Psalm 18:29
For by you I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
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(29) Better with the verbs in the present—

“For by thee I scatter a troop,

By thee I scale walls.”

A graphic reminiscence of warlike exploits. Some, however, read from Samuel “break down,” instead of “leap over.”

18:29-50 When we praise for one mercy, we must observe the many more, with which we have been compassed all our days. Many things had contributed to David's advancement, and he owns the hand of God in them all, to teach us to do likewise. In verseFor by thee I have run through a troop - Margin, broken. The word troop here refers to bands of soldiers, or hosts of enemies. The word rendered run through means properly to run; and then, as here, to run or rush upon in a hostile sense; to rush with violence upon one. The idea here is that he had been enabled to rush with violence upon his armed opposers; that is, to overcome them, and to secure a victory. The allusion is to the wars in which he had been engaged. Compare Psalm 115:1.

And by my God - By the help derived from God.

Have I leaped over a wall - Have I been delivered, as if I had leaped over a wall when I was besieged; or, I have been able to scale the walls of an enemy, and to secure a victory. The probability is that the latter is the true idea, and that he refers to his successful attacks on the fortified towns of his enemies. The general idea is, that all his victories were to be traced to God.

29. And this on past experience in his military life, set forth by these figures.29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.

42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.


By thee I have broken through the armed troops of mine enemies. I have sealed the walls of their strongest cities and castles, and so taken them. For by thee I have run through a troop,.... Or, "I have run to a troop": to meet one (f) with courage and intrepidity, as some interpret it (g); or, as others (h), "I have run after a troop": that is, pursued after one, as David pursued after the troops of the Amalekites who burnt Ziklag, 1 Samuel 30:8; to which Jarchi refers this passage; or rather, "I have broke a troop", or "through one" (i); for the word, as some Jewish writers (k) observe, comes from a root which signifies to "break" in pieces, and is fitly used for the destroying or cutting in pieces a troop of the enemy; and is true of Christ, when he engaged with the troops of hell, and broke the squadrons of the infernal fiends, and spoiled or disarmed principalities and powers, and triumphed over them on the cross, and made a show of them openly, when he dragged them at his chariot wheels, and led captivity captive;

and by my God have I leaped over a wall; which refers to the scaling of walls, and taking of fortified places; and so the Targum, "By the word of my God I will subdue fortified towns"; so Apollinarius has it, passed over a tower, or took it; which was literally true of David, in many instances. Jarchi applies this to his taking the fortress of Zion from the Jebusites: a learned writer (l) thinks this refers to his leaping over the city wall, and slipping through the city watch, when Michal let him down through a window: it may be applied to Christ, who broke down the middle wail of partition, the ceremonial law, which stood between Jew and Gentile; or rather it may design the many difficulties which were in the way of the salvation of his people, which he surmounted and got over with great strength and swiftness; such as fulfilling the law, satisfying justice, bearing sin, and making atonement for it, undergoing a shameful and an accursed death, and grappling with numerous enemies, whom he conquered; and he is said to do all this by his God; because, as man and Mediator, he was strengthened and assisted by him.

(f) "occurram turmae", so some in Vatablus. (g) Apud Kimchi in loc. (h) Apud Aben Ezra in loc. (i) "Conteram", Pagninus; "perfregi", Vatablus; "perrupi", Musculus; "perrumpo", Tigurine version, Castalio; so Ainsworth. (k) Kimchi & Ben Melech. (l) Delaney's Life of King David, vol. 1. p. 62.

For by thee I have {x} run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

(x) He attributes it to God that he both got the victory in the field and also destroyed the cities of his enemies.

29. For by thee I run after a troop,

And by my God I leap over a wall.

The language is general, but it seems to contain a reminiscence of two memorable events in David’s life: the successful pursuit of the predatory ‘troop’ of Amalekites which had sacked Ziklag (1 Samuel 30; in Psalm 18:8; Psalm 18:15; Psalm 18:23 the same word troop is used of the Amalekites): and the capture of Zion, effected with such unexpected ease that he seemed to have leapt over the walls which its defenders boasted were impregnable (2 Samuel 5:6-8).

The rendering run after is preferable to break (A.V. marg.). The point is the speed of the pursuit, not the completeness of the defeat.Verse 29. - For by thee I have run through a troop. The military key-note is at once struck. Gedud (גְּדוּד) is a marauding band of light-armed troops sent out to plunder an enemy's country. David "ran through" such a "troop," when he pursued and defeated the Amalekites who had plundered and burnt Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:17). It is called three times a gedud (vers. 8 and 15 twice). And by my God have I leaped over a wall. Shur (שׁוּר) is a rare word for "wall," occurring in the Hebrew text only here and in Genesis 49:22, though used also of the walls of Jerusalem in the Chaldee of Ezra (Ezra 4:12, 13, 16). It may designate the walls of Jerusalem in this place, and David may intend to allude to his conquest of the stronghold of Zion from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6, 7). (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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