Psalm 20:8
They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Stand upright.—We seem to see a whole battle fought before our eyes, in which those formerly struck down rise, and returning to the fight, beat off their foes, and in their turn lay them low. “We were fallen, but have risen, and stand upright.”

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.They are brought down and fallen - That is, those who trust in chariots and horses. The reference here is undoubtedly to the enemies against whom the king was about to wage war, and the language here is indicative of his certain conviction that they would be vanquished. So certain was he now of this that he could speak of it as if it were already done. "They "are" brought down." He sees them in anticipation prostrate and subdued; he goes forth to war with the certainty on his mind that this would occur. The word rendered "brought down" - כרע kâra‛ - means "to bend," "to bow" (as the knees); and then it refers to one who bows down before an enemy, that is, one who is subdued, Isaiah 10:4; Isaiah 65:12; Psalm 72:9; Psalm 78:31.

But we are risen, and stand upright - That is, he sees this in anticipation. He is certain of success and triumph. Depressed though we may now be, yet we are certain of victory.

8. They—that is, who trust in horses, &c.

stand upright—literally, "we have straightened ourselves up from our distress and fears."

8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

9 Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.

Psalm 20:8

How different the end of those whose trusts are different: The enemies of God are uppermost at first, but they ere long are brought down by force, or else fall of their own accord. Their foundation is rotten, and therefore when the time comes it gives way under them; their chariots are burned in the fire, and their horses die of pestilence, and where is their boasted strength? As for those who rest on Jehovah, they are often cast down at the first onset, but an Almighty arm uplifts them, and they joyfully stand upright. The victory of Jesus is the inheritance of his people. The world, death, Satan and sin, shall all be trampled beneath the feet of the champions of faith; while those who rely upon an arm of flesh shall be ashamed and confounded for ever.

Psalm 20:9

The Psalm is here recapitulated. That Jesus might himself be delivered, and might then, as our King, hear us, is the two-fold desire of the Psalm. The first request is granted, and the second is sure to all the seed; and therefore we may close the Psalm with the hearty shout "God save the King." "God save King Jesus, and may he soon come to reign."

They are brought down from their horses and chariots, to which they trusted. Heb. They bowed down, as being unable to stand longer, because of their mortal wounds. Compare Judges 5:27.

But we stand firmly upon our legs, and keep the field, as conquerors use to do. They are brought down and fallen,.... These are they that rode in chariots and on horses, and trusted in them; who are brought down from their places of honour and safety; and fall, not into the hands of their enemies, and into a low and mean estate, but to the ground by death; as also such who, being like Capernaum, lifted up to heaven with their own outward attainments, and think to get thither by them, are brought down to hell, and fall into the pit of corruption;

but we are risen, and stand upright; who remember the name of the Lord, and trust in him; the church is sometimes in a very low and depressed condition; it consists of a poor and an afflicted people, and who are persecuted by men; so the church has been under the Heathen Roman emperors, and under the Papacy, and will be as long as she is in the wilderness, and the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth; and especially when they will be slain, and their bodies lie on the earth unburied; but these shall rise and stand upright, and ascend to heaven; there will be a glorious state of the church; there will be a reviving of the interest of Christ, through the bringing in the fulness and forces of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews; the dry bones will live again, and stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army; in those days the righteous will flourish and have abundance of peace and prosperity. This may also include the first resurrection, which the saints will have a part in; the dead in Christ will rise first, and will stand before the Lord with confidence, and not be ashamed; when the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in, the congregation of the righteous; for though these words are expressed in the present tense, because of the certainty of them, they belong to future times; hence the following petitions.

