Psalm 108:9

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 9. Moab is my washpot. This nation had shown no friendly spirit to the Israelites, but had continually viewed them as a detested rival, therefore they were to be subdued and made subject to David's throne. He claims by faith the victory, and regards his powerful enemy with contempt. Nor was he disappointed, for "the Moabites became David's servants and brought him gifts" ( 2 Samuel 8:2 ). As men wash their feet after a long journey, and so are revived, so vanquished difficulties serve to refresh us: we use Moab for a washpot.

Over Edom will I cast out my shoe. It shall be as the floor upon which the bather throws his sandals, it shall lie beneath his foot, subject to his will and altogether his own. Edom was proud, but David throws his slipper at it; its capital was high, but he casts his sandal over it; it was strong, but he hurls his shoe at it as the gage of battle. He had not entered yet into its rock built fortresses, but since the Lord was with him he felt sure that he would do so. Under the leadership of the Almighty, he felt so secure of conquering even fierce Edom itself that he looks upon it as a mere slave, over which he could exult with impunity. We ought never to fear those who are defending the wrong side, for since God is not with them their wisdom is folly, their strength is weakness, and their glory is their shame. We think too much of God's foes and talk of them with too much respect. Who is this hope of Rome? His Holiness? Call him not so, but call him His Blasphemy! His Profanity! His Impudence! What are he and his cardinals, and his legates, but the image and incarnation of Antichrist, to be in due time cast with the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire?

Over Philistia will I triumph. David had done so in his youth, and he is all the more sure of doing it again. We read that "David smote the Philistines and subdued them" ( 2 Samuel 8:1 ), even as he hath smitten Edom and filled it with his garrisons. The enemies with whom we battled in our youth are yet alive, and we shall have more brushes with them before we die, but, blessed be God, we are by no means dismayed at the prospect, for we expect to triumph over them even more easily than aforetime.

Thy right hand shall thy people aid;
Thy faithful promise makes us strong;
We will Philistia's land invade.
And over Edom chant the song.
Through thee we shall most valiant prove,
And tread the foe beneath our feet;
Through thee our faith shall hills remove,
And small as chaff the mountains beat.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 9. Moab, who had enticed Israel to impurity, is made a vessel for its purifying. Edom, descendant of him who despised his birthright, is deprived of his independence; -- for "flinging a shoe" was a sign of the transference of a prior claim on land. Ruth 4:7 . --William Kay.

Verse 9. Moab is my washpot. The office of washing the feet was in the East commonly performed by slaves, and the meanest of the family, as appears from what Abigail said to David when he took her to wife, "Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord", 1 Samuel 25:41 ; and from the fact of our Saviour washing his disciples' feet, to give them an example of humility, John 8:5 . The word nipthr, used in this last passage, signifies in general a washing pot, and is put for the word podoniptron, the term which the Greeks, in strict propriety of speech, applied to a vessel for washing the feet. As this office was servile, so the vessels employed for this purpose were a mean part of household stuff. Gataker and Le Clerc illustrate this text from an anecdote related by Herodotus, concerning Amasis, king of Egypt, who expressed the meanness of his own origin by comparing himself to a pot for washing the feet in, (Herod. Lib. 2. c. 172). When, therefore, it is said, "Moab is my washing pot", the complete and servile subjection of Moab to David is strongly marked. This is expressed, not by comparing Moab to a slave who performs the lowest offices, as presenting to his master the basin for washing his feet, but by comparing him to the mean utensil itself. See 2 Samuel 8:2 1 Chronicles 18:1-2 , 12-13. --James Anderson's Note to Calvin on Isaiah 60:1-12 .

Verse 9. Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast my shoe. This somewhat difficult expression may be thus explained. Moab and Edom were to be reduced to a state of lowest vassalage to the people of God. The one was to be like a pot or tub fit only for washing the feet in, while the other was to be like the domestic slave standing by to receive the sandals thrown to him by the person about to perform his ablutions, that he might first put them by in a safe place, and then come and wash his master's feet. -- "Rays from the East."

Verse 9. Over Edom will I cast my shoe. David overthrew their army in the "Valley of Salt", and his general, Joab, following up the victory, destroyed nearly the whole male population ( 1 Kings 11:15-16 ), and placed Jewish garrisons in all the strongholds of Edom ( 2 Samuel 8:13-14 ). In honour of that victory the Psalmist warrior may have penned the words in Psalms 60:8 , "Over Edom will I cast my shoe." - -J.L. Porter in, "Smith's Dictionary of the Bible."

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