Psalm 57:8
Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
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(8) My glory.—See Note, Psalm 7:5.

I myself will awake early.—Perhaps, rather, I will rouse the dawn. Comp Ovid. Met. xi. 597, where the cock is said evocare Auroram; and Milton, still more nearly:

“Oft listening how the hounds and horn,

Cheerily rouse the slumbering morn”—L’Allegro.)

57:7-11 By lively faith, David's prayers and complaints are at once turned into praises. His heart is fixed; it is prepared for every event, being stayed upon God. If by the grace of God we are brought into this even, composed frame of mind, we have great reason to be thankful. Nothing is done to purpose, in religion, unless it is done with the heart. The heart must be fixed for the duty, put in frame for it; fixed in the duty by close attention. Our tongue is our glory, and never more so than when praising God; dull and sleepy devotions will never be acceptable to God. Let us awake early in the morning, to begin the day with God; early in the beginning of a mercy. When God comes toward us with his favours, let us go forth to meet him with our praises. David desired to bring others to join in praising God; and in his psalms, he is still praising God among the people, singing to Him among the nations. Let us seek to have our hearts fixed to praise his boundless mercy and unfailing faithfulness; and to glorify him with body, soul, and spirit, which are his. Let us earnestly pray that the blessings of the gospel may be sent through every land.Awake up, my glory - By the word "glory" here some understand the tongue; others understand the soul itself, as the glory of man. The "word" properly refers to that which is weighty, or important; then, anything valuable, splendid, magnificent. Here it seems to refer to all that David regarded as glorious and honorable in himself - his noblest powers of soul - all in him that "could" be employed in the praise of God. The occasion was one on which it was proper to call all his powers into exercise; all that was noble in him as a man. The words "awake up" are equivalent to "arouse;" a solemn appeal to put forth all the powers of the soul.

Awake, psaltery and harp - In regard to these instruments, see the notes at Isaiah 5:12. The instrument denoted by the word "psaltery" - נבל nebel - was a stringed instrument, usually with twelve strings, and played with the fingers. See the notes at Psalm 33:2. The "harp" or "lyre" - כנור kinnôr - was also a stringed instrument, usually consisting of ten strings. Josephus says that it was struck or played with a key. From 1 Samuel 16:23; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9, it appears, however, that it was sometimes played with the fingers.

I myself will awake early - That is, I will awake early in the morning to praise God; I will arouse myself from slumber to do this; I will devote the first moments - the early morning - to his worship. These words do not imply that this was an evening psalm, and that he would awake on the morrow - the next day - to praise God; but they refer to what he intended should be his general habit - that he would devote the early morning (arousing himself for that purpose) to the praise of God. No time in the day is more appropriate for worship than the early morning; no object is more worthy to rouse us from our slumbers than a desire to praise God; in no way can the day be more appropriately begun than by prayer and praise; and nothing will conduce more to keep up the flame of piety - the life of religion in the soul - than the habit of devoting the early morning to the worship of God; to prayer; to meditation; to praise.

8. Hence—he addresses his glory, or tongue (Ps 16:9; 30:12), and his psaltery, or lute, and harp.

I myself … early—literally, "I will awaken dawn," poetically expressing his zeal and diligence.

My glory; either,

1. My soul; or rather,

2. My tongue, the instrument of singing, which he was now about to do, Psalm 57:7,9.

I myself will awake early; I will rouse up and employ all the powers of my soul and body to set forth God’s praises.

Awake up, my glory,.... Meaning his soul, whom Jacob calls his honour, Genesis 49:6; it being the most honourable, glorious, and excellent part of man; is the breath of God, of his immediate production; is a spirit incorporeal and immortal; is possessed of glorious powers and faculties; had the image of God stamped upon it, which made man the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 11:7; and has the image of Christ on it in regenerated persons; and is that with which God and Christ are glorified; and is, upon all accounts, of great worth and value, even of more worth than the whole world: and this sometimes in the saints is as it were asleep, and needs awaking; not in a literal sense; for it is incapable of natural sleep, being incorporeal; but in a figurative and spiritual sense, as when grace is dormant, and not in exercise; when the soul is backward to and slothful in duty, unconcerned about divine things, and lukewarm and indifferent to them; which is occasioned by prevailing corruptions and worldly cares; and sometimes it becomes dull, and heavy, and inactive, through an over pressure by sorrows and troubles, as the disciples of Christ were found sleeping for sorrow, Luke 22:45; which seems to have been the case of the psalmist here; he had been in great distress, his soul was bowed down, Psalm 57:6; he had hung his harp upon the willow, and could not sing one of the Lord's songs in the place and circumstances be was in; but now he calls upon his soul, and arouses all the powers and faculties of it, and stirs up himself to the work of praise, just as Deborah did, Judges 5:12; some by his glory understand his tongue, as in Psalm 16:9 compared with Acts 2:26; and so may design vocal singing here, as instrumental music in the next clause:

awake, psaltery and harp; which, by a prosopopoeia, are represented as persons; as if they were animate, sensible, and living: these had been laid aside for some time as useless; but now the psalmist determines to take them up and employ them in the service of praising God: these are fitly put together, because psalms were sung to harps; and so with the Greeks a psalm is said to be properly the sound of the harp (s);

I myself will awake early; in the morning, when salvation and joy come; and so soon cause his voice to be heard, as in prayer, so in praise; or "I will awaken the morning": so Jarchi; be up before the sun rises, the morning appears, or day dawns: this is taking the wings of the morning, and even preventing that. The Targum is,

"I will awake to the morning prayer.''

