Lest he tear my soul like a lion
That is, one of his persecutors, the chief of them; it may be Saul, whom the psalmist compares to a lion for his majesty and greatness, the lion being the king among beasts; and for his authority, power, and might, and for his wrath and cruelty, which he feared; and which, should it be exerted on him, would tear his soul, or himself, in pieces; would rend his soul from his body, and dispatch his life; see ( Proverbs 19:12 ) . So the Apostle Paul calls the Roman governor, before whom he was, and from whose hands he was delivered, a lion, for his power and fierceness, ( 2 Timothy 4:17 ) . And so our adversary the devil, the chief of all persecutors, and who instigates others against the saints, is by Peter said to go about like a roaring lion, ( 1 Peter 5:8 ) ;
rending [it] in pieces,
as the lion does his prey when hungry. So Homer
while [there is] none to deliver;
no saviour, no deliverer: for if God does not save and deliver his people out of the hands of their persecutors, none can; especially out of the hands of such an one as is here described tearing and rending in pieces. As there is no God besides the Lord, there is no saviour besides him: there is no temporal nor spiritual saviour but he: salvation is not to be expected from any other; and were it not for him, saints must fall a prey to their enemies.
F19 Odyss. 9. v. 292, 293.
F20 Iliad. 11. v. 175, 176. & Iliad. 17. v. 63.