Psalm 54:5
He shall reward evil to my enemies: cut them off in your truth.
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(5) Cut them off.—Or, put them to silence.

In thy truth.—Or, according to thy faithfulness.

54:4-7 Behold, God is mine Helper. If we are for him, he is for us; and if he is for us, we need not fear. Every creature is that to us, and no more, which God makes it to be. The Lord will in due time save his people, and in the mean time he sustains them, and bears them up, so that the spirit he has made shall not fail. There is truth in God's threatenings, as well as in his promises; sinners that repent not, will find it so to their cost. David's present deliverance was an earnest of further deliverance. He speaks of the completion of his deliverance as a thing done, though he had as yet many troubles before him; because, having God's promise for it, he was as sure of it as if it was done already. The Lord would deliver him out of all his troubles. May he help us to bear our cross without repining, and at length bring us to share his victories and glory. Christians never should suffer the voice of praise and thanksgiving to cease in the church of the redeemed.He shall reward evil unto mine enemies - Margin, "those that observe me." The original word here means literally "to twist, to twist together;" then, to press together; then, to "oppress," or to treat as an enemy. The reference here is to those who pressed upon him as enemies, or who endeavored to crush him. The idea is that God would recompense them for this conduct, or that he would deal with them as they deserved.

Cut them off in thy truth - In thy faithfulness; in thy regard for what is right. This is simply a prayer, or an expression of strong confidence, that God would deal with them as they deserved, or that he would not suffer such conduct to pass without a proper expression of his sense of the wrong. There is no evidence that David in this prayer was prompted by private or vindictive feeling.

5. He shall … evil—or, "Evil shall return on" (Ps 7:16) my enemies or watchers, that is, to do me evil (Ps 6:7).

in thy truth—Thy verified promise.

In thy truth; or, for or according to thy truth; whereby thou art engaged to fulfil thy promises made to me, and thy threatenings denounced against thine and mine implacable enemies. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies,.... That eyed him as Saul did; that observed his haunts, where he resorted, and who were with him, as the Ziphites did under Saul's direction; as the Word (m) here used for "enemies" signifies: the mischief they had devised for him, he believed, would be returned upon their own heads; the pit they digged they would fall into themselves; and the net they had spread for others their own feet would be taken in. This was true as of David's enemies, so of Christ's, the wicked Jews, who narrowly watched him to take every advantage against him;

cut them off in thy truth; root and branch, as Saul, and his family, and his courtiers, quickly were, according to the truth of promises made to David, and of threatenings unto them.

(m) "observatoribus meis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy {e} truth.

(e) According to your faithful promise for my defence.

5. He shall requite the evil unto them that lie in wait for me:

Destroy thou them in thy truth.

God will cause the evil which they are plotting to recoil upon their own heads: or, according to the K’thîbh or written text (Introd. p. li), The evil shall return &c.: cp. Psalm 7:16. Enemies (A.V.) is a peculiar word found only in Psalm 5:8; Psalm 27:11; Psalm 56:2; Psalm 59:10, meaning those who lie in wait for him, like fowlers (Jeremiah 5:26 R.V.), or a leopard for its prey (Hosea 13:7). Jerome renders it insidiatores.

in thy truth] For Thou canst not be false to Thy promise to deliver me.Verse 5. - He shall reward evil unto mine enemies; literally, he shall return the wrong upon my adversaries. "The wrong" is that which his adversaries had wished to inflict upon the psalmist, viz. death (see 1 Samuel 23:19, 20). Cut them off in thy truth; or, "in thy truthfulness" (Cheyne). God had given his people - those who were faithful to him - the promise of his protection, and, being true, could not go back from his word. The last two lines of this tristich are in letters so similar to the two distichs of Psalm 14:1-7, that they look like an attempt at the restoration of some faded manuscript. Nevertheless, such a close following of the sound of the letters of the original, and such a changing of the same by means of an interchange of letters, is also to be found elsewhere (more especially in Jeremiah, and e.g., also in the relation of the Second Epistle of Peter to Jude). And the two lines sound so complete in themselves and full of life, that this way of accounting for their origin takes too low an estimate of them. A later poet, perhaps belonging to the time of Jehoshaphat or Hezekiah, has here adapted the Davidic Psalm to some terrible catastrophe that has just taken place, and given a special character to the universal announcement of judgment. The addition of לא־היה פּחד (supply אשׁר equals אשׁר שׁם, Psalm 84:4) is meant to imply that fear of judgment had seized upon the enemies of the people of God, when no fear, i.e., no outward ground for fear, existed; it was therefore חרדּת אלהים (1 Samuel 14:15), a God-wrought panic. Such as the case with the host of the confederates in the days of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:22-24); such also with the army of Sennacherib before Jerusalem (Isaiah 37:36). כּי gives the proof in support of this fright from the working of the divine power. The words are addressed to the people of God: Elohim hath scattered the bones (so that unburied they lie like dirt upon the plain a prey to wild beasts, Psalm 141:7; Ezekiel 6:5) of thy besieger, i.e., of him who had encamped against thee. חנך .eeht tsniaga instead of חנך equals חנה עליך.

(Note: So it has been explained by Menachem; whereas Dunash wrongly takes the ך of חנך as part of the root, overlooking the fact that with the suffix it ought rather to have been חנך instead of חנך. It is true that within the province of the verb âch does occur as a pausal masculine suffix instead of écha, with the preterite (Deuteronomy 6:17; Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 55:5, and even out of pause in Jeremiah 23:37), and with the infinitive (Deuteronomy 28:24; Ezekiel 28:15), but only in the passage before us with the participle. Attached to the participle this masculine suffix closely approximates to the Aramaic; with proper substantives there are no examples of it found in Hebrew. Simson ha-Nakdan, in his חבור הקונים (a MS in Leipzig University Library, fol. 29b), correctly observes that forms like שׁמך, עמּך, are not biblical Hebrew, but Aramaic, and are only found in the language of the Talmud, formed by a mingling of the Hebrew and Aramaic.)

By the might of his God, who has overthrown them, the enemies of His people, Israel has put them to shame, i.e., brought to nought in a way most shameful to them, the project of those who were so sure of victory, who imagined they could devour Israel as easily and comfortably as bread. It is clear that in this connection even Psalm 53:5 receives a reference to the foreign foes of Israel originally alien to the Psalm, so that consequently Micah 3:3 is no longer a parallel passage, but passages like Numbers 14:9, our bread are they (the inhabitants of Canaan); and Jeremiah 30:16, all they that devour thee shall be devoured.

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