My defense is of God, which saves the upright in heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My defence.—Literally, as in margin, my shield is upon God. (Comp. Psalm 62:7, “In God is my salvation,” where the Hebrew is as here, “God is my shield-bearer.”) Another explanation appears in Milton’s translation—
“On God is cast
My defence, and in Him lies,
In Him who both just and wise,
Saves the upright at heart at last.”Psalm 7:10-11. My defence is of God — Hebrew, מגני על אלהים, maginni gnal Elohim, my shield is upon God. He, as it were, carries my shield before me: see 1 Samuel 17:7. He does and will protect me against all mine enemies. Which saveth the upright in heart — And therefore will save me whom he knows to be sincere and upright in my conduct toward him and toward Saul. God judgeth the righteous — That is, defendeth, or avengeth, or delivereth, as this word is often used. To judge is properly to give sentence; which, because it may be done either by absolving and acquitting from punishment, or by condemning and giving up to punishment, therefore, it is sometimes used for the one and sometimes for the other, as the circumstances of the place determine. God is angry with the wicked every day — Even then when his providence seems to favour them, and they are most secure and confident.Psalm 3:3, note; Psalm 5:12, note; is "shield." See the notes at thoses verses.
Which saveth the upright in heart - whom he that searches the heart Psalm 7:9 sees to be upright; or to be sincere, truthful, just. The writer says that it is a characteristic of God that he saves or protects all such; and, conscious of his innocence of the charges against himself, he here appeals to him on that ground, and confides in his protection because he sees that in this respect he was blameless.
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
The judge has heard the cause, has cleared the guiltless, and uttered his voice against the persecutors. Let us draw near, and learn the results of the great assize. Yonder is the slandered one with his harp in hand, hymning the justice of his Lord, and rejoicing aloud in his own deliverance. "My defence is of God, which sayeth the upright heart." Oh, how good to have a true and upright heart. Crooked sinners, with all their craftiness, are foiled by the upright in heart. God defends the right. Filth will not long abide on the pure white garments of the saints, but shall be brushed off by divine providence, to the vexation of the men by whose base hands it was thrown upon the godly. When God shall try our cause, our sun has risen, and the sun of the wicked is set for ever. Truth, like oil, is ever above, no power of our enemies can drown it; we shall refute their slanders in the day when the trumpet wakes the dead, and we shall shine in honour when lying lips are put to silence. O believer, fear not all that thy foes can do or say against thee, for the tree which God plants no winds can hurt. "God judgeth the righteous," he hath not given thee up to be condemned by the lips of persecutors. Thine enemies cannot sit on God's throne, nor blot thy name out of his book. Let them alone, then, for God will find time for his revenges.
"God is angry with the wicked every day." He not only detests sin, but is angry with those who continue to indulge in it. We have no insensible and stolid God to deal with; he can be angry, nay, he is angry today and every day with you, ye ungodly and impenitent sinners. The best day that ever dawns on a sinner brings a curse with it. Sinners may have many feast days, but no safe days. From the beginning of the year even to its ending, there is not an hour in which God's oven is not hot, and burning in readiness for the wicked, who shall be as stubble.
"If he turn not, he will whet his sword." What blows are those which will be dealt by that long uplifted arm! God's sword has been sharpening upon the revolving stone of our daily wickedness, and if we will not repent, it will speedily cut us in pieces. Turn or burn is the sinner's only alternative. "He hath bent his bow and made it ready." Even now the thirsty arrow longs to wet itself with the blood of the persecutor. The bow is bent, the aim is taken, the arrow is fitted to the string, and what, O sinner, if the arrow should be let fly at thee even now! Remember, God's arrows never miss the mark, and are, every one of them, "instruments of death." Judgment may tarry, but it will not come too late. The Greek proverb saith, "The mill of God grinds late, but grinds to powder."My defence is of God, Heb. My shield is upon God; he doth as it were carry my shield before me. See 1 Samuel 17:7. He doth and will protect me against all mine enemies.