{g} They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

(g) The worldlings who do not put their trust in God alone.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. They are brought down] R.V., They are bowed down; the same word as in Psalm 18:39. It is still the language of faith, anticipating the entire subjugation of the enemy, and the triumph of Israel.Verse 8. - They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright. Confident of the result, the speaker represents it as already achieved. He sees the enemy bowed down to the earth, and fallen; he sees the host of Israel erect and triumphant. All stands out clearly before his vision, as though he were an actual spectator of the fight. (Heb.: 20:2-6) Litany for the king in distress, who offers sacrifices for himself in the sanctuary. The futures in Psalm 20:2, standing five times at the head of the climactic members of the parallelism, are optatives. ימלּא, Psalm 20:6, also continues the chain of wishes, of which even נרננה (cf. Psalm 69:15) forms one of the links. The wishes of the people accompany both the prayer and the sacrifice. "The Name of the God of Jacob" is the self-manifesting power and grace of the God of Israel. יעקב is used in poetry interchangeably with ישראל, just like אלהים with יהוה. Alshךch refers to Genesis 35:3; and it is not improbable that the desire moulds itself after the fashion of the record of the fact there handed down to us. May Jahve, who, as the history of Jacob shows, hears (and answers) in the day of distress, hear the king; may the Name of the God of Jacob bear him away from his foes to a triumphant height. שׂגּב alternates with רומם (Psalm 18:49) in this sense. This intercession on the behalf of the praying one is made in the sanctuary on the heights of Zion, where Jahve sits enthroned. May He send him succour from thence, like auxiliary troops that decide the victory. The king offers sacrifice. He offers sacrifice according to custom before the commencement of the battle (1 Samuel 13:9., and cf. the phrase קדּשׁ מלחמה), a whole burnt-offering and at the same time a meat or rather meal offering also, מנחות;

(Note: This, though not occurring in the Old Testament, is the principal form of the plural, which, as even David Kimchi recognises in his Lexicon, points to a verb מנח (just as שׂמלות, גּבעות, שׁפחות point to שׂמל, גּבע, שׂפח); whereas other old grammarians supposed נחה to be the root, and were puzzled with the traditional pronunciation menachôth, but without reason.)

for every whole offering and every shelamim - or peace-offering had a meat-offering and a drink-offering as its indispensable accompaniment. The word זכר is perfectly familiar in the ritual of the meal-offering. That portion of the meal-offering, only a part of which was placed upon the altar (to which, however, according to traditional practice, does not belong the accompanying meal-offering of the מנחת נסכים, which was entirely devoted to the altar), which ascended with the altar fire is called אזכּרה, μνημόσυνον (cf. Acts 10:4), that which brings to remembrance with God him for whom it is offered up (not "incense," as Hupfeld renders it); for the designation of the offering of jealousy, Numbers 5:15, as "bringing iniquity to remembrance before God" shows, that in the meal-offering ritual זכר retains the very same meaning that it has in other instances. Every meal-offering is in a certain sense a מנחת זכּרון a esnes . Hence here the prayer that Jahve would graciously remember them is combined with the meal-offerings.

As regards the ‛olah, the wish "let fire from heaven (Leviticus 9:24; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26) turn it to ashes," would not be vain. But the language does not refer to anything extraordinary; and in itself the consumption of the offering to ashes (Bttcher) is no mark of gracious acceptance. Moreover, as a denominative from דּשׁן, fat ashes, דּשּׁן means "to clean from ashes," and not: to turn into ashes. On the other hand, דּשּׁן also signifies "to make fat," Psalm 23:5, and this effective signification is applied declaratively in this instance: may He find thy burnt-offering fat, which is equivalent to: may it be to Him a ריח ניחח [an odour of satisfaction, a sweet-smelling savour]. The voluntative ah only occurs here and in Job 11:17 (which see) and Isaiah 5:19, in the 3 pers.; and in this instance, just as with the cohortative in 1 Samuel 28:15, we have a change of the lengthening into a sharpening of the sound (cf. the exactly similar change of forms in 1 Samuel 28:15; Isaiah 59:5; Zechariah 5:4; Proverbs 24:14; Ezekiel 25:13) as is very frequently the case in מה for מה. The alteration to ידשּׁנה or ידשׁנהּ (Hitzig) is a felicitous but needless way of getting rid of the rare form. The explanation of the intensifying of the music here is, that the intercessory song of the choir is to be simultaneous with the presentation upon the altar (הקטרה). עצה is the resolution formed in the present wartime. "Because of thy salvation," i.e., thy success in war, is, as all the language is here, addressed to the king, cf. Psalm 21:2, where it is addressed to Jahve, and intended of the victory accorded to him. It is needless to read נגדּל instead of נדגּל, after the rendering of the lxx megaluntheeso'metha. נדגּל is a denominative from דּגל: to wave a banner. In the closing line, the rejoicing of hope goes back again to the present and again assumes the form of an intercessory desire.

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