Psalm 17:2
Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Let my sentencei.e., let my cause be tried before Thy tribunal, where it is sure of success, since I am innocent and Thou art just. The second clause is better in the present, “Thine eyes behold,” &c.

The things that are equal.—Heb., meysharîm, which may be either abstract, rectitude, or concrete, the just (Song of Solomon 1:4, Note), or adverbial, justly.

Psalm 17:2. Let my sentence — Hebrew, משׁפשׂי, mishpati, my judgment, that is, judgment in my cause, or on my behalf: come forth from thy presence — From thee, and from thy tribunal, to which I bring my cause. Do not suspend or delay it, but speedily examine my cause, and give sentence in it. Behold the things that are equal — Or right: for though I need and desire thy mercy and favour in many other respects, yet I beg only the interposition of thy justice in this cause between me and them.

17:1-7 This psalm is a prayer. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his favour. The psalmist had been used to pray, so that it was not his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty. And he was encouraged by his faith to expect God would notice his prayers. Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins of the tongue, will be a good evidence of our integrity. Aware of man's propensity to wicked works, and of his own peculiar temptations, David had made God's word his preservative from the paths of Satan, which lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very comfortable in the reflection, when we are in trouble. Those that are, through grace, going in God's paths, should pray that their goings may be held up in those paths. David prays, Lord, still hold me up. Those who would proceed and persevere in the ways of God, must, by faith prayer, get daily fresh supplies of grace and strength from him. Show thy marvellous loving-kindness, distinguishing favours, not common mercies, but be gracious to me; do as thou usest to do to those who love thy name.Let my sentence - Hebrew, "my judgment." The allusion is to a judgment or sentence as coming from God in regard to the matter referred to in the psalm, to wit, the injuries which he had received from his enemies. He felt that they had done him injustice and wrong; he felt assured that a sentence or judgment from God in the case would be in his favor. So Job often felt that if he could bring his case directly before God, God would decide in his favor. Compare Job 23:1-6.

Come forth from thy presence - From before thee. That is, he asks God to pronounce a sentence in his case.

Let thine eyes behold - He asked God to examine the case with his own eyes, or attentively to consider it, and to see where justice was.

The things that are equal - The things that are just and right. He felt assured that his own cause was right, and he prays here that justice in the case may be done. He felt that, if that were done, he would be delivered from his enemies. As between ourselves and our fellow-men, it is right to pray to God that he would see that exact justice should be done, for we may be able to feel certain that justice is on our side, and that we are injured by them; but as between ourselves and God, we can never offer that prayer, for if justice were done to us we could not but be condemned. Before him our plea must be for mercy, not justice.

2. sentence—acquitting judgment.

from thy presence—Thy tribunal.

things that are equal—just and right, do Thou regard.

My sentence, Heb. my right or judgment, i.e. judgment in my cause, or on my behalf.

From thy presence, i.e. from thee, and from thy tribunal, to which I bring my cause. Do not suspend or delay it, but speedily examine my cause and give sentence in it.

Things that are equal, or right. For though I desire and need thy grace and favour in many other respects, yet I beg only thy justice in this cause between me and them.

Let my sentence come forth from thy presence,.... Not of condemnation, such as came forth from God and passed on Adam and all his posterity, Romans 5:12; though such an one was executed on Christ, as he was the surety and representative of his people; but of justification, which came forth from God and passed on Christ, when he rose from the dead, and upon his people in him, 1 Timothy 3:16. Here it chiefly designs the vindication of the innocence of the psalmist before men; and his request is, that as he was fully persuaded that he was clear of the things he was charged with in the sight of God, that he would openly and publicly make him appear so before men; that he would bring forth his righteousness as the light, and his judgment as the noonday, Psalm 37:6; and of which he made no doubt but he would; so Christ, though he was traduced by men, knew he should be justified by his Father, and by his children, Isaiah 50:8;

let thine eyes behold the things that are equal; which is not to be understood barely of the eyes of his omniscience; for these behold things both equal and unequal, good and evil, things which agree and disagree with the law of God, the rule of righteousness and equity; but of his approbation of them, and that he would some way or other testify that approbation; for the petition intends the favouring of his just and equal cause, and making it to appear to be so.

Let my {b} sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

(b) The vengeance that you will show against my enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. The petition. Let my judgement come forth from thy presence. Cp. Psalm 37:6; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 42:3-4; Habakkuk 1:4. Pronounce sentence for me; publish it; give effect to it, and vindicate the justice of my cause.

Let thine eyes &c.] Better, Thine eyes behold equity, or, with equity. The prayer is based on the known character of Jehovah. His discernment is complete and impartial. Cp. Psalm 11:4; Psalm 9:8.

Verse 2. - Let my sentence come forth from thy presence. David does not doubt, any more than Job (Job 13:18), what the sentence will be. As right is on his side (ver. 1), it must be in his favour. Let thine eyes behold the things that are equal; literally, Let thine eyes behold equities. Psalm 17:2צדק is the accusative of the object: the righteousness, intended by the suppliant, is his own (Psalm 17:15). He knows that he is not merely righteous in his relation to man, but also in his relation to God. In all such assertions of pious self-consciousness, that which is intended is a righteousness of life which has its ground in the righteousness of faith. True, Hupfeld is of opinion, that under the Old Testament nothing was known either of righteousness which is by faith or of a righteousness belonging to another and imputed. But if this were true, then Paul was in gross error and Christianity is built upon the sand. But the truth, that faith is the ultimate ground of righteousness, is expressed in Genesis 15:6, and at other turning-points in the course of the history of redemption; and the truth, that the righteousness which avails before God is a gift of grace is, for instance, a thought distinctly marked out in the expression of Jeremiah צדקנוּ ה, "the Lord our righteousness." The Old Testament conception, it is true, looks more to the phenomena than to the root of the matter (ist mehr phnomenell als wurzelhaft), is (so to speak) more Jacobic than Pauline; but the righteousness of life of the Old Testament and that of the New have one and the same basis, viz., in the grace of God, the Redeemer, towards sinful man, who in himself is altogether wanting in righteousness before God (Psalm 143:2). Thus there is no self-righteousness, in David's praying that the righteousness, which in him is persecuted and cries for help, may be heard. For, on the one hand, in his personal relation to Saul, he knows himself to be free from any ungrateful thoughts of usurpation, and on the other, in his personal relation to God free from מרמה, i.e., self-delusion and hypocrisy. The shrill cry for help, רנּה, which he raises, is such as may be heard and answered, because they are not lips of deceit with which he prays. The actual fact is manifest לפני יהוה, therefore may his right go forth מלּפניו, - just what does happen, by its being publicly proclaimed and openly maintained - from Him, for His eyes, the eyes of Him who knoweth the hearts (Psalm 11:4), behold מישׁרים (as in Psalm 58:2; Psalm 75:3 equals בּמישׁרים, Psalm 9:9, and many other passages), in uprightness, i.e., in accordance with the facts of the case and without partiality. מישׁרים might also be an accusative of the object (cf. 1 Chronicles 29:17), but the usage of the language much more strongly favours the adverbial rendering, which is made still more natural by the confirmatory relation in which Psalm 17:2 stands to Psalm 17:2.
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