Psalm 3:4
I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
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(4) With my voice.—That is, aloud. The verbs are present, expressing the habit of the royal psalmist.

Psalm 3:4-5. I cried unto the Lord with my voice — By prayer I commended myself to the divine protection; and he heard me out of his holy hill — Out of heaven, so called Psalm 15:1. I laid me down and slept — Securely, casting all my cares upon God. I awaked — As after a sweet and undisturbed sleep, as though no danger had been near me. “It was an argument of settled courage, and shows the unspeakable advantage of a true and genuine confidence in God, that David was able, in such distressing and dangerous circumstances, thus to lie down, calmly sleep, and wake in peace. But what cannot that man do who is sustained of God, propped up by him, as the word יסמכני, jesmecheni, properly signifies, by inspiring his mind with confidence and courage.” — Chandler. But let it be remembered, this peace and serenity were the effects of pardoning love, and not experienced by him till, in consequence of genuine repentance for his foul transgressions, he was made a partaker of forgiveness, and tasted that the Lord is gracious: see Psalm 32:3-5.

3:4-8 Care and grief do us good, when they engage us to pray to God, as in earnest. David had always found God ready to answer his prayers. Nothing can fix a gulf between the communications of God's grace towards us, and the working of his grace in us; between his favour and our faith. He had always been very safe under the Divine protection. This is applicable to the common mercies of every night, for which we ought to give thanks every morning. Many lie down, and cannot sleep, through pain of body, or anguish of mind, or the continual alarms of fear in the night. But it seems here rather to be meant of the calmness of David's spirit, in the midst of his dangers. The Lord, by his grace and the consolations of his Spirit, made him easy. It is a great mercy, when we are in trouble, to have our minds stayed upon God. Behold the Son of David composing himself to his rest upon the cross, that bed of sorrows; commending his Spirit into the Father's hands in full confidence of a joyful resurrection. Behold this, O Christian: let faith teach thee how to sleep, and how to die; while it assures thee that as sleep is a short death, so death is only a longer sleep; the same God watches over thee, in thy bed and in thy grave. David's faith became triumphant. He began the psalm with complaints of the strength and malice of his enemies; but concludes with rejoicing in the power and grace of his God, and now sees more with him than against him. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; he has power to save, be the danger ever so great. All that have the Lord for their God, are sure of salvation; for he who is their God, is the God of Salvation.I cried unto the Lord - That is, in these troubles, as he had always done in affliction. The form of the verb here is future - "I will cry" or call unto the Lord; probably, however, designed to state a general habit with him, that when troubles came he always called on the Lord. He speaks now of himself as if in the midst of the trouble; gives utterance to the feeling which he has always had in his sorrows; and says, "I will call upon the Lord," thus declaring his purpose to make his appeal confidently to him. Thus, the language is not so much retrospective as it is indicative of the uniform state of his mind in the midst of afflictions.

With my voice - Not merely mentally, but he gave utterance to the deep anguish of his soul in words. So the Saviour did in the garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:39; and so, perhaps, most persons do in deep affliction. It is natural then to cry out for help; and besides the fact that we may hope that any prayer then, though mental only, would bring relief by being answered, there is a measure of relief found by the very act of giving utterance or vent to the deep and, as it were, pent-up feelings of the soul. In calmer times we are satisfied with unuttered aspirations, with gentle ejaculations, with sweet mental communion with God; in overwhelming trials we give utterance to our feelings in the earnest language of pleading.

And he heard me - Or, "then he hears me;" that is, when I call. The psalmist refers to what he had constantly found to be true, that God was a hearer of prayer.

Out of his holy hill - Zion. See the notes at Psalm 2:6. That was the place to which David had removed the ark, and which was regarded, therefore, as the special dwelling-place of the Most High. To him, as dwelling in Zion, prayer was accustomed to be offered, and there he was accustomed to answer prayer. To this fact David here refers as one that had been illustrated in his former days. To that God who had thus answered him he felt that he might confidently appeal now.

Selah - Indicating another strophe or musical pause. See the notes at Psalm 3:2.

4. cried … heard—Such has been my experience. The latter verb denotes a gracious hearing or answering.

out of—or, "from."

his holy hill—Zion (Ps 2:6). His visible earthly residence.

With my voice; the witness of my faith and fervency of affections.

Out of his holy hill; either out of heaven, so called Psalm 15:1: compare Isaiah 66:1. Or rather,

