For the enemy hath persecuted my soul
Which is to be connected with ( Psalms 143:1 ) ; and is a reason why he desires his prayer might be answered, seeing his enemy, either Saul, or Absalom his own son, persecuted him, or pursued him in order to take away his soul, or life; or Satan, the enemy and avenger, who goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; or persecuting men, who are his emissaries and instruments, whom he instigates to persecute the Lord's people, and employs them therein; he hath smitten my life down to the ground:
brought him into a low, mean, and abject state, and near to death; had with a blow struck him to the ground, and left him wallowing in the mire and dirt, just ready to expire. The phrase is expressive of a very distressing state and condition. Some render it "my company" F18; meaning the men that were with him, his soldiers, who were reduced to a low condition with him, and greatly enfeebled and dispirited; he hath made me to dwell in darkness:
in the sides of the cave, as Kimchi; see ( 2 Samuel 24:3 ) ; or in great affliction of body and mind, frequently signified by darkness, as prosperity is by light; he was not only obliged by his enemy to hide himself in woods and wildernesses, and in caves and dens, but was filled with gloomy apprehensions of things, ( Psalms 88:6 ) ; as those that have been long dead;
or "of old" F19, an age or two ago, who are out of mind and forgotten, and of whom there is no hope of their coming to life again until the resurrection; or who are "dead for ever" F20; will remain so till that time comes; signifying hereby his hopeless, helpless, and forlorn state and condition; see ( Psalms 31:12 ) ( Psalms 88:4 Psalms 88:5 ) .
F18 (ytyx) "catervam meam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F19 (Mlwe) "olim", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.
F20 So Syriac and Arabic versions.