Psalm 108
Expositor's Bible Commentary
A Song or Psalm of David. O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
Psalm 108:1-13Two fragments of Davidic psalms are here tacked together with slight variations. Psalm 108:1-5 are from Psalm 57:7-11; Psalm 108:6-13 from Psalm 60:5-12. The return from Babylon would be an appropriate occasion for thus revivifying ancient words. We have seen in preceding psalms that Israel’s past drew the thoughts of the singers of that period, and the conjecture may be hazarded that the recent deliverance suggested to some devout man, whose mind was steeped in the songs of former days, the closeness with which old strains suited new joys. If so, there is pathetic meaning in the summons to the "psaltery and harp," which had hung silent on the willows of Babylon so long, to wake their ancient minstrelsy once more, as well as exultant Confidence that the God who had led David to victory still leads His people. The hopes of conquest in the second part, the consciousness that while much has been achieved by God’s help, much still remains to be won before Israel can sit secure, the bar or two in the minor key in Psalm 108:11, which heighten the exultation of the rest of the song, and the cry for help against adversaries too strong for Israel’s unassisted might, are all appropriate to the early stages of the return.

The variations from the original psalms are of slight moment. In Psalm 108:1 the reduplication of the clause "Steadfast is my heart" is omitted, and "my glory" is detached from Psalm 108:2, where it stands in Psalm 57:1-11, and is made a second subject, equivalent to "I". In Psalm 108:3 a Jehovah is substituted for Lord, and the copula "and" prefixed to b. Psalm 108:4 is not improved by the change of "unto the heavens" to "above the heavens," for an anticlimax is produced by following "above the heavens" with "unto the clouds."

In the second part, the only change affecting the sense is in Psalm 108:9, where the summons to Philistia to "shout aloud because of me," which is probably meant in sarcasm, is transformed into the plain expression of triumph, "Over Philistia will I shout aloud." The other changes are "me" for "us" in Psalm 108:6, the omission of "and" before "mine Manasseh" in Psalm 108:8, the substitution of a more usual synonym for "fenced" in Psalm 108:10, and the omission of the pronoun "Thou" in Psalm 108:11.

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