For my enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 71:11, that God had forsaken him, and that therefore, they would arise and punish him, or treat him as an outcast from God.
And they that lay wait for my soul - For my life; or, to take my life. The margin here - as the Hebrew - is, "watch," or "observe." The "watchers for my life;" that is, they who watch for an opportunity to take my life, or to destroy me.Lay wait for my soul, or watch it, that they may find occasion to destroy it, and that it may not escape their hands.
"for mine enemies speak evil against me;''
or concerning me. David had his enemies, and many, as Ahithophel, and others, who spake against him to the people, and thereby drew many with them into rebellion against him; and particularly Shimei spoke against him, and cursed him, calling him a bloody man, a man of Belial, 2 Samuel 16:7;
and they that lay wait for my soul; or "life"; that laid snares for him; or lay in ambush, and sought for an opportunity to take away his life: or "they that keep my soul", or "life" (a); that were his bodyguards that were about his person for the preservation of him; and so the Targum seems to understand it;
take counsel together; lay schemes and form plots how to destroy him, as Ahithophel did, 2 Samuel 16:20.
(y) "dixerunt mihi", Montanus. (z) "De me loquuti sunt, vel loquuntur", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (a) "custodientes animam meam", Pagninus, Montanus; "custodiebant", V. L.For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. against me] R.V. concerning me. Cp. Psalm 3:2; Psalm 41:5. What they say follows in Psalm 71:11.
they that lay wait for my soul] Or, they that watch for my life.Verse 10. - For mine enemies speak against me. The psalmist's weakness encourages his enemies to make their attacks. They begin by speaking against him - calumniating him (2 Samuel 15:3, 4), and shortly they will proceed to acts. And they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together; or, "they that watch for my soul" (Revised Version). Psalm 71:1-3) is taken from Psalm 31:2-4, the second (Psalm 71:4-6, with the exception of Psalm 71:4 and Psalm 71:6) from Psalm 22:10-11; both, however, in comparison with Psalm 70:1-5 exhibit the far more encroaching variations of a poet who reproduces the language of others with a freer hand. Olshausen wishes to read מעוז in Psalm 71:3, Psalm 90:1; Psalm 91:9, instead of מעון, which he holds to be an error in writing. But this old Mosaic, Deuteronomial word (vid., on Psalm 90:1) - cf. the post-biblical oath המעון (by the Temple!) - is unassailable. Jahve, who is called a rock of refuge in Psalm 31:3, is here called a rock of habitation, i.e., a high rock that cannot be stormed or scaled, which affords a safe abode; and this figure is pursued still further with a bold remodelling of the text of Psalm 31:3 : לבוא תּמיד, constantly to go into, i.e., which I can constantly, and therefore always, as often as it is needful, betake myself for refuge. The additional צוּית is certainly not equivalent to צוּה; it would more likely be equivalent to אשׁר צוית; but probably it is an independent clause: Thou hast (in fact) commanded, i.e., unalterably determined (Psalm 44:5; Psalm 68:29; Psalm 133:3), to show me salvation, for my rock, etc. To the words לבוא תמיד צוית corresponds the expression לבית מצודות in Psalm 31:3, which the lxx renders καὶ εἰς οἶκον καταφυγῆς, whereas instead of the former three words it has καὶ εἰς τόπον ὀχυρόν, and seems to have read לבית מבצרות, cf. Daniel 11:15 (Hitzig). In Psalm 71:5, Thou art my hope reminds one of the divine name מקוה ישׂראל in Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 50:7 (cf. ἡ ἐλπίς ἡμῶν used of Christ in 1 Timothy 1:1; Colossians 1:27). נסמכתּי is not less beautiful than השׁלכתּי in Psalm 22:11. In its incipient slumbering state (cf. Psalm 3:6), and in its self-conscious continuance. He was and is the upholding prop and the supporting foundation, so to speak, of my life. And גוזי instead of גּחי in Psalm 22:10, is just such another felicitous modification. It is impracticable to define the meaning of this גוזי according to גּזה equals גּזה, Arab. jz', retribuere (prop. to cut up, distribute), because גּמל is the representative of this Aramaeo-Arabic verb in the Hebrew. Still less, however, can it be derived from גּוּז, transire, the participle of which, if it would admit of a transitive meaning equals מוציאי (Targum), ought to be גּזי. The verb גּזה, in accordance with its radical signification of abscindere (root גז, synon. קץ, קד, קט, and the like), denotes in this instance the separating of the child from the womb of the mother, the retrospect going back from youth to childhood, and even to his birth. The lxx σκεπαστής (μου) is an erroneous reading for ἐκσπαστής, as is clear from Psalm 22:10, ὁ ἐκσπάσας με. הלּל בּ, Psalm 44:9 (cf. שׂיח בּ, Psalm 69:13), is at the bottom of the expression in Psalm 71:6. The God to whom he owes his being, and its preservation thus far, is the constant, inexhaustible theme of his praise.
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