Psalms 3:1-8 . For the historical occasion mentioned, compare 2 Samuel 15:1-17:29'. David, in the midst of great distress, with filial confidence, implores God's aid, and, anticipating relief, offers praise.
1. Lord . . . increased--The extent of the rebellion ( 2 Samuel 15:13 ) surprises and grieves him.
2. say of my soul--that is, "of me" (compare Psalms 25:3 ). This use of "soul" is common; perhaps it arose from regarding the soul as man's chief part.
no help . . . in God--rejected by Him. This is the bitterest reproach for a pious man, and denotes a spirit of malignant triumph.
Selah--This word is of very obscure meaning. It probably denotes rest or pause, both as to the music and singing, intimating something emphatic in the sentiment (compare Psalms 9:16 ).
3. But--literally, "and" ( Psalms 2:6 ). He repels the reproach by avowing his continued trust.
shield--a favorite and often-used figure for protection.
my glory--its source.
lifter up of mine head--one who raises me from despondency.
4. cried . . . heard--Such has been my experience. The latter verb denotes a gracious hearing or answering.
out of--or, "from."
his holy hill--Zion ( Psalms 2:6 ). His visible earthly residence.
5. the Lord sustained me--literally, "will sustain me," the reason of his composure.
6. ten thousands of people--or, "myriads," any very great number (compare 2 Samuel 16:18 ).
7. Arise, O Lord--God is figuratively represented as asleep to denote His apparent indifference ( Psalms 7:6 ). The use of "cheekbone" and "teeth" represents his enemies as fierce, like wild beasts ready to devour ( Psalms 27:2 ), and smiting their cheekbone ( 1 Kings 22:24 ) denotes violence and insult.
thou hast broken--God took his part, utterly depriving the enemy of power to injure.
8. an ascription of praise to a delivering God, whose favor is an efficient benefit.