Psalm 17:10
They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
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(10) They are inclosed . . .—Literally, Their fat have they shut up. So LXX. and Vulgate, without indicating the meaning. But the “proudly” of the next clause suggests that “fat” is only a figure for the conceit of prosperity, and as that verb is active, the word mouth should be joined with it as object from the next clause, “In their conceit they shut their mouth; (when they do speak) they speak proudly.

Psalm 17:10. They are enclosed in their own fat — They live in great splendour and prosperity, while I am exercised with many sore troubles. A similar phrase occurs Job 15:27; Psalm 73:1. Dr. Dodd considers it as “a poetical, or proverbial speech, to signify haughtiness, as caused by wealth or great prosperity; together with that indulgence of the sensual appetites, and disregard to the duties of religion, which are a consequence of such haughtiness.” Jeshurun waxed fat, that is, rich and prosperous; and the consequence was, that he kicked, grew refractory, proud, and insolent, and would not submit to the yoke of God’s law, but lifted up the heel against him. The psalmist adds here, They speak proudly — Boasting of their own power, and of the great things they had done, or would do. “Pride,” says Dr. Horne, “is the child of plenty, begotten by self- indulgence, which hardens the hearts of men against the fear of God and the love of their neighbours; rendering them insensible of the judgments of the former and the miseries of the latter. Let every man take care,” adds he, “that by pampering the flesh, he do not raise up an enemy of this stamp against himself.”

17:8-15 Being compassed with enemies, David prays to God to keep him in safety. This prayer is a prediction that Christ would be preserved, through all the hardships and difficulties of his humiliation, to the glories and joys of his exalted state, and is a pattern to Christians to commit the keeping of their souls to God, trusting him to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom. Those are our worst enemies, that are enemies to our souls. They are God's sword, which cannot move without him, and which he will sheathe when he has done his work with it. They are his hand, by which he chastises his people. There is no fleeing from God's hand, but by fleeing to it. It is very comfortable, when we are in fear of the power of man, to see it dependent upon, and in subjection to the power of God. Most men look on the things of this world as the best things; and they look no further, nor show any care to provide for another life. The things of this world are called treasures, they are so accounted; but to the soul, and when compared with eternal blessings, they are trash. The most afflicted Christian need not envy the most prosperous men of the world, who have their portion in this life. Clothed with Christ's righteousness, having through his grace a good heart and a good life, may we by faith behold God's face, and set him always before us. When we awake every morning, may we be satisfied with his likeness set before us in his word, and with his likeness stamped upon us by his renewing grace. Happiness in the other world is prepared only for those that are justified and sanctified: they shall be put in possession of it when the soul awakes, at death, out of its slumber in the body, and when the body awakes, at the resurrection, out of its slumber in the grave. There is no satisfaction for a soul but in God, and in his good will towards us, and his good work in us; yet that satisfaction will not be perfect till we come to heaven.They are enclosed in their own fat - The meaning here is, that they were prosperous, and that they were consequently self-confident and proud, and were regardless of others. The phrase occurs several times as descriptive of the wicked in a state of prosperity, and as, therefore, insensible to the rights, the wants, and the sufferings of others. Compare Deuteronomy 32:15, "But Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked: thou art waxed fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him," etc. Job 15:27, "because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks." Psalm 73:7, "their eyes stand out with fatness." Psalm 119:70, "their heart is as fat as grease."

With their mouth they speak proudly - Haughtily; in an arrogant tone; as a consequence of their prosperity.

10. enclosed … fat—are become proud in prosperity, and insolent to God (De 32:15; Ps 73:7). They live in great splendour and prosperity, whilst I am exercised with many and sore troubles. The like phrase we have Job 15:27 Psalm 73:7.

They speak proudly; not only against us, whom they scorn, but even against God himself, whom they despise, boasting of their own power, and what great things they will certainly effect against me.

They are enclosed in their own fat,.... Or "their fat has enclosed them"; either their eyes, that they can hardly see out of them, or their hearts, so that they are stupid and senseless, and devoid of the fear of God; the phrase is expressive of the multitude of their wealth and increase of power, by which they were swelled with pride and vanity, and neither feared God nor regarded man; so the Targum paraphrases it,

"their riches are multiplied, their fat covers them;''

see Deuteronomy 32:15; some read it, "their fat shuts their mouths", so Aben Ezra and Kimchi; or "with their fat they shut them" (h); but the accent "athnach" will not admit of this reading; the last word belongs to the next clause;

with their mouth they speak proudly; against God and his people, belching out blasphemies against the one, and severe menaces and threatenings against the other.

(h) So De Dieu.

