Geneva Study Bible How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! How are the mighty fallen ] This thrice-repeated refrain sounds the keynote of the elegy.
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To understand it literally of swords and spears would close the most pathetic of elegies with an incredible bathos. It is needless to dwell on the poetic beauty, the chivalrous loyalty, the tender love, which characterize this most pathetic of funeral odes. He speaks only of the Saul of earlier times, the mighty conqueror, the delight of his people, the father of his beloved and faithful friend; like him in life, united with him in death.
2 Samuel Commentaries: "How have the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished!"
Such expressions … may fairly be taken as justifying the irrepressible instinct of humanity which compels us to dwell on the best qualities of those who have just departed. Pulpit Commentary Verse This lament, which occurs three times, is the central thought of the elegy. Glorious and noble in their pest lives, the heroes had now fallen, not as Wolfe fell at Quebec, with the shout of victory in his ears, but in the lost battle. And David seeks relief for his distress in dwelling upon the sad contrast between the splendid victories which Saul had won for Israel when first chosen to be king, and the terrible defeat by which life and kingdom had now been lost.
May God withdraw His blessing from the mountains upon which the heroes have fallen, that they may not be moistened by the dew and rain of heaven, but, remaining in eternal barrenness, be memorials of the horrible occurrence that has taken place upon them.
This is the simplest and most appropriate explanation of the words, which have been very differently, and in some respects very marvellously rendered. The reason for this cursing of the mountains of Gilboa was, that there the shield of the heroes, particularly of Saul, had been defiled with blood, namely the blood of those whom the shield ought to defend. The interpolation of the words "as though" quasi non esset unctus oleo, Vulgate cannot be sustained. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.
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Advanced Options Exact Match. Multi-Verse Retrieval x. Use SBL Abbrev. En dash not Hyphen. Let's Connect x. Subscribe to our Newsletter. Daily Devotionals x. Daily Bible Reading Plans x. Recently Popular Pages x. Recently Popular Media x. Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Psalms Psalm 31 It is probable that David penned this psalm when he was persecuted by Saul; some passages in it agree particularly to the narrow escapes he had, at Keilah 1 Sa.
David professes his cheerful confidence in God, and, in that confidence, prays for deliverance out of his present troubles v. He complains of the very deplorable condition he was in, and, in the sense of his calamities, still prays that God would graciously appear for him against his persecutors v. He concludes the psalm with praise and triumph, giving glory to God, and encouraging himself and others to trust in him v.
To the chief musician. A psalm of David. Psa Faith and prayer must go together. David, in distress, is very earnest with God in prayer for succour and relief. This eases a burdened spirit, fetches in promised mercies, and wonderfully supports and comforts the soul in the expectation of them.
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He prays, 1. That God would deliver him v. It is condescension in God to take cognizance of the case of the greatest and best of men; he humbles himself to do it. The psalmist prays also that he would deliver him speedily, lest, if the deliverance were long deferred, his faith should fail. That if he did not immediately deliver him out of his troubles, yet he would protect and shelter him in his troubles; "Be thou my strong rock, immovable, impregnable, as a fastness framed by nature, and my house of defence, a fortress framed by art, and all to save me.
That his case having much in it of difficulty, both in respect of duty and in respect of prudence, he might be under the divine guidance: "Lord, lead me and guide me v. That his enemies being very crafty, as well as very spiteful, God would frustrate and baffle their designs against him v. In this prayer he gives glory to God by a repeated profession of his confidence in him and dependence on him. This encouraged his prayers and qualified him for the mercies he prayed for v. He had chosen God for his protector, and God had, by his promise, undertaken to be so v. Those that have in sincerity avouched the Lord for theirs may expect the benefit of his being so; for God's relations to us carry with them both name and thing.
Thou art my strength, v. If God be our strength, we may hope that he will both put his strength in us and put forth his strength for us. He gave up his soul in a special manner to him v. If David here looks upon himself as a dying man, by these words he resigns his departing soul to God who gave it, and to whom, at death, the spirit returns.
He is willing to die if God will have it so; but let my soul fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great.
With these words our Lord Jesus yielded up the ghost upon the cross, and made his soul an offering, a free-will offering for sin, voluntarily laying down his life a ransom. By Stephen's example we are taught in, our dying moment, to eye Christ at God's right hand, and to commit our spirits to him: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. But, 2. David is here to be looked upon as a man in distress and trouble. And, [1. Note, Our outward afflictions should increase our concern for our souls. Many think that while they are perplexed about their worldly affairs, and Providence multiplies their cares about them, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; whereas the greater hazard our lives and secular interests lie at the more we are concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage 2 Co.
Lesson Plan: Exploring Biblical Poetry
Selah is repeated three times in Psalm , and here indicates that the deep sinfulness of man is worthy of our careful consideration. From Psalm 90 to Psalm no Selah occurs. Why omitted in these fifty we cannot tell any more than why so often recurring in others. However, there are only about forty Psalms in all in which it is used. The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside; They have set traps for me.
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked : In the first portion of Psalm David acknowledged the presence of wicked and violent men. To this end the plea changes into an imprecatory prayer.
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The proud have hidden a snare for me : They hoped to make David trip over a series of hidden snares and cords and nets and traps , many of which we expressed in their poisonous words Psalm Saul laid many snares for David, but the Lord preserved him. Ready are they to twist his words, misread his intentions, and misdirect his efforts; ready to fawn, and lie, and make themselves mean to the last degree so that they may accomplish their abominable purpose. Selah : When David considered the danger coming from those who opposed him, it prompted a thoughtful pause. He would worship no other god; his allegiance was to Yahweh alone.
This devotion gave him confidence that God would hear the voice of his supplications. It is distinctive and meaningful to Him. The true God could actually help David, being the strength of his salvation. How could it be accounted for, except that an unseen shield had been around him, covering his head in the day of battle. You have covered my head in the day of battle : David knew many literal battles, but he also lived through many battles with lying and slanderous men.
David testified that God had been his protection, his shield, his armor in those battles.