Psalm 71:11
Saying, God has forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
71:1-13 David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety. He that was our Help from our birth, ought to be our Hope from our youth. Let none expect ease or comfort from the world. Those who love the Lord, often are hated and persecuted; men wondered at for their principles and conduct; but the Lord has been their strong refuge. The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails.Saying, God hath forsaken him - That is, God has given him over; he no longer protects him; he regards him as a wicked man, and we shall therefore, not only be "safe" in our attempts upon his life, but we shall be "justified" in those attempts.

Persecute and take him - It can be done safely now; it can be done with propriety.

For there is none to deliver him - He has no one now to whom to look; no one on whom he can rely. Abandoned by God and by man, he will be an easy prey. Compare the notes at Psalm 41:7-8.

10, 11. The craft and malicious taunts of his enemies now led him to call for aid (compare the terms used, 2Sa 17:12; Ps 3:2; 7:2). God hath forsaken him, for his adultery, and murder, and other wickednesses, and therefore we shall certainly prevail against him. Saying, God hath forsaken him,.... Good men may seem to others to be forsaken of God; and they themselves may sometimes think they are; and they may be forsaken for a small moment, when God withdraws his gracious presence, or does not afford immediate help; but never finally and totally. This David's enemies concluded, from the distressed condition he was in, being obliged to leave his family and court, and flee from his son, and wander up and down with a small retinue; and this they said to one another, to encourage themselves to lay violent hands upon him, which they thought they might do with ease and impunity; wherefore it follows,

persecute and take him; pursue after him eagerly and diligently; lose no time; and, when come up to him, seize upon him, without any fear of God or man;

for there is none to deliver him; out of our hands. God will not, for he has forsaken him; and men cannot, for he has not an army sufficient to defend him or recover him.

Saying, {h} God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

(h) Thus the wicked both blaspheme God and triumph against his saints, as though he had forsaken them if he permits them to fall into their hands.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. God hath forsaken him] Cp. Psalm 22:1; Psalm 38:21 b.

persecute] R.V. pursue. But cp. Psalm 69:26; Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:18; Jeremiah 20:11.Verse 11. - Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. Compare the words of Ahithophel, "Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue alter David this night; and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only" (2 Samuel 17:1, 2). It no doubt appeared to Absalom's party generally, as it did to Shimei, that God had "forsakes" David, and turned against him (2 Samuel 16:8). Stayed upon Jahve, his ground of trust, from early childhood up, the poet hopes and prays for deliverance out of the hand of the foe. The first of these two strophes (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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