Psalm 18:32
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
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(32) The verse should run on closely from the last. The italics spoil it.

Girdeth.—The importance of the girdle in a country where the dress was loose and flowing is shown by many passages of Scripture. It is essential to the warrior as here (comp. Ephesians 6:14, and the Greek expression, “to be girt” = to be armed), but also for all active exertion.

Way.—Here, not of conduct, but the military path, the march. Notice the variation in Samuel.

Psalm 18:32. It is God that girdeth me with strength — That inspires me with courage, fortitude, and resolution, and gives me strength both of mind and body in battle and war. It is a metaphor taken, either from a military girdle, or a common girdle, wherewith their loose garments were girded about them, and whereby they were rendered fitter for any action. He maketh my way perfect — Perfectly plain, and clear from impediments, as pioneers use to prepare the way for the march of an army. Or, the meaning is, he guides me in all my counsels and enterprises, so that I neither miss my way, nor stumble in it, nor come short of my end. “A man’s way, in the pursuit of any end, is perfect when the means he uses to attain it are proper and direct, and will finally render him successful in it: and thus God made David’s way perfect as he gave him the surest directions how to act, and prospered him in all his measures, to support the dignity of his crown and government.” — Chandler.

18:32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.It is God that girdeth me with strength - Who gives me strength. The word girdeth contains an allusion to the mode of dress among the orientals, the long flowing robe, which was girded up when they ran or labored, that it might not impede them; and, probably, with the additional idea that girding the loins contributed to strength. It is a common custom now for men who run a race, or leap, or engage in a strife of pugilism, to gird or bind up their loins. See Job 40:7, note; and Matthew 5:38-41, notes.

And maketh my way perfect - Gives me complete success in my undertakings; or, enables me so to carry them out that none of them fail.

30-32. God's perfection is the source of his own, which has resulted from his trust on the one hand, and God's promised help on the other.

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.

That girdeth me with strength; that gives me strength both of mind and body for battle. It is a metaphor taken either from a military girdle, or from a common girdle, wherewith their loose garments were girt about them, whereby they were rendered fitter for any action.

Perfect, i.e. perfectly plain and smooth, and clear from impediments, as pioneers use to prepare the way for the march of an army. He guided me in all my counsels and enterprises, so that I neither miss my way, nor stumble in it, nor come short of my end.

It is God that girdeth me with strength,.... For battle, as in Psalm 18:39; with strength of body and fortitude of mind; both which are from the Lord, and were in David; and were acknowledged by him as bestowed on him by the Lord; and which confirms what he had before said of him: or with spiritual strength, with strength in his soul, against sin, Satan, and the world; and to do the will and work of God: saints are girt by the Lord with the whole armour of God, and among the rest with the girdle of truth; and are prepared and ready to every good work; see 1 Samuel 2:4. Hannah's song is again referred to: in 2 Samuel 22:33, the words are, "God is my strength and power"; they are true of Christ, the man of God's right hand, whom he promised to strengthen, and whom he has made strong for himself, Psalm 80:17;

and maketh my way perfect; or safe, or prosperous. God removed every impediment and obstacle out of his way, and made it plain and easy, as Jarchi observes; and succeeded him, and gave him victory over his enemies; this has been verified in Christ, who has conquered sin, Satan, the world, death, and the grave: for this is not to be understood of the way and course of David's life and conversation, which was not perfect and unspotted, but had many blemishes and imperfections in it, which he often owns, confesses, and bewails.

It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my {z} way perfect.

(z) He gives good success to all my enterprises.

32. It is God] R.V., The God [El] that girdeth me with strength. Cp. Psalm 18:39; Psalm 93:1; 1 Samuel 2:4.

maketh my way perfect] Removing the obstacles which might have hindered me from the complete accomplishment of the career He has marked out for me. Observe the analogy between the perfection of God’s way (Psalm 18:30) and His servant’s. Cp. Matthew 5:48 for a higher development of the same thought.

The traditional reading (Qrç) in 2 Sam. is, “God is my strong fortress, and guideth my way in perfectness”; while the written text (Kthîbh) has, “he guideth the perfect in his way”: but the exact meaning is obscure. A simpler word has apparently been substituted in the text of the Psalm.

Verse 32. - It is God that girdeth me with strength (comp. ver. 39). And maketh my way perfect. Keeps me, i.e., in the right way - the way of his commandments. Psalm 18:32(Heb.: 18:32-35) The grateful description of the tokens of favour he has experienced takes a new flight, and is continued in the second half of the Psalm in a more varied and less artificial mixture of the strophes. What is said in Psalm 18:31 of the way and word of Jahve and of Jahve Himself, is confirmed in Psalm 18:32 by the fact that He alone is אלוהּ, a divine being to be reverenced, and He alone is צוּר, a rock, i.e., a ground of confidence that cannot be shaken. What is said in Psalm 18:31 consequently can be said only of Him. מבּלעדי and זוּלתי alternate; the former (with a negative intensive מן) signifies "without reference to" and then absolutely "without" or besides, and the latter (with ı̂ as a connecting vowel, which elsewhere has also the function of a suffix), from זוּלת (זוּלה), "exception." The verses immediately following are attached descriptively to אלהינוּ, our God (i.e., the God of Israel), the God, who girded me with strength; and accordingly (fut. consec.) made my way תמים, "perfect," i.e., absolutely smooth, free from stumblings and errors, leading straight forward to a divine goal. The idea is no other than that in Psalm 18:31, cf. Job 22:3, except that the freedom from error here is intended to be understood in accordance with its reference to the way of a man, of a king, and of a warrior; cf. moreover, the other text. The verb שׁוּה signifies, like Arab. swwâ, to make equal (aequare), to arrange, to set right; the dependent passage Habakkuk 3:19 has, instead of this verb, the more uncoloured שׁים. The hind, איּלה or איּלת, is the perfection of swiftness (cf. ἔλαφος and ἐλαφρός) and also of gracefulness among animals. "Like the hinds" is equivalent to like hinds' feet; the Hebrew style leaves it to the reader to infer the appropriate point of comparison from the figure. It is not swiftness in flight (De Wette), but in attack and pursuit that is meant, - the latter being a prominent characteristic of warriors, according to 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8. David does not call the high places of the enemy, which he has made his own by conquest "my high places," but those heights of the Holy Land which belong to him as king of Israel: upon these Jahve preserves him a firm position, so that from them he may rule the land far and wide, and hold them victoriously (cf. passages like Deuteronomy 32:13; Isaiah 58:14). The verb למּד, which has a double accusative in other instances, is here combined with ל of the subject taught, as the aim of the teaching. The verb נחת (to press down equals to bend a bow) precedes the subject "my arms" in the singular; this inequality is admissible even when the subject stands first (e.g., Genesis 49:22; Joel 1:20; Zechariah 6:14). קשׁת נחוּשׁה a bow of brazen equals of brass, as in Job 20:24. It is also the manner of heroes in Homer and in the Ram-jana to press down and bend with their hand a brazen bow, one end of which rests on the ground.
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