Verse 6. My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. Long, long enough, too long had he been an exile among such barbarians. A peace maker is a blessing, but a peace hater is a curse. To lodge with such for a night is dangerous, but to dwell with them is horrible. The verse may apply to any one of the Psalmist's detractors: he had seen enough of him and pined to quit such company. Perhaps the sweet singer did not at first detect the nature of the man, for he was a deceiver; and when he did discover him he found himself unable to shake him off, and so was compelled to abide with him. Thoughts of Doeg, Saul, Ahithophel, and the sons of Zeruiah come to our mind, -- these last, not as enemies, but as hot blooded soldiers who were often too strong for David. What a change for the man of God from the quietude of the sheepfold to the turmoil of court and the tumult of combat! How he must have longed to lay aside his sceptre, and to resume his crook. He felt the time of his dwelling with quarrelsome spirits to be long, too long; and he only endured it because, as the Prayer book version has it, he was constrained so to abide.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. -- The Arabs are naturally thievish and treacherous; and it sometimes happens, that those very persons are overtaken and pillaged in the morning who were entertained the night before with all the instances of friendship and hospitality. Neither are they to be accused for plundering strangers only, and attacking almost every person whom they find unarmed and defenceless, but for those many implacable and hereditary animosities which continually subsist among them; literally fulfilling the prophecy of Hagar, that "Ishmael should be a wild man; his hand should be against every man, and every man's hand against him". --Thomas Shaw, 1692-1751.
Verse 6. -- Our Lord was with the wild beasts in the wilderness. There are not a few who would rather face even these than the angry spirits which, alas, are still to be found even in Christian Churches. --Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 1879.
Verse 6,7. -- What holy and gentle delight is associated with the very name of peace. Peace resting upon our bosom, and soothing all its cares: peace resting upon our households, and folding all the members in one loving embrace: peace resting upon our country, and pouring abundance from her golden horn peace resting upon all nations, and binding them together with the threefold cord of a common humanity, a common interest, and a common religion! The man who hates peace is a dishonour to the race, an enemy to his brother, and a traitor to his God. He hates Christ, who is the Prince of peace. He hates Christians, who are men of peace. --N. McMichael.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. --
- Trying company.
- Admirable behaviour.
- Undesirable consequences: "When I speak, they are for war".