Psalm 57:3
He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
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(3) He shall send . . .—The selah in the middle of this verse is as much out of place as in Psalm 55:19. The LXX. place it after Psalm 57:2. The marginal correction of the second clause is decidedly to be adopted, the word “reproach” is here being used in the sense of “rebuke.” For the verb “send,” used absolutely, comp. Psalm 18:16.

Psalm 57:3. He shall send from heaven — Either his angels, as Daniel 3:28, or his power and help in some less extraordinary way. As if he had said, There are greater armies in heaven than those that here surround me; and rather than I should perish, he will send them for my deliverance; and save me from the reproach of him, &c. — From that shameful destruction which Saul designs to bring upon me. The Hebrew, however, חרŠ שׁאפי, cheereeph shoapi, may be properly rendered, as in the margin, he reproacheth, or hath reproached, that is, he will certainly put to shame, or reproach him that would swallow me up, by disappointing his expectation, and delivering me from his rage. God shall send forth his mercy and truth — Shall discover them by their proper fruits, namely, by affording his gracious help in pursuance of his promises. “The reader will observe, that mercy and truth are here poetically represented as ministers of God, standing in his presence, ready to execute his pleasure, and employed by him in the salvation of his people.” — Dodd.

57:1-6 All David's dependence is upon God. The most eminent believers need often repeat the publican's prayer, God be merciful to me a sinner. But if our souls trust in the Lord, this may assure us, in our utmost dangers, that our calamities will at length be overpast, and in the mean time, by faith and prayer, we must make him our refuge. Though God be most high, yet he condescends so low, as to take care that all things are made to work for good to his people. This is a good reason why we should pray earnestly. Look which way we will on this earth, refuge fails, no help appears; but we may look for it from heaven. If we have fled from the wrath to come, unto Jesus Christ, he that performed all things needful to purchase the salvation of his people, will do for us and in us all things needful for our enjoyment of it. It made David droop to think there should be those that bore him so much ill-will. But the mischief they designed against him, returned on themselves. And when David was in the greatest distress and disgrace, he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thine own name. Our best encouragement in prayer, is taken from the glory of God, and to that, more than to our own comfort, we should have regard in all our petitions for mercy.He shall send from heaven - That is, from himself; or, he will interpose to save me. The psalmist does not say "how" he expected this interposition - whether by an angel, by a miracle, by tempest or storm, but he felt that help was to come from God alone, and he was sure that it would come.

And save me from the reproach ... - This would be more correctly rendered, "He shall save me; he shall reproach him that would swallow me up." So it is rendered in the margin. On the word rendered "would swallow me up," see the notes at Psalm 56:1. The idea here is, that God would "rebuke" or "reproach," to wit, by overthrowing him that sought to devour or destroy him. God had interposed formerly in his behalf Psalm 57:2, and he felt assured that he would do it again.

Selah - This seems here to be a mere musical pause. It has no connection with the sense. See the notes at Psalm 3:2.

God shall send forth his mercy - In saving me. He will "manifest" his mercy.

And his truth - His fidelity to his promise; his faithfulness to those who put their trust in him. He will show himself "true" to all the promises which he has made. Compare Psalm 40:11.

3. from … swallow me up—that pants in rage after me (Ps 56:2).

mercy and … truth—(Ps 25:10; 36:5), as messengers (Ps 43:3) sent to deliver him.

He shall send, either,

1. His angels, as Daniel 3:28. Or,

2. His help. Or,

3. His hand; which is understood after this verb, 2 Samuel 6:6, by comparing 1 Chronicles 13:9, where it is expressed. Or rather,

4. His mercy and his truth as it here follows, where also this verb is repeated before those words. Save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up, i.e. from that shameful destruction which they design to bring upon me. Or rather, as it is rendered in the margin of our Bible, and by many others, and as it is in the Hebrew, he hath reproached (i.e. he will certainly put to shame or reproach) him that would swallow me up, by disappointing his expectation, and delivering me from his rage.

Shall send forth his mercy and his truth, i.e. shall discover them by their proper fruits, to wit, by affording his gracious help in pursuance of his promises.

He shall send from heaven, and save me,.... His angel, as the Targum adds; or his angels, as Kimchi; who are ministering spirits, sent forth by him, to encamp about his people, and guard them, as they did Jacob when in fear of Esau, Genesis 32:1; or to deliver them out of trouble, as Peter when in prison, Acts 12:7; or rather the sense may be, that David did not expect any help and deliverance in an human way, by means of men on earth; but he expected it from above, from heaven, from God above, and which he believed he should have; and he might have a further view to the mission of Christ from heaven to save him, and all the Lord's people; and which he may mention, both for his own comfort, and for the strengthening of the faith of others in that important article;

from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Meaning Saul; see Psalm 56:1. The Targum renders it,

"he hath reproached him that would swallow me up for ever;''

and to the same sense the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Syriac versions; disappointed them, and filled them with reproach, shame, and confusion.

