For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 32:31, where we see that “rock” was a common term among the tribes of Canaan for their divinities. Notice some trifling variations in Samuel.
tried—"as metals are tried by fire and proved genuine" (Ps 12:6). Shield (Ps 3:3). Girding was essential to free motion on account of the looseness of Oriental dresses; hence it is an expressive figure for describing the gift of strength.
or who is a rock save our God? to have recourse to for shelter and protection; or to trust to, and build upon, for eternal life and salvation. False gods are rocks; but not like ours, our enemies themselves being judges, Deuteronomy 32:31; so Apollo at Delphos is called the Delphian rock (n): the words seem to be taken from, or at least there is in them a reference to, 1 Samuel 2:2.For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. For who is a God save Jehovah?
And who is a Rock beside our God?
Jehovah alone is Elôah, a God to be feared and reverenced. The singular Elôah is found instead of the usual plural Elohim elsewhere in the Psalter only in Psalm 50:22; Psalm 114:7; Psalm 139:19. It is used frequently in Job; in Deuteronomy 32:15; Deuteronomy 32:17; Isaiah 44:8; Habakkuk 1:11; Habakkuk 3:3; and in a few other passages.
For Rock see note on Psalm 18:2; and for similar declarations of the unique character of Jehovah cp. Deuteronomy 32:31; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 7:22.
31–34. The unique character of Jehovah, to whom alone David owes all that he is. Observe how he recognises that the advantages of physical strength and energy, important qualifications in times when the king was himself the leader of the people in battle, were gifts of God; yet that it was not these which saved him and made him victorious, but Jehovah’s care and help (Psalm 18:35 ff.). Cp. 1 Samuel 17:34-36.Verse 31. - For who is God save the Lord (see Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 32:39). As the one and only God, absolute confidence may be placed in Jehovah, who is able to protect and preserve to the uttermost all who serve him (comp. 2 Samuel 7:22-29). Or who is a Rock save our God? (comp. ver. 2; and see also Deuteronomy 32:4, 18, 30, 31; and Psalm 61:2). 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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