Psalms 18

1 To victory, the word of the Lord to David; which spake the words of this song, in the day in which the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul; and he said: Lord, my strength, I shall love thee; (To victory, the word of the Lord to David; who spoke the words of this song, on the day in which the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, and from the power of Saul; and he said, O Lord, my strength, I shall love thee;)
2 the Lord is my steadfastness, and my refuge, and my deliverer. My God is mine helper; and I shall hope in him. My defender, and the horn of mine health; and mine up-taker (My God is my helper; and I shall trust him. My defender, and the horn of my salvation, or of my deliverance; and my rescuer).
3 I shall praise, and inwardly call the Lord; and I shall be safe from mine enemies. (I shall praise him, and I shall call on the Lord; and I shall be saved from my enemies.)
4 The sorrows of death (en)compassed me; and the strands of wickedness have troubled me. (The sorrows of death surrounded me; and the streams of wickedness have flowed over me.)
5 The sorrows of hell (en)compassed me; the snares of death before-occupied me. (The sorrows of Sheol, or of the land of the dead, surrounded me./The sorrows of the grave surrounded me; the snares of death were set for me.)
6 In my tribulation I inwardly called the Lord; and I cried to my God. And he heard my voice from his holy temple; and my cry in his sight entered into his ears. (In my trouble I called to the Lord; yea, I cried to my God. And he heard my voice in his holy Temple; yea, my cry came before him, and entered into his ears.)
7 The earth was moved together, and trembled greatly; the foundaments of hills were troubled together, and moved together, for he was wroth to them. (The earth was altogether shaken, and greatly trembled; the foundations of the mountains were altogether troubled, and altogether shaken, for he was angry.)
8 Smoke went up in the ire of the Lord, and fire burnt out from his face; coals were kindled of him. (Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire came out of his mouth; and coals were kindled by it.)
9 He bowed down (the) heavens, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.
10 And he ascended on cherubim, and flew; he flew over the pens of winds. (And he went up on cherubim, and flew; yea, he flew upon the wings of the wind.)
11 And he setted darknesses his hiding place, his tabernacle in his compass; and dark water was in the clouds of the air. (And he made the darkness his hiding place; and the clouds of the heavens, which were filled with water, surrounded him.)
12 Full clear clouds passed in his sight; hail and the coals of fire.
13 And the Lord thundered from heaven; and the highest gave his voice, hail and coals of fire. (And the Lord thundered from the heavens; yea, the Most High sent forth his voice, and hail, and coals of fire.)
14 And he sent his arrows, and destroyed those men; he multiplied lightnings, and troubled those men.
15 And the wells of waters appeared; and the foundaments of the earth were showed. Lord, of thy blaming; of the breathing of the spirit of thine ire. (And the seabed appeared; and the foundations of the earth were uncovered. Yea, by the Lord's rebuke; by the blast of the breath from his nostrils.)
16 He sent from the highest place, and took me; and he took me from many waters. (He reached down from the highest place, and took hold of me; yea, he took me out of the deep waters.)
17 He delivered me from my strongest enemies; and from them that hated me, for they were comforted on me. (He rescued me from my strongest enemies; yea, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.)
18 They came before me in the day of my torment; and the Lord was made my defender.
19 And he led out me into breadth; he made me safe, for he would me. (And he led me out into an open place; he saved me, for he delighted in me.)
20 And the Lord shall yield to me by my rightfulness; and he shall yield to me by the cleanness of mine hands. (And the Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; he rewarded me according to the cleanness of my hands.)
21 For I (have) kept the ways of the Lord; and I did not (go away) unfaithfully from my God.
22 For all his dooms be in my sight; and I putted not away from me his rightfulnesses. (For all his laws were before me; and I did not go away from his commands.)
23 And I shall be unwemmed with him; and I shall keep me from my wickedness. (And I was without blemish, or without fault, before him; for I have kept myself from my own wickedness.)
24 And the Lord shall yield to me by my rightfulness; and by the cleanness of mine hands in the sight of his eyes. (And so the Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; and according to the cleanness of my hands before him.)
25 With the holy, thou shalt be holy; and with an innocent man, thou shalt be innocent. (With the holy, O Lord, thou shalt be holy; and with the innocent, thou shalt be innocent.)
26 And with a chosen man, thou shalt be chosen; and with a wayward man, thou shalt be wayward. (And with the chosen, thou shalt be chosen; but to the wicked, thou shalt be vengeful, or punishing.)
27 For thou shalt make safe a meek people; and thou shalt make meek the eyes of proud men. (And thou shalt save, or help, the poor; but thou shalt humble those who be high in their own eyes/but thou shalt look with contempt upon the proud.)
28 For thou, Lord, lightenest my lantern; my God, lighten thou my darknesses. (For thou, Lord, brightenest my lantern; my God, thou lightest up my darknesses.)
29 For by thee I shall be delivered from temptation; and in my God I shall go over the wall. (For I shall be rescued, or saved, from temptation by thee; and by my God/and with God's help, I shall go over the wall.)
30 My God, his way is undefouled; the speeches of the Lord be examined by fire; he is [the] defender of all men hoping in him. (My God, his way is undefiled; the words of the Lord be assayed by fire, that is, they be tried and tested, and found to be true; he is the defender of all who put their trust in him.)
31 For why, who is God, except the Lord? either who is God, except our God? (For who else is God, except the Lord? yea, who else is God, except our God?)
32 God that hath girded me with virtue; and hath set my way unwemmed. (God who hath girded me with strength; and hath made my way without blemish, or without fault.)
33 Which made perfect my feet as the feet of harts; and ordaining me on high things. (Who made my feet like the feet of harts; and hath ordained me upon the high places.)
34 Which teacheth mine hands to battle; and thou hast set mine arms as a brazen bow. (Who teacheth my hands in battle; and now my arms can break a bronze bow.)
35 And thou hast given to me the covering of thine health; and thy right hand hath up-taken me (And thou hast given me the covering of thy salvation, or thy deliverance; and thy right hand hath taken me up). And thy chastising amended me into the end; and that chastising of thee shall teach me.
36 Thou alargedest my paces under me; and my steps be not made unsteadfast. (Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; and my feet have not slipped, or stumbled.)
37 I shall pursue mine enemies, and I shall take (hold of) them; and I shall not turn (again) till they fail (and I shall not return until they fall).
38 I shall all-break them, and they shall not be able to stand; they shall fall under my feet.
39 And thou hast girded me with virtue to battle; and thou hast overturned under me men rising against me. (And thou hast girded me with strength for the battle; and thou hast put beneath me those who rose up against me.)
40 And thou hast given mine enemies aback to me; and thou hast destroyed men hating me/and thou hast destroyed them that hated me. (And thou hast given me the backs of my enemies; and I have destroyed those who hated me.)
41 They cried, and none there was that made them safe; they cried to the Lord, and he heard not them. (They cried, but there was no one to save them; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.)
42 And I shall all-break them, as dust before the face of the wind; I shall do them away, as the clay of streets. (And I broke them all in pieces, so that they became like the dust in the wind; I did them away, and trampled them underfoot, like the clay in the streets.)
43 Thou shalt deliver me from [the] against-sayings of the people; thou shalt set me into the head of folks. The people, which I knew not, hath served me; (Thou delivered me from the gainsaying of the people; thou put me as the head of the nations. The people, whom I knew not, now serve me.)
44 in the hearing of ear it obeyed to me. Alien sons lied (down) to me, (The sons of foreigners, or of strangers, now bow down to me; and after hearing me speak, they obey me.)
45 alien sons waxed eld; and (went) crooked from thy paths. (The courage of the sons of foreigners, or of strangers, faded away; and they slunk out of their strongholds together.)
46 The Lord liveth, and my God be blessed; and the God of mine health be enhanced (let the God of my salvation be exalted!).
47 God, that givest vengeances to me, and makest subject peoples under me; (O God, who givest vengeance to me, and makest the nations subject under me;)
48 thou art my deliverer from my wrathful enemies. And thou shalt enhance me from them, that rise against me; thou shalt deliver me from a wicked man. (thou art my deliverer from all my enemies. And thou hast raised me up over those who rose up against me; thou hast rescued me from violent men.)
49 Therefore, Lord, I shall acknowledge to thee among nations; and I shall say psalm to thy name. (And so, Lord, I shall praise thee before the nations; and I shall sing to thy name.)
50 Magnifying the healths of his king; and doing mercy to his christ David, and to his seed till into the world. (He who giveth victories to his king; who showeth love to his anointed king, yea, to David, and to his children, or his descendants, forever.)