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

God shall send forth his mercy and his truth; shall manifest and display the glory of these his perfections, his mercy and grace, his truth and faithfulness, in his deliverance and salvation; and which are remarkably glorified in salvation by Christ Jesus; and who himself may be called "his grace and his truth" (n), as the words may be rendered; he being the Word of his grace, and truth itself, and full of both; and by whom, when sent forth, grace and truth came, John 1:14; it may also intend a constant supply of grace, whereby God would show forth the truth of his promises to him.

(n) "gratiam et veritatem suam", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

He shall send from {d} heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

(d) He would rather deliver me by a miracle, than that I should be overcome.

3. He shall send from heaven] There is no need to supply an object to the verb here. The object is introduced when the verb is repeated according to the characteristic peculiarity of this Psalm. For the meaning cp. Psalm 20:2, and perhaps Psalm 18:16, though see note there.

from the reproach &c.] Better, (For) he that would swallow me up (or, crush me, Psalm 56:1, note) hath reproached. The object of the verb may be God, Whom the enemy blasphemes in denying His willingness to help His servant (Isaiah 37:23-24); or the Psalmist, whom he taunts with being deserted by his God (Psalm 42:10; Psalm 55:12). The rendering of A.V. marg., he reproacheth him that would swallow me up, is contrary to usage, for the word is never used of God rebuking men.

Selah here is probably misplaced, cp. Psalm 55:19. In the LXX it follows Psalm 57:2.

God shall send forth &c.] God’s lovingkindness and truth (cp. Psalm 42:8, Psalm 43:3) are almost personified as “ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation.” It is in virtue of the lovingkindness which is the foundation of His covenant, and of the faithfulness which is an inalienable attribute of His nature, that God will send help to His servant.

Verse 3. - He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. The two clauses stand unconnected in the original, which runs, "He shall send from heaven and save me - my pursuer reproaches - God shall send," etc. The second clause is really parenthetic, and, as Dr. Driver says ('Hebrew Verbs,' § 163), "circumstantial," noting the circumstances under which God would take action. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. His mercy, to relieve the psalmist; his truth, to confound the psalmist's enemies. Psalm 57:3By means of the two distinctive tense-forms the poet describes his believing flight to God for refuge as that which has once taken place (חסיה from חסה equals חסי out of pause, like the same forms in Psalm 73:2; Psalm 122:6), and still, because it is a living fact, is ever, and now in particular, renewed (אחסה). The shadow of the wings of God is the protection of His gentle, tender love; and the shadow of the wings is the quickening, cordial solace that is combined with this protection. Into this shadow the poet betakes himself for refuge now as he has done before, until הוּות, i.e., the abysmal danger that threatens him, be overpast, praeteriverit (cf. Isaiah 26:20, and on the enallage numeri Psalm 10:10, Ges. ֗147, a). Not as though he would then no longer stand in need of the divine protection, but he now feels himself to be specially in need of it; and therefore his chief aim is an undaunted triumphant resistance of the impending trials. The effort on his own part, however, by means of which he always anew takes refuge in this shadow, is prayer to Him who dwells above and rules the universe. עליון is without the article, which it never takes; and גּמר (Psalm 57:3) is the same, because it is regularly left out before the participle, which admits of being more fully defined, Amos 9:12; Ezekiel 21:19 (Hitzig). He calls upon God who accomplisheth concerning, i.e., for him (Esther 4:16), who carrieth out his cause, the cause of the persecuted one; גּמר is transitive as in Psalm 138:8. The lxx renders τὸν εὐεργετήσαντά με, as though it were גּמל עלי (Psalm 13:6, and frequently); and even Hitzig and Hupfeld hold that the meaning is exactly the same. But although גמל and גמר fall back upon one and the same radical notion, still it is just their distinctive final letters that serve to indicate a difference of signification that is strictly maintained. In Psalm 57:4 follow futures of hope. In this instance "that which brings me deliverance" is to be supplied in thought to ישׁלח (cf. Psalm 20:3) and not ידו as in Psalm 18:17, cf. Psalm 144:7; and this general and unmentioned object is then specialized and defined in the words "His mercy and His truth" in Psalm 57:4. Mercy and truth are as it were the two good spirits, which descending from heaven to earth (cf. Psalm 43:3) bring the divine ישׁוּעה to an accomplishment. The words חרף שׁאפי sdro standing between a and c have been drawn by the accentuators to the first half of the verse, they probably interpreting it thus: He (God) reproacheth my devourers for ever (Sela). But חרף always (e.g., Isaiah 37:23) has God as its object, not as its subject. חרף שׁאפי is to be connected with what follows as a hypothetical protasis (Ges. 155, 4, a): supposing that he who is greedy or pants for me (inhians mihi) slandereth, then Elohim will send His mercy and His truth. The music that becomes forte in between, introduces and accompanies the throbbing confidence of the apodosis.

