Psalm 20:7
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Trust.—The poetry is weakened by the insertion of this word. Render, These in chariots and these on horses; but we in the name of Jehovah our God make boast. The mention of horses and chariots suggests a Syrian war, since the armies of Syria were peculiarly strong in this arm. For an interesting historical reference to this verse, see Macaulay’s Hist. of England, chap. ix.

Psalm 20:7-9. Some trust in chariots — This again was spoken by the people. The word trust is not in the Hebrew, which is more literally translated, These in their chariots, and those on their horses, but we will remember, make mention of, or, celebrate, the name of the Lord our God; that is, we will remember, or make mention of it, so as to boast of or trust in it. They are brought down — From their horses and chariots, to which they trusted. Hebrew, כרעו, charegnu, they bowed down, as being unable to stand longer, because of their mortal wounds. See Jdg 5:27. But we are risen, and stand upright — Stand firmly, and keep the field. Let the king hear us — Either, 1st, David; and so the sense is, O Lord, preserve and assist the king, that, when we are distressed, and cry to him for help, he may be able and ready to help us: or, 2d, Let God, the supreme Monarch, the King of kings, and, in a peculiar manner, the King of Israel, hear and answer us, when we pray for our king and people. But Dr. Waterland renders the verse, very agreeably to the Hebrew, Lord, save the king. He (that is, the Lord) will hear us when we call.

20:1-9 This psalm is a prayer for the kings of Israel, but with relation to Christ. - Even the greatest of men may be much in trouble. Neither the crown on the king's head, nor the grace in his heart, would make him free from trouble. Even the greatest of men must be much in prayer. Let none expect benefit by the prayers of the church, or their friends, who are capable of praying for themselves, yet neglect it. Pray that God would protect his person, and preserve his life. That God would enable him to go on in his undertakings for the public good. We may know that God accepts our spiritual sacrifices, if by his Spirit he kindles in our souls a holy fire of piety and love to God. Also, that the Lord would crown his enterprises with success. Our first step to victory in spiritual warfare is to trust only in the mercy and grace of God; all who trust in themselves will soon be cast down. Believers triumph in God, and his revelation of himself to them, by which they distinguish themselves from those that live without God in the world. Those who make God and his name their praise, may make God and his name their trust. This was the case when the pride and power of Jewish unbelief, and pagan idolatry, fell before the sermons and lives of the humble believers in Jesus. This is the case in every conflict with our spiritual enemies, when we engage them in the name, the spirit, and the power of Christ; and this will be the case at the last day, when the world, with the prince of it, shall be brought down and fall; but believers, risen-from the dead, through the resurrection of the Lord, shall stand, and sing his praises in heaven. In Christ's salvation let us rejoice; and set up our banners in the name of the Lord our God, assured that by the saving strength of his right hand we shall be conquerors over every enemy.Some trust in chariots - This (see the introduction to the psalm) seems to be a "general chorus" of the king and the people, expressing the fullest confidence in God, and showing the true ground of their reliance. The general meaning is, that their entire trust was in God. This is put in strong contrast with others, who relied, some on their chariots, and some on their horses, while "they" relied alone on God. They who trusted in horses and in chariots would be overcome; they who trusted in God alone would triumph. The word rendered chariots - רכב rekeb - means properly riding, and then a vehicle for "riding," a wagon, a chariot. Here it refers to the war-chariot, or the vehicle for carrying armed men into battle. These furnished great advantages in war, by the speed with which they could be driven against an enemy, and by the facilities in fighting from them. They were usually very simple. They consisted of "a light pole suspended between and on the withers of a pair of horses, the after end resting on a light axle tree, with two low wheels. Upon the axle stood a light frame, open behind, and floored for the warrior and his charioteer, who both stood within. On the sides of the frame hung the war-bow, in its case; a large quiver with arrows and darts had commonly a particular sheath. In Persia, the chariots, elevated upon wheels of considerable diameter, had four horses abreast; and in early ages, there were occasionally hooks or scythes attached to the axles." - Kitto, "Cyclo." In early ages these constituted a main reliance in determining the result of a battle.

And some in horses - Some in cavalry, commonly a very material reliance in war. The use of horses in war was early known in the world, for we find mention of them in the earliest periods of history.

But we will remember the name of the Lord our God - That is, we will remember God - the name, as before remarked, often being used to denote the person. The meaning is, We will not forget that our reliance is not on armies, but on God, the living God. Whatever instrumentality we may employ, we will remember always that our hope is in God, and that he only can give success to our arms.

7. remember—or cause to remember, mention thankfully (1Sa 17:45; Ps 33:16). Some trust; or, remember; which may better be applied out of the next clause.

We will remember; or, make mention of, to wit, so as to boast of it, or trust in it; for such things men oft remember or mention.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,.... That is, in chariots and horses prepared for war; which, besides their use for carriage, did great annoyance to the enemy in battle, and were very terrible to them, and were greatly trusted in by those that possessed them, Deuteronomy 20:1; such chariots as were called "currus falcati", that had scythes at the sides of them, which being drove with fury among the infantry, cut them down as grass is mown with scythes; such the old Canaanites used, which were very terrible, Joshua 17:16; and horses trained up for war do much execution in a battle by pawing and trampling; see Job 39:21; though these are vain things for safety, and not to be depended on, for salvation and victory are of the Lord, Psalm 33:17; and such are the chariots and horses of the sun, and the idols in which the Gentiles trusted, 2 Kings 23:11; and all external things in which men depend for salvation, as fleshly privileges, outward works of righteousness, morality, a profession of religion, a round of duties, &c. all which are disclaimed by those who know the way of life and salvation by Christ, Hosea 14:3;

but we will remember the name of the Lord our God; not any of the names by which the Lord God is called, as Elohim, Elshaddai, Jehovah, and the like; though each of these are worthy of remembrance, and greatly serve to encourage faith in him; but rather the perfections of God, such as the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, which are to be remembered and confided in; and not the friendship of princes, the schemes of human policy, and the outward forces of strength; or else God himself is intended, whose name is himself, and is a strong tower to the righteous: and to remember him is to bear him in mind, and not forget him; to have the desires of the soul towards him, and to the remembrance of him; and to make mention of him, of his names, attributes, word, and works; which is both for his glory and for the encouragement of faith in him, both in ourselves and others; it is to call upon his name in times of trouble, and at all times, and also to trust in him and not in an arm of flesh; for it stands opposed to trusting in chariots and horses; and it is to call to mind past instances of his goodness, wisdom, and power, and be thankful for them, and make use of them to engage confidence in him; and which should be done from the consideration of his being God and not man, and of his being our God, our covenant God and Father.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Some] The heathen enemy, like Pharaoh (Exodus 14), and Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:23); not here heathenish Israelites, as in Isaiah 31:1-3.

But we will remember the name] R.V., But we will make mention of the name &c. This shall be our watchword and our strength. Cp. Jdg 7:18; 1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 16:8-9; Psalm 33:16 f.; Isaiah 26:13; Hosea 1:7.

Verse 7. - Some trust in chariots, and some in horses. The enemies of David towards the north - Syrians of Zobah, and Maachah, and Damascus, and Beth-Rehob - were especially formidable on account of their cavalry and their chariots. David on one occasion "took from Hadarezer, King of Zobah, a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen" (1 Chronicles 18:4). On another he "slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots" (1 Chronicles 19:18). His own troops appear to have consisted entirely of footmen. But we will remember the Name of the Lord our God. Our trust, i.e., shall be in the Lord, who has commanded our kings "not to multiply horses" (Deuteronomy 17:16). Psalm 20:7(Heb.: 20:7-9) While Psalm 20:2 were being sung the offering of the sacrifice was probably going on. Now, after a lengthened pause, there ascends a voice, probably the voice of one of the Levites, expressing the cheering assurance of the gracious acceptance of the offering that has been presented by the priest. With עתּה or ועתּה, the usual word to indicate the turning-point, the instantaneous entrance of the result of some previous process of prolonged duration, whether hidden or manifest (e.g., 1 Kings 17:24; Isaiah 29:22), is introduced. howshiya` is the perfect of faith, which, in the certainty of being answered, realises the fulfilment in anticipation. The exuberance of the language in Psalm 20:7 corresponds to the exuberance of feeling which thus finds expression.

In Psalm 20:3 the answer is expected out of Zion, in the present instance it is looked for from God's holy heavens; for the God who sits enthroned in Zion is enthroned for ever in the heavens. His throne on earth is as it were the vestibule of His heavenly throne; His presence in the sanctuary of Israel is no limitation of His omnipresence; His help out of Zion is the help of the Celestial One and Him who is exalted above the heaven of heavens. גּבוּרות does not here mean the fulness of might (cf. Psalm 90:10), but the displays of power (Psalm 106:2; Psalm 145:4; Psalm 150:2; Psalm 63:1-11 :15), by which His right hand procures salvation, i.e., victory, for the combatant. The glory of Israel is totally different from that of the heathen, which manifests itself in boastful talk. In Psalm 20:8 הזכּירוּ or יזכּירוּ must be supplied from the נזכּיר in Psalm 20:8 (lxx μεγαλυνθησόμεθα equals נגביר, Psalm 12:5); הזכּיר בּ, to make laudatory mention of any matter, to extol, and indirectly therefore to take credit to one's self for it, to boast of it (cf. הלּל בּ, Psalm 44:9). According to the Law Israel was forbidden to have any standing army; and the law touching the king (Deuteronomy 17:16) speaks strongly against his keeping many horses. It was also the same under the judges, and at this time under David; but under Solomon, who acquired for himself horses and chariots in great number (1 Kings 10:26-29), it was very different. It is therefore a confession that must belong to the time of David which is here made in Psalm 20:8, viz., that Israel's glory in opposition to their enemies, especially the Syrians, is the sure defence and protection of the Name of their God alone. The language of David to Goliath is very similar, 1 Samuel 17:45. The preterites in Psalm 20:9 are praet. confidentiae. It is, as Luther says, "a song of triumph before the victory, a shout of joy before succour." Since קוּם does not mean to stand, but to rise, קמנוּ assumes the present superiority of the enemy. But the position of affairs changes: those who stand fall, and those who are lying down rise up; the former remain lying, the latter keep the field. The Hithpa. התעודד signifies to show one's self firm, strong, courageous; like עודד, Psalm 146:9; Psalm 147:6, to strengthen, confirm, recover, from עוּד to be compact, firm, cogn. Arab. âd f. i., inf. aid, strength; as, e.g., the Koran (Sur. xxxviii. 16) calls David dhâ-l-aidi, possessor of strength, II ajjada, to strengthen, support, and Arab. 'dd, inf. add, strength superiority, V tāddada, to show one's self strong, brave, courageous.

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