I will praise you, O Lord, among the people: I will sing to you among the nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 18:49. Among the people; in the great congregations; amongst the Israelites of all tribes, who are called by this name, Deu 33:19, and amongst the heathens, as I shall have occasion, as he often had.
I will sing unto thee among the nations: the Apostle Paul seems to have reference to this passage in Romans 15:9; which he produces as a proof of the Gentiles glorifying God for his mercy in sending the Gospel among them, and calling them by his grace; by which they appeared to be his chosen and redeemed ones; and in forming them into Gospel churches, among whom his praise was sung: for this supposes something to be done among the Gentiles, which should occasion praise; and here the psalmist represents the Messiah, who in his ministers and members praise God for his wonderful mercy to the Gentile world, as follows.I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the peoples:
I will make melody unto thee among the nations.
This verse at any rate, it is said, could never have been written by David, and is only really intelligible, if the Psalmist speaks in the name of the nation. But the words are not unsuitable for one who was chosen to be king over a nation which had a special calling in relation to the nations of the world. If the nations were to be brought under the sway of Israel that they might be taught to know Jehovah, it was fitting that they should hear of Jehovah’s faithfulness exhibited in the deliverance of His servant. Cp. Psalm 18:49 (with the context); Psalm 9:11.Verse 9. - I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people (rather, peoples); I will sing unto thee among the nations. The psalmist's joy is toe great to be confined within any narrower limits than those of the entire earth. He will have his hymn of praise go forth to all "peoples," "nations," and languages. Michaelis notes that his desire has had a full accomplishment. 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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