O my God, my soul is cast down within me
Which the psalmist repeats, partly to show the greatness of his dejection, though he had not lost his view of interest in God as his covenant God; and partly to observe another method he made use of to remove his dejection and refresh his spirits; and that was by calling to mind past experiences of divine goodness;
therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan;
the country round about it, or rather beyond it; which was at the farthest parts of the land of Canaan, where David was obliged to flee, and where he had often met with God;
and of the Hermonites;
who inhabited the mountain of Hermon; or the Hermonian mountains, as the Targum; see ( Psalms 133:3 ) ; a mountain upon the border of the land of Israel eastward, and which was very high; Cocceius thinks the Geshurites are meant; see ( 1 Samuel 27:8 ) ; here also the Lord had appeared to him, and for him; and
from the hill Mizar;
or "the little hill" F11; which might be so in comparison of Hermon. The above interpreter thinks Zoar is meant, which Lot so called, ( Genesis 19:20 Genesis 19:22 ) ; which was near Sodom and Gomorrah: Kimchi thinks it might be Zior, mentioned in ( Joshua 15:54 ) ; but, be it what or where it will, in this little hill David enjoyed the divine Presence; or was indulged with some remarkable favour; from all which he concludes he had no just reason to be dejected and disquieted in his mind: and right it is for the people of God to call to mind past experiences, and make mention of them; partly for the glory of divine grace, and to express their gratitude to God, and their sense of his goodness; and partly to cheer and refresh their own spirits, and prevent dejection and despondency: and delightful it is to call to mind, how, at such a time, and in such a place, the Lord was pleased to manifest his love, apply some gracious promise, or deliver from some sore temptation or distress: all which must tend to encourage faith and hope. The Jewish writers differently interpret these words; Jarchi, of David's remembrance of the wonderful works God did for the people of Israel of old, in drying up the river Jordan, and giving them the law on Mount Sinai, a little hill, in comparison of some others: Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, understand them as a reason of his dejection, when he remembered how the Israelites came from those several parts to the solemn feasts at Jerusalem, which he was now deprived of; and the Targum paraphrases them of the inhabitants of those places, and of the people that received the law on Mount Sinai, remembering God; and so Arama thinks "beyond Jordan" is mentioned because the law was given there; and by the hill Mizar he understands Sinai: and some Christian interpreters consider them as a reason why David's soul was cast down in him, he being in such places as here mentioned, at a distance from his own house, from Jerusalem, and the place of divine worship, and so render the words, "because that I remember thee" F12.
F11 (rhm reum) "de monte modico", V. L. Musculus; "parvo", Pagninus, Vatablus; so Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F12 (Nk-le) "propterea quod", Tigurine version, Piscator, Muis; "quia", Noldius, p. 727, No. 1790.