Verse 7. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine. He claims the whole land on account of the promise. Two other great divisions of the country he mentions, evidently delighting to survey the goodly land which the Lord had given him. All things are ours, whether things present or things to come; no mean portion belongs to the believer, and let him not think meanly of it. No enemy shall withhold from true faith what God has given her, for grace makes her mighty to wrest it from the foe. Life is mine, death is mine, for Christ is mine.
Ephraim also is the strength of mine head. All the military power of the valiant tribe was at the command of David, and he praises God for it. God will bow to the accomplishment of his purposes all the valour of men; the church may cry, "the prowess of armies is mine," God will overrule all their achievements for the progress of his cause.
Judah is my lawgiver. There the civil power was concentrated: the king being of that tribe sent forth his laws out of her midst. We know no lawgiver, but the King who came out of Judah. To all the claims of Rome, Or Oxford, or the councils of men, we pay no attention; we are free from all other ecclesiastical rule, but that of Christ: but we yield joyful obedience to him: Judah is my lawgiver. Amid distractions it is a great thing to have good and sound legislation, it was a balm for Israel's wounds, it is our joy in the Church of Christ.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6-7. See Psalms on "Psalms 60:6" for further information.
Verse 7. Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine. That is to say, I will possess myself of them and rule over them; not as a conqueror over slaves, but as a lord over subjects, as a father over children, owning and acknowledging them as mine. They are my inheritance, and shall be my people, my subjects. John Brinsley.
Verse 7. Ephraim also is the strength of mine head. The strong and warlike tribe of Ephraim being to the state what the helmet is to the warriors in battle; or, perhaps the allusion is to Deuteronomy 33:17 : "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the nations." J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 7. Judah is (or shall be) my lawgiver, i.e., all his subjects should be brought under one Head, one governor, who should give them laws, according to which they should be ordered or governed, which power and authority belonged to the tribe of Judah, according to that prophecy of Jacob ( Genesis 49:10 ), to which the psalmist here alludes. No way, no means to bring the people unto unity, to bring them into one body, but by bringing them under on head, one law giver, by whose laws they may be regulated and governed. Now in the church, and in matters of religion, this one Head is Christ, even that Lion of the tribe of Judah, as he is called ( Revelation 5:5 ). He is the Law giver of his church, and let him so be. This will be found one, aye, and the only means to breed an holy and religious unity, and bring home straying, wandering sheep. John Brinsley.
Verse 7. No government could stand which was not resident in Judah. John Calvin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 7. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine. How, and in what respect this world is the Christian's.
Verse 7. Judah is my lawgiver. The believer owning no law but that which comes from Christ.