Verse 13. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul. It will be all this to them to see thy servant preserved; their envy and malice, when disappointed, will fill them with life consuming bitterness. The defeat of their plans shall nonplus them, they shall be confounded as they enquire the reason for their overthrow; the men they seek to destroy seem so weak, and their cause so contemptible, that they will be filled with amazement as they see them not only survive all opposition, but even surmount it. How confounded must Pharaoh have been when Israel multiplied, despite his endeavours to exterminate the race; and how consumed with rage must the Scribes and Pharisees have become when they saw the gospel spreading from land to land by the very means which they used for its destruction.
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. He would have their shame made visible to all eyes, by their wearing it in their blushes as a mantle. They would have made a laughing stock of the believer, if his God had forsaken him; therefore, let unbelief and atheism be made a public scoffing in their persons.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. Let them be confounded, etc. Let them, who were so wicked that they never hoped anything good of me, be confounded by the evidence of the blessings which manifestly fall upon me; and, let them fail, the grounds of their abuse being taken away, as a fire fails when the fagots are removed. Gerhohus.
Verse 13. Let them be confounded, etc. By the law of retaliation (talio), he might have said: "Be thou an adversary to their souls, and seek their hurt." Nothing of this is hinted at: his only desire is that they may be confounded and fail, that they may be covered with disgrace and shame. He seeks nothing beyond the frustration of their attempts, that they may begin to be ashamed, and have no cause for boasting that they came off victorious. Musculus.
Verse 13. Shame ariseth from utter disappointments. If hope deferred causeth shame, then much more hope destroyed. When a man sees his hopes quite cut off, so that he can no way reach the thing he looked for, shame takes hold of him strongly. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 13. That are adversaries to my soul. That hated him with a diabolical hatred, as the devil hates the souls of men, and who has his name Satan from the word here used. All wicked men are Satans, full of enmity against God and all good men; and such were David's enemies, spiteful and malicious, and nothing would satisfy them but his life. John Gill.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS