Arise, O Lord, in thine anger
This and the following phrase do not suppose local motion in God, to whom it cannot belong, being infinite and immense, but are spoken of him after the manner of men, who seems sometimes as though he had laid himself down, and was unconcerned about and took no notice of human affairs, of the insults of the wicked and the oppressions of the righteous; wherefore the psalmist beseeches him to "arise", which he may be said to do when he comes forth in his power in the defence of his people, and against their enemies; see ( Psalms 12:5 ) ( Isaiah 26:21 ) ; and he also prays him to arise in anger, to show himself displeased, and give some tokens of his resentment, by letting his enemies feel the lighting down of his arm with the indignation of his anger;
lift up thyself, because of the rage of mine enemies;
ascend the throne of judgment, and there sit judging right; show thyself to be the Judge of the earth, high and lifted up; let it appear that thou art above all mine enemies, higher and more powerful than they; stop their rage, break the force of their fury, lift up a standard against them, who, likes mighty flood, threaten to bear all before them: or "lift up thyself in rage", or "fierce wrath, because of", or "against mine enemies" F25: and so the sense is the same as before; and this way go many of the Jewish interpreters F26;
and awake for me [to] the judgment [that] thou hast commanded;
not that sleep falls upon God, for the keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps; nor does it fall on any but corporeal beings, not upon angels, nor the souls of men, much less on God; but he sometimes in his providence seems to lie dormant and inactive, as if he disregarded what is done in this world; and therefore his people address him as if he was asleep, and call upon him to arise to their help and assistance; see ( Psalms 44:23 Psalms 44:26 ) ; and so David here, "awake for me", that is, hasten to come to me and help me; suggesting that he was in great distress and danger, by reason of his enemies, should he delay coming to him. By "judgment" is either meant the vengeance which God had ordered him to execute upon his enemies, as Jarchi interprets it, and therefore he entreats him to arise and put him in a capacity of doing it; or else his innocence, and the vindication of it, which God had promised him, and then the petition is much the same with ( Psalms 7:8 ) . But the generality of Jewish F1 writers understand it of the kingdom which God had appointed for him, and for which he was anointed by Samuel; and who had told Saul that God had found a man after his own heart, whom he had "commanded" to be captain over his people, ( 1 Samuel 13:14 ) ; wherefore the psalmist prays that God would hasten the fulfilment of his purpose and promise, and set him on the throne, that so he might administer justice and judgment to the people.
F25 (yrdwu twrbeb) "in furore contra hostes meos", Mariana; "gravissimo furore percitus in eos qui me opprimunt", Junius & Tremellius.
F26 Targum, Jarchi, & Kimchi, in loc.
F1 R. Moses in Aben Ezra in loc. R. Obadiah Gaon, Kimchi, & Ben Melech in loc.