You have enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou hast enlarged my steps.—Comp. Psalm 31:8, which explains the phrase; also Psalm 18:19 above.Psalm 18:36. Thou hast enlarged my steps — Which before were confined within narrow limits, and entangled with the straitness and difficulty of the way. Thou hast set my feet in a large room, Psalm 31:8; Psalm 118:5. It must be observed, that the eastern writers were wont to denote any person’s condition in life by his steps, or goings. Hence narrow, or straitened steps, according to their phraseology, signified a state of distress and great affliction; and large and unconfined steps, the contrary state of prosperity and plenty. So that David here praises God for advancing him to great honour and prosperity. That my feet did not slip — Or stumble, as they are apt to do in narrow and uneven ways.Psalm 31:8, "Thou hast set my feet in a large room." The idea is, that he was before straitened, compressed, hindered in his goings, but that now all obstacles had been taken out of the way, and he could walk freely.
That my feet did not slip - Margin, mine ancles. The Hebrew word here rendered in the text feet, and in the margin ancles, means properly a joint; small joint; especially the ancle. The reference here is to the ancle, the joint that is so useful in walking, and that is so liable to be sprained or dislocated. The meaning is that he had been enabled to walk firmly; that he did not limp. Before, he had been like one whose ancles are weak or sprained; now he was able to tread firmly. The divine favor given to him was as if God had given strength to a lame man to walk firmly.Thou hast enlarged my steps; which before were straitened and confined to a little compass, and entangled with the narrowness and difficulty of the way. Thou hast set my feet in a large room, Psalm 31:8 118:5, i.e. thou hast brought me out of all my straits and difficulties into a state of freedom and safety.
Slip, or stumble, as they are apt to do in narrow and uneven ways. Psalm 18:4; and is expressive of deliverance from his enemies, by whom he was surrounded, besieged, and shut up; see Psalm 31:8; and of freedom of walking at large, without being straitened for room, or interrupted by others, Proverbs 4:12; and of safety in standing; all which is true in a spiritual sense of believers in Christ, who being delivered by him out of the hands of their enemies, serve the Lord without fear in righteousness and holiness; walk at liberty by faith in Christ, and up and down in the name of the Lord their God; and have their feet established upon the Rock of ages, that sure and large foundation, Christ, from which there is no danger of slipping and falling; as follows;
that my feet did not slip; so as to fall and perish; for sometimes the steps of the saints are well nigh slipped; yea, in some sense they stumble; slip, and fall, but not so as to be utterly cast down and perish eternally; the bottom on which they are is so broad, and the foundation so sure, that it is not possible they should. The words will bear to be applied to Christ, who was in very pressed and straitened circumstances, when beset with the bulls of Bashan, encompassed with dogs, and enclosed with the assembly of the wicked; and was in slippery places, when he sunk in deep mire where there is no standing, Psalm 22:12; but now being delivered from all this, he is brought, as in Psalm 18:19, into a large place, into heaven, and made higher than the heavens, and is set down at the right hand of God, from whence he can never be moved.Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)36. enlarged my steps &c.] Given me free space for unobstructed movement (cp. Psalm 18:19; Proverbs 4:12), and the power to advance with firm, unwavering steps.Verse 36. - Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. Job often complained that God "hedged in his steps" (Job 3:23) and "fenced up his way" (Job 19:5), so that he had no liberty of movement. David enumerates among the blessings which he receives of God, the freedom which he enjoys (comp. Psalm 31:8). He is at liberty to go where he likes. and also his footsteps "do not slip." This is rather an independent clause than a consequence. Translate, and my ankles slip not. Psalm 18:29. as imperfects; but the sequence of the tenses, which would bring this rendering with it, is in this instance interrupted, as it has been even in Psalm 18:28, by כּי. The lamp, נר (contracted from nawer), is an image of life, which as it were burns on and on, including the idea of prosperity and high rank; in the form ניר (from niwr, nijr) it is the usual figurative word for the continuance of the house of David, 1 Kings 11:36, and frequently. David's life and dominion, as the covenant king, is the lamp which God's favour has lighted for the well-being of Israel, and His power will not allow this lamp (2 Samuel 21:17) to be quenched. The darkness which breaks in upon David and his house is always lighted up again by Jahve. For His strength is mighty in the weak; in, with, and by Him he can do all things. The fut. ארץ may be all the more surely derived from רצץ ( equals ארץ), inasmuch as this verb has the changeable u in the future also in Isaiah 42:4; Ecclesiastes 12:6. The text of 2 Samuel 22, however, certainly seems to put "rushing upon" in the stead of "breaking down." With Psalm 18:31 the first half of the hymn closes epiphonematically. האל is a nom. absol., like hatsuwr, Deuteronomy 32:4. This old Mosaic utterance is re-echoed here, as in 2 Samuel 7:22, in the mouth of David. The article of האל points to God as being manifest in past history. His way is faultless and blameless. His word is צרוּפה, not slaggy ore, but purified solid gold, Psalm 12:7. Whoever retreats into Him, the God of the promise, is shielded from every danger. Proverbs 30:5 is borrowed from this passage.
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