In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 56:6, except that the word "man" is used here instead of "flesh." The meaning, however, is the same. The idea is, that he would not be afraid of what "any man" - any human being - could do to him, if God was his friend. Psalm 56:4;
I will not be afraid what man can do unto me; the same with flesh in Psalm 56:4, and is opposed to God, in whom he trusted; and it suggests that he was not, and would not, be afraid of the greatest of men, as well as of the meanest; See Gill on Psalm 56:4; Arama distinguishes between "flesh" and "man"; the former, he says, means the Philistines, and the latter Saul and his army.In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid;
What can man do unto me? (R.V.).
‘Man’ = ‘flesh’ of Psalm 56:4. Cp. Psalm 118:6, borrowed from this passage.Verse 11. - In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Repeated word for word from ver. 4 (see the comment on that passage). Zephaniah 3:4; Ezekiel 22:26), so we can also say: to torture any one's words, i.e., his utterances concerning himself, viz., by misconstruing and twisting them. It is no good to David that he asseverates his innocence, that he asserts his filial faithfulness to Saul, God's anointed; they stretch his testimony concerning himself upon the rack, forcing upon it a false meaning and wrong inferences. They band themselves together, they place men in ambush. The verb גּוּר signifies sometimes to turn aside, turn in, dwell ( equals Arab. jâr); sometimes, to be afraid ( equals יגר, Arab. wjr); sometimes, to stir up, excite, Psalm 140:3 ( equals גּרה); and sometimes, as here, and in Psalm 59:4, Isaiah 54:15 : to gather together ( equals אגר). The Ker reads יצפּונוּ (as in Psalm 10:8; Proverbs 1:11), but the scriptio plena points to Hiph. (cf. Job 24:6, and also Psalm 126:5), and the following המּה leads one to the conclusion that it is the causative יצפּינוּ that is intended: they cause one to keep watch in concealment, they lay an ambush (synon. האריב, 1 Samuel 15:5); so that המה refers to the liers-in-wait told off by them: as to these - they observe my heels or (like the feminine plural in Psalm 77:20; Psalm 89:52) footprints (Rashi: mes traces), i.e., all my footsteps or movements, because (properly, "in accordance with this, that," as in Micah 3:4) they now as formerly (which is implied in the perfect, cf. Psalm 59:4) attempt my life, i.e., strive after, lie in wait for it (קוּה like שׁמר, Psalm 71:10, with the accusative equals קוּה ל in Psalm 119:95). To this circumstantial representation of their hostile proceedings is appended the clause על־עון פּלּט־למו, which is not to be understood otherwise than as a question, and is marked as such by the order of the words (2 Kings 5:26; Isaiah 28:28): In spite of iniquity [is there] escape for them? i.e., shall they, the liers-in-wait, notwithstanding such evil good-for-nothing mode of action, escape? At any rate פּלּט is, as in Psalm 32:7, a substantivized finitive, and the "by no means" which belongs as answer to this question passes over forthwith into the prayer for the overthrow of the evil ones. This is the customary interpretation since Kimchi's day. Mendelssohn explains it differently: "In vain be their escape," following Aben-Jachja, who, however, like Saadia, takes פלט to be imperative. Certainly adverbial notions are expressed by means of על, - e.g., על־יתר ,., abundantly, Psalm 31:24; על־שׁקר, falsely, Leviticus 5:22 (vid., Gesenius, Thesaurus, p. 1028), - but one does not say על־הבל, and consequently also would hardly have said על־און (by no means, for nothing, in vain); moreover the connection here demands the prevailing ethical notion for און. Hupfeld alters פלט to פּלּס, and renders it: "recompense to them for wickedness," which is not only critically improbable, but even contrary to the usage of the language, since פלס signifies to weigh out, but not to requite, and requires the accusative of the object. The widening of the circle of vision to the whole of the hostile world is rightly explained by Hengstenberg by the fact that the special execution of judgment on the part of God is only an outflow of His more general and comprehensive execution of judgment, and the belief in the former has its root in a belief in the latter. The meaning of הורד becomes manifest from the preceding Psalm (Psalm 55:24), to which the Psalm before us is appended by reason of manifold and closely allied relation.
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