general resemblance to Psalm 18:2 is striking, but there are peculiar and original touches which indicate the author, not the copyist. For instance, the expression, "my goodness," occurs nowhere else. Who subdueth my people under me. Another reading gives, "Who subdueth peoples under me." Either reading suits the circumstances of David, who had to subdue a great portion of his own people under him (2 Samuel 2:8-31; 2 Samuel 3:6-21), and also conquered many foreign nations (2 Samuel 8:1-14). Psalm 144:2The whole of this first strophe is an imitation of David's great song of thanksgiving, Psalm 18. Hence the calling of Jahve "my rock," Psalm 18:3, Psalm 18:47; hence the heaping up of other appellations in Psalm 144:2, in which Psalm 18:3 is echoed; but וּמפלּטי־לי (with Lamed deprived of the Dagesh) follows the model of 2 Samuel 22:2. The naming of Jahve with חסדּי is a bold abbreviation of אלהי חסדּי in Psalm 59:11, 18, as also in Jonah 2:8 the God whom the idolatrous ones forsake is called הסדּם. Instead of מלחמה the Davidic Psalms also poetically say קרב, Psalm 55:22, cf. Psalm 78:9. The expression "who traineth my hands for the fight" we have already read in Psalm 18:35. The last words of the strophe, too, are after Psalm 18:48; but instead of ויּדבּר this poet says הרודד, from רדד equals רדה (cf. Isaiah 45:1; Isaiah 41:2), perhaps under the influence of uwmoriyd in 2 Samuel 22:48. In Psalm 18:48 we however read עמּים, and the Masora has enumerated Psalm 144:2, together with 2 Samuel 22:44; Lamentations 3:14, as the three passages in which it is written עמי, whilst one expects עמים (ג דסבירין עמים), as the Targum, Syriac, and Jerome (yet not the lxx) in fact render it. But neither from the language of the books nor from the popular dialect can it be reasonably expected that they would say עמּי for עמּים in such an ambiguous connection. Either, therefore, we have to read עמים,

(Note: Rashi is acquainted with an otherwise unknown note of the Masora: תחתיו קרי; but this Ker is imaginary.)

or we must fall in with the strong expression, and this is possible: there is, indeed, no necessity for the subduing to be intended of the use of despotic power, it can also be intended to God-given power, and of subjugating authority. David, the anointed one, but not having as yet ascended the throne, here gives expression to the hope that Jahve will grant him deeds of victory which will compel Israel to submit to him, whether willingly or reluctantly.

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