2. Out of the hill of Zion, where God was especially present, the ark being there at this time; towards which the saints then used to direct their prayers, and from thence God heard and answered and blessed them, Psalm 128:5 134:3.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice,.... The experience which the psalmist had of being heard in prayer, was what gave great encouragement to his faith, as to his interest in God and salvation by him, when his enemies were so increased about him; for crying here is to be understood of prayer, as it is often used in this book of Psalms: and so the Targum renders it, "I prayed"; and this designs vocal prayer. Sometimes there is a crying in prayer and no voice heard, as it is said of Moses, Exodus 14:15; and was the case of Hannah, 1 Samuel 1:13; but this was with a voice, and a loud one, as in Psalm 55:17; denoting ardour, fervency, and importunity; and such prayer avails much with God. The object addressed in prayer is the Lord, the God of his life, and who was able to save him, and supply all his wants;

and he heard me out of his holy hill; either out of the church, the holy hill of Zion, Psalm 2:6; where David prayed and God granted his presence, and gave an answer to his prayers; or out from the mercy seat and ark, which was a type of the propitiatory, Christ, and which David had brought to his own city, the hill of Zion; or from heaven, the habitation of God's holiness: David was a man of prayer, and he was often heard and answered by God. And this also is true of Christ, he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to God Hebrews 5:7, that was able to save him; and he was heard by him, yea, the Father always heard him: and God is a God hearing and answering the prayers of his people, sooner or later: sometimes before, sometimes at, and sometimes after their crying to him.

Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
4. An appeal to past experiences of answered prayer. ‘As often as I called,’—the imperfect tense in the Heb. denotes repeated action or habit—‘he answered me.’ Cp. Psalm 4:1; Psalm 91:15.

out of his holy hill] Cp. Psalm 2:6. Zion, the seat of the Ark of the covenant, which was the symbol and pledge of Jehovah’s presence, is as it were the centre from which He exercises His earthly sovereignty. Cp. Psalm 14:7; Psalm 20:2; Amos 1:2. There is possibly a tacit reference to the sending back of the Ark (2 Samuel 15:25), which may have discouraged some of his followers. He would assure them that its absence does not diminish Jehovah’s power to help.

Verse 4. - I cried unto the Lord with my voice; rather, I cry unto the Lord with my voice; i.e. earnestly and constantly (comp. Psalm 77:1; Psalm 142:1). And he heard (rather, hears) me out of his holy hill; or. "the hilt of his holiness" (comp. Psalm 2:6). Though David is in exile at Mahanaim (2 Samuel 17:24), his thoughts revert to Jerusalem, to the holy hill of Zion, and the ark of God, which he has there" set in its place" (2 Samuel 6:17); and he knows that God, who "dwelleth between the cherubim" (1 Samuel 4:4), will hear him, though so far off. Selah (see the comment on ver. 2). Psalm 3:4(Heb.: 3:4-5) But cleansed by penitence he stands in a totally different relationship to God and God to him from that which men suppose. Every hour he has reason to fear some overwhelming attack but Jahve is the shield which covers him behind and before (בּעד constr. of בּעד equals Arab. ba‛da, prop. pone, post). His kingdom is taken from him, but Jahve is his glory. With covered head and dejected countenance he ascended the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30), but Jahve is the "lifter up of his head," inasmuch as He comforts and helps him. The primary passage of this believing utterance "God is a shield" is Genesis 15:1 (cf. Deuteronomy 33:29). Very far from praying in vain, he is assured, that when he prays his prayer will be heard and answered. The rendering "I cried and He answered me" is erroneous here where אקרא does not stand in an historical connection. The future of sequence does not require it, as is evident from Psalm 55:17. (comp. on Psalm 120:1); it is only an expression of confidence in the answer on God's part, which will follow his prayer. In constructions like קולי אקרא, Hitzig and Hupfeld regard קולי as the narrower subject-notion beside the more general one (as Psalm 44:3; Psalm 69:11; Psalm 83:19): my voice - I cried; but the position of the words is not favourable to this in the passage before us and in Psalm 17:10; Psalm 27:7; Psalm 57:5; Psalm 66:17; Psalm 142:2, Isaiah 36:9, though it may be in Psalm 69:11; Psalm 108:2. According to Ew. 281, c, קולי is an accusative of more precise definition, as without doubt in Isaiah 10:30 cf. Psalm 60:7; Psalm 17:13.; the cry is thereby described as a loud cry.

(Note: Bttcher, Collectanea pp. 166f., also adopts the view, that נפשׁי, פּי, קולי are each appositum vicarium subjecti and therefore nomin. in such passages. But 1) the fact that את never stands beside them is explained by the consideration that it is not suited to an adverbial collateral definition. And 2) that elsewhere the same notions appear as direct subjects, just as 3) that elsewhere they alternate with the verbal subject-notion in the parallel member of the verse (Psalm 130:5; Proverbs 8:4) - these last two admit of no inference. The controverted question of the syntax is, moreover, an old one and has been treated of at length by Kimchi in his Book of Roots s. r. אוה.)

To this cry, as ויּענני as being a pure mood of sequence implies, succeeds the answer, or, which better corresponds to the original meaning of ענה (comp. Arab. ‛nn, to meet, stand opposite) reply;

(Note: Vid., Redslob in his treatise: Die Integritat der Stelle Hosea 7.4-10 in Frage gestellt S. 7.)

and it comes from the place whither it was directed: מהר קדשוּ. He had removed the ark from Kirjath Jeraim to Zion. He had not taken it with him when he left Jerusalem and fled before Absolom, 2 Samuel 15:25. He was therefore separated by a hostile power from the resting-place of the divine presence. But his prayer urged its way on to the cherubim-throne; and to the answer of Him who is enthroned there, there is no separating barrier of space or created things.

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