Psalm 63:10
They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
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(10) Shall fall.—See margin. But more literally, they shall pour him on to the hands of the sword, where the suffix him is collective of the enemy, and the meaning is, “they shall be given over to the power of the sword.” (Comp. Jeremiah 18:21; Ezekiel 35:5.)

Foxes . . .—Rather, jackals. Heb., shualîm. (See Note, Song of Solomon 2:15.)

63:7-11 True Christians can, in some measure, and at some times, make use of the strong language of David, but too commonly our souls cleave to the dust. Having committed ourselves to God, we must be easy and pleased, and quiet from the fear of evil. Those that follow hard after God, would soon fail, if God's right hand did not uphold them. It is he that strengthens us and comforts us. The psalmist doubts not but that though now sowing in tears, he should reap in joy. Messiah the Prince shall rejoice in God; he is already entered into the joy set before him, and his glory will be completed at his second coming. Blessed Lord, let our desire towards thee increase every hour; let our love be always upon thee; let all our enjoyment be in thee, and all our satisfaction from thee. Be thou all in all to us while we remain in the present wilderness state, and bring us home to the everlasting enjoyment of thee for ever.They shall fall by the sword - Margin, They shall make him run out like water by the hands of the sword. The word rendered in the text "they shall fall," and in the margin "they shall make him run out" - נגר nâgar - means properly, to flow, to pour out, as water; and then, to pour out; then, to give up or deliver. The idea here is that of delivering over, as one pours out water from a basin or pitcher: they shall be delivered over to the sword. The original rendered "sword" is, as in the margin, "by the hands of the sword;" that is, the sword is represented as accomplishing its purpose as if it had hands. The sword shall slay them.

They shall be a portion for foxes - The original word - שׁועל shû‛âl - means properly and commonly a fox. But under this general name fox, the Orientals seem to have comprehended other animals also, having some resemblance to a fox, and particularly jackals. Thus jackals seem to be meant in Judges 15:4; since foxes are with great difficulty taken alive; and in this place also it has the same meaning, inasmuch as foxes do not feast on dead bodies, though a favorite repast of the jackal. Gesenius, Lexicon. Compare Bochart Hieroz. T. ii. p. 190, ed. Lips. Jackals are wild, fierce, savage; they howl around dwellings at night - producing most hideous music, beginning "in a sort of solo, a low, long-drawn wail, rising and swelling higher and higher until it quite overtops the wind," (Thomson's "Land and the Book," i. 133) - and ready to gather at any moment when there is prey to be devoured. "These sinister, guilty, wo-begone brutes, when pressed with hunger, gather in gangs among the graves, and yell in rage, and fight like fiends over their midnight orgies; but on the battlefield is their great carnival. Oh! let me never even dream that anyone dear to me has fallen by the sword, and lies there to be torn, and gnawed at, and dragged about by these hideous howlers."

10. foxes—literally, "jackals." They shall fall by the sword, i.e. die in battle, as David foretold, 1 Samuel 26:10, and as was accomplished in Saul and his followers, who were David’s greatest enemies, 1 Samuel 31.

They shall be a portion for foxes; their carcasses shall be unburied upon the earth, and thereby become a prey to wild and ravenous creatures, and especially to foxes, which were in those parts in great abundance and which did and do feed not only upon fruits, Song of Solomon 2:15, but also upon flesh, as experience showeth. Besides, some very learned men think that the word rendered foxes is more general, and comprehends, besides foxes, another sort of creatures, like unto them called thoes, which were very numerous in this country; of which See Poole "Judges 15:4". They shall fall by the sword,.... As Saul, his sons, and mighty men, did, 1 Samuel 31:4; or, "they shall make him pour out" (u); that is, his blood, "by the hands" or "means of the sword"; meaning either some principal enemy, as Saul in particular, or everyone of his enemies; who should be thrust with the sword, their blood let out, and they slain: so antichrist, the enemy of David's son, will be put to death in this manner, Revelation 13:10;

they shall be a portion for foxes; falling in desolate places where foxes run, and so become the food of them, and have no other burial. The foxes hunt after dead carcasses, and will find them out where they are, in holes and ditches; as appears from the case of Aristomenes, related by Pausanias (w): so the followers of antichrist, their flesh will be eaten by the fowls of heaven, Revelation 19:17.

