Psalms 7

1 A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush a Benjaminite. O LORD my God, in thee do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
2 lest like a lion they rend me, dragging me away, with none to rescue.
3 O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have requited my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 let the enemy pursue me and overtake me, and let him trample my life to the ground, and lay my soul in the dust. [Selah]
6 Arise, O LORD, in thy anger, lift thyself up against the fury of my enemies; awake, O my God; thou hast appointed a judgment.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about thee; and over it take thy seat on high.
8 The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.
9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the righteous, thou who triest the minds and hearts, thou righteous God.
10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.
12 If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow;
13 he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil, and is pregnant with mischief, and brings forth lies.
15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole which he has made.
16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own pate his violence descends.
17 I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

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Psalms 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

The psalmist prays to God to plead his cause, and judge for him. (1-9) He expresses confidence in God, and will give him the glory of his deliverance. (10-17)

Verses 1-9 David flees to God for succour. But Christ alone could call on Heaven to attest his uprightness in all things. All His works were wrought in righteousness; and the prince of this world found nothing whereof justly to accuse him. Yet for our sakes, submitting to be charged as guilty, he suffered all evils, but, being innocent, he triumphed over them all. The plea is, "For the righteous God trieth the hearts and the reins." He knows the secret wickedness of the wicked, and how to bring it to an end; he is witness to the secret sincerity of the just, and has ways of establishing it. When a man has made peace with God about all his sins, upon the terms of grace and mercy, through the sacrifice of the Mediator, he may, in comparison with his enemies, appeal to God's justice to decide.

Verses 10-17 David is confident that he shall find God his powerful Saviour. The destruction of sinners may be prevented by their conversion; for it is threatened, If he turn not from his evil way, let him expect it will be his ruin. But amidst the threatenings of wrath, we have a gracious offer of mercy. God gives sinners warning of their danger, and space to repent, and prevent it. He is slow to punish, and long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish. The sinner is described, ver. ( 14-16 ) , as taking more pains to ruin his soul than, if directed aright, would save it. This is true, in a sense, of all sinners. Let us look to the Saviour under all our trials. Blessed Lord, give us grace to look to thee in the path of tribulation, going before thy church and people, and marking the way by thine own spotless example. Under all the persecutions which in our lesser trials mark our way, let the looking to Jesus animate our minds and comfort our hearts.

Chapter Summary

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. The name of this psalm, "Shiggaion," either respects the music or the matter of the psalm. Some take it to be the name of the musical instrument to which the psalm was set {n}: so Habakkuk's prayer is said to be "upon shigionoth"; which is the same word with this, only of the plural number, Habakkuk 3:1. Others say it was the first word of a song, to the tune of which this was sung {o} And others understand it of a certain kind of a song {p}: and the Targum renders it, "the interpretation of the ode of David"; which Ainsworth renders, "David's interpretation of the law"; leading atyrwa instead of atydwa, as does also the king of Spain's Bible. And certain it is that it is the name of a song; since it follows, "which he sang unto the Lord"; in his presence, before him, and to the glory of his name. But the question is, of what sort it is? and why it should be so called? since its root hgv signifies "to err" or "wander": it is more generally rendered, "an erratic" or "wandering ode"; a song or psalm, which consisted of various kind of metre: it was sung with various notes, and all kind of music, which made it very pleasant. Hence some render it, "David's delight," as R. Obadiah Gaon; and the verb from whence it is derived is translated "ravished" in Proverbs 5:19; and Ben Melech says, the word signifies twhrew hxmv, "joy and pleasure"; and Aben Ezra observes that some interpret it gwnet, "delight." But others are of opinion that this word regards the subject matter of the psalm, and may be rendered, "David's ignorance" or "error"; his sin of ignorance; and respects his mistaken conduct with regard to his enemies, particularly Saul, in making imprecations upon them, Psalm 6:10; in cursing them, and especially King Saul; when a king is not to be cursed, Ecclesiastes 10:20; and in cutting off the skirt of his garment, for which his heart smote him, 1 Samuel 24:4. Some render it, "the care of David," as Cocceius; which he wrote in deep meditation, when he had forgot himself, and was as it were in an ecstasy; setting forth "the sum of his cares," as Ainsworth expresses it, when he was harassed and greatly afflicted by his enemies. The occasion of it is, "the words of Cush the Benjamite"; which some understand of Shimei the Benjamite, who came out and cursed David as he went along, when he fled from Absalom, 1 Samuel 16:5. Theodoret thinks Hushai is meant, who persuaded Absalom not to follow the counsel of Ahithophel; on which account David penned this psalm. Others interpret it of one of Saul's courtiers, who was of the tribe of Benjamin, and whose name was Cush {q}; and which is very likely, since it is evident that some of Saul's courtiers accused David to him, and charged him with seeking his harm, not only to take away his crown and kingdom, but his life, 1 Samuel 24:9. Though the generality of the Jewish writers {r} interpret it of Saul himself, who is called Cush, in allusion to his father's name Kish, who was a man of Benjamin, 1 Samuel 9:1; or else because Cush signifies "an Ethiopian," to which he may be compared, as the children of Israel in Amos 9:7. For as the Ethiopian is various in his skin, so was Saul in his actions, as Jarchi observes; or rather because, as Kimchi and Ben Melech express it, as the Ethiopian does not change his skin, Jeremiah 13:23; so Saul did not change his hatred to David. Though the same writers observe, that he may be called so by the rule of contraries, because he was a very goodly and beautiful man; the words referred to are supposed to be those in 1 Samuel 22:7.

{n} Menachem in Jarchi in loc. So David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 204. 1. {o} Aben Ezra in loc. {p} Kimchi in loc. {q} Aben Ezra & Obadiah Gaon in loc. {r} Targum, Jarchi, Kimchi, Arama, & Ben Melech in loc.

Psalms 7 Commentaries

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.