Psalm 18:27
For you will save the afflicted people; but will bring down high looks.
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(27) High looks.—See variation in Samuel.

The afflicted people.—Better, afflicted folk, with no distinctive reference to Israel, except, of course, I when the poem became adapted for congregational use.

18:20-28 Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, Le 26:21-24. The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; Thou wilt bring down high looks. And he speaks encouragement to himself; Thou wilt light my candle: thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them.For thou wilt save the afflicted people - From the particular tokens of divine favor toward himself in affliction and trouble, the psalmist now draws the general inference that this was the character of God, and that others in affliction might hope for his interposition as he had done.

But wilt bring down high looks - Another general inference probably derived from the dealings of God with the proud and haughty foes of the psalmist. As God had humbled them, so he infers that he would deal with others in the same way. "High looks" are indicative of pride and haughtiness. Compare Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 6:17; Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 2:11 (notes); Isaiah 10:12; Daniel 7:20.

27. the afflicted people—that is, the humbly pious.

high looks—pride (Ps 101:5; 131:1).

The afflicted people; such as I and my poor followers were.

High looks, i.e. proud persons, who discover the pride of their hearts by their haughty looks and carriages, Psalm 101:5 Proverbs 6:17, such as mine enemies were. For thou wilt save the afflicted people,.... As the people of God commonly are; they are afflicted with sin, and the corruption of their own hearts, and with Satan and his temptations, and with the world, its reproaches, and persecutions; but God in his own time saves them out of them, if not here, yet hereafter. This is particularly and eminently true of the Christians who lived between the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem; who were greatly afflicted and persecuted by the Jews, but were in a remarkable manner saved a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, by being directed to go out of it to a place called Pella (c); so that not one Christian suffered in it;

but wilt bring down high looks; or proud men, whom God humbles; these he abhors, resists, sets himself against, scatters and destroys. The Jews were a very proud people, and behaved in an insolent and insulting manner towards Christ and his followers; but the high looks of the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, were brought down to a purpose, when their city, temple, and nation, were destroyed; see Isaiah 2:11.

(c) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 5.

For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt {u} bring down high looks.

(u) When their sin is come to the full measure.

27. For thou wilt save &c.] 2 Sam. has the better reading, “and the afflicted people thou wilt save.”

the afflicted people] Or, lowly: those who have learnt humility in the school of suffering. See note on Psalm 9:12, and cp. Zephaniah 3:12.

but wilt bring down &c.] But haughty eyes wilt thou bring low. “Haughty eyes” are one of the seven things which are an abomination to Jehovah (Proverbs 6:17). Cp. Isaiah 2:11-12; Isaiah 2:17.

The parallel text in 2 Sam. has, “Thine eyes are upon the haughty, whom thou wilt bring low.”Verse 27. - For thou wilt save the afflicted people; i.e. the oppressed and down-trodden, who are assumed to be pious and God-fearing (comp. Psalm 10:12-14; Psalm 11:2, etc.). But wilt bring down high looks (comp. Psalm 101:5 and Proverbs 6:17). The fact of "pride going before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall," was noticed by the heathen of the ancient world, no less than by the" peculiar people." And both alike attributed the downfall of the proud to God. "Seest thou," says Herodotus, "how God with his lightning smites always the bigger animals, and will not suffer them to wax insolent, while those of a lesser bulk chafe him not? How likewise his bolts ever fall on the highest houses and the tallest trees? So plainly does he love to bring down everything that exalts itself. Thus ofttimes a mighty host is discomfited by a few men, when God in his jealousy sends panic or storm from heaven, and they perish in a way unworthy of them. For God allows no one to have high thoughts but himself" (vii. 10, § 5). But the heathen seem to have imagined that God envied the proud ones, and therefore cast them down. (Heb.: 18:21-24) On גּמל (like שׁלּם with the accusative not merely of the thing, but also of the person, e.g., 1 Samuel 24:18), εὐ or κακῶς πράττειν τινά, vid., on Psalm 7:5. שׁמר, to observe equals to keep, is used in the same way in Job 22:15. רשׁע מן is a pregnant expression of the malitiosa desertio. "From God's side," i.e., in His judgment, would be contrary to the general usage of the language (for the מן in Job 4:17 has a different meaning) and would be but a chilling addition. On the poetical form מנּי, in pause מנּי, vid., Ew. 263, b. The fut. in Psalm 18:23, close after the substantival clause Psalm 18:23, is not intended of the habit in the past, but at the present time: he has not wickedly forsaken God, but (כּי equals imo, sed) always has God's commandments present before him as his rule of conduct, and has not put them far away out of his sight, in order to be able to sin with less compunction; and thus then (fut. consec.) in relation (עם, as in Deuteronomy 18:13, cf. 2 Samuel 23:5) to God he was תמים, with his whole soul undividedly devoted to Him, and he guarded himself against his iniquity (עון, from עוה, Arab. 'wâ, to twist, pervert, cf. Arab. gwâ, of error, delusion, self-enlightenment), i.e., not: against acquiescence in his in-dwelling sin, but: against iniquity becoming in any way his own; מעוני equivalent to מעותי (Daniel 9:5), cf. מחיּי equals than that I should live, Jonah 4:8. In this strophe, this Psalm strikes a cord that harmonises with Psalm 17:1-15, after which it is therefore placed. We may compare David's own testimony concerning himself in 1 Samuel 26:23., the testimony of God in 1 Kings 14:8, and the testimony of history in 1 Kings 15:5; 1 Kings 11:4.
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