Which saveth the upright in heart; and therefore me, whom he knoweth to be sincere and honest in my carriage toward him and toward Saul. Psalm 3:3; or "my shield is with God"; that is, Christ, who was the shield his faith made use of against every spiritual enemy, was with God; he was with him as the Word and Son of God from all eternity, and as the living Redeemer of his people before his incarnation; and he is now with him as their intercessor and advocate, who pleads in defence of them, and opposes himself, his blood and righteousness, to all the charges and accusations of Satan;
which saveth the upright in heart: who have the truth of grace in them, wisdom in the hidden part; who are sincere in their affections, purposes, and designs, in their faith, hope, and love; and act from real principles of truth and love, in the integrity of their souls; for these light and gladness are sown, to them grace and glory are given, and no good thing is withheld from them; they are saved by God from sin, Satan, the world, death, and hell, and every enemy, with a spiritual and everlasting salvation.My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. My defence is of God] R.V., my shield is with God. Lit. my shield is upon God; it rests with God to defend me. Cp. Psalm 62:7.Verse 10. - My defense is of God; literally, my shield is on God; i.e. "rests on him" (Kay) - is upheld by him. Which sayeth the upright in heart (comp. Psalm 125:4). 1 Samuel 24:12; 1 Samuel 26:18; and from this comparison one will at once see in a small compass the difference between poetical and prose expression. שׁלמי (Targ. לבעל שׁלמי) is the name he gives (with reference to Saul) to him who stands on a peaceful, friendly footing with him, cf. the adject. שׁלום, Psalm 55:21, and אישׁ שׁלום, Psalm 41:10. The verb גּמל, cogn. גּמר, signifies originally to finish, complete, (root גם, כם ,גם t, cf. כּימה to be or to make full, to gather into a heap). One says טּוב גּמל and גּמל רע, and also without a material object גּמל עלי or גּמלני benefecit or malefecit mihi. But we join גּמלתּי with רע according to the Targum and contrary to the accentuation, and not with שׁלמי (Olsh., Bttch., Hitz.), although שׁלם beside משׁלּם, as e.g., דּבר beside מדבּר might mean "requiting." The poet would then have written: אם שׁלּמתּי גּמלי רע i.e., if I have retaliated upon him that hath done evil to me. In Psalm 7:5 we do not render it according the meaning to הלּץ which is usual elsewhere: but rather I rescued... (Louis de Dieu, Ewald 345, a, and Hupfeld). Why cannot הלּץ in accordance with its primary signification expedire, exuere (according to which even the signification of rescuing, taken exactly, does not proceed from the idea of drawing out, but of making loose, exuere vinclis) signify here exuere equals spoliare, as it does in Aramaic? And how extremely appropriate it is as an allusion to the incident in the cave, when David did not rescue Saul, but, without indeed designing to take חליצה, exuviae, cut off the hem of his garment! As Hengstenberg observes, "He affirms his innocence in the most general terms, thereby showing that his conduct towards Saul was not anything exceptional, but sprang from his whole disposition and mode of action." On the 1 pers. fut. conv. and ah, vid., on Psalm 3:6. ריקם belongs to צוררי, like Psalm 25:3; Psalm 69:5.
In the apodosis, Psalm 7:6, the fut. Kal of רדף is made into three syllables, in a way altogether without example, since, by first making the Sheb audible, from ירדּף it is become ירדף (like יצחק Genesis 21:6, תּהלך Psalm 73:9; Exodus 9:23, שׁמעה Psalm 39:13), and this is then sharpened by an euphonic Dag. forte.
(Note: The Dag. is of the same kind as the Dag. in גּמלּים among nouns; Arabic popular dialect farassı̂ (my horse), vid., Wetzstein's Inshriften S. 366.)
Other ways of explaining it, as that by Cahjg equals יתרדף, or by Kimchi as a mixed form from Kal and Piel,
(Note: Pinsker's view, that the pointing ירדף is designed to leave the reader at liberty to choose between the reading ירדּף and ירדּף, cannot be supported. There are no safe examples for the supposition that the variations of tradition found expression in this way.)
have been already refuted by Baer, Thorath Emeth, p. 33. This dactylic jussive form of Kal is followed by the regular jussives of Hiph. ישּׂג and ישׁכּן. The rhythm is similar so that in the primary passage Exodus 15:9, which also finds its echo in Psalm 18:38, - viz. iambic with anapaests inspersed. By its parallelism with נפשׁי and חיּי, כּבודי acquires the signification "my soul," as Saadia, Gecatilia and Aben-Ezra have rendered it - a signification which is secured to it by Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:13; Psalm 57:9; Psalm 108:2, Genesis 49:6. Man's soul is his doxa, and this it is as being the copy of the divine doxa (Bibl. Psychol. S. 98, [tr. p. 119], and frequently). Moreover, "let him lay in the dust" is at least quite as favourable to this sense of כבודי as to the sense of personal and official dignity (Psalm 3:4; Psalm 4:3). To lay down in the dust is equivalent to: to lay in the dust of death, Psalm 22:16. שׁכני עפר, Isaiah 26:19, are the dead. According to the biblical conception the soul is capable of being killed (Numbers 35:11), and mortal (Numbers 23:10). It binds spirit and body together and this bond is cut asunder by death. David will submit willingly to death in case he has ever acted dishonourably.
Here the music is to strike up, in order to give intensity to the expression of this courageous confession. In the next strophe is affirmation of innocence rises to a challenging appeal to the judgment-seat of God and a prophetic certainty that that judgment is near at hand.
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