Psalm 9:4
For you have maintained my right and my cause; you sat in the throne judging right.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Thou hast maintained my right.—Literally, thou hast made my judgment, as the LXX. and Vulg. For this confidence in the supreme arbiter of events compare Shakespeare:—

“Is this your Christian counsel? Out upon you!

Heaven is above all yet. There sits a Judge

That no king can corrupt.”—Henry VIII.

Psalm 9:4-5. My right and my cause — That is, my righteous cause against thy and my enemies. Thou sattest in the throne, &c. — Thou didst judge and give sentence for me. Thou hast rebuked — That is, punished or destroyed, as it is explained in the next clause; the heathen — Namely, the Philistines and other heathen nations who, from time to time, molested David and the people of Israel. Thou hast put out their name for ever — Meaning either that fame and honour which they had gained by their former exploits, but had now utterly lost by their shameful defeats; or their very memorial, as it fared with Amalek.9:1-10 If we would praise God acceptably, we must praise him in sincerity, with our whole heart. When we give thanks for some one particular mercy, we should remember former mercies. Our joy must not be in the gift, so much as in the Giver. The triumphs of the Redeemer ought to be the triumphs of the redeemed. The almighty power of God is that which the strongest and stoutest of his enemies are no way able to stand before. We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, and that with him there is no unrighteousness. His people may, by faith, flee to him as their Refuge, and may depend on his power and promise for their safety, so that no real hurt shall be done to them. Those who know him to be a God of truth and faithfulness, will rejoice in his word of promise, and rest upon that. Those who know him to be an everlasting Father, will trust him with their souls as their main care, and trust in him at all times, even to the end; and by constant care seek to approve themselves to him in the whole course of their lives. Who is there that would not seek him, who never hath forsaken those that seek Him?For thou hast maintained my right and my cause - My righteous cause; that is, when he was unequally attacked. When his enemies came upon him in an unprovoked and cruel manner, God had interposed and had defended his cause. This shows that the psalmist refers to something that had occurred in the past; also that he regarded his cause as right - for the interposition of God in his behalf had confirmed him in this belief.

Thou satest in the throne judging right - As if he had been seated on a bench of justice, and bad decided on the merits of his cause before he interfered in his behalf. It was not the result of impulse, folly, partiality, or favoritism; it was because he had, as a judge, considered the matter, and had decided that the right was with the author of the psalm, and not with his enemies. As the result of that determination of the case, he had interposed to vindicate him, and to overthrow his adversaries. Compare Psalm 8:3-8.

3-5. When … are turned back—It is the result of God's power alone. He, as a righteous Judge (Ps 7:11), vindicates His people. He rebukes by acts as well as words (Ps 6:1; 18:15), and so effectually as to destroy the names of nations as well as persons. My right and my cause, i.e. my righteous cause against thine and mine enemies.

Thou satest in the throne; thou didst judge and give sentence for me.

Judging right, or, O righteous Judge, or, as a just judge. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause,.... Or vindicated and established his righteous cause; God had pleaded and defended it, and by the flight, fall, and ruin of his enemies, had clearly made it appear that his cause was just and good;

thou sittest in the throne judging right; God has not only a throne of grace on which he sits, and from whence he distributes grace and mercy to his people, but he has a throne of judgment, and which is prepared for it, as in Psalm 9:7; where he sits as the Judge of all the earth, and will do right; nor can he do otherwise, though his judgments are not always manifest in the present state of things; and the vindication of the psalmist's innocence and uprightness is another reason of his joy and gladness.

For {b} thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.

(b) However the enemy seems for a time to prevail yet God preserves the just.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. In the defeat of his enemies he sees God’s judicial intervention on his behalf. God has pronounced and executed sentence in his favour. Cp. Psalm 7:8-9.

thou satest &c.] Better, thou didst take thy seat on the throne, judging righteously. The throne is that of judgement (Psalm 9:7; Proverbs 20:8). God has assumed this judicial character, in answer to the Psalmist’s prayer in Psalm 7:7.Verse 4. - For thou hast maintained my right and my cause. David uniformly ascribes his military successes, not to his own ability, or even to the valour of his soldiers, but to God's favour. God's favour, which is secured by the justice of his cause, gives him victory after victory. Thou surest in the throne judging right. While the late battle raged, God sat upon his heavenly throne, administering justice, awarding defeat and death to the wrong-doers who had wantonly attacked his people, giving victory and glory and honour to those who stood on their defence against the aggressors. (Heb.: 8:7-9) Man is a king, and not a king without territory; the world around, with the works of creative wisdom which fill it, is his kingdom. The words "put under his feet" sound like a paraphrase of the רדה in Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:28, כּל is unlimited, as in Job 13:1; Job 42:2; Isaiah 44:24. But the expansion of the expression in Psalm 8:8, Psalm 8:9 extends only to the earth, and is limited even there to the different classes of creatures in the regions of land, air, and water. The poet is enthusiastic in his survey of this province of man's dominion. And his lofty poetic language corresponds to this enthusiasm. The enumeration begins with the domestic animals and passes on from these to the wild beasts-together the creatures that dwell on terra firma. צנה (צנא Numbers 32:24) from צנה (צנא) Arab. dnâ (dn'), as also Arab. dân, fut. o., proliferum esse is, in poetry, equivalent to צאן, which is otherwise the usual name for small cattle. אלפים (in Aramaic, as the name of the letter shows, a prose word) is in Hebrew poetically equivalent to בּקר; the oxen which willingly accommodate themselves to the service of man, especially of the husbandman, are so called from אלף to yield to. Wild animals, which in prose are called חיּת הארץ, (השּׂדה) here bear the poetical name בּהמות שׂדי, as in Joel 2:22, cf. Joel 1:20, 1 Samuel 17:44. שׂדי (in pause שׂדי) is the primitive form of שׂדה, which is not declined, and has thereby obtained a collective signification. From the land animals the description passes on to the fowls of the air and the fishes of the water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is used without the art. according to poetical usage, whereas היּם without the art. would have sounded too scanty and not sufficiently measured. In connection with ימּים the article may be again omitted, just as with שׁמים. עבר is a collective participle. If the following were intended: he (or: since he), viz., man, passes through the paths of the sea (Bttcher, Cassel, and even Aben-Ezra and Kimchi), then it would not have been expressed in such a monostich, and in a form so liable to lead one astray. The words may be a comprehensive designation of that portion of the animal kingdom which is found in the sea; and this also intended to include all from the smallest worm to the gigantic leviathan: ὁππόσα ποντοπόρους παρεπιστείβουσι κελεύθους (Apollinaris). If man thus rules over every living thing that is round about him from the nearest to the most remote, even that which is apparently the most untameable: then it is clear that every lifeless created thing in his vicinity must serve him as its king. The poet regards man in the light of the purpose for which he was created.
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