Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Enemies.—Comp. Psalm 56:2; Psalm 54:7; Psalm 59:10-11. Ewald, “malignant liers in wait”; so Aquila.Psalm 27:11-12. Teach me thy way — What course I shall take to please thee, and to discharge my duty, and to save myself from ruin; and lead me in a plain path — Of which see the note on Psalm 26:12; where the Hebrew words are the same; because of mine enemies — That I may neither give them cause to open their mouths against me or religion, by my misconduct, nor fall into their hands by my folly, nor afford them any occasion of triumphing over me. Deliver me not over unto the will — Hebrew, בנפשׁ, benephesh, to the soul, that is, the lust, or desire, as the word here means; of mine enemies — Who watch for my halting, and seek my ruin; such as breathe out cruelty — Against me. He presses his request from the consideration of the quality of his enemies, who were both false and cruel, and in both respects hateful to God and men.Psalm 25:4-5.
And lead me in a plain path - Margin, "a way of plainness." That is, a straight or smooth path. In other words, he prayed that he might be enabled to act wisely and right; he desired that God would teach him what he should do.
Because of mine enemies - Margin, "those which observe me." The translation in the text expresses the true sense. The word which is used is derived from a verb that signifies "to twist; to twist together;" and then, to oppress; to treat as an enemy. Here it refers to those who would treat him harshly or cruelly; and he prays that God would show him how to act in view of the fact that he was surrounded by such foes. They were harsh and cruel; they sought to overcome him; they laid snares for him. He knew not how to act so as to escape from them, and he, therefore, pleads that God would instruct and guide him.
a plain path—(Ps 26:12).
enemies—literally, "watchers for my fall" (Ps 5:8).Thy way, i.e. what course I shall take to please thee, and to discharge my duty, and to save myself from ruin.
A plain path; of which See Poole "Psalm 26:12", where the Hebrew words are the same.
Because of mine enemies; that I may neither open their mouths against me or religion by my miscarriages, nor fall into their hands by my folly, nor give them any occasion of triumphing over me. Psalm 25:4;
and lead me in a plain path: as the path of truth is to those that understand and find knowledge; and as the way of holiness is, even to such who in other things are fools, but shall not err therein, Proverbs 8:9, Isaiah 35:8; or the path of righteousness, in which Christ, the wisdom of God, and shepherd of his people, leads them, Psalm 23:3;
because of mine enemies, or "those that observe me"; who eyed him as Saul did, 1 Samuel 18:9; and waited for his halting, as Jeremiah's familiars did for him; and lay in wait to deceive him, and lead him out of the way, as false teachers do; and come upon him at an unawares, and take every advantage against him, as Satan does.Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Cp. Psalm 5:8; Psalm 25:12. In the course of life designed for him by God he will be safe. He prays that it may be like a path along a level open plain, free from pitfalls and places where enemies may lurk in ambush. Plain is the same word as even in Psalm 26:12; and mine enemies means literally, those that lie in wail for me, as in Psalm 5:8. Cp. Mark 12:13 for illustration.Verse 11. - Teach me thy way, O Lord (comp. Psalm 25:3, and the comment ad loc.). And lead me in a plain path; literally, a level path - a path traversing a fiat and smooth country, not one where the ground is rugged and beset with rocks and precipices. Because of mine enemies. David's enemies are ever at hand, to swallow him up (Psalm 56:2). If his way be not plain and smooth, it will be to their advantage and to his detriment. Psalm 27:4, in order to express an ardent longing which extends out of the past into the future, and therefore runs through his whole life. The one thing sought is unfolded in שׁבתּי וגו. A life-long dwelling in the house of Jahve, that is to say intimate spiritual intercourse with the God, who has His dwelling (בית), His palace (היכל) in the holy tent, is the one desire of David's heart, in order that he may behold and feast upon (חזה בּ of a clinging, lingering, chained gaze, and consequently a more significant form of expression than חזה with an accusative, Psalm 63:3) נעם ה (Psalm 90:17), the pleasantness (or gracefulness) of Jahve, i.e., His revelation, full of grace, which is there visible to the eye of the spirit. The interpretation which regards amaenitas as being equivalent to amaenus cultus takes hold of the idea from the wrong side. The assertion that בּקּר בּ is intended as a synonym of חזה בּ, of a pleased and lingering contemplation (Hupf., Hitz.), is contrary to the meaning of the verb, which signifies "to examine (with ל to seek or spie about after anything, Leviticus 13:36), to reflect on, or consider;" even the post-biblical signification to visit, more especially the sick (whence בּקּוּר הלים), comes from the primary meaning investigare. An appropriate sense may be obtained in the present instance by regarding it as a denominative from בּקשׁ and rendering it as Dunash and Rashi have done, "and to appear early in His temple;" but it is unnecessary to depart from the general usage of the language. Hengstenberg rightly retains the signification "to meditate on." בּהיכלו is a designation of the place consecrated to devotion, and לבקּר is meant to refer to contemplative meditation that loses itself in God who is there manifest. In Psalm 27:5 David bases the justification of his desire upon that which the sanctuary of God is to him; the futures affirm what Jahve will provide for him in His sanctuary. It is a refuge in which he may hide himself, where Jahve takes good care of him who takes refuge therein from the storms of trouble that rage outside: there he is far removed from all dangers, he is lifted high above them and his feet are upon rocky ground. The Chethb may be read בּסכּה, as in Psalm 31:21 and with Ewald 257, d; but, in this passage, with אהל alternates סך, which takes the place of סכּה in the poetic style (Psalm 76:3; Lamentations 2:6), though it does not do so by itself, but always with a suffix.
(Note: Just in like manner they say in poetic style צידהּ, Psalm 132:15; פּנּהּ, Proverbs 7:8; מדּה, Job 11:9; גּלּהּ, Zechariah 4:2; and perhaps even נצּהּ, Genesis 40:10; for צידתהּ, פּנּתהּ, מדּתהּ, גּלּתהּ, and נצּתהּ; as, in general, shorter forms are sometimes found in the inflexion, which do not occur in the corresponding principal form, e.g., צוּרם, Psalm 49:15, for צוּרתם; מגוּרם, Psalm 55:16, for מגוּרתם; בּערמם, Job 5:13, for בּערמתם; בּתבוּנם, Hosea 13:2, for בּתבוּנתם; פּחם; Nehemiah 5:14, for פּחתם; cf. Hitzig on Hosea 13:2, and Bttcher's Neue Aehrenlese, No. 693.)
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