Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation
Meaning either temporal salvation, which was a shield to him when he had no outward one, as when he fought with Goliath; and was what preserved him in all his battles at other times: or spiritual salvation, which is of the Lord, of his contriving, effecting:, and applying, and in which his glory is concerned; interest in which is a free gift of his, as are the knowledge, application, and possession of it; and this is as a shield, which saves from sin, from all sin, and the damning power of it; keeps off the curses of the law, secures from wrath to come, and repels Satan's temptations; the words may be applied to Christ, who, though he was not saved from dying, yet was preserved in the day of salvation, and was not suffered to see corruption in the grave, and was quickly delivered from the power and dominion of it;
and thy right hand hath holden me up;
Christ may be said to be the right hand of God, being as dear to him as his right hand; and being exalted at it; and because by him he communicates all good things to his people, and with him upholds and sustains them; or else it designs the mighty power of God, which is often signified by it, ( Psalms 20:6 ) ( 44:3 ) ( Psalms 118:15 Psalms 118:16 ) ; and may be understood of the sustentation of David, both in a providential way, with respect to his being, the preservation of it, the supplies of life, and support in times of trouble and distress; and in a spiritual sense, maintaining the principle of grace in him, furnishing him with fresh supplies of grace, and bearing him up under and through every temptation and exercise; so upholding him that he stood firm in the true grace of God, in the exercise of it implanted, and in the doctrine of grace, so as to go forward in the ways of God, and follow hard after him, and so as not to fall and utterly perish; and which is true of all the saints; see ( Psalms 63:8 ) ( 37:24 ) . The words may be interpreted of Christ, who, as man and Mediator, as God's righteous servant, was upheld by him, so that he failed not, nor was he discouraged; the hand of the Lord was established with him, and his arm also strengthened him, ( Isaiah 42:1 Isaiah 42:4 ) ( Psalms 89:21 ) ; this clause is not in ( 2 Samuel 22:36 ) ;
and thy gentleness hath made me great;
David was very mean and low by his birth and occupation, and while persecuted by Saul; but God of his grace and goodness, of his sovereign good will and pleasure, raised him to an high estate, set him on the throne of Israel, and gave him honour among and above the kings of the earth; so Kimchi interprets the word for "gentleness" by "goodness" or "merciful" kindness; R. Jonah by "providence"; and R. Isaac explains it "thy help [and] good will"; and all shows that his greatness was not owing to his merits, but to the providential goodness of God; and his special grace and mercy in Christ Jesus made him still greater, even a child of God, an heir of God, a joint heir with Christ, a King and a Priest unto God; gave him a right unto and a meetness for a crown of glory, an everlasting kingdom, an eternal inheritance, as it does all the saints. The words may be rendered, "thy humility hath made me great" F16; which may be understood either of God's humbling himself to look upon him in his low estate, and to raise him to such honour and dignity as he did, both in a temporal and spiritual sense; see ( Psalms 113:6-8 ) ; or of the humility which he had in himself from God, as Aben Ezra interprets it; of which grace God is the author; it is a fruit of the Spirit; which he takes great notice of, gives more grace to them that have it, and exalts them, as he did David, who was mean and low in his own eyes. The Septuagint, and those versions which follow that, render it "thy discipline" or "correction": and so may design the gentleness and lenity of God in chastising his people, which is always in measure and in judgment, and for their good; whereby he increases grace in them, and trains them up for, and brings them to his kingdom and glory. The Chaldee paraphrase is, "by thy word thou hast increased me"; it may not be improperly interpreted of Christ, who was very low in his estate of humiliation on earth, but is now highly exalted, and crowned with glory and honour; who first endured great sufferings, and then entered into his glory.