Images for Psalms 18

Psalms 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

David rejoices in the deliverances God wrought for him. (1-19) He takes the comfort of his integrity, which God had cleared up. (20-28) He gives to God the glory of all his mighty deeds. (29-50)

Verses 1-19 The first words, "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength," are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. ( 7-15 ) . Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, ( Hebrews 5:7 ) . God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.

Verses 20-28 Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, ( Leviticus 26:21-24 ) . The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; "Thou wilt bring down high looks." And he speaks encouragement to himself; "Thou wilt light my candle:" thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them.

Verses 29-50 When we praise for one mercy, we must observe the many more, with which we have been compassed all our days. Many things had contributed to David's advancement, and he owns the hand of God in them all, to teach us to do likewise. In verse Verse 32 , and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, [a Psalm] of David. This is the same with that in 2 Samuel 22:1, with some variations, omissions, and alterations:

the servant of the Lord; not only by creation, nor merely by regeneration, but by office, as king of Israel, being put into it by the Lord, and acting in it in submission and obedience to him; just as the apostles under the New Testament, on account of their office, so style themselves in their epistles:

who spake unto the Lord the words of this song; that is, who delivered and sung this song in so many express words, in public, before all the congregation of Israel, to the honour and glory of God:

in the day [that] the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul, Not that this psalm was composed and sung the selfsame day that David was delivered from Saul, and set upon the throne; for it seems to have been written in his old age, at the close of his days; for immediately after it, in the second book of Samuel, it follows, "now these be the last words of David," 2 Samuel 23:1: but the sense is, that whereas David had many enemies, and particularly Saul, who was his greatest enemy, the Lord delivered him from them all, and especially from him, from him first, and then from all the rest; which when he reflected upon in his last days, he sat down and wrote this psalm, and then sung it in public, having delivered it into the hands of the chief musician for that purpose. There are two passages cited out of it in the New Testament, and applied to Christ; Psalm 18:2, in Hebrews 2:13, and Psalm 18:49 in Romans 15:9; and there are many things in it that very well agree with him; he is eminently the "servant" of the Lord as Mediator; he was encompassed with the snares and sorrows of death and hell, and with the floods of ungodly men, when in the garden and on the cross God was his helper and deliverer, as man; and he was victorious over all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, death and hell; as the subject of this psalm is all along represented: and to Christ it does most properly belong to be the head of the Heathen, whose voluntary subjects the Gentiles are said to be, Psalm 18:43; and which is expressed in much the same language as the like things are in Isaiah 55:4; which is a clear and undoubted prophecy of the Messiah; to which may be added, that the Lord's Anointed, the King Messiah, and who is also called David, is expressly mentioned in Psalm 18:50; and which is applied to the Messiah by the Jews {q} as Psalm 18:32 is paraphrased of him by the Targum on it;

and he said; the following words:

{q} Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. & Midrash Tillim in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 47. 3.

Psalms 18 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.