Psalm 71:4
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
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(4-6) These verses are manifestly founded on Psalm 31:8-10; but the variations are more marked than usual, and indicate a definite purpose of adaptation rather than copying.

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.Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked - It is, of course, not possible now to ascertain who are particularly referred to here. If David was the author of the psalm, they may have been any of the numerous enemies that he had in his life.

Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man - Hebrew, "out of the palm." This means here the same as hand, and refers to the "grasp" which anyone makes in taking hold of a thing by the hand.

4, 5. cruel man—corrupt and ill-natured—literally, "sour." No text from Poole on this verse.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,.... Meaning Absalom his son, as Arama, who had risen up in rebellion against him; and he may not only intend him, but all those wicked men that had joined with him: it was David's mercy he had a covenant God to go to, and could claim his interest in him, who had power to deliver him, and from whom he might expect it;

out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man; or "leavened" (s); a sour ill natured man; one leavened with malice and wickedness: perhaps Ahithophel is intended. It may be applied to any wicked, lawless, and tyrannical persecutor of God's people; and particularly to the lawless and wicked one, the man of sin, the son of perdition, antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

(s) "malitiae fermento prorsus corrupti", Michaelis, "secundum", Gejerum & Gussetium; so Ainsworth.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand {d} of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

(d) That is, from Absalom, Ahithophel and that conspiracy.

4. Deliver me] R.V., rescue me, as in Psalm 71:2.

the unrighteous and cruel man] Comp. the complaints in Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:2-4) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:7; &c.) of the prevailing injustice and violence. The singular is probably collective.

4–8. The ground of the Psalmist’s appeal for deliverance.

Verse 4. - Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand (rather, grasp) of the unrighteous and cruel man. it is characteristic of David to single out from his adversaries an individual man, from whom he especially asks to be delivered (comp. Psalm 13:2; Psalm 17:13; Psalm 18:17, 48; Psalm 35:8; Psalm 41:6, 9, 11; Psalm 55:13, 14, etc.). Psalm 71:4Stayed 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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