Verse 29-45. See Psalms on "Psalms 18:29" for further information.
Verse 45. The strangers shall fade away. Like sear leaves or blasted trees our foes and Christ's foes shall find no sap and stamina remaining in them. Those who are strangers to Jesus are strangers to all lasting happiness; those must soon fade who refuse to be watered from the river of life.
And be afraid out of their close places. Out of their mountain fastnesses the heathen crept in fear to own allegiance to Israel's king, and even so, from the castles of self confidence and the dens of carnal security, poor sinners come bending before the Saviour, Christ the Lord. Our sins which have entrenched themselves in our flesh and blood as in impregnable forts, shall yet be driven forth by the sanctifying energy of the Holy Spirit, and we shall serve the Lord in singleness of heart. Thus with remembrance of conquests in the past, and with glad anticipations of victories yet to come, the sweet singer closes the description, and returns to exercise of more direct adoration of his gracious God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 45. The first clause is comparatively easy. The strangers shall fade away -- "shall gradually wither and disappear;" but the second clause is very difficult, They shall be afraid out of their close places. One Jewish scholar interprets it, "They shall fear for the prisons in which I will throw them and keep them confined." (Jarchi). Another, "They shall tremble in their castles to which they have betaken themselves for fear of me." Another (Aben-ezra), "They shall surrender themselves from their fortresses." The general meaning is plain enough. The class referred to are represented as reduced to a state of complete helpless subjugation. As to the event referred to, if we keep to the rendering of our translators the meaning may be, "The Pagans, retired now generally to villages and remote places, shall gradually dwindle away, and fearfully anticipate the complete extinction of their religion." This exactly accords with history. If with some interpreters we read, "The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid because of their prisons," then the meaning may be, "that they who only feigned submission, when persecution for the word should arise should openly apostatise." This, too, would be found consonant with fact. The first of these interpretations seems the more probable. John Brown.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS