Psalm 18:45
The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
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(45) Fade awayi.e., wither like vegetation before a scorching blast.

Be afraid out of their close places.—Better, come trembling out of their castles. LXX. and Vulgate have “grow old and came limping from their paths.”

Psalm 18:45. The strangers shall fade away — Shall wither and decay in their hopes end strength; and be afraid — That is, shall come trembling, one verb being put for two; out of their close places — Out of their strong holds, where they shall lurk and keep themselves close, for fear of me, not daring to stir out without trembling, lest I should assault and take them. Dr. Waterland renders it, They shall faint away, and come creeping out of their coverts. Grotius’s comment is, “They shall suspect their safety in the very places to which they flee for refuge.”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.The strangers shall fade away - Hebrew, "The sons of the stranger." That is, foreigners. The word rendered fade away - נבל nâbêl - means properly to wilt, wither, fall away, as applicable to flowers, leaves, or plants, Psalm 1:3; Psalm 37:2; Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 28:1. Here it means that those foreign nations would diminish in numbers and in power, until they should wholly disappear. The idea is, that all his foes would vanish, and that he and his kingdom would be left in peace.

And be afraid out of their close places - The word rendered be afraid means to tremble - as those do who are in fear. The word rendered close places means places that are shut up or enclosed, as fortified cities or fortresses. The reference is to their places of retreat, towns, castles, fortresses. The meaning is, that they would find such places to be no security, and would tremble out of them; that is, they would flee out of them in consternation and alarm. The general thought is that of ultimate complete security for himself and his kingdom, or entire deliverance from all his enemies.

44. submit, &c.—(compare Margin)—that is, show a forced subjection. Shall fade away, i.e. shall wither and decay in their hopes and strength.

Be afraid, i.e. shall come trembling; one verb being put for two, as Psalm 22:21, thou hast heard me, i.e. having delivered me; and Psalm 42:1, panteth, i.e. panting hasteneth; and in many other places.

Out of their close places; out of their strong holds, where they shall lurk and keep themselves for fear of me, and whence they dare not stir without trembling. Or, for (as the particle mere is oft used)

their close places, i.e. lest I should assault and take them. The strangers shall fade away,.... Like the leaves of trees in autumn, when they fall and perish; to which hypocrites and nominal professors are compared, Jde 1:12;

and be afraid out of their close places; their towers and fortified places, or the rocks and mountains to which they betake themselves for shelter; but, as not thinking themselves safe enough, through fear and dread, come out of them; see Micah 7:17. Some Jewish writers (q) interpret the words, they shall halt or be lame; that is, because of the chains put upon their feet: and so they are expressive of the conquest made of them. The word in the Arabic language signifies to "come out"; and may be so rendered here, and "come out": in 2 Samuel 22:46; it is, "they shall gird themselves", or "come out girt".

(q) R. Donesh apud Jarchi & Abendana not. in Miclol Yophi in loc. to Apollinar. Metaphras.

The strangers shall {k} fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

(k) Fear will cause them to be afraid and come forth from their secret holes and holds to seek pardon.

45. The strangers faded away,

And came trembling out of their fastnesses.

Their strength and courage failed like a withering leaf or a fading flower (Isaiah 28:1; Isaiah 28:4), and they surrendered at discretion to the triumphant invader. Cp. Micah 7:17; 1 Samuel 14:11. The obscure reading in 2 Sam. may mean “came limping out of their fastnesses”; a picture of the exhausted defenders of the fortress dragging themselves along with difficulty and reluctant to lay down their arms before the conqueror. The LXX gives this rendering (ἐχώλαναν) in the Psalm.Verse 45. - The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. Converts are represented as coming into the Church, not merely from love, but partly from fear. The kingdom of the Redeemer at once attracts and alarms. So Isaiah says, "The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted... . The sons also of them that afflict thee shall come kneeling unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet, and they shall call thee, The city of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 60:12-14; see also Micah 7:16, 17). (Heb.: 18:38-41) Thus in God's strength, with the armour of God, and by God's assistance in fight, he smote, cast down, and utterly destroyed all his foes in foreign and in civil wars. According to the Hebrew syntax the whole of this passage is a retrospect. The imperfect signification of the futures in Psalm 18:38, Psalm 18:39 is made clear from the aorist which appears in Psalm 18:40, and from the perfects and futures in what follows it. The strophe begins with an echo of Exodus 15:9 (cf. supra Psalm 7:6). The poet calls his opponents קמי, as in Psalm 18:49, Psalm 44:6; Psalm 74:23, cf. קימנוּ Job 22:20, inasmuch as קוּם by itself has the sense of rising up in hostility and consequently one can say קמי instead of עלי קמים (קומים 2 Kings 16:7).

(Note: In the language of the Beduins kôm is war, feud, and kômānı̂ (denominative from kōm) my enemy (hostis); kōm also has the signification of a collective of kōmānı̂, and one can equally well say: entum waijânâ kôm, you and we are enemies, and: bênâtnâ kôm, there is war between us.)

The frequent use of this phrase (e.g., Psalm 36:13, Lamentations 1:14) shows that קום in Psalm 18:39 does not mean "to stand (resist)," but "to rise (again)." The phrase נתן ערף, however, which in other passages has those fleeing as its subject (2 Chronicles 29:6), is here differently applied: Thou gavest, or madest me mine enemies a back, i.e., those who turn back, as in Exodus 23:27. From Psalm 21:13 (תּשׁיתמו שׁכם, Symm. τάξεις αὐτοὺς ἀποστρόφους) it becomes clear that ערף is not an accusative of the member beside the accusative of the person (as e.g., in Deuteronomy 33:11), but an accusative of the factitive object according to Ges. 139, 2.

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