(s) Scholia in Aristoph. Aves, p. 551.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
8. Awake up] A common summons to action. Cp. Jdg 5:12; Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 52:1.

my glory] So the soul is designated, either as the noblest part of man, or as the image of the divine glory. Cp. Psalm 7:5; Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:12.

psaltery and harp] Stringed instruments, often coupled together (Psalm 33:2; 1 Samuel 10:5; 2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Kings 10:12; Isaiah 5:12).

I myself will awake early] Better, as R.V. marg., I will awake the dawn. A bold and beautiful poetical figure. The dawn is often personified (Job 41:18; Psalm 139:9). Usually it is the dawn that awakes men: he will awake the dawn by his praises before daylight. Cp. Milton, L’Allegro, l. 53,

“Oft listening how the hounds and horn

Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn.”

and Ovid, Metam. xi.597,

“Non vigil ales ibi cristati cantibus oris

Evocat auroram.”

Verse 8. - Awake up, my glory; i.e. "my soul" (comp. Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:12). The psalmist stirs his soul to earnest, heartfelt devotion. Awake, psaltery and harp; i.e. awake, my musical instruments and my musical powers, which have slept, as it were, while I was in affliction. I myself will awake early; or, "will awaken the dawn" (comp. Ovid, 'Metaph.,' 11:597, "Vigil ales evocat auroram;" and Milton, "Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn." Psalm 57:8In this second half of the Psalm the poet refreshes himself with the thought of seeing that for which he longs and prays realized even with the dawning of the morning after this night of wretchedness. The perfect in Psalm 57:7 is the perfect of certainty; the other perfects state what preceded and is now changed into the destruction of the crafty ones themselves. If the clause כּפף נפשׁי is rendered: my soul was bowed down (cf. חלל, Psalm 109:22), it forms no appropriate corollary to the crafty laying of snares. Hence kpp must be taken as transitive: he had bowed down my soul; the change of number in the mention of the enemies is very common in the Psalms relating to these trials, whether it be that the poet has one enemy κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν before his mind or comprehends them all in one. Even the lxx renders καὶ κατέκαμψαν τὴν ψυχὴν μου, it is true, as though it were וכפפו, but can scarcely have read it thus. This line is still remarkable; one would expect for Psalm 57:7 a thought parallel with Psalm 57:7, and perhaps the poet wrote כפף נפשׁו, his (the net-layer's) own soul bends (viz., in order to fall into the net). Then כפף like נפל would be praet. confidentiae. In this certainty, to express which the music here becomes triumphantly forte, David's heart is confident, cheerful (Symmachus ἐδραία), and a powerful inward impulse urges him to song and harp. Although נכון may signify ready, equipped (Exodus 34:2; Job 12:5), yet this meaning is to be rejected here in view of Psalm 51:12, Psalm 78:37, Psalm 112:7 : it is not appropriate to the emphatic repetition of the word. His evening mood which found expression in Psalm 57:4, was hope of victory; the morning mood into which David here transports himself, is certainty of victory. He calls upon his soul to awake (כּבודי as in Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:13), he calls upon harp and cithern to awake (הנּבל וכנּור with one article that avails for both words, as in Jeremiah 29:3; Nehemiah 1:5; and עוּרה with the accent on the ultima on account of the coming together of two aspirates), from which he has not parted even though a fugitive; with the music of stringed instruments and with song he will awake the not yet risen dawn, the sun still slumbering in its chamber: אעירה, expergefaciam (not expergiscar), as e.g., in Sol 2:7, and as Ovid (Metam. xi. 597) says of the cock, evocat auroram.

(Note: With reference to the above passage in the Psalms, the Talmud, B. Berachoth 3b, says, "A cithern used to hang above David's bed; and when midnight came, the north wind blew among the strings, so that they sounded of themselves; and forthwith he arose and busied himself with the Tra until the pillar of the dawn (עמוד השׁחר) ascended." Rashi observes, "The dawn awakes the other kings; but I, said David, will awake the dawn (אני מעורר את השׁחר).")

His song of praise, however, shall not resound in a narrow space where it is scarcely heard; he will step forth as the evangelist of his deliverance and of his Deliverer in the world of nations (בעמּים; and the parallel word, as also in Psalm 108:4; Psalm 149:7, is to be written בּלעמּים with Lamed raphatum and Metheg before it); his vocation extends beyond Israel, and the events of his life are to be for the benefit of mankind. Here we perceive the self-consciousness of a comprehensive mission, which accompanied David from the beginning to the end of his royal career (vid., Psalm 18:50). What is expressed in v. 11 is both motive and theme of the discourse among the peoples, viz., God's mercy and truth which soar high as the heavens (Psalm 36:6). That they extend even to the heavens is only an earthly conception of their infinity (cf. Ephesians 3:18). In the refrain, v. 12, which only differs in one letter from Psalm 57:6, the Psalm comes back to the language of prayer. Heaven and earth have a mutually involved history, and the blessed, glorious end of this history is the sunrise of the divine doxa over both, here prayed for.

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