A thousand shall fall at thy side
The left side, as the Targum; so the Arabic version, and Jarchi and Kimchi; which sense the opposition and distinction in the next clause direct unto: this is not to be understood of falling in battle, as some interpret it, but by the pestilence before spoken of:
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
which shows both the great devastation made by the plague where it comes, and the special care and providence of God in preserving his people from it; of which David had an experience, when vast numbers of his people were destroyed by it on the right and left:
but it shall not come nigh thee;
it may come near the place where good men are, or else it could not be said that a thousand should fall on their side, and ten thousand at their right hand: the plague that killed the firstborn in Egypt was near the dwellings of the Israelites, though it entered not into them; and that in David's time was near him, though he was not infected with it: but the meaning is, that it should not come so near such as to seize their bodies and they fall by the distemper; there being a particular providence oftentimes concerned for their safety, which guards them from it; see ( Ezekiel 9:4 ) , not but that good men may fall in a common calamity, and by an epidemical distemper; but then it is for their good, and not their hurt; they are taken away from the evil to come, and are delivered from a worse plague than that by which they fall, the plague of their own hearts, the evil of sin; and so the Targum adds, "shall not come near to hurt", though it understands it of devils.