They are inclosed in their own {i} fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

(i) They are puffed up with pride, as the stomach that is choked with fat.

10. Prosperity has resulted in obtuse self-complacency and contemptuous arrogance. Cp. Psalm 73:7-8; Job 15:27. The right rendering of 10 a is however probably (cp. R.V. marg.) Their heart (lit. midriff) have they shut up. They have closed it against every influence for good and all sympathy. Cp. 1 John 3:17. See for this explanation Prof. Robertson Smith’s Religion of the Semites, p. 360.

they speak proudly] Cp. Psalm 12:3 ff.; Psalm 10:2; Psalm 31:18; Psalm 73:6.

10–12. The character of his enemies.

Verse 10. - They are enclosed in their own fat (comp. Deuteronomy 32:15; Job 15:27; Psalm 119:70). Self-indulgence has hardened their feelings and dulled their souls. An organ enclosed in fat cannot work freely. So their feelings cannot work as nature intended through the coarseness and hardness in which they are, as it were, embedded. With their mouth they speak proudly (comp. Psalm 12:3, 4; Psalm 86:14). Psalm 17:10Psalm 17:10 tell what sort of people these persecutors are. Their heart is called fat, adeps, not as though חלב could in itself be equivalent to לב, more especially as both words are radically distinct (חלב from the root לב, λιπ; לב from the root לב, לף to envelope: that which is enveloped, the kernel, the inside), but (without any need for von Ortenberg's conjecture חלב לבּמו סגרוּ "they close their heart with fat") because it is, as it were, entirely fat (Psalm 119:70, cf. Psalm 73:7), and because it is inaccessible to any feeling of compassion, and in general incapable of the nobler emotions. To shut up the fat equals the heart (cf. κλείειν τὰ σπλάγχνα 1 John 3:17), is equivalent to: to fortify one's self wilfully in indifference to sympathy, tender feeling, and all noble feelings (cf. השׁמין לב equals to harden, Isaiah 6:10). The construction of פּימו (which agrees in sound with פּימה, Job 15:27) is just the same as that of קולי, Psalm 3:5. On the other hand, אשּׁוּרנוּ (after the form עמּוּד and written plene) is neither such an accusative of the means or instrument, nor the second accusative, beside the accusative of the object, of that by which the object is surrounded, that is usually found with verbs of surrounding (e.g., Psalm 5:13; Psalm 32:7); for "they have surrounded me (us) with our step" is unintelligible. But אשׁורנו can be the accusative of the member, as in Psalm 3:8, cf. Psalm 22:17, Genesis 3:15, for "it is true the step is not a member" (Hitz.), but since "step" and "foot" are interchangeable notions, Psalm 73:2, the σχῆμα καθ ̓ ὅλον καὶ μέρος is applicable to the former, and as, e.g., Homer says, Iliad vii. 355: σὲ μάλιστα πόνος φρένας ἀμφιβέβηκεν, the Hebrew poet can also say: they have encompassed us (and in fact) our steps, each of our steps (so that we cannot go forwards or backwards with our feet). The Ker סבבוּנוּ gets rid of the change in number which we have with the Chethb סבבוני; the latter, however, is admissible according to parallels like Psalm 62:5, and corresponds to David's position, who is hunted by Saul and at the present time driven into a strait at the head of a small company of faithful followers. Their eyes - he goes on to say in Psalm 17:11 - have they set to fell, viz., us, who are encompassed, to the earth, i.e., so that we shall be cast to the ground. נטה is transitive, as in Psalm 18:10; Psalm 62:4, in the transitively applied sense of Psalm 73:2 (cf. Psalm 37:31): to incline to fall (whereas in Psalm 44:19, Job 31:7, it means to turn away from); and בּארץ (without any need fore the conjecture בּארח) expresses the final issue, instead of לארץ, Psalm 7:6. By the expression דּמינו one is prominently singled out from the host of the enemy, viz., its chief, the words being: his likeness is as a lion, according to the peculiarity of the poetical style, of changing verbal into substantival clauses, instead of דּמה כּאריה. Since in Old Testament Hebrew, as also in Syriac and Arabic, כ is only a preposition, not a connective conjunction, it cannot be rendered: as a lion longs to prey, but: as a lion that is greedy or hungry (cf. Arab. ksf, used of sinking away, decline, obscuring or eclipsing, growing pale, and Arab. chsf, more especially of enfeebling, hunger, distinct from חשׂף equals Arab. ks̆f, to peel off, make bare) to ravin. In the parallel member of the verse the participle alternates with the attributive clause. כּפיר is (according to Meier) the young lion as being covered with thicker hair.
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