With a general strain of confidence, hope, and joy, especially in God's
worship, in the midst of dangers, the Psalmist introduces prayer for
divine help and guidance.
1. light--is a common figure for comfort.
strength--or, "stronghold"--affording security against all violence.
The interrogations give greater vividness to the negation implied.
2. eat . . . my flesh--
The allusion to wild beasts illustrates their rapacity.
they stumbled--"they" is emphatic; not I, but they were
3. In the greatest dangers.
in this--that is, then, in such extremity.
4, 5. The secret of his confidence is his delight in communion with
(Ps 16:11; 23:6),
beholding the harmony of His perfections, and seeking His favor in His
temple or palace; a term applicable to the tabernacle (compare
There he is safe
(Ps 31:21; 61:5).
The figure is changed in the last clause, but the sentiment is the same.
6. head be lifted up--I shall be placed beyond the reach of my enemies.
Hence he avows his purpose of rendering joyful thank offerings.
7. Still pressing need extorts prayer for help.
cry with my voice--denotes earnestness. Other things equal, Christians
in earnest pray audibly, even in secret.
8. The meaning is clear, though the construction in a literal
translation is obscure. The English Version supplies the implied
clause. To seek God's face is to seek His favor
9. Hide not, &c.--
(Ps 4:6; 22:24).
Against rejection he pleads former mercy and love.
10. In the extremity of earthly destitution
(Ps 31:11; 38:11),
God provides (compare
11. thy way--of providence.
a plain path--
enemies--literally, "watchers for my fall"
12. will--literally, "soul," "desire"
enemies--literally, "oppressors." Falsehood aids cruelty against him.
breathe out--as being filled with it
13. The strong emotion is indicated by the incomplete sentence, for
which the English Version supplies a proper clause; or, omitting
that, and rendering, "yet I believed," &c., the contrast of his
faith and his danger is expressed.
to see--is to experience
14. Wait, &c.--in confident expectation. The last clause is,
literally, "and wait," &c., as if expecting new measures of help.