Psalm 18:33

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 33. The conqueror's feet had been shod by a divine hand, and the next note must, therefore, refer to them.

He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. Pursuing his foes the warrior had been swift of foot as a young roe, but, instead of taking pleasure in the legs of a man, he ascribes the boon of swiftness to the Lord alone. When our thoughts are nimble, and our spirits rapid, like the chariots of Amminadib, let us not forget that our best Beloved's hand has given us the choice favour. Climbing into impregnable fortresses, David had been preserved from slipping, and made to stand where scarce the wild goat can find a footing; herein was preserving mercy manifested. We, too, have had our high places of honour, service, temptation, and danger, but hitherto we have been kept from falling. Bring hither the harp, and let us emulate the psalmist's joyful thanksgiving; had we fallen, our wailings must have been terrible; since we have stood, let our gratitude be fervent.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 33. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places: that is, he doth give swiftness and speed to his church; as Augustine interprets it, transcendendo spinosa, et umbrosa implacamenta hujus saeculi, passing lightly through the thorny and shady incumbrances of this world. "He will make me walk upon my high places." David saith, "He setteth me upon high places." For, consider David, as he then was, when he composed this Psalm, it was at the time when God had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. For then God set his feet on high places, setting his kingdom, and establishing him in the place of Saul. Edward Marbury.

Verse 33. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: twlyak ylgr hwfm. Celerity of motion was considered as one of the qualities of an ancient hero. Achilles is celebrated for being podas wkus Virgil's Nisus is hyperbolically described, Et ventis et fulminis ocior alis; and the men of God, who came to David, "Men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler," are said to have had "faces like the faces of lions," and to have been "as swift as the roes upon the mountains." 1 Chronicles 12:8 . Asahel is described as "light of foot as a wild roe" ( 2 Samuel 2:18 ); and Saul seems called the roe (in the English translation, "the beauty) of Israel." 2Sa 1:19. It has been said that the legs of the hind are straighter than those of the buck, and that she is swifter than he is; but there is no sufficient proof of this. Gataker gives the true account of it when he says, "The female formula is often used for the species." This is not uncommon in Hebrew. The female ass obviously stands for the ass species. Genesis 12:16 Job 1:3 42:12. Some (at the head of whom is Bochart, Hierozoicon, P.I.L. 2 c 17), have supposed the reference to be to the peculiar hardness of the hoof of the roe, which enables it to walk firmly, without danger of falling, on the roughest and rockiest places. Virgil calls the hind aeri- pedem, brass footed. Others suppose the reference to be to its agility and celerity. There is nothing to prevent our supposing that there is reference to both these distinguishing qualities of the hind's feet. John Brown.

Verse 33. He maketh my feet like hinds feet, etc. He maketh me able to stand on the sides of mountains and rocks, which were anciently used as fastnesses in time of war. The feet of the sheep, the goat, and the hart are particularly adapted to standing in such places. Mr. Merrick has here very appositely cited the following passage from Xenophon; Lib. de Venatione: Episkupein dei econta tus kunas tas men en oredi edtwdas lafouz See also Psalms 104:18 , where the same property of standing on the rocks and steep cliffs, is attributed to the wild goat. Stephen Street, M.A., in loc., 1790.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 32-34. Trying positions, gracious adaptations, graceful accomplishments, secure abidings, grateful acknowledgment.