(u) "fundere facient eum", Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. (w) Messenica, sive l. 4. p. 251.

{f} They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

(f) He prophecies of the destruction of Saul and they who take his part, whose bodies will not be buried but be devoured with wild beasts.

10. They shall fall &c.] Lit., They shall give him over (lit. pour him out) to the power of the sword (Jeremiah 18:21; Ezekiel 35:5). The active verb with indefinite subject is practically equivalent to a passive, ‘He shall be given over’; yet the idiom suggests the idea of mysterious agents, God’s ministers of justice, whose office it is. Cp. Luke 12:20, R.V. marg. The object of the verb is in the singular, either individualising the king’s enemies (‘each one of them’), or treating them as one body; but hardly singling out the leader. Cp. Psalm 64:8, note.

a portion for foxes] Rather, jackals. “It is the jackal rather than the fox which preys on dead bodies, and which assembles in troops on the battle-fields, to feast on the slain.” Tristram, Nat. Hist., p. 110. Their corpses will lie unburied where they fall, to be devoured ignominiously by wild beasts, instead of receiving honourable sepulture. Cp. Isaiah 18:6; Jeremiah 19:7.

10, 11. While his enemies come to an ignominious end, the king emerges from the struggle, triumphant over all opposition.Verse 10. - They shall fall by the sword; i.e. in battle - the natural end of those who stir up civil strife. They shall be a portion for foxes; rather, for jackals (see 2 Samuel 18:6-8). This strophe again takes up the כּן (Psalm 63:3): thus ardently longing, for all time to come also, is he set towards God, with such fervent longing after God will he bless Him in his life, i.e., entirely filling up his life therewith (בּחיּי as in Psalm 104:33; Psalm 146:2; cf. Baruch 4:20, ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις μου), and in His name, i.e., invoking it and appealing to it, will he lift up his hands in prayer. The being occupied with God makes him, even though as now in the desert he is obliged to suffer bodily hunger, satisfied and cheerful like the fattest and most marrowy food: velut adipe et pinguedine satiatur anima mea. From Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:25, Grussetius and Frisch infer that spiritualies epulae are meant. And certainly the poet cannot have had the sacrificial feasts (Hupfeld) in his mind; for the חלב of the shelamim is put upon the altar, and is removed from the part to be eaten. Moreover, however, even the Tra does not bind itself in its expression to the letter of that prohibition of the fat of animals, vid., Deuteronomy 32:14, cf. Jeremiah 31:14. So here also the expression "with marrow and fat" is the designation of a feast prepared from well-fed, noble beasts. He feels himself satisfied in his inmost nature just as after a feast of the most nourishing and dainty meats, and with lips of jubilant songs (accus. instrum. according to Ges. 138, rem. 3), i.e., with lips jubilant and attuned to song, shall his mouth sing praise. What now follows in Psalm 63:7 we no longer, as formerly, take as a protasis subsequently introduced (like Isaiah 5:4.): "when I remembered...meditated upon Thee," but so that Psalm 63:7 is the protasis and Psalm 63:7 the apodosis, cf. Psalm 21:12; Job 9:16 (Hitzig): When I remember Thee (meminerim, Ew. 355, b) upon my bed (stratis meis, as in Psalm 132:3; Genesis 49:4, cf. 1 Chronicles 5:1) - says he now as the twilight watch is passing gradually into the morning - I meditate upon Thee in the night-watches (Symmachus, καθ ̓ ἑκάστην φυλακήν), or during, throughout the night-watches (like בּחיּי in Psalm 63:5); i.e., it is no passing remembrance, but it so holds me that I pass a great part of the night absorbed in meditation on Thee. He has no lack of matter for his meditation; for God has become a help (auxilio, vid., on Psalm 3:3) to him: He has rescued him in this wilderness, and, well concealed under the shadow of His wings (vid., on Psalm 17:8; Psalm 36:8; Psalm 57:2), which affords him a cool retreat in the heat of conflict and protection against his persecutors, he is able to exult (ארנּן, the potential). Between himself and God there subsists a reciprocal relationship of active love. According to the schema of the crosswise position of words (Chiasmus), אחריך and בּי intentionally jostle close against one another: he depends upon God, following close behind Him, i.e., following Him everywhere and not leaving Him when He wishes to avoid him; and on the other side God's right hand holds him fast, not letting him go, not abandoning him to his foes.
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