My soul [is] among lions
Not literally understood; though such there might be in the wildernesses where he sometimes was; but figuratively, men comparable to lions, for their stoutness, courage, strength, fierceness, and cruelty; meaning not his own men, as some think, who were fierce, and of keen resentment against Saul, and would fain have killed him when he was in the cave, had they not been restrained by David, ( 1 Samuel 24:4 1 Samuel 24:7 ) ; but Saul, and those with him, who were three thousand chosen men, stout, courageous, fierce, and furious. It is usual in scripture to describe powerful princes, and especially persecuting ones, by the name of lions, ( Proverbs 28:15 ) ( Jeremiah 50:17 ) ( 2 Timothy 4:17 ) . Achilles, in Homer F15, is compared to a lion for his cruelty. The soul of Christ was among such, when he was apprehended by the band of men that came with Judas to take him; when he was in the high priest's hall buffeted and spit upon; and when he was in the common hall of Pilate, surrounded by the Roman soldiers; and when he was encircled on the cross with the crowd of the common people, priests and elders, ( Matthew 26:55 Matthew 26:67 ) ( Matthew 27:27 Matthew 27:39 Matthew 27:41 ) ( Psalms 22:12 Psalms 22:13 Psalms 22:21 ) ; and so the souls of his people are often among lions, persecuting men, and Satan and his principalities, who is compared to a roaring lion, ( 1 Peter 5:8 ) ; and among whom they are as wonderfully preserved as Daniel in the lion's den;
[and] I lie [even among] them that are set on fire;
of hell, as the tongue is said to be in ( James 3:6 ) ; by the devil, who stirred up Saul against David, filled him with wrath and fury, so that he breathed out nothing but flaming vengeance, threatening and slaughter, against him; and by wicked men his courtiers, who kindled and stirred up the fire of contention between them; among these incendiaries, as Junius renders the word F16, David was, who inflamed the mind of Saul against him, which he suggests in ( 1 Samuel 24:10 ) ;
[even] the sons of men, whose teeth [are] spears and arrows;
whose words, formed by means of their teeth, were very devouring ones, ( Psalms 52:4 ) ; were very piercing and wounding; calumnies, detractions, and backbitings, speaking against him when absent and at a distance, may be meant; see ( Proverbs 30:14 ) ;
and their tongue a sharp sword; (See Gill on Psalms 52:2); and there was a sort of swords called "lingulae", because in the shape of a tongue F17.
F15 Iliad. 24. v. 40, 41.
F16 (Myjhl) "incendiarios", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "flammantes", Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth, Cocceius, Vatablus, Musculus.
F17 A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 10. c. 25.