The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth.—Better, danceth for joy, as in the Prayer Book. Another possible translation is, “And when I have been helped my heart will dance for joy.”
With my song.—Literally, from my song, but the reading is doubtful. The LXX. have “my flesh has flourished,” which is probably correct.Psalm 18:1.
My heart trusted in him - I trusted or confided in him. See Psalm 13:5.
And I am helped - I have found the assistance which Idesired.
Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth - I greatly rejoice. I am happy. He had found the assurance of the divine favor which he desired, and his heart was glad.
And with my song will I praise him - I will sing praises to Him. Compare Psalm 22:25.
and my shield; to protect and defend him; as were the love, power, and faithfulness of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, his power and fulness, his blood, righteousness, and salvation;
my heart trusted in him; in the Lord as his strength and shield; not in any creature, nor in his own strength and righteousness; but in the Lord God, in whom are righteousness and strength: and it is plain he did not trust in his own heart, since his heart trusted in the Lord; and which shows that his trust was an hearty one, his faith was a faith unfeigned, he believed with the heart unto righteousness;
and I am helped: this was the fruit of his trust, even a gracious experience of divine assistance: saints are helpless in themselves, and are also as to the help of man; God is the only helper of them; he helps them out of all their troubles; in whatsoever he calls them unto, and to what they want; and the help he affords is sometimes quick, and always seasonable; and sometimes by means, and sometimes without them;
therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; that is, in the Lord, the ground of which was the help he had from him; and this joy was very great, a joy unspeakable, and full of glory; it was not carnal, but spiritual, a heart joy, joy in the Holy Ghost;
and with my song will I praise him; praise is due to God, what glorifies him, and is acceptable to him; it becomes the saints, is comely for them, and it is pleasant work to them, when grace is in exercise; see Psalm 69:30; this may be understood of one of his songs, and one of the best of them, and of one better than this, as a Jewish writer (u) observes.The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. my strength] Cp. Exodus 15:2. my shield] See note on Psalm 3:3.
trusted] Better as R.V., hath trusted.
greatly rejoiceth] Exulteth. Cp. Psalm 5:11; 1 Samuel 2:1.Verse 7. - The Lord is my Strength and my Shield (see Psalm 18:1, 2; Psalm 119:114). My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. As far as feeling goes, David is already "helped." He feels himself delivered out of his peril. Therefore, he says, my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song - literally, out of my song, which is explained to mean "out of my store of song" - will I praise him. He is ready to offer thanksgiving for a mercy not yet received. Psalm 28:1) is supplicatory. The preposition מן in connection with the verbs חרשׁ, to be deaf, dumb, and חשׁה, to keep silence, is a pregnant form of expression denoting an aversion or turning away which does not deign to give the suppliant an answer. Jahve is his צוּר, his ground of confidence; but if He continues thus to keep silence, then he who confides in Him will become like those who are going down (Psalm 22:30), or are gone down (Isaiah 14:19) to the pit. The participle of the past answers better to the situation of one already on the brink of the abyss. In the double sentence with פּן, the chief accent falls upon the second clause, for which the first only paratactically opens up the way (cf. Isaiah 5:4; Isaiah 12:1); in Latin it would be ne, te mihi non respondente, similis fiam. Olshausen, and Baur with him, believes that because ונמשׁלתּי has not the accent on the ultima as being perf. consec., it must be interpreted according to the accentuation thus, "in order that Thou mayst no longer keep silence, whilst I am already become like..." But this ought to be ואני נמשׁל, or at least נמשׁלתּי ואני. And if ונמשלתי were to be taken as a real perfect, it would then rather have to be rendered "and I should then be like." But, notwithstanding ונמשׁלתּי is Milel, it is still perf. consecuticum ("and I am become like"); for if, in a sentence of more than one member following upon פן, the fut., as is usually the case (vid., on Psalm 38:17), goes over into the perf., then the latter, in most instances, has the tone of the perf. consec. (Deuteronomy 4:19, Judges 18:25, Proverbs 5:9-12, Malachi 4:6), but not always. The penultima-accentuation is necessarily retained in connection with the two great pausal accents, Silluk and Athnach, Deuteronomy 8:12; Proverbs 30:9; in this passage in connection with Rebia mugrash, just as we may say, in general, the perf. consec. sometimes retains its penultima-accentuation in connection with distinctives instead of being accented on the ultima; e.g., in connection with Rebia mugrash, Proverbs 30:9; with Rebia, Proverbs 19:14 (cf. Proverbs 30:9 with Ezekiel 14:17); with Zakeph. 1 Samuel 29:8; and even with Tiphcha Obad. Oba 1:10, Joel 3:21. The national grammarians are ignorant of any law on this subject.
(Note: Aben-Ezra (Moznajim 36b) explains the perfect accented on the penult. in Proverbs 30:9 from the conformity of sound, and Kimchi (Michlol 6b) simply records the phenomenon.)
The point towards which the psalmist stretches forth his hands in prayer is Jahve's holy דּביר. Such is the word (after the form בּריח, כּליא, עטין) used only in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, with the exception of this passage, to denote the Holy of Holies, not as being χρηματιστήριον (Aquila and Symmachus), or λαλητήριον, oraculum (Jerome), as it were, Jahve's audience chamber (Hengstenberg) - a meaning that is not in accordance with the formation of the word, - but as the hinder part of the tent, from דּבר, Arabic dabara, to be behind, whence dubr (Talmudic דּוּבר), that which is behind (opp. kubl. kibal, that which is in the front), cf. Jesurun p. 87f. In Psalm 28:3, Psalm 28:4 the prayer is expanded. משׁך (instead of which we find אסף in Psalm 26:9), to draw any one down forcibly to destruction, or to drag him to the place of judgment, Ezekiel 32:20, cf. Psalm 10:8; Job 24:22. The delineation of the ungodly David borrows from his actual foes, Should he succumb to them, then his fate would be like that which awaits them, to whom he is conscious that he is radically unlike. He therefore prays that God's recompensing justice may anticipate him, i.e., that He may requite them according to their desert, before he succumbs, to whom they have feigned שׁלום, a good understanding, or being on good terms, whereas they cherished in their heart the רעה that is now unmasked (cf. Jeremiah 9:7). נתן, used of an official adjudication, as in Hosea 9:14; Jeremiah 32:19. The epanaphora of תּן־להם is like Psalm 27:14.
(Note: This repetition, at the end, of a significant word that has been used at the beginning of a verse, is a favourite custom of Isaiah's (Comment. S. 387; transl. ii.134).)
The phrase השׁיב גּמוּל (שׁלּם), which occurs frequently in the prophets, signifies to recompense or repay to any one his accomplishing, his manifestation, that is to say, what he has done and merited; the thoughts and expression call to mind more particularly Isaiah 3:8-11; Isaiah 1:16. The right to pray for recompense (vengeance) is grounded, in Psalm 28:5, upon their blindness to God's just and merciful rule as it is to be seen in human history (cf. Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 22:11). The contrast of בּנה and חרס, to pull down (with a personal object, as in Exodus 15:7), is like Jeremiah's style (Psalm 42:10, cf. 1:10; Psalm 18:9, and frequently, Sir. 49:7). In Psalm 28:5, the prominent thought in David's mind is, that they shamefully fail to recognise how gloriously and graciously God has again and again acknowledged him as His anointed one. He has (2 Samuel 7) received the promise, that God would build him a house, i.e., grant perpetual continuance to his kingship. The Absolomites are in the act of rebellion against this divine appointment. Hence they shall experience the very reverse of the divine promise given to David: Jahve will pull them down and not build them up, He will destroy, at its very commencement, this dynasty set up in opposition to God.
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