Psalm 9:9
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
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(9) The Lord also.—Better, but let Jehovah.

Refuge.—Properly, a stronghold: a citadel into which the persecuted would retreat.

Oppressed.—Properly, crushed.

Trouble.—From root meaning “to cut off from.” Sc., “provisions,” “water,” and the like. Its cognate in Jeremiah 14:1; Jeremiah 17:8, means “drought.” The phrase “in times of trouble” recurs in Psalm 10:1.

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?The Lord also will be a refuge - Margin, an high place. The margin expresses the more exact sense of the, Hebrew word - משׂגב miśgâb. It means properly height, altitude; then a height, rock, crag; and then, as such localities, being inaccessible to an enemy, were sought in times of danger as places of secure retreat, it comes to denote a place of security and refuge, Psalm 18:2; Psalm 46:7, Psalm 46:11; Psalm 48:3; Psalm 59:9, Psalm 59:17; Psalm 94:22. The declaration here is equivalent to what is so often said, that God is a refuge, a rock, a high tower, a defense; meaning, that those referred to might find safety in him. See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

For the oppressed - literally, for those who are crushed, broken; hence, the dejected, afflicted, unhappy - דך dak - from דכך mor dākak - to beat small; to break in pieces; to crush. The allusion here is to those who are wronged or down-trodden; to the victims of tyranny and injustice. Such may look to God to vindicate them and their cause, and they will not look in vain. Sooner or later he will manifest himself as their protector and their helper. See Psalm 9:12.

A refuge in times of trouble - Not only for the oppressed, but for all those who are in trouble. Compare Psalm 46:1. That is, all such may come to him with the assurance that he will be ready to pity them in their sorrows, and to deliver them. The psalmist had found it so in his own case; and he infers that it would be so in all cases, and that this might be regarded as the general character of God.

9, 10. The oppressed, and all who know Him (Ps 5:3; 7:1), find Him a sure refuge. God will not only judge the world at the last day, and then give sentence for his people against their enemies, but even at present he will give them his protection. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,.... The poor and weak, such as have no might nor power, and are thrown down and trampled upon, as the word (i) signifies; and such are the people of God. They are oppressed with the burden of sin; they are bowed down with Satan and his temptations; and are sometimes pressed out of measure, and above their strength, with the persecutions of men; they are trodden under foot by antichrist, or otherwise are borne down with a variety of sorrows and afflictions; but the Lord is a refuge for them. The Chaldee paraphrase renders it as before, "the Word of the Lord", the eternal Logos, the Son of God: he is a refuge for poor sensible sinners, fleeing from wrath to come; being typified by the cities of refuge, whither the manslayer fled from the avenger of blood: he is the strong hold for the prisoners of hope to turn into; his name is a strong tower and place of defence for oppressed saints; he is a refuge when all others fail, and at all times, in the day of affliction, and in the hour of death, and at judgment;

a refuge in times of trouble; of which the saints have many, as when God hides his face, when corruptions prevail, when grace is low in exercise, and temptations are strong, yet even then Christ is the refuge from the storm; the salvation of his people is of him, and he is their strength in every time of trouble; see Isaiah 25:4.

(i) "attrito", Cocceius, Gejerus: "contrito", Michaelis.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the {d} oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

(d) Our miseries are meant to cause us to feel God's present care over us.

9, 10. So may Jehovah be a high tower for the down-trodden,

A high tower in times of extremity;

And let them that know Thy name trust in Thee,

Because Thou hast not forsaken them that seek Thee, O Jehovah.

These verses express the result of Jehovah’s judgement in the deliverance of those who are crushed and down-trodden (Psalm 10:18; Job 5:4) by the world’s magnates, and the consequent encouragement of the faithful.

a refuge] A high tower or fort; in the Psalter always metaphorically of God. Cp. Psalm 18:2, &c., and the use of the cognate verb in Psalm 20:1 and elsewhere. The figure may well be derived from the experience of David in his outlaw life. The down-trodden victim is lifted up far out of the reach of his tormentors. Cp. Proverbs 18:10.

trouble] A word occurring elsewhere only in Psalm 10:1. It seems to mean the extremity of trouble in which all hope of deliverance is cut off. The idea may be that the precipice which apparently barred the fugitive’s escape proves to be his retreat from his pursuers.Verse 9. - The Lord also will be a Refuge for the oppressed. Misgab, translated "refuge," is literally "a hill-fort" (comp. Psalm 144:2, where it is rendered "high tower"). David's use of the metaphor is reasonably ascribed to his having "often experienced safety in such places, when fleeing from Saul" (Hengstenberg; see 1 Samuel 23:14). A refuge in times of trouble; literally, in times in trouble; i.e. "in times that are steeped in trouble" (Kay). (Heb.: 9:4-5) The call upon himself to thanksgiving sounds forth, and the ב-strophe continues it by expressing the ground of it. The preposition בּ in this instance expresses both the time and the reason together (as in Psalm 76:10; 2 Chronicles 28:6); in Latin it is recedentibus hostibus meis retro. אחור serves to strengthen the notion of being driven back, as in Psalm 56:10, cf. Psalm 44:11; and just as, in Latin, verbs compounded of re are strengthened by retro. In Psalm 9:4 finite verbs take the place of the infinitive construct; here we have futt. with a present signification, just as in 2 Chronicles 16:7 we find a praet. intended as perfect. For the rendering which Hitzig adopts: When mine enemies retreat backwards, they stumble... is opposed both by the absence of any syntactic indication in Psalm 9:4 of an apodosis (cf. Psalm 27:2); and also by the fact that יכּשׁלוּ is well adapted to be a continuation of the description of שׁוּב אחור (cf. John 18:6), but is tame as a principal clause to the definitive clause בשוב אויבי אחור. Moreover, אחור does not signify backwards (which would rather be אחרנּית Genesis 9:23; 1 Samuel 4:18), but back, or into the rear. The מן of מפּניך is the מן of the cause, whence the action proceeds. What is intended is God's angry countenance, the look of which sets his enemies on fire as if they were fuel (Psalm 21:10), in antithesis to God's countenance as beaming with the light of His love. Now, while this is taking place, and because of its taking place, will be sing praise to God. From Psalm 9:2 we see that the Psalm is composed directly after the victory and while the destructive consequences of it to the vanquished are still in operation. David sees in it all an act of Jahve's judicial power. To execute any one's right, משׁפּט (Micah 7:9), to bring to an issue any one's suit or lawful demand, דּין (Psalm 140:13), is equivalent to: to assist him and his good cause in securing their right. The phrases are also used in a judicial sense without the suffix. The genitive object after these principal words never denotes the person against whom, but the person on whose behalf, the third party steps forward with his judicial authority. Jahve has seated Himself upon His judgment-seat as a judge of righteousness (as in Jeremiah 11:20), i.e., as a judge whose judicial mode of procedure is righteousness, justice,

(Note: Also Proverbs 8:16 is probably to be read צדק כּל־שׁכּטי, with Norzi, according to the Targum, Syriac version, and old Codices; at any rate this is an old various reading, and one in accordance with the sense, side by side with כל־שׁפטי ארץ.)

and has decided in his favour. In ישׁב ל (as in Psalm 132:11), which is distinguished in this respect from ישׁב על (Psalm 47:9), the idea of motion, considere, comes prominently forward.

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