In Psalm 57:5, on the contrary, we may follow the interpretation of the text that is handed down and defined by the accentuation, natural as it may also be, with Luther and others, to take one's own course. Since לבאים (has Zarka (Zinnor) and להטים Olewejored, it is accordingly to be rendered: "My soul is in the midst of lions, I will (must) lie down with flaming ones; the children of men - their teeth are a spear and arrows." The rendering of the lxx, of Theodotion, and of the Syriac version accords with the interpunction of our text so far as both begin a new clause with ἐκοιμήθην (ודמכת, and I slept); whereas Aquila and Symmachus (taking נפשׁי, as it seems, as a periphrastic expression of the subject-notion placed in advance) render all as afar as להטים as one clause, at least dividing the verse into two parts, just as the accentuators do, at להטים. The rendering of Aquila is ἐν μέσῳ λεαινῶν κοιμηθήσομαι λάβρων; that of Symmachus: ἐν μέσῳ λεόντῶν εὐθαρσῶν ἐκοιμήθην; or according to another reading, μεταξὺ λεόντων ἐκοιμήθην φλεγόντων. They are followed by Jerome, who, however, in order that he may be able to reproduce the נפשׁי, changes אשׁכבה into שׁכבה: Anima mea in medio leonum dormivit ferocientium. This construction, however, can be used in Greek and Latin, but not in Hebrew. We therefore follow the accents even in reference to the Zarka above לבאים (a plural form that only occurs in this one passage in the Psalter, equals לביים). In a general way it is to be observed that this לבאים in connection with אשׁכּבה is not so much the accusative of the object as the accusative of the place, although it may even be said to be the customary local accusative of the object with verbs of dwelling; on שׁכב cf. Ruth 3:8, Ruth 3:14, and Psalm 88:6; Micah 7:5 (where at least the possibility of this construction of the verb is presupposed). But in particular it is doubtful (1) what להטים signifies. The rendering "flaming ones" is offered by the Targum, Saadia, and perhaps Symmachus. The verb להט obtains this signification apparently from the fundamental notion of licking or swallowing; and accordingly Theodotion renders it by ἀναλισκόντων, and Aquila most appropriately by λάβρων (a word used of a ravenous furious longing for anything). But להט nowhere means "to devour;" the poet must, therefore, in connection with להטים, have been thinking of the flaming look or the fiery jaws of the lions, and this attributive will denote figuratively their strong desire, which snorts forth as it were flames of fire. The question further arises, (2) how the cohortative אשׁכבה is meant to be taken. Since the cohortative sometimes expresses that which is to be done more by outward constraint than inward impulse-never, however, without willing it one's self (Ew. 228, a) - the rendering "I must," or "therefore must I lie down," commends itself. But the contrast, which has been almost entirely overlooked, between the literal beasts of prey and the children of men, who are worse than these, requires the simple and most natural rendering of the cohortative. We need only picture to ourselves the situation. The verb שׁכב here has the sense of cubitum ire (Psalm 4:9). Starting from this אשׁכבה we look to Psalm 57:9, and it at once becomes clear that we have before us an evening or nightly song. David the persecuted one finds himself in the wilderness and, if we accept the testimony of the inscription, in a cave: his soul is in the midst of lions, by which he means to say that his life is exposed to them. Here bold in faith, he is resolved to lie down to sleep, feeling himself more secure among lions than among men; for the children of men, his deadly foes both in word and in deed, are worse than beasts of prey: teeth and tongue are murderous weapons. This more than brutal joy at the destruction of one's neighbour

(Note: Cf. Sir. 25:15, in the Hebrew: אין ראשׁ מעל ראשׁ פתן ואין חמה מעל חמה אויב (no poison exceeds the poison of the serpent, and no wrath exceeds the wrath of an enemy).)

which prevails among men, urges him to put forth the prayer that God, who in Himself is exalted above the heavens and the whole earth, would show Himself by some visible manifestation over the heavens above as the exalted One, and the prayer that His glory may be, i.e., may become manifest (or even: exalted be His glory, ירוּם), over the whole earth beneath, - His glory which to His saints is a health-diffusing light, and to the heartless foes of men and God a consuming fire, - so that the whole world shall be compelled to acknowledge this glory in which His holiness manifests itself, and shall become conformed to it after everything that is hostile is overthrown.

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