Psalm 18:27
For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt 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. Psalm 18:27(Heb.: 18:25-28) What was said in Psalm 18:21 is again expressed here as a result of the foregoing, and substantiated in Psalm 18:26, Psalm 18:27. חסיד is a friend of God and man, just as pius is used of behaviour to men as well as towards God. גּבר תמים the man (construct of גּבר) of moral and religious completeness (integri equals integritatis, cf. Psalm 15:2), i.e., of undivided devotion to God. נבר (instead of which we find בּר לבב elsewhere, Psalm 24:4; Psalm 73:1) not one who is purified, but, in accordance with the reflexive primary meaning of Niph., one who is purifying himself, ἁγνίζων ἑαυτόν, 1 John 3:3. עקּשׁ (the opposite of ישׂר) one who is morally distorted, perverse. Freely formed Hithpaels are used with these attributive words to give expression to the corresponding self-manifestation: התחסּד, התּמּם (Ges. 54, 2, b), התבּרר, and התפּתּל (to show one's self נפתּל or פּתלתּל). The fervent love of the godly man God requites with confiding love, the entire submission of the upright with a full measure of grace, the endeavour after purity by an unbeclouded charity (cf. Psalm 73:1), moral perverseness by paradoxical judgments, giving the perverse over to his perverseness (Romans 1:28) and leading him by strange ways to final condemnation (Isaiah 29:14, cf. Leviticus 26:23.). The truth, which is here enunciated, is not that the conception which man forms of God is the reflected image of his own mind and heart, but that God's conduct to man is the reflection of the relation in which man has placed himself to God; cf. 1 Samuel 2:30; 1 Samuel 15:23. This universal truth is illustrated and substantiated in Psalm 18:28. The people who are bowed down by affliction experience God's condescension, to their salvation; and their haughty oppressors, god's exaltation, to their humiliation. Lofty, proud eyes are among the seven things that Jahve hateth, according to Proverbs 6:17. The judgment of God compels them to humble themselves with shame, Isaiah